Monday, March 01, 2010

Sony helps Toyota to wreck confidence in Japanese reliability

For as long as I can remember, Japanese products were always amongst the highest quality and most reliable items that money could buy. Not any more though.

Following hot on the heels of the Toyota worldwide "safety" recall scandal comes today's (slightly less serious - nobody's died yet) news that fellow Japanese industrial giant Sony has also managed to unleash a major product failure catastrophe upon the world.

Every single original "fat" version of their flagship PlayStation 3 games console failed to work properly today, all over the world. Apparently the newer slim model seems to be fine, but since most of the millions of PS3's sold so far are of the larger variety, that's not a lot of help. No-one anywhere with the original model can connect to the PlayStation Network, no games any of those people have ever downloaded from the network will work, and no disc-based games with trophy functionality (i.e. most games) will work either. Oops.

It seems a calendar bug of some sort in the firmware might be the cause of this rather epic system failure, because the problem only started today, March 1st. Is it some sort of leap year screw-up I wonder? It isn't a leap year this year of course, but perhaps part of the PS3 firmware thinks it's February 29th today resulting in an unresolvable conflict elsewhere in the system. When I used to work in IT for big blue-chip corporations complex programming errors like that would slip through testing unnoticed from time to time, because not too many people would think to test for the relevant erroneous scenarios in advance of them actually happening.

Anyway, if you've got one of those original PS3's and you haven't recently switched it on and gone online, DON'T!!!

Keep checking the official US PlayStation blog (using your computer, not your PS3) and wait until Sony announce that they have fixed the bug!

Maybe now's a good time to buy one of the unaffected slim models:

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