Sony PlayStation 4 glitch mars otherwise successful North American launch

Sony has announced it has sold 1 million units of its PlayStation 4 video game console in the 24 hours following its North American launch, with consumers hitting social media with complaints about malfunctioning systems.

According to Reuters, the company aims to sell 5 million units of the new game system in the fiscal year, ending March 31st.

“Today’s launch of PS4 represents a milestone for all of us at PlayStation, our partners in the industry, and, most importantly, all of the PlayStation fans who live and breathe gaming every day,” Sony Computer Entertainment chief executive Andrew House says in a statement.

“With unprecedented power, deep social capabilities, and unique second screen features, PS4 demonstrates our unwavering commitment to delivering phenomenal play experiences that will shape the world of games for years to come.”

The new console, which costs $US399, will compete against Microsoft’s Xbox One, which launches in the US November 22nd with a price tag of $US499.

However, Kotaku reports the launch was marred by a number of angry consumers taking to social media to complain about non-functional systems.

In a properly functioning system, a blue light indicates a system is switched on, with the light turning to white as the device is ready to display a signal on the TV.

However, in malfunctioning systems with what has been dubbed the “blue light of death” error, some consumers are finding their systems get stuck on the blue light, which never turns white and never displays a signal on their TV.

Sony hopes a strong launch for the PlayStation 4 will help it to continue a turnaround after reporting a record annual loss of $US 6.4 billion last year.

Following the massive loss, incoming chief executive Kazuo Hirai announced 10,000 job cuts alongside a new strategy called “One Sony”, which included an increased focus on its mobile electronics and healthcare businesses, along with the integration of the PlayStation Network across the company’s consumer product line.

By November of last year, Moody’s had downgraded Sony’s debt rating from Baa2 to Baa3, leaving the Japanese electronics giant one notch above junk bond status.

The strategy has begun paying off, with the company reporting a profit of 36.4 billion yen (around $409 million) for the June quarter of this year, largely off the back of strong sales of its Xperia Z series of waterproof Android smartphones.

The company hopes a successful launch for the PlayStation 4 will further boost its turnaround in other consumer electronics markets.

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