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Sony admits some PlayStation 2s ‘not up to standard’

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Sony's desperate pre-Christmas attempt to meet demand for its PlayStation 2 console appears to have angered as many punters as it satisfied.

In its rush to get consoles to buyers, Sony didn't pay sufficient attention to quality control. And, according to today's Sun and a report on the BBC's Weekend Watchdog programme tonight, rather a lot of buyers have ended up with duff machines.

Before Christmas, we heard of problems with the PlayStation 2's video connections and numerous tales of faulty fans. Since then a number of console owners have complained that the machine scratches DVDs and game discs if they're left inside when the Off button is pressed. To that, says the Sun, add issues with disc tray failures, power problems, discs not being read correctly and dodgy game controllers.

Sony received almost 2000 complaints on Christmas Day, the paper claims. The number of calls has since grown to 5000 as more PlayStation 2 buyers have come across faults with their systems.

That said, plenty of them will be people who just didn't bothered to 'read the f**king manual', as BOFH might put it. Technical support lines are almost always snowed under over Christmas as PC-illiterate consumers struggle to get their new machines to print out thank-you letters to Aunt Agnes.

That's certainly Sony's official line. "The small number of problems we have had indicate difficulties in setting up the machine," poacher-turned-gamekeeper Sony UK PR boss David Wilson (he used to be the journo in charge of tough-talking games magazine GameZone) told the paper. "We deny we have any major problems."

How then to explain an internal Sony memo, leaked to the Sun? "We know a lot of our units are not up to consumer standards," the memo admits.

To be fair, most new machines suffer more than their share of faults, but Sony does seem to have been the victim of its own hype, creating a demand it has had a very tough time satisfying. Better luck with the PlayStation 3, we say... ®

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