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My PlayStation 4's fan sounded like an idling jet engine while playing Killzone: Shadow Fall, something I was assured by a Sony customer service rep was “definitely not supposed to be happening.” As a result, I had to send that bad boy in for a replacement. Here's a brief rundown of my experience so far, as well as a few tips for those who might fight themselves stuck in the same situation.
As excited as I am for this new generation of games consoles, I wasn't so foolish as to come in thinking that everything would work perfectly, or that either console would hit the ground running without a speed bump or two to muck up the works. Unfortunately, I was one of the unlucky One-ish percent of PlayStation 4 day-one buyers who got a defective unit.
Unfortunately, buying a console bright and early is typically a risky gamble. Even those these machines cost hundreds of dollars and you expect them to work properly, we're talking about brand new technology that can only be tested so many ways, so many times. Once you ship a million off to excited customers, that's when possible problems finally start to surface.
However, since I cover video games, want to remain relevant on that front and, yes, allowed myself to get a bit hyped about a new generation of gaming machines, I decided to take the plunge and pick up at least one of the new consoles (the PS4) upon launch.
At this point, it's become pretty obvious that neither the PS4 nor Xbox One were 100 percent ready for launch. From hardware and software issues to missing functionality and somewhat slim launch lineups, each of these new gaming treats could have benefited from another six months or so in the oven. But that's not how these things work. We buy in early, they eventually (hopefully) reach their potential and, about a year following launch, consumers can finally pick up a machine that's got all of the bells and whistles that were originally touted, it becomes more reliable in both the hardware and software department, and the libraries are actually worth talking about.
Knowing all of that, I picked up a PS4 day one and quickly discovered that I was the recipient of one of those unlucky defective units. Not only did The Playroom not launch at all, but the console had some weird issues with wi-fi, especially when playing Killzone. Every now and then a message would pop up claiming I had been disconnected from my network. Sometimes it would pop up several times in a row, pretty dang annoying when you're trying to play a game.
The biggest problem, though, was the fan. When playing downloaded games or goofing off with Twitch feeds, the system was damn-near silent. Playing Killzone, though, it ramped up to a level that was more akin to a blowdryer going on full blast. I know that more intensive games can cause a fan to kick into a higher gear, but this thing sounded worse than an original Xbox just before overheating. I had to turn up my surround sound to ridiculous levels just to hear the game over it and, after some internet searching, I determined that, no, this was not normal behavior for the console. I even found some videos of people showing off how loud their console was getting and mine seemed to have all of those beat by a mile.
So, a few nights ago, I contacted Sony customer service and told them about my problem. I had heard stories of people being on hold for up to an hour, but I was speaking with an actual person within minutes. I explained my issue and was informed that, no, the fan should not be cranking up that high and that I was eligible for a replacement unit.
Our chat lasted about 10 minutes and, two days later, I received my shipping box from FedEx. If you need to send your console back to Sony, remember to remove any discs from the drive before mailing it off and, assuming you still have access to your console, you should head into the options menu and deactivate it as your “Primary PS4.” You have to jump through a few hoops to do this after the fact, so it's best to do it yourself so transferring over to a new console goes more smoothly.
Also remember to swap your hard drive out with the original one that came with the console, if you've replaced it in the past. I put in a 1TB drive day one and now it's sitting in the drawer, waiting for my new PS4 to arrive.
When the box arrives, everything you need is provided. You have to fill out a short form, package it up and you're just about ready to go. Don't forget to include a copy of your original receipt, something you can go ahead and get ready while waiting for the shipping box to arrive.
I had my PS4 packaged in minutes and dropped it off at the local FedEx shop that very same afternoon. In other words, my console was on its way to Sony less than 48 hours following my initial phone call to report the fan situation.
The Thanksgiving holiday will likely affect the turnaround time, but my replacement console is supposed to arrive in 5-10 business days. It's annoying, sure, and this is certainly putting a damper on my desire to ever take part in a console launch in the future, but at least the process has been painless up until this point. I'll let you know how everything turns out. Hopefully getting the new console up and running doesn't turn out to be a hassle but, until then, I'm feeling pretty good about how the process is turning out.