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A few days after picking up my launch PlayStation 4, my shiny new machine found itself being boxed up and sent back to Sony for a replacement unit, the unfortunate victim of an extremely loud fan. Now that I’ve received said replacement, I’m at least somewhat pleased with the end result. The new system’s fan still gets loud, but at least it no longer sounds like a jet is about to depart from my living room. And that customer service? Dynamite.
Last week, I filled readers in on the fact that my launch PS4 was apparently part of that one percent of consoles that was suffering from hardware issues. After bringing my console home at midnight, excitedly replacing the on-board 500GB hard drive with a big 1TB drive and downloading all of those free-to-play and PlayStation Plus titles, I was ready for a long, happy life with my new piece of gaming hardware.
By the time I got around to sinking some time into Killzone: Shadow Fall, though, I learned that my relationship with the PS4 was not one built to last. Within 30 minutes to an hour of playing, the thing sounded like a blow dryer going on full blast and, long story short, that’s not how the console is supposed to function.
As promised, I’ve decided to update everyone on how the whole replacement process shook out. After a brief chat with a Sony rep, I was well on my way to having my faulty console replaced. I received the shipping box within two days and had my console back at the FedEx station that same evening. Two days later I received notification from Sony that my busted unit had been received and, just a day later, the replacement was back in the mail. All told, my (second) brand new PlayStation 4 was sitting on my doorstep just seven days after initially reporting the problem. Yeah, I was pretty impressed.
When I first opened the box and discovered a legitimate PS4 box inside, not just a brown box with the console sitting in it, I was both excited and terrified. Excited because my first thought was “Yay! I get a free second controller.” And terrified because the PS4 box features some questionable packing that apparently resulted in some Amazon orders being delivered DOA.
Opening the box offered another double dose of feelings. I was bummed that, other than the console, the box was empty. I was happy, though, that additional padding had been stuffed in, making it impossible for the console to shift around in transit.
I slid in my 1TB hard drive in about two minutes, let the new console reformat it and once again went through the brief setup process. Before long, I had my small handful of games re-downloaded and was ready to test it out.
The big test, of course, was Killzone. No matter how much digging I do online, I can’t seem to find a definitive answer as to how the console “should” behave while playing this game (too many conflicting stories) and, unfortunately, I don’t currently have another disc-based game to do further testing just yet. The system is quiet while playing all of my downloaded games but, once Shadow Fall gets rolling, that bad boy still kicks into overdrive. It never got near the volume of my first unit, but it definitely rose to a noticeable level. During quiet scenes or when paused, the fan could be heard whirring away, more on par with a blow dryer set to low this time around. Not a deal breaker but, when you’ve grown used to last gen consoles, it’s a bit jarring to try hear a fan going non-stop while playing a game.
My hope is that this is some sort of bizarre situation specific to Killzone. I can deal with it for one game, but I hate to think that this will be my new norm for the next decade whenever I’m playing a game that pushes the system’s hardware further than the baseline.
For the record, my console is horizontal and in an open cubby that offers plenty of room to the sides and above the unit. I’m even debating cutting out a chunk of the back paneling of my entertainment center to allow more room for the fan to vent, but that’s not something I really want to do unless I know it’s going to work. More importantly, it’s not something I should have to do, but I guess that’s the way it goes when you fork over your money and take the risk of becoming an early adopter of a new piece of hardware.
So, the fan still gets pretty loud when I play one particular game, but at least Sony delivered in the PR department and got a console back to me with a quickness. Here’s hoping this one can actually stay in it for the long haul.