Sony slams Watchdog PS3 claims

PS3 platform holder Sony has spoken out against tonight’s episode of BBC consumer rights show Watchdog, which will feature a segment presented by Iain Lee investigating claims that Sony is refusing to fix consoles suffering from what has become known as the yellow light of death”.

YLOD is a term that stems from red ring of death” – an all too familiar fault with Xbox 360 that has lead to massive repair bills in excess of $1bn for Microsoft.

Watchdog will tonight investigate claims that Sony’s out of warranty repair service for faulty consoles is unfair on consumers.

In a strongly worded letter to the BBC from SCE UK MD Ray Maguire, the exec states: We entirely refute the suggestion that PS3 consoles have an inherent defect or other design issue which is akin to any warranty issue experienced by another console manufacturer.

From the correspondence to date, I have serious concerns as to the accuracy of these allegations and the likely tone of the Watchdog report. The information that you have provided suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of the technical issues and a mis-characterisation of SCE UK’s OOW repairs policy.

SCE UK has run searches of its customer complaints/warranty database to identify the number of reports made to it regarding instances of system shutdown or failure in circumstances where the front panel yellow indicator is illuminated. The results show that of all PS3s sold in the UK to date, fewer than one half of one per cent of units have been reported as failing in circumstances where the yellow indicator is illuminated.

If the report is broadcast in what appears to be its current form, SCEUK will scrutinise its accuracy and will take all necessary steps to protect its reputation and that of the PS3.

Unsupported and potentially misleading allegations of the sort that the BBC appears, from the correspondence to date, to be planning to make concerning the reliability of the PS3 could do significant commercial and reputational harm to Sony and its brands. This is particularly so, given the recent, highly successful launch of the new, slimmer model PS3 and the fact that the last quarter of the year is the busiest sales period for the consumer electronics industry.”

Sony currently offers an out of warranty PS3 repair service for 128 which, as SCE UK points out, is a loss making operation.

Watchdog airs at 20:00 (BST) tonight.

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