[Update: Turns out the PS4 units aren't defective at all. A new video reveals it's a simple HDMI pin being bent out of place]
Stories about defective PlayStation 4 units have begun making their way around the interwebs, where less than a handful of people telling their detailed stories has been turned into a collective landfill of potentially explosive material for reputation management.
I'm sure Microsoft's poor PR folk, huddled around their computers waiting for any and everything they can get their hands on to denigrate the good name of Sony, have already tried their darndest to get the news out there as far and as wide as possible. The only problem is that there isn't too much to say.
Fanboys of opposing sides have gathered at the ringside to see how it all plays out; but unfortunately for them, Sony has already dispelled the claims by assuaging fears with this bit of a PR note to IGN, stating...
"A handful of people have reported issues with their PlayStation 4 systems. This is within our expectations for a new product introduction, and the vast majority of PS4 feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We are closely monitoring for additional reports, but we think these are isolated incidents and are on track for a great launch."
Originally, the reports indicated that the PlayStation 4 units were simply not functioning as intended, either failing to turn on or boot up. The actual cause has not been determined, but in IGN's original report they pointed to themselves and some Reddit user named Arogon as experiencing issues with their first-of-the-line PS4 units. A thread on NeoGaf also surfaced indicating issues with the unit as well. A user on Twitch TV going by the name of hi11zones also showcased a bricked PS4, but details are, yet again, sketchy.
Shuhei “The Boss” Yoshida tweeted a message of comfort to PlayStationites, mentioning that all is well in the world of blue and black and that Sony will get a handle on these early off-the-line units...
That's a sensible response.
The reality is that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are both expected to have their off-the-line manufacturing issues for the first generation systems being sold. It's not a pretty thing to want to face but it's a cold hard reality when dealing with new generation consoles and the logistics involved with getting them out of the plant, onto store shelves and into homes in a timely manner. Although, this should be seen as a warning to non-diehard fans: you may end up with a brick.
If there are any issues with early Xbox One owners Microsoft has done their best to keep these issues well under wraps. For the one user who was leaking photos and media of the Xbox One after legally purchasing one, Microsoft had him sign a gag order to prevent him from talking anymore about the new console. So far, Sony hasn't gagged and bound anyone from leaking information like some sort of kinky sex-dungeon game, opposite of the competition.
I imagine there will be reports of both consoles bricking during the early launch batches... although, for anyone who doesn't have broadband the Xbox One automatically bricks right out of the box. Wonderful.