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Sony and BBC clash over PS3 problems

The Red Yellow Light of Death

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Sony has sent the BBC a stinging rebuttal after the broadcaster's Watchdog programme investigated an alleged PlayStation 3 problem dubbed The Yellow Light of Death.

Watchdog launched the investigation because, according to the BBC, over 150 PS3 owners had contacted the show after their Sony consoles broke down without warning.

All displayed the same fault indicator - a yellow flashing light, the BBC alleged.

“When that light shows, the box no longer works”, the BBC said in a statement on its Watchdog website. “It's become so feared by gamers that they've dubbed it The Yellow Light of Death”.

The BBC also alleged that, by Sony’s own admission, around 12,500 of the 2.5m PS3s sold in the UK since March 2007 have broken down in the same way.

But Sony has since staunchly denied the claims.

“Fewer than one half of one percent of [UK] units have been reported as failing in circumstances where the yellow indicator is illuminated”, the Japanese electronics giant said in its rebuttal to the BBC.

According to Sony, “the yellow light indicator is simply a non-specific fault indicator that can be triggered in a range of different circumstances”. Humm…

If this failure had occurred in the first 12 months after purchase, Sony would have replaced the console without charge - the BBC said.

But since the issue appears to affect consoles after 18-24 months of use, the BBC claimed that Sony said it isn't liable.

For £128 ($209/€142), Sony will swap your broken PS3 for a refurbished model. But the firm hasn’t announced any plans to extend the PS3’s warranty to cover “certain general hardware failures” – as Microsoft did back in 2007. ®

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