Launch dates are upon us and things are getting intense as the two gladiators of this generation’s console war prepare to land in the hands of the public: in the blue corner is Sony with the PlayStation 4, and in the green corner is Microsoft with the Xbox One. The PS4 is the first to go on sale, and so it is also the first to come under sharp scrutiny as the first units are handed over to waiting critics and gamers.
Game Rant has posted a preview the PS4’s interface and design, but reviewing these new consoles is a slightly tougher challenge. Since they are designed to have a lifecycle of about ten years, the best test of their qualities will be how they both fare over time and with a wide range of next-gen games. After all, the PS3 and Xbox 360 came out seven and eight years ago, respectively, and gamers are still fiercely divided over the matter of which is the better console.
With the first previews from gaming sites and reports from gamers who got early units through special promotions, there have already been some early reports of hardware issues with the PS4. IGN’s review unit would not work after downloading the 1.5 update. Kotaku also noted that while three of the retail units and the pre-release unit used by the site’s reviewers had no problems, one retail unit had a faulty HDMI jack that prevented a stable signal being sent to the television. Two users on Neogaf who received early release units have also reported HDMI output issues.
Sony president Shuhei Yoshida responded with a tweet assuring gamers that Sony is investigating the issues that have been reported, and that the number of units experiencing issues seems to be relatively small. In a statement made to IGN, Sony states that only an estimated .4% of units shipped have been affected by these issues, which is within expectations for a newly-launched console:
“A handful of people have reported issues with their PlayStation 4 systems. This is within our expectations for a new product introduction, and the vast majority of PS4 feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We are closely monitoring for additional reports, but we think these are isolated incidents and are on track for a great launch.
“There have been several problems reported, which leads us to believe there isn’t a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of systems. The number of affected systems represents less than .4% of shipped units to date, which is within our expectations for a new product introduction.”
Be assured we are investigating reported PS4 issues. The number is very small compared to shipped, we believe they are isolated incidents.— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) November 14, 2013
Another issue with the PS4 has been affectionately dubbed “Wobblegate,” after the Giant Bomb unboxing video showed that pressing a finger down on one of the left-hand corners of the PS4 will cause the console to tip slightly, due to the location of the rubber feet on the underside. The best solution to this problem, as far as we can gather, is to not press down on the left-hand corner of the PS4 – it seems to sit perfectly flat otherwise.
When the PS4 goes on sale tomorrow it will be a lot easier to gauge how widespread these hardware issues are, but based on the current information it doesn’t look like there’s any reason to panic.
The PlayStation 4 will be available to buy from November 15th, 2013.