Sony Responds to BBC Criticism

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Sony Responds to BBC Criticism

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Sony has struck back at the BBC, following a piece about the PS3 on the BBC's consumer interest show Watchdog.

Sony has defended itself against the BBC's claim that the original model PS3 suffers from a manufacturing defect that which causes the consoles to not boot up and to display a yellow light, dubbed the 'yellow light of death'. The BBC attributes this problem to faulty solder connecting the components to the circuit board. Should this fault occur outside of the 12-month warranty period, then Sony charges £128 (roughly $208) for a refurbished unit.

According to Sony UK Boss Ray Maguire however, the yellow light in question is an all-purpose error indicator, with no central cause. He also claimed that the 155 people who had contacted the BBC did not represent a significant portion of its 2.5 million install base. Sony says that less than half a percent of the consoles it has sold in the UK will experience the yellow light problem, which means a total of up to 12,500, if the half-percent figure is correct.

Sony also criticized the BBC for a section of the Watchdog program, in which technicians in a van outside the Sony London HQ offered free repairs for out-of-warranty consoles; calling it a stunt which "treats with inappropriate levity an issue which may do serious damage to...the Sony and PS3 brands". The BBFC refuted the claim saying: "We presented a fair and accurate account of their stories, using expert advice and we broadcast Sony's response"

While it would be easy to call this Sony's 'Red Ring of Death' and to criticize the company for charging for its repair, it's important to remember that the extended warranty that Microsoft offered was due to the pervasiveness of the RRoD problem, and that while 12,500 seems like a big number, a success rate of 99.5% is actually very good.

Source: BBC

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Well they are right about one thing, 155 or even 12,500 people is not a very large portion of a 2.5 million user install base. As to the rest I don't know a lot of the details (since I'm an American) and thus can't really form a judgement.

The yellow light of death, seriously? Could they not think up of something that not similar to RROD.

Am I the only person who's NEVER had a working "refurbished" item?

poncho14:
The yellow light of death, seriously? Could they not think up of something that not similar to RROD.

Some circles used to call it the "Yellow Light Of Doom" instead. I liked it. Sounded comical.

So the BBC is doing free console repairs now?

Where were they during the RROD fiasco!?

Paid by Microsoft. Lies inside (c).

the original model PS3 suffers from a manufacturing defect that which causes the consoles to not boot up and to display a yellow light, dubbed the 'yellow light of death'

meh. the 360 had a crippling hardware default first, and it had a better name too

This is just fuel for fanboys, lucky they can be shut up with facts

My friend once got the Yellow Light of Death from a thunderstorm, though I can't remember if he had to pay for a refurbished model or not.

Either way, any failure rate is bad, but it's hardly a big problem. I'm not denying that the PS3 crashes every now and again, but .5% (if Sony is to be believed) in a certain area is hardly an epidemic.

Lord_Gremlin:
Paid by Microsoft. Lies inside (c).

Wow, a conspiracy theory and the wrong company tagline in one post. Yes, Microsoft pays off everybody. The BBC, Adam Sessler, and all the gaming publications.

Why can't we all just get along?

Sonny, you come here and apologise to Auntie Beeb and Uncle Nigeria.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Sonny, you come here and apologise to Auntie Beeb and Uncle Nigeria.

i think that Auntie Beeb might be taking some lessons from Uncle Rupert and his Faux friends

that's seriously bad journalism to drum up an non-news item like this. it's not like this is a big problem and affecting millions of customers like the RROD has

I once had this "yellow light of death" and after a while...it just went away.
I sent it in but since the sony repair crew is kind of sh*t (according to my past experiences), they told me there was nothing wrong and sent it back. It wouldn't have been a problem if I didn't have to pay to send it over and be stuck without a ps3 for 2 months.

AceDiamond:

Lord_Gremlin:
Paid by Microsoft. Lies inside (c).

Wow, a conspiracy theory and the wrong company tagline in one post. Yes, Microsoft pays off everybody. The BBC, Adam Sessler, and all the gaming publications.

Actually, the BBC is quite closely tied to MS, look up your facts before you respond. BBC's Digital Director Peter Mercier, just left to join MS, and the journalist who performed this 'stunt' (as coined by Sony), is none other than Ian Lee, who you may or may not remember for....this little piece:

http://tech.uk.msn.com/gaming/article.aspx?cp-documentid=7838134

The article that Watchdog aired is tainted by innacuracies, half-truths, and outright lies. The BBC being pivotal in it's creation, is tainted by their own in-house staff. It's been a pleasure taking you to school.

How odd, I was listening to the song based on this just yesterday in college. Very amusing, based on a Johnny Cash song, I believe.

According to Sony UK Boss Ray Maguire however, the yellow light in question is an all-purpose error indicator, with no central cause.

This makes me think of the Venture Bros episode.

Mornelithe:

AceDiamond:

Lord_Gremlin:
Paid by Microsoft. Lies inside (c).

Wow, a conspiracy theory and the wrong company tagline in one post. Yes, Microsoft pays off everybody. The BBC, Adam Sessler, and all the gaming publications.

Actually, the BBC is quite closely tied to MS, look up your facts before you respond. BBC's Digital Director Peter Mercier, just left to join MS, and the journalist who performed this 'stunt' (as coined by Sony), is none other than Ian Lee, who you may or may not remember for....this little piece:

http://tech.uk.msn.com/gaming/article.aspx?cp-documentid=7838134

The article is tainted by innacuracies, half-truths, and outright lies. The BBC being pivotal in it's creation, is tainted by their own in-house staff. It's been a pleasure taking you to school.

I expected this from CNN, NBC or NSMBC because I heard they're microsoft companies.

It actually goes a bit further than that. Another newspost I read on one of the german tech news site explains that the BBC did "repair" the PS3 by putting them into an oven that would melt some poor connections on the board. They claimed that this helped in a lot of cases and would lead to the assumption that the boards in the early models were of bad quality.

Now, however, the BBC had to admit that some of those "repaired" consoles broke again afterwards (due to a different problem) and that some were broken because the owner opened the system before and "modified" the internals a bit.

Pretty bad job on behalf of the BBC I think.

In a population over 1 million, you need a sample size of about 1000 to produce anything with a significant margin of error. I don't even see the BBC mentioning margins of error or acceptable failure rates. I don't see how you can represent "statistically invalid" as "fair and accurate". Do journalists get permission to use a different version of their own language?

Anyway, on to single-point anecdotal stuff that might actually help someone...

My 60GB PS3 went YLOD out of warranty. I was keeping it in an enclosed space with nowhere near enough airflow. I fixed it with a heat gun, flux, and heat sink compound. Seriously. This can be done almost indefinitely if you remember to use flux while you do it. In this case, $15 > $150.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U70SgRDVcBo

To recap:
Yes, I got the YLOD out of warranty.
Yes, I followed that vid myself.
YES it works now.
Yes, I'll do it again in a year or so, using flux to keep the solder "wet".
Yes, this fix procedure will eventually stop working, but by then I will probably have less reason to hold on to PS2 back compat.

The nature of the fix seems to indicate that all YLODs are related to heat sensing. This could be that the fan is broken or that the power supply is bad, but as the vid author suggests, the majority of YLOD will probably be this heat-caused solder migration that can be fixed with a reflow.

I concur with the vid author that almost ALL original PS3s will eventually YLOD from heat. Just like everything else in the world eventually breaks, and the majority well out of warranty, mind you,. It's basic thermodynamics and there's no solution other than to use a heat gun to introduce the needed negative entropy back into the system.

Knowing that I have a console that is tough enough to be abused, overheated, and then fixed with an overblown hairdryer, actually makes me love my PS3 even more.

hansari:
So the BBC is doing free console repairs now?

Where were they during the RROD fiasco!?

They had real news to cover that day.

Subzerowings:

Mornelithe:

The article is tainted by innacuracies, half-truths, and outright lies. The BBC being pivotal in it's creation, is tainted by their own in-house staff. It's been a pleasure taking you to school.

I expected this from CNN, NBC or NSMBC because I heard they're microsoft companies.

Hooray for the school of your-house. The BBC is, in theory impartial, on account of it not being allowed to take money off companies. The programme in question, Watchdog, goes after companies hard in the interests of the "average" UK consumer - who is an idiot.

By Watchdog's standards, the consumer is never wrong... even if they're complaining that they discovered that plugging the fridge into your dog means that your ice cream will melt, they'll still hound the company for an episode. The target market is disgruntled, dim consumers.

The BBC is regulated to the nines, being as it's a publicly-owned company. Someone leaving them to work for MS means just shy of nothing - I left a nightclub to work for a multinational, that doesn't mean they're funding illicit nightclub deals. Ian Lee, importantly, is a tool.

Going to school was fun - I prefered college :)

Watchdog are useless scaremongerors anyway...

Just about all their "consumer advice" seems to be useless, common-sense things or they take something so minute and blow it way out of proportion. Of course it happened to be a gaming console so here come the mindless fanboys to cry about how the BBC are suddenly involved with Microsoft.

They did the same thing with Amazon.co.uk (about the only other time I've seen the programme) and I was amazed at the bullshit, lies and one-way reporting performed by Watchdogs own. Any and all of the problems they found with the service were so obvious (as in they claimed it was easy to be scammed, when the people who got scammed were asked to use a system other than the one provided by Amazon...). They then spent the rest of the programme explaining how dangerous Amazon marketplace is and ended by supporting ebay instead - having already criticised them on the same grounds...

They act as though the customers who get scammed are not gullible idiots, but people abused by the company in question, which if you see the programme in question, is utter nonsense...

As for the PS3-thing, again it's utter bullshit - I doubt they went for the PS3 on purpose - they probably got a letter exclaiming some "poor" customer had hit his PS3 with a hammer, it had broken and Sony didn't give them a refund. From there they performed their normal scare tactics and "help" the consumer in question...

Needless to say anyone who takes them seriously is a fool.

Edit: The fanboys arrived before me....

Subzerowings:
I once had this "yellow light of death" and after a while...it just went away.
I sent it in but since the sony repair crew is kind of sh*t (according to my past experiences), they told me there was nothing wrong and sent it back. It wouldn't have been a problem if I didn't have to pay to send it over and be stuck without a ps3 for 2 months.

were do you live

It's very stupid - the PS3 can be criticised for a number of things (more to do with Sony's handling of it really) but the failure rate is very small - nothing's perfect, especially hardware.

Apparently the most they've done about the 360 is a report on scratched discs (which is far less prevalent and only happens if you decide to move the console about fairly vigorously whilst playing - and why would you?) and the failure rate is ridiculous (nearly 1:2!).

So yeah, Watchdog's gonna get bummed. Metaphorically.

Whatever. Most of those problems as well as hardware defects are usually caused by negligence. I know people who've had 60 GB PS3's since launch and to this day, they work like they're out of the box.

The PS3's got a ridiculously small failure rate.. I've had 4 XBOX 360's, and the first three all had RRoD. Picked up an Elite eventually and no more problems.

Both my PS3 (60GB, original PS3 w/ B/C) still functions after a couple of years of service, and my girlfriend's PS3 (80GB, 1 year old now) also runs like a champ.

While I do love my 360 and PS3 equally, I certainly trust Sony's hardware a helluva lot more.

I've had the yellow light, it cost me £128 to get it fixed, i was told that there "had been a malefunction in the circut board". it's fine now but it makes a lot of noise when i play God of war, or anything that isn't CoD for that matter.

It's not as bad as the apparent 1 in 5 problem for 360 premiums, but i've never had trouble with my 360 so it dosen't really matter to me.

"treats with inappropriate levity an issue which may do serious damage"

Yeah. The song was too much.

Charley:

hansari:
So the BBC is doing free console repairs now?

Where were they during the RROD fiasco!?

They had real news to cover that day.

Subzerowings:

Mornelithe:

The article is tainted by innacuracies, half-truths, and outright lies. The BBC being pivotal in it's creation, is tainted by their own in-house staff. It's been a pleasure taking you to school.

I expected this from CNN, NBC or NSMBC because I heard they're microsoft companies.

Hooray for the school of your-house. The BBC is, in theory impartial, on account of it not being allowed to take money off companies. The programme in question, Watchdog, goes after companies hard in the interests of the "average" UK consumer - who is an idiot.

By Watchdog's standards, the consumer is never wrong... even if they're complaining that they discovered that plugging the fridge into your dog means that your ice cream will melt, they'll still hound the company for an episode. The target market is disgruntled, dim consumers.

The BBC is regulated to the nines, being as it's a publicly-owned company. Someone leaving them to work for MS means just shy of nothing - I left a nightclub to work for a multinational, that doesn't mean they're funding illicit nightclub deals. Ian Lee, importantly, is a tool.

Going to school was fun - I prefered college :)

*yawn* Did you learn anything at college? Or were you just there drinking? From the actual intellectual UK residents I've heard from regarding this, they all seem pretty pissed off that their paying license fee's for these people to pull bullshit stunts like this. Regardless, BBC bankrolled it, and neglected to actually check for accuracy. It makes them culpable...which, you'll find out as soon as Sony bends these guys over in court. And they'll win too. The Sony man from the UK, pretty much spelled out every single inaccuracy and foible that show had, prior to the shows launch, and they still backed the report. Their fault. And thusly, they'll take most of the hit when it hits the courts.

And by the way, don't act like the BBC is some holy grail of journalistic integrity. Or have you forgotten it's recent problems with faulty reporting?

A warranty of just 1 year on the hardware is ridiculous!
It should be at least three.

Sony; ye of little faith in your own hardware; shame on you!

This only happens with the original models, so why is this being reported on now?

Kenjitsuka:
A warranty of just 1 year on the hardware is ridiculous!
It should be at least three.

Sony; ye of little faith in your own hardware; shame on you!

Profit, and the fact that not many PS3s break. The standard is 1 year on all electricals, so it's not really that big-a-deal.

hansari:
So the BBC is doing free console repairs now?

Where were they during the RROD fiasco!?

Whats there to report? Theres nothing unfair about what MS did.

BBC "Companys product is fault"
Microsoft "Sorry about that again, we've been giving away free repairs for everyone though"
BBC "But it shouldn't be"
Microsoft "Yeah sorry about that again, if you get those that complained to ring in we'll give them free repairs."

The Watchdog only goes for companies that are doing wrong e.g selling a faulty product and then making you pay for the repairs.

Mornelithe:

Charley:

hansari:
So the BBC is doing free console repairs now?

Where were they during the RROD fiasco!?

They had real news to cover that day.

Subzerowings:

Mornelithe:

The article is tainted by innacuracies, half-truths, and outright lies. The BBC being pivotal in it's creation, is tainted by their own in-house staff. It's been a pleasure taking you to school.

I expected this from CNN, NBC or NSMBC because I heard they're microsoft companies.

Hooray for the school of your-house. The BBC is, in theory impartial, on account of it not being allowed to take money off companies. The programme in question, Watchdog, goes after companies hard in the interests of the "average" UK consumer - who is an idiot.

By Watchdog's standards, the consumer is never wrong... even if they're complaining that they discovered that plugging the fridge into your dog means that your ice cream will melt, they'll still hound the company for an episode. The target market is disgruntled, dim consumers.

The BBC is regulated to the nines, being as it's a publicly-owned company. Someone leaving them to work for MS means just shy of nothing - I left a nightclub to work for a multinational, that doesn't mean they're funding illicit nightclub deals. Ian Lee, importantly, is a tool.

Going to school was fun - I prefered college :)

From the actual intellectual UK residents I've heard from regarding this, they all seem pretty pissed off that their paying license fee's for these people to pull bullshit stunts like this. Regardless, BBC bankrolled it, and neglected to actually check for accuracy. It makes them culpable...which, you'll find out as soon as Sony bends these guys over in court. And they'll win too. The Sony man from the UK, pretty much spelled out every single inaccuracy and foible that show had, prior to the shows launch, and they still backed the report. Their fault. And thusly, they'll take most of the hit when it hits the courts.

And by the way, don't act like the BBC is some holy grail of journalistic integrity. Or have you forgotten it's recent problems with faulty reporting?

From the article (Sorry I didn't see the program) It seems fair that considering Sony sold a fulty product and charged to repair it they were clearly in the wrong.

Megacherv:

Profit, and the fact that not many PS3s break. The standard is 1 year on all electricals, so it's not really that big-a-deal.

Because not too many break they should be nicer on the warranty!
It's called customer service, which used to be a lot better back in the day :(

Anyways, I'm lucky I guess, because under Dutch law the warranty has to be two years minimum.

and I thought bbc and ps3 were joining up eg the iplayer app lets see how long that lasts!

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