It was called the “Red Ring of Death” for the Xbox 360. PS3 had the “Yellow Light of Death.” Will the PS4 continue the tradition with the “Red Line of Death?” With the below photographic evidence, it would seem clear that it exists, but is it really a problem?
Add to that the recent release of a video that shows a PS4 freezing up and “overheating,” and Sony could have a consumer rebellion on its hands, but it probably won’t–because these isolated “issues” don’t really mean anything.
The video in question, which you can watch above, doesn’t seem to show anything other than a game malfunction. At about the mid-point of the video, you can see the game freeze for a moment and the framerate slow to a crawl. To fix this error, the demonstrators simply exit to the PS4 user interface and restart the game–without restarting the system. This indicates that it was the software causing the problem and not the console. Not much of a surprise considering that the game isn’t completed yet.
As for the “Red Line of Death”--of course the PS4 has an error display. How the hell else would you know what’s going on with the console if it breaks down? I’m sure the Xbox One has something similar, the “Orange Trapezoid of Apocalypse,” perhaps? The name and method are irrelevant; all that matters is that the consoles work properly for the overwhelming majority of the populace, and if there are issues, the responsible company does their part to restore customer confidence. But having a way to visually let your customer know that something is wrong with their console isn’t a bad thing--it’s expected.
The worst part about the release of these documented “malfunctions” is that they will only serve one purpose–to undermine consumer confidence. Don’t get me wrong; if there were a serious issue with the next-gen consoles, I would definitely want to know about it. But what I don’t care about are minute technical errors that could be considered trivial at best, put out into the industry for the sole purpose of stirring up the hornet’s nest.
Are there going to be technical problems with the PS4 and Xbox One? You can bet your 400-500 dollar spending ass there will be. They’re new consoles, and the companies won’t know all the issues until the hardware hits the marketplace. The true test of this new generation will be the companies’ abilities to fix their infrastructural issues quickly and competently while delivering an ironclad physical product that can be updated efficiently by software. The company that can do this will be the true victor of the console war, both in sales and in the eyes of their customers.
So make up your own mind people. Don’t be influenced by miniscule errors that just so happened to be captured during a game conference. If you want a PS4 or and Xbox One, buy it. Chances are these consoles won’t have any rockier of a start than their predecessors, so just roll with the barrage of issues that are sure to follow the launch, and enjoy your preferred system. After all, that’s why you’re going to buy it, right?
Video Content Director