BBC continues to attack Sony for PS3 hardware failures

The big drama yesterday came in the form of serious accusations leveled at Sony and the PS3 by the BBC. The British Broadcasting Corporation aired an edition of its consumer complaints show, Watchdog, that featured the so-called “Yellow Light of Death,” a PS3 hardware failure that has apparently affected “thousands and thousands” of PS3s.

Today, the BBC has pushed the issue with a new article posted on its Web site, refuting Sony’s six-page complaint letter and continuing to twist the knife with its allegations. 

“Sony dislikes the term ‘the yellow light of death,’ since it implies a single fault is afflicting all consoles,” claims the BBC. “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.’

“So if there isn’t one single thing that’s causing thousands of machines to stop working, why does it appear that one single repair appears to get them working again?”

That last statement from the BBC, interestingly enough, is a lie. As we detailed yesterday, Watchdog did indeed try to fix eleven PS3s. Four of them are still inoperable, meaning that “one single repair” does not get them all working again. 

The Watchdog report was quite pathetic, full of half-truths, outright lies and unfair accusations. Quite why the BBC is doing this is unclear. I’m all for giving Sony a hard time when it’s deserved, but this appears to be, quite simply, a baseless and sustained attack on an issue that has not affected as many people as the BBC is claiming. I simply don’t understand what the makers of Watchdog, or the corporation backing them up, is trying to achieve with this ham-fisted little campaign.

Jim Sterling