So much for all that pro-Sony momentum coming out of E3…. For all the goodwill and the subsequent rush on PS4 pre-orders at Amazon and GameStop, Sony undid much of the positive press this week when a faulty PlayStation 3 firmware update to version 4.45 bricked “a small number” of PlayStation 3 consoles. Now, Sony has gone so far as to issue an apology for bricking users’ consoles.
Earlier this week, a PS3 firmware update issued via PlayStation Network rendered an undisclosed but not insignificant number of PS3s completely unusable. The bricked PS3s may have only been those with hard drives installed larger than 500GB, although that’s not yet been confirmed by Sony. After hearing numerous reports from PS3 owners about their suddenly useless consoles, though, Sony pulled the 4.45 update from its servers before the problem could spread further.
In a statement, Sony said “We have temporarily taken 4.45 offline and are investigating the cause of the problem. We will announce when the system update is available for download as soon as possible. We apologise for the inconvenience.”
The company reassured PlayStation 3 owners that a new firmware update was under development and is slated to be released on June 27. That sounds well and good, but that anticipated release date is nine days after the faulty 4.45 firmware update began bricking users’ systems. Apology or no, nine days is a long time for hardcore PS3 gamers to be without their console, and it’s no less inconvenient for those who use their PS3 for Netflix, Blu-ray movies and other functions to go without their primary multimedia device.
Had the PS3 firmware version 4.45 not bricked users’ consoles, it would have let users choose whether they wanted in-game notifications when they earned trophies. Presumably that same functionality will be present in the firmware update coming on June 27 — sans screw-up this time.