Sony pulls PS3 update after some gamers report bricked systems

Just hours after making it publicly available, Sony has pulled the PlayStation 3's latest firmware download (v2.40) due to reports of inoperable consoles after the update process.

SCEA's director of Corporate Communication and Social Media, Patrick Seybold, played down the problem, saying that incoming calls regarding failures have been of a low volume, and the removal is only temporary.

If incidents are in any way reflected by the voluminous message board chatter on the subject, it has only affected a fraction of users. Of the hundreds of posts reporting v2.40 update status for readers, only several dozen posted system failures, and conditions surrounding those were somewhat inconsistent.

The worst outcome that several users have reported is a PS3 that simply does not boot after upgrading. One user said, "I tried to update to v. 2.40 this morning. Probably around 10:30 or 11:00 PST. It rebooted and left me hanging on the screen with the squiggly wave lines. It did not make it to the XMB. Upon calling Sony, I unplugged the machine. I plugged it back in. I restarted it. I held down the power button until it turned red again. Then I repowered the machine. Now I don't even get to the wavy squiggly line screen. I just get a black screen." Several other users reported the same.

The firmware update added several notable features, most prominent of which is the ability to access the XMB operating system screen while playing PS3 software. It also added an Internet search command that does not first require an open browser, and a new "trophy collection," which lists all the user's objective-based trophies collected from games which support that feature.

Some users who reported successful installs, however, report issues with these new features, claiming that attempts to access the XMB in-game or check their trophy collection both result in frozen systems -- but nothing as serious and incurable as a bricked PS3.

Sony has said it is "working diligently to isolate the problem...and to identify a solution before we put the firmware back up." In the meantime, some users have taken the matter into their own hands, removing and reformatting their PS3 drives at the expense of their previously saved games.

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