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Sony PlayStation 4: Known faults and fixes

With any major gadget launch there are teething issues to be expected, and the arrival of Sony’s PS4 is no exception. After the launch in America earlier this month a number of early problems cropped up, most notably a pulsing blue light and no HDMI output.

A number of Microsoft’s Xbox One consoles unfortunately suffered from a strange grinding noise and discs not being read, along with power supply problems shortly after the worldwide launch. On the PS4’s launch day here in the UK and Europe, we’ve received far fewer calls about Sony’s console so far when compared to the Xbox One launch last Friday, but nevertheless there are some issues. Here are the key PS4 problems we’ve come across so far and the potential fixes you can try if your console is exhibiting any of the problems:

  • Continual pulsing blue light – Sony suggests TV compatibility, or issues with the PS4 hardware or power supply. This fault usually comes along with no HDMI output and is sometimes caused by a loose shard of metal in the HDMI port blocking the pins on the connection.

    Solution – Check cables, swap cables, try another TV, hold power button for 7 seconds to boot into recovery and if a picture shows, select ‘Change Resolution’ to put PS4 into 480p output. From there you can change to 720p or 1080i to suit your TV in Settings.

  • Blinking red light – Console is overheating. Shut it down, unplug and leave for 30 minutes – an hour. Ensure console is well ventilated and not blocked, reboot and try again.
  • No picture or sound – This fault could be caused by the HDMI port issue from above, or a graphics chip failure. Firstly, try holding the power button for 7-10 seconds from standby to perform an AV settings reset.
  • Pulsing blue light after updating to firmware 1.50 or 1.51 – If this happens you MUST NOT unplug the console to turn it off, doing so will brick the console. Instead, hold the power button until the console turns off to the red standby light, then enter safe mode and select option 4 to restore PS4 to factory defaults.
  • Games freezing/crashing – Battlefield 4, Knack, NBA 2K14, Netflix, Playroom and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes have all been noted to crash and freeze in general usage since the US launch. Some users have had success with uninstalling the game, rebooting the console and reinstalling the game from scratch. This is NOT a console fault and will likely be patched as individual game updates from the game studios.
  • Console freezing  – This can be caused by a game or Blu-ray disc being in the drive when installing games or updates from the PS Store, so remove the disc and reboot before retrying. If the fault continues and is not related to one of the games above, try booting into safe mode and restoring.
  • Loss of sound, some sound stage missing – Can be caused when console is connected to an audio splitter, surround sound or AV receiver as the console seems to struggle to identify audio signals when connected via optical out or through a receiver.

    Solution:  Go into Settings > Audio Output Settings and set sound to Digital Out (Optical) and uncheck DDS5.1, DTS5.1 and ACC, then enable Linear PCM.

  • Games load slowly (up to 5 minutes loading time) – Press the PS button on the controller to exit the game to the menu, then re-enter the game again.
  • Console beeping at random – This is likely to be the console repeatedly trying to eject a stuck disc, which seems to be a teething issue.Solution: Completely power the console off at the mains for 10 minutes or more, then reboot. For the stuck disc, Sony recommends holding the eject button on the console to manually eject, rather than ejecting through PS4 menu.
  • Wobbly PS4 – Caused by the shape of the stand ‘strips’ on the bottom of the console, which can sometimes be uneven. Consoles can appear wobbly or unstable.Solution: Not a manufacturing fault, stick some post-it notes under it to even it out.
  • NW-31484-0 (DNS Server Not Specified) Error when signing in Solution: Fully shut down your console (not just standby mode, at the mains) and restart. Console will reconnect to your network and obtain DNS successfully, issue should disappear.
  • Errors NW-31453-6, E-80E80034 E-82F001F8 and CE-32883-4 – Solution: Sony says these are all caused by a high number of users trying to access the PSN at once, very little can be done but the issue should be ironed out shortly after launch with updates to the PSN infrastructure.
  • Headset not working when connected to DualShock 4 – This is often a fault with the 3.5mm jack on the DualShock 4 controller, though it can be rectified by removing and firmly reconnecting your headset.

    Solution: Go to Settings > Devices > Audio Devices > Headset and Headphones. If the volume bar is greyed out, the controller doesn’t recognise your headset – remove it and try to reconnect firmly and ensure you hear an audible ‘click’. The volume bar should no longer be greyed out. If this doesn’t work, try any 3.5mm headset or headphones and if the same issue occurs the controller is faulty.

  • 1.5 Software Update Loop – Some users have reported that after installing the 1.5 day one update, the console reboots and advises to update again, as if the update wasn’t applied.

    Solution: Boot into Safe Mode, select Restore Default Settings, then Initialise PS4 and do initial setup again.

  • Distorted picture on Sony Bravia TV – Some users have reported serious distortion when used specifically with Sony Bravia TVs (this may also occur on other brand TVs).Solution: Cross test another TV to confirm fault is specific to one TV firstly. If so, contact TV manufacturer to see if a software update is available.
  • Disc not showing in menu – Solution: Uninstall game completely, reboot console, insert disc and re-install game.

How to boot into Safe Mode

  1. Ensure the console is in standby mode (red light)
  2. Hold the power button until you hear the second beep, then let go
  3. Safe Mode menu will appear

We’ll be updating this post with any more issues we come across and of course, any fixes to get rid of these pesky issues. If you’ve picked up a PS4 and have a problem with it, add a comment below and let us know what’s going on!