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PlayStation 4 BLUE LIGHT OF DEATH blamed on power cords, TV sets, butterflies in China

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Sony has, er, narrowed down the mysterious Blue Light of Death issues plaguing some of its new PlayStation 4 consoles to possible issues with the hardware, software or firmware.

The entertainment giant has issued a troubleshooting guide for gamers who have found their $399 (£349) consoles suffering from a nasty case of the bricks and flashing a blue light upon startup.

According to Sony, the error condition can be triggered by anything from TV compatibility issues (which can be fixed by updating the set's firmware) to issues with the PS4's power supply (a potentially dangerous fix not recommended for the untrained.) Other possible causes for the blue light fault alert include broken or loose hard drive connections or software and formatting issues.

To help narrow down the possible causes, Sony is advising users to check their power supplies by unplugging and replugging the power cord both at the outlet and into the console itself, then possibly substituting another cord (Sony notes that PS3 users can swap out that console's power cord.)

Hard drive issues can be checked by sliding off the top of the PS4's casing and checking screws and cable connections in the hard drive enclosure. This can be safely performed by users without voiding the console's warranty.

Should some troubleshooting on the power supply and hard drive not fix what's ailing your new PS4, Sony recommends starting the console in safe mode and performing procedures such as restoring to factory settings (though it's not clear how this would remedy a system that shipped with the problematic condition.)

Other users have reported being able to solve certain display issues by checking their HDMI connections and removing bent pieces of metal or other obstructions from the PS4's HDMI port. One saving grace for users looking to fix their consoles could be the relatively high repairability score given to the PS4 by reviewers.

The blue light issues have undermined what was an otherwise solid PS4 release for Sony. The company reported that in its first days of availability, more than one million consoles have been sold. Now we just need to see how many of those will have to be returned. ®

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