UPDATE! Blue Pulse of Pain Could Be PS4′s Red Ring of Death

UPDATE: Sony is acknowledging the PlayStation 4′s blue pulse of pain problem, noting on the official PS4 Support Forum that, “Some reports have been coming in from users with PS4 units blinking blue, but not entering the powered on state indicated by a white light.”

Support says the issue could indicate “any number of causes” including: issues with TV compatibility, issues with the PS4 power supply, issues with the PS4 hard drive, and issues with other PS4 hardware.

Overall, Sony says it’s an issue that’s still under investigation, but it does offer these troubleshooting tips:

  • Update the firmware on your TV.
  • Inspect power and HDMI cords for damage. If you find any, try using another compatible cord.
  • Make sure your HDD is properly seated in the PS4′s HDD bay. (There is a complete step-by-step process on how this is done on PS4 Support.)
  • Try booting your PS4 in safe mode (again, instructions on PS4 Support).

If all else fails, contact PS4 Support directly. Sony notes it’s experiencing a high call volume with long wait times, and it’s best to first try Live Chat.

Original story:

After midnight tonight, the gaming world will collectively turn on their shiny new launch day PlayStation 4s, and if early reports are accurate, a significant portion of those consoles won’t work.

A handful of gaming sites as well as winners of Taco Bell’s highly publicized PS4 “play the future first” early release promo are detailing major problems with their consoles. Most notably, IGN and Kotaku’s PlayStation 4s both bricked. Both report experiencing the same issue: after turning on the console, the power light began to pulse blue (it should become solid white when the PS4 properly boots) and the systems never worked again. Both sites dealt with Sony support, who deemed the hardware problem to be linked to faulty HDMI ports.

IGN: It may not have contributed to the issue, but ours stopped working the morning after we updated to version 1.50… Furthermore, IGN had tried a wide variety of methods to correct the issue: new HDMI cables, new inputs, new TV, putting a disc into the system, connecting it to and from the Internet, and, of course, holding down the power button during boot-up for seven seconds to try to reset things. Nothing worked. Oddly enough, we tried adding light pressure to the top of console and it briefly flickered a few active home menu images on the television.

Kotaku: Aside from all this online stuff, there’s one other awkward detail that I can’t accurately assess at this moment. It’s this: the first retail PS4 we got from Sony didn’t work. Now, please, don’t panic. It’s impossible to tell how much of a fluke this was or whether this is the canary in a coal mine of pending PS4 hardware troubles.

Considering there are so few PS4s in the wild at the moment, it’s tough to label the issue a fluke, especially when you consider the same issues have been reported by a number of Taco Bell “play the future first” winners. Most notably, Reddit member Arogon, who started an AMA about the system but had to end it abruptly because, “When I turn on my console it just sits there pulsing blue.” Various Reddit members responded to the post, saying their Taco Bell PS4s had also bricked. In addition, Arogon posted a video documenting the issue on Twitch:

Watch live video from arogon1416 on TwitchTV

Over on NeoGaf, poster Dylx reported a different version of the problem: “After playing a brief game of NBA 2k14 I quit and inserted my battlefield 4 disk. The system prompted for an update, so while watching the progress bar (Around 20%) my controller light turned from blue to white. Hasn’t worked since…”

With midnight launch events just hours away, the PS4 blue pulse of pain could escalate quickly. Playing Devil’s advocate, the problem could be linked directly to a limited production run of the systems created specifically for review consoles and early release promos. At the moment, I fear that’s wishful thinking.

Sony has yet to formally address the issue. We have contacted the PlayStation team for comment and will update this post with any response.

UPDATE: Responding to questions about PlayStation 4 hardware issues on Twitter this morning, Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida stated, “Be assured we are investigating reported PS4 issues. The number is very small compared to shipped, we believe they are isolated incidents.”

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15 Comments on UPDATE! Blue Pulse of Pain Could Be PS4′s Red Ring of Death


On November 14, 2013 at 11:37 am

Good grief. This doesn’t bode well.
The brass at Sony is still claiming that these are isolated incidents since the issues are only affecting less than .04% of the systems shipped. Which might be comforting if most of those systems weren’t still in boxes.
We’ll see what tomorrow looks like but, I fear an impending disaster for Sony… and a big disappointment for those of us who pre-ordered the machines!

Ron Whitaker

On November 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm

@Steve – Not sure it’s time to panic yet. We’ll have to see what the issue with these PS4s really is, and then see how many are affected tomorrow. If it’s as low as Sony says, or heck, if it’s 10 times that many (4%), that would still be a pretty low rate for problems. Still, you’re right to point out that no one really knows.


On November 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Good thing i bought a PC stronger then this 5 years ago with no major bugs included. all those morons who buys this should wait a month or 3, then have enough Cash for a PC.


On November 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I’m with Steve on this. I don’t think it is a good idea to compare the number reported to the number shipped since only a few of those are actually in use right now. It is inaccurate to say that only .04% are having the issue since the vast majority remain untested. About the only good news is that these would obviously still be under warranty, but if the problem ends up being common, then Sony won’t have the holiday sales it was hoping for. I


On November 14, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Can we let the other sites do all the sky is falling screaming? Last I heard there were 4 known cases of the console not working. If the number is higher please let me know. There is never going to be a launch for any device that’s going to have a 100% success rate with the units being completely functional. The failures are like the winning the lottery, it has to happen to someone. At this point there’s no reason to believe that this will be anything like the RROD.


On November 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Hey fethski, you might want to re-read the article. Its says pretty clearly that a sizable percentage of the shipped PS4s are having this issue. Try putting the fanboyism aside for a little while, nobody is saying its not a fixable problem or that the PS4 isn’t going to be a really good console.


On November 14, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Between this issue with the PS4 and the insanity that was the Xbox One’s plan I think I’ve got trepidations about this coming console generation.

I will admit that if this thing bricks when I power it on for the first or second time that I might just stay out of this next generation altogether.

Returning the product and upgrading my PC with that $400 is sounding better and better by the minute. . . .


On November 15, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Just got mine in the mail and its bricked with the Blue light of death repeating itself and not loading…. Tried looking at HDMI port , 3 cables and 2 monitors later decided to try the safe mode boot with no HD in but it never goes to the white line nor does it boot !!!! Been on hold for hours now with sony help … this is just ridiculous , anyone have advice beyond formatting HD and reinstalling firmware .. I can, just don’t want to deal with this for a BRAND NEW product !!


On November 15, 2013 at 9:00 pm

BLOD, BPOP whatever you want to call it, it sucks to have a brick.


On November 15, 2013 at 9:11 pm

They’ve even made a Facebook page about the Blue light of death haha https://www.facebook.com/pages/PS4-Blue-Light-Of-Death/557759037627607?skip_nax_wizard=true


On November 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm

So far, mine has been working just fine. It worked out of the box, it updated correctly to 1.50 and is working fine today. It seems like whatever problems there are either make them not work out of the box, or follow the update, so I think mine might be ok.


On November 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm

psycros – How about you reread the article. It mentions the 4 documented cases mentioned on other websites. It also mentions that various members on Reddit have claimed to have experienced the same issues. And if you reread the first paragraph of this article they’re guessing that a significant number of consoles won’t work, not that it’s happened.

I just found it absolutely hilarious that commentors on other websites were screaming that this was going to be as bad as RROD and doom Sony. This is not Sony being cheap like MS was with the 360 and paying for it later. It could just be bad luck. Yes it sucks for the people affected, but anybody that thinks any product launch has or will ever reach 0% failure rate is a fool.

Oh and I didn’t realize owning a PS3 for eight months made me a Sony fanboy. Among my group of fans I was the lucky one only having to go through 3 360′s.

D Shay

On November 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Mine is having issues as well. Every time I install something (Netflix, COD Ghosts) the device flashes white, then pluses blue. while this happens, the controller light flashes whites few times and shuts off. I have 1.5 installed, but installed the update without testing the system first. It also has issues coming back from standby. If I physically unplug the device and hold the power button for 10 seconds, then plug the device back in and restart the PS4, it will come back but gives an error that the PS4 was improperly shut down, but it is usable after.


On November 18, 2013 at 2:18 pm

After the death of my first 360 which lasted 6 days as it was on straight almost it died i returned it got a new one took it apart and replaced the fan and paid a shop to mod the case for cooling they replaced the paste on it. lasted till i bought a slim.

after this heating issues on ps and xbox have always been the same i will never trust either again i have an out board bladeless fan ready for both consoles just in case for heating

but for hardware damn i hope i do not get it!

but on design decision why wont sony ever learn about using an outboard or brick power supply?

out of more than 50 consoles owned (in variety) only ever had issues with ps3 and 360. ps3 more due to the fact it is the worst designed operating system for a console ever. it’s always slow sluggish to do things everything has to load or sync. yet the vita is almost instantaneous And i own an Ouya! but the Ouya’s os got better Significantly with each update unlike the ps3! just wish the controller was better.

if people are having heating issues you can always use fans or even a lap top fan helps as long as it is not pushing air into the console


On November 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Yeah this happened to me, after 2 hours waiting for Sony Support (after doing the safemode, and making sure the HDMI was flush) I just sent it back to Amazon. And now my brothers, whose was working for the past few days, is also screwing up. Unacceptable Sony.