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Sony looking into PS4 hardware troubles

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The PlayStation 4 doesn't officially launch until 12:01am Friday, but Sony's already dealing with its first possible crisis.

A tweet from Shuhei Yoshida, president of PlayStation Worldwide Studios, confirmed the company was looking into reports that there were hardware issues with the new console.

"Be assured we are investigating reported PS4 issues," said Yoshida. "The number is very small compared to shipped, we believe they are isolated incidents."

(By shipped, Yoshida later clarified he was referring to pre-shipped units - to contest winners, media and select others.)

Over the past several days, several reports have popped up online about PS4 owners having trouble with their systems. It's far from a crisis at this point, but Sony is still likely to feel something of a PR sting.

[ Related: PS4 hardware review ]

Kotaku, in its review of the console, noted that the first retail unit it received "didn't work" (though it noted that subsequent units operated without incident). Users on NeoGAF and Reddit have reported issues as well.

"When I turn on my console it just sits there pulsing blue," said reddit user arogon, who later posted a video of his troubles. “As far as I can tell it is supposed to turn white but it isn't doing that. There is no signal on my tv either. I talked to at least 5 tech support people [...] All of them but two outright refused to help me."

Thanks to tips from the community - including another user who also won a system from Taco Bell - he was finally able to get a replacement unit shipped.

We even had a small issue here at Yahoo! When attempting to initially connect to a WiFi connection, our own system crashed twice - though it connected the third time and has worked like a charm since.

Microsoft, of course, had its own hardware issues with the Xbox 360. Soon after that console's release, reports began to flood in about the system locking up and becoming unplayable, with three of the front panel's circular lights turning red and flashing. The infamous ‘Red Ring of Death’ was eventually traced back to a design flaw in the hardware and Microsoft was forced to extend the system's warranty to three years.

Analysts say the hardware problems are troubling, but there's no reason for general concern at this point.

"These are very complex boxes - even more complex than the last generation and we saw what problems Microsoft had there," says P.J. McNealy of Digital World Research. "If there are some small issues, I wouldn't be surprised, but I doubt this is 'Red Ring of Death: Part Two."

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