SCEE expresses “serious concerns” over Watchdog report accuracy

Thursday, 17 September 2009 15:39 GMT By Patrick Garratt


SCE UK boss Ray Maguire has expressed “serious concerns” about a Watchdog program airing tonight in the UK, which takes on PS3 hardware failures.

“From [our] correspondence to date, I have serious concerns as to the accuracy of these allegations and the likely tone of the Watchdog report,” said Maguire in a six-page letter you can read in full on GI.

“The information that you have provided suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of the technical issues and a mis-characterisation of SCEUK’s OOW repairs policy.”

Maguire added: “We entirely refute the suggestion that PS3 consoles have an inherent defect or other design issue which is akin to any warranty issue experienced by another console manufacturer.

“SCEUK has sold 2.5 million consoles in the UK since March 2007 and stands by the quality of its products. Clearly the allegations you propose to air in your program might have the potential to adversely effect Sony Computer Entertainment’s reputation for supplying high quality products and customer service and we take very seriously any issues that can impact the public’s or our customers’ confidence in those products.”

This is going to be awesome. Have a read of the letter, then watch Watchdog at 8.00pm BST on BBC 1 tonight.


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  1. Blerk

    It’s weird, there seem to have been a large number of YLOD/Blu-Ray Failure/Other PS3 implosion incidents with EG forumites just in the last few months. Nothing like the heydays of RROD, but certainly far more than I was expecting.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. phatb0y

    I’m on my third, so I’ll be watching. Especially as how people I know who are having problems now are being asked to stump up £150 for the privilege of a replacement.

    I’m not expert, but the machine is the biggest dust magnet (theres a gag in there somewhere) I’ve ever owned and that can’t be healthy. Even if the machine is one glorified heatsink.

    It’ll be a slim for me once I can justify shelling out for one. After two duds I have no faith in the old fatty any more.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Patrick Garratt

    No probs with my fat at all. Quiet as a mouse.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. blackdreamhunk

    wow how did I miss this

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Blerk

    Too busy wanking over your computer? :-D

    #5 5 years ago
  6. OrphanageExplosion

    My first PS3 died within two months… total blackout on the video output after a few days of “sparklies” and graphical corruption.

    The real kicker was that it was a US version, so I had to send it to my mate in the US to RMA to Sony.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. blackdreamhunk

    I am saving this link for the day, ps3 fanboys need ago at pc gamers.

    I have a funny feeling I will be putting out hiphop gamer miss information he has been brewing over the net.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Gamoc

    My 60gb died a few months after I got it – that was a year and a half ago. I took it back to game and got a 40gb replacement which I haven’t had any problems with at all.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. OrphanageExplosion

    A one year warranty on a games console is a joke (particularly if you are an early adopter that paid £400 for it) and if Sony has the level of faith they say they do, they should put their money where their mouth is and extend the warranty to three years on YLOD and Blu-ray laser issues.

    I mean if the machine is as reliable as they say it is, they have nothing to lose, right?

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Kaufer

    “The testing concerned a sample of only three PS3s, which cannot, on any basis, be deemed to be representative of a UK user base of 2.5 million,” stated Sony. “One of these had in addition been materially altered by the owner.”

    “Presenter Iain Lee is no stranger to the videogame business, having fronted corporate events for the likes of Capcom and Microsoft. He has also been employed on a freelance basis by Microsoft, according to his work for MSN’s Tech and Gadget site”


    #10 5 years ago
  11. Syrok


    All electronic goods, especially those that cost a lot of money, should have at least a three year guarantee from the manufacturer. One year really isn’t enough.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Phoenixblight

    I never had an issue with PS3. Its not as bad as it seems. SHould have worked for MS when I did for the Xbox all the calls were RROD. 1/20 would be something otherwise. I hated those days.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. theevilaires

    In the past 3 months at least 3 of my friends on my psn list have had the issues with their PS3′s. some YLOD others with the blu-ray drive. I don’t know what their living conditions are that could have contributed to some kind of failure.

    I’m a neat freak, I don’t smoke, and my house is damn near dust and lent free but my two original (20 and 60gb) still get clogged with dust. Despite that they still run like brand new and are quiet as a whisper.

    The majority of my friends who do have the failures are A. from Europe B. Their PS3′s are used by their younger siblings which could include some foul play possibly or C. They don’t properly take care of the machine.

    Could it be that when Sony released the PS3 into the European market 4 months after NA they took short cuts to build the PS3′s in that region. For instance the mother board is different I think because PAL PS3′s don’t have all the chips a NA PS3 does.

    Anyway its a problem and I’m glad someone is out there exposing this annoyance. Hopefully they will also expose Sony’s horrible customer support too.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. theevilaires

    I agree with you Syrok. If my PS3 had broken down 1 day after the 1 year warranty I would be furious. $600 is something no one likes to just throw away. Especially when said machine is advertised as having a 10 year life cycle and is future proof.

    Hopefully this report puts some pressure on Sony to fix all the YLOD PS3′s out there.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. JonFE

    Who are you and what have you done to TEA???


    #15 5 years ago
  16. Blerk

    The boards did differ quite a lot initially, TEA, but they should be pretty much in synch since they removed the BC from all PS3s.

    I’m surmising that many of the PS3s that are breaking down are earlier models, though – it would certainly make sense that those would be the most unreliable.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Blerk

    Holy crap, £128 for an out-of-warranty repair? What the hell are they smoking? :-o

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Lutz

    Why do people take their broken PS3s to Sony? You didn’t buy it from them. They can charge you whatever they like.

    Your contract of sale is with the retailer, and you should be taking it back to them, not contacting Sony.

    The 12 months warrenty thing is a complete myth; no where is it mentioned in the Sales of Goods act.

    Learn what your rights are, and it’ll help stop you getting screwed over by situations like this.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. El_MUERkO

    bought mine at launch, works perfectly still, the caddy broke when i switched hard drives, they sent me a free one

    #19 5 years ago
  20. reask

    As I said in the thread on this IMO electronic equipment seems to have a shorter life span than 10 15 years ago.

    The general attitude these days would be we live in a throw away society. IE if it breaks after warranty just go out and get another one.

    #20 5 years ago
  21. DarkElfa

    I may not even like Sony or the PS3, but compared to the problems with the 360, the PS3 is practically problem free.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. theevilaires

    @ Blerk – sounds just about right

    @ Reask – So true

    @ JonFE – I’ve made the Jump “IN” :D

    #22 5 years ago
  23. Harry

    My fat launch PS3 is still going strong.

    Meanwhile my launch X360 died twice and was replaced each time in warranty by Microsoft. Meanwhile my X360 Elite hasn’t had any issues.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. theevilaires

    How can I watch this BBC report? I don’t live in the UK.
    Will it be posted on you tube shortly after?

    #24 5 years ago
  25. Robo_1

    There could well be reliability issues with the launch models, but any attempt to liken the situation to the 360′s RROD is ambulance chasing at it’s worst.

    Looks like Sony are ready for a fight if they do broadcast it though! I bet we haven’t seen the last of these types of headlines. :)

    #25 5 years ago
  26. Psychotext

    The way I see it is that if the problem is minor, Sony should just extend the warranty and be done with it. If there really aren’t many machines failing then extending the warranty will cost them fuck all.

    What they’re charging for a fix is frankly extortionate (though not as bad as it was).

    #26 5 years ago
  27. OwningXylophone

    @ Robo_1

    “but any attempt to liken the situation to the 360’s RROD is ambulance chasing at it’s worst.”

    But at least MS were big enough to admit there was a flaw and extend the warranties to cover it rather than putting their fingers in their ears and saying it never happened.

    #27 5 years ago
  28. Syrok

    @Psycho: They used to charge more than 50% of the cost of a new one?

    #28 5 years ago
  29. Psychotext

    I don’t tend to pay for things in percentages. :P

    #29 5 years ago
  30. theevilaires

    lets not get out of hand with this ppl. the ps3 failure rate might have moved from 1% to something like 5% but its nowhere near 64% or higher like the 360. just stating the obvious.

    #30 5 years ago
  31. DarkElfa

    Well said Evil. Have these guys actually done a piece on the 360 failure rate yet or did are they just stupid and blind along with this unfairness? I could see this if it were a follow up to a 360 piece, otherwise its just biased garbage.

    #31 5 years ago
  32. Psychotext

    “Have these guys actually done a piece on the 360 failure rate yet”

    Repeatedly. RRoD, disc scratching and drive failures.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. DarkElfa

    Well, that’s different then. As long as they’ve covered the number 1 maker of defective consoles than I have no issues with them covering number 2.

    #33 5 years ago
  34. OrphanageExplosion

    It was exactly this kind of pressure that brought about the Xbox 360 warranty extension. In a sense it is history repeating itself: users report problem, journalists write the stories about the problem, manufacturer denies problem, problem continues to escalate, manufacturer embarrassingly capitulates.

    I don’t think any one is suggesting that the PS3 problem is anywhere near the scale of the 360 one, but the bottom line is that it obviously is an issue. If any one’s PS3 goes pop, they won’t care about the scale of the problem in relation to 360… they will just want to have their console fixed/exchanged as quickly as possible.

    I don’t care if the retailer or the manufacturer sorts it out, the bottom line is that there needs to be a system in place to sort the situation out if it happens – with the consumer not getting fobbed off by retailers, or charged 150 Euros by Sony.

    #34 5 years ago
  35. SticKboy

    Oh, where’s Tonka when you need him?

    #35 5 years ago
  36. Patrick Garratt

    Going to be interesting to see the program, that’s for sure.

    TEA – I reckon the only way you can see it outside the UK is to “acquire” it after the fact. Not sure if BBC programming’s officially viewable outside Britain at all.

    #36 5 years ago
  37. Mike

    it isn’t. doesn’t stop me though


    #37 5 years ago
  38. Mike

    Go over to and do a search for Watchdog. I’m sure someone’ll have it.

    #38 5 years ago
  39. theevilaires

    @ Pat – not even youtube awwh man :(

    @ stickboy – he’s probably standing next to a microwave waiting for his hot pockets to finish cooking, but for the sake of the article I’ll fill in for him. (you might want to bookmark this one) :D

    “Wow the PS3 really is shit!”

    (never again will I type that so enjoy) :P

    Edit: thanks Master Mike ;)

    #39 5 years ago
  40. Cort

    @OwningXylophone, you are joking right? MS was forced to admit to the problems and extend their initially very short warranties by class action lawsuits and threats from the EU.

    #40 5 years ago
  41. Mike

    Do a search when it’s on, obv. 1hour and 9 mins to go.

    #41 5 years ago
  42. theevilaires

    Can’t wait to see Sony get their balls busted. I’m realy looking forward to this :D

    oh and Cort is right. That’s how it pretty much went down

    #42 5 years ago
  43. pracer

    A couple of interesting things here.
    The PS3 defect issue is prolly not nearly as big as rrod. However, upto now relitivly few ps3s have sold comparied to xb360.

    Regaurdless if there even is a PS3 defect or not, by putting the idea/word that there is a problem could be an attempt to stifle a comeback from the PS3. Of course I am not saying that MS is behind this thing, that would be something for a PS3 fanboy to do.

    I think this is mostly due to the same thing xb360 had happen. Craptastic outscouced manufacturing. I love my system made in Mexico no wait, I mean China, or was it Korea? There is a hella difference between a 400usd gadget and a 40usd one. But if they are both made with the same kind of lack of quality, they will both break. One just costs you more to replace.

    I can not tell you how many of my systems have died. I have lost count. Yea I am smokes free, late 30 yr old, pet free, and somewhat OCD. I can take care of my stuff. But sometimes they just die. Most from being used to death. I just over used my Saturn. But I remember managing a MicroPlay when the PSone launched. Within a week we had to turn most of them upside down in order to get the reader to read the game. Was crazy to walk into the store and see 4 PSones upside down and running. I have been through one xb360(replaced for free), been through one PS3(I bought a second one – because I am a MS fanboy dontcha know), I had 6 or 7 PS2s, two xbox ones, one gamecube(still working great and with as much as I played PSO it should have died ten fold by now), two saturns, One Dreamcast, one Neo Geo(can’t kill that thing), only one Turbo Duo(my fav system of all time). I am still using my first SNES, my first Gen/megadrive, I have no idea how many NES’s I went through – too many. All systems if you use them enough I figure, will die. But the newer ones don’t seem to stand up. Oh and for what it is worth I only have one needed one Wii(but it doesn’t get too much use). Neither does my PS3, btw, and that could be a common reason why up to now not much was made of them breaking. Once free realms and Mag come out i prolly will use mine more often.

    #43 5 years ago
  44. reask

    Thanks for the link mike I have to go out so cannot watch it at 8.
    OT.I reckon the response they get following the show will be more telling. IE phone calls confirming there story although I find the beeb pretty spot on with there facts when doing stories like this.
    I still think the drive problem is big as far as 360 is concerned.
    My nephew has the 360 only 9 months and has to load games several times before they read.
    Gets the please put disc in 360 console message.
    (I told him to ring MS but he cant be bothered)

    My own is the same for the last 3 months or so.
    Some games load first time others can take from 2 to 9 loads before reading.

    Funny thing is once it loads there is no hassle and game runs 100% perfect.

    #44 5 years ago
  45. Seraphemz

    Evil – you should be on MAG !

    #45 5 years ago
  46. pracer


    I still think the drive problem is big as far as 360 is concerned.
    My nephew has the 360 only 9 months and has to load games several times before they read.
    Gets the please put disc in 350 console message.
    (I told him to ring MS but he cant be bothered)

    My own is the same for the last 3 months or so.
    Some games load first time others can take from 2 to 9 loads before reading.

    Funny thing is once it loads there is no hassle and game runs 100% perfect.

    Having that exact prob with one of my xb360s now. I had to buy the us download of Civ Rev to be able to play the stupid thing.

    #46 5 years ago
  47. theevilaires


    #47 5 years ago
  48. Seraphemz

    Email me to my psn

    #48 5 years ago
  49. theevilaires

    YES WOOHOO!!!! I’M gonna be playing some M.A.G. I owe you big time for this Seraphemz :D

    #49 5 years ago
  50. Seraphemz

    See you there. 6pm PST. :)

    #50 5 years ago
  51. Robo_1


    “But at least MS were big enough to admit there was a flaw and extend the warranties to cover it rather than putting their fingers in their ears and saying it never happened.”

    The problem with RROD though was that it was clearly a huge problem which was effecting over a third of all people who owned a 360. There was a provable fault with 360′s production, and extending the warranty was the least they could do to appease the public at that point. It had nothing to do with being ‘big enough’, as they lied exhaustively about the situation until they realised it was beginning to spiral out of control and into the mainstream press.

    It’s not been proven yet that early PS3 models have a systemic design flaw, and that’s why Sony can’t extend warranties, as if they do it’s as good as an admission that there is a problem. It would hurt the image of the brand, so it’s perfectly understandable that Sony are going to go all out to defend themselves against such claims, if they can prove that they are unfounded.

    That said, they absolutely should be judged and put under the same level of scrutiny that MS were, and if enough sources come forward and verify a design flaw with the 60gb models, then absolutely they should either extend the warranty or issue a product recall. The amount they’re charging for repair does seem unreasonably high when weighed against the value of the machine itself, so if they are found to have purposefully put machines on the shelves with a design flaw, people who bought those consoles have every right to be compensated.

    At this point though, the only real evidence is anecdotal, and I get the feeling that Watchdog are purposefully drawing parallels to the situation with 360, in order to drum up a sensationalist news story. The whole PRAT thing pretty much sets the tone of how they’re going to handle things, and I can perfectly understand Sony being livid that what will be seen by Watchdog as a nice little ratings booster, could seriously harm the image of their brand.

    Bottom line, whoever fails to prove their case deserves the consequences.

    #51 5 years ago
  52. theevilaires

    You know all this talk about defective consoles might come back to bite me in the ass later. I pray to GOD I don’t get jinx and get the YLOD while I’m playing M.A.G. :D …thanks again Seraphemz! you are the man!

    #52 5 years ago
  53. g00nerz

    Just saw the show. Oh my f*****g god, they made a yellow light of death song.

    I think a vast majority of my TV licence fee is going to be contributing to the damages the BBC will be paying Sony after that debacle. Oh dear.

    #53 5 years ago

    I watched it.

    It made me LOL.

    #54 5 years ago
  55. pracer

    So, what happened? Any way us yanks can’t get a view?

    #55 5 years ago

    They just basically gave the impression that there was an inherent problem with the PS3 that was really easy to fix, and that Sony were making loads of money charging for repairs.

    It’s just the kind of tabloid style reporting that the program is known for…

    #56 5 years ago
  57. pracer

    Gotcha G1GA thnx

    #57 5 years ago
  58. reask

    So was it blown out of all proportion then?

    #58 5 years ago
  59. theevilaires

    I missed it :( I’ll check for youtube vids tomorrow.

    #59 5 years ago
  60. Hunam

    Watchdog is known for tabloid reporting now?

    /files in new information
    /files under sub-section: Fan-boy tears.

    #60 5 years ago

    Yeah, totally reask. Although tbh, if you weren’t a gamer, it’d definitely put seeds of doubt in your mind if you were thinking of picking up a PS3 before you saw it…

    Can you get BBC over there tea?

    Oh, here it is:

    #61 5 years ago

    Watchdog is known for tabloid reporting now?

    /files in new information
    /files under sub-section: Fan-boy tears.


    So I’m a PS3 fanboy now eh!?!?

    HAHA!!! Nice!

    #62 5 years ago
  63. Syrok

    Heh, what an unprofessional looking TV show.

    Would love if they could send the repair guys to me, though. :)

    #63 5 years ago
  64. theevilaires

    thanks for the link G1GA

    #64 5 years ago
  65. DexxaxeM

    For all the sceptic (or lucky ones) take a look at this:

    I found it while serching for comfort after my first ps3 stop reading disks… And this article is quite old… Immagine all the links updated…

    SCE should manage this problem more seriuosly!

    #65 5 years ago
  66. Filofax


    That’s the biggest load of old shite I’ve ever had the misfortune to read.

    #66 5 years ago
  67. Gamoc

    Damn you both, I want a MAG beta code! :-(

    #67 5 years ago
  68. pracer

    How is Mag? How well does something that large work over the PSN, because to be honest that’s my biggest concern. maybe its my PS3 but it is slow as hell with downloads and such, and am worried about online lag in a game as massive as Mag. Any info would be awesome.

    #68 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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