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Jul 29

The first reports of the yellow light of death appeared on popular gaming forums in December 2007 and quickly escalated into a full blown crisis for gamers worldwide but particularly in the United Kingdom and United States where the problem hit a all time high in September 2009 when the BBC’s watchdog program high lighted the topic and the problem has been floating around this highly reported level ever since, Sony admitted their was a problem with some of the consoles and stated that 12,500 out of 2.5 million had failed due to the yellow light of death but my personal estimate is probably closer to 500,00 failures or maybe even more that have failed in less than 24 months since purchase.

DIY Yellow Light Repair Guide helps you fix your own PS3 in minimal time and cost.

image of the bbc's watchdog video on the yellow light problem

Since the initial release of the PS3 console their have been many revisions to the unit to help Sony reduce manufacturing costs and reduce the failure rate of the PlayStation 3 console this has resulted in a reduction in PS3 due to the YLOD issue but even the new consoles are still packing up at quite a rate so it will be quite a few years before we hear the last of yellow light stories.

More from the BBC’s WatchDog website

When Sony launched its latest PlayStation in 2007, they described it as a super powered entertainment machine. No longer just a games console, the PlayStation 3 could play high-definition movies and digital TV, store photos and music, and connect to the internet. It sold for £425, making it the most expensive console on the market, but that was ok, because it was built to last, right? At the North American launch of the PS3 in November 2006, Sony Computer Entertainment President Kaz Hirai told CNN, “I think the investment the consumers make on day one with the PS3 is an investment that they can enjoy for many, many years to come.”

But after a little more than two years, the enjoyment of some owners of the original PS3 has turned to frustration: their machines have broken down without warning, and all have displayed the same fault indicator – a yellow flashing light. When that light shows, the box no longer works. It’s become so feared by gamers that they’ve dubbed it “The Yellow Light of Death”.

More than 150 Watchdog viewers have contacted us to say they’ve experienced it, and by Sony’s own admission, around 12,500 of the 2.5 million PlayStations sold in the UK have shut down in this way since March 2007. The problem is mainly thought to affect the 60GB launch model, but Sony repeatedly refuses to release the failure rate for that model, claiming that the information is “commercially sensitive”.

If this failure had occurred in the first 12 months after purchase, Sony would have replaced the customer’s console without charge, but since the problem appears to be affecting consoles after 18-24 months of use, and therefore outside of the warranty period, Sony say it’s not liable. Sony does offer a solution, by offering customers a refurbished machine in return for their faulty one. Up until late August 2009, the company charged £145 for this service, but that price has since been reduced to £128. As part of this charge, not only do customers receive a console that is as good as new, they get a door to door courier collection and delivery service. Sony says it makes no profit from the facility, and in fact make a loss.

Sony dislikes the term “the yellow light of death”, since it implies a single fault is afflicting all consoles. It says the flashing yellow light is a “non-specific fault indicator that can be triggered in a range of different circumstances.” Sony adds that the yellow light could indicate a problem caused by “any one of a range of issues that may inevitably affect any complex item of consumer electronics”.

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