The new generation of consoles is finally here, but a colored light is once again a signal of bad news.
However, this time it’s not the Xbox’s Red Ring of Death, but rather a flashing blue light on the PS4 that’s causing concern, specifically because it accompanies the console failing to finish powering on, or having no audio or video output. The light in question is the power indicator and should be white if all is well.
Sony is exploring the problem and notes that it currently appears to be affecting around 0.4 percent of PS4 consoles. That represents several thousand of the million-plus units sold on the first day. Sony said “this is within our expectations for a new product introduction,” which may be a note of realism but probably isn’t a great statement from a PR standpoint.
In what’s both good and bad news, the flashing blue light doesn’t appear to be tied to a specific problem but rather is a symptom of a range of issues. That’s good because it probably means there’s no major hardware flaw or manufacturing error, but bad because it makes it hard to diagnose individual cases.
Sony’s given that a go however, putting together a troubleshooting guide that suggests the problems may fall into four main categories:
1) Incompatibility with some televisions. Sony suggests trying a firmware update on the TV where available.
2) A problem with the power supply. Sony suggests checking the cord for signs of damage or trying a spare cord such as one from a PS3. As always, you should fully shut down the PS4 and wait for the power light to go out completely before unplugging a power cord.
3) A physical problem with the hard drive. Sony suggests powering down the PS4, unplugging it from the mains, sliding the hard drive bar cover off (it’s on the left-hand side of the top of the case and slides to the left) and then checking if drive looks to be intact and if it is screwed in place correctly.
4) Another hardware issue. Sony doesn’t yet have specific details or advice about this possibility.
Some users have been told they can return their units as faulty, though that may mean a lengthy delay. With support phone lines also seemingly very busy, it seems the best option for those who live near a physical Sony Store is to take the console in and ask for it to be looked over.