Sony has confirmed its latest system update for the PS3 has created a fault with some consoles. It says a fix will be ready as soon as possible.
The issue is with version 4.45, released on Tuesday. Ironically it was billed as bringing “improved system stability.”
Although the problem doesn’t technically brick the console, it does mean the XMB navigation system — the main menu of the PS3 — no longer appears, which makes the console pretty close to useless.
There’s no concrete explanation as to which consoles are affected, though Forbes notes that a breakdown of people who’ve complained online about the issue and listed details of their system suggests it’s far more likely to affect people who’ve replaced the original hard drive.
Some users report getting their system working again by putting the original drive back in place, though the consensus view seems to be that you are better off sucking it up and leaving the console untouched until Sony releases a fix.
A Sony press statement reads:
We are aware of reports that the recent PlayStation 3 system software update (version 4.45) has caused the XMB to not display on a small number of PS3 systems. 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 good news is that if you haven’t already updated to the faulty version, you shouldn’t need to worry about your system doing so automatically, or being forced to do so to access apps such as Netflix.
The bad news is that it’s not immediately obvious how Sony will roll out the fix to people who can’t access the XMB. The most likely option seems to be issuing it as a downloadable file to put on a USB stick or hard drive, then asking people to boot into safe mode. Given some users are less tech-savvy than others, Sony’s going to need to write some very clear instructions and work hard to get the message out online.