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PS4 production sabotaged by FOXCONN workers, intern claims – rumour

Monday, 18th November 2013 09:53 GMT By Dave Cook

PlayStation 4 units manufactured at the FOXCONN assembly plant in China were said to be sabotaged by workers. An intern has stepped forward and claimed that the act was in retaliation to the poor treatment of staff while making Sony’s console and other devices, a fact that FOXCONN has recently admitted.

It follows FOXCONN’s statement on the confirmed mistreatment of student workers on the assembly line.

Now, Neowin reports that the intern’s statement was posted on the IGN boards on Friday by user qbroid, in an attempt to further expose the matter. The employee’s original thread was published on August 28 but was subsequently locked.

It was entitled, “Since foxconn are not treating us well, we will not treat ps4 console well. The ps4 console we assemble can be turned on at best.” Here’s a grab of the original post:

The hardware was allegedly tampered with to provoke problems with PS4 units in response to the worker’s treatment. It’s unclear if the supposed sabotage actually bore fruit in the end, as by Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida’s count, the failure rate on PS4 consoles shipped sits at 0.4%.

What do you make of the above? We’ll keep our ears to the ground in case more details emerge surrounding the alleged FOXCONN issues.

Thanks Jet Black.

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44 Comments

  1. dsr

    I hope Europe wont get that faulty batch.

    #1 9 months ago
  2. KAP

    Totally FUCKED UP. Sabotage PS4s because there not getting treated right by FOXCONN.
    Yet the sad truth is consumers don’t wanna hear excuses, they want results.

    #2 9 months ago
  3. kingy

    Wow shit just got deep ,if this is proven it’s not just bad for us and sony but also Foxconn every company in the world just about has things coming out of their doors

    #3 9 months ago
  4. CycloneFox

    Instead of damaging FOXCONN, which treads workers bad, they are just damaging Sony and gamers. I suppose gamers don’t interest the workers of FOXCONN though. If it is true, I hope Sony will accuse FOXCONN for this mess.

    #4 9 months ago
  5. TheBlackHole

    “only .4% of PS4 consoles have failed since launch.”

    Please stop using this as some kind of factual representation of the console’s failure rate. This quote was made BEFORE the console went on sale. It means nothing.

    #5 9 months ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @5 Who’s using it as actual fact? I merely said that was what Yoshida claimed.

    #6 9 months ago
  7. Fin

    This is a ridiculous ridiculous story to post, I don’t care what other website posted it previously.

    A screengrab of a forum post written in Chinese by someone who claims to work for Foxconn.

    Coming up:
    User on GameFAQs boards claiming “Wii U HD Incoming” because “his dad works for Nintendo”.

    I’m all for rumour and speculation, but there has to be a minimum bar.

    #7 9 months ago
  8. G1GAHURTZ

    POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

    FREE THE FOXCONN SLAVES!!

    #8 9 months ago
  9. dsr

    @8

    If you free them, who is going to make an Xbone?

    #9 9 months ago
  10. KineticCalvaria

    @9, no one. So even more reason to free them :).

    On a serious note though, this really needs sorting out, these kind of situations shouldn’t be happening in the 21st century.

    #10 9 months ago
  11. Ireland Michael

    If the state of things there are really that abysmal, and this turns out to actually be true, I fully support this. Things there need to change badly. A piece of hardware is not as important as the basic humane treatment of other people.

    #11 9 months ago
  12. G1GAHURTZ

    @9: Brazilians!

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57412330-37/could-foxconns-factory-in-brazil-be-a-model-for-apple-production/

    #12 9 months ago
  13. GregoryRasputin

    I sincerely hope you are not paid to post this unprofessionally written rubbish Dave.

    Not that its my business, but you would assume someone who gets paid, would do a little research, which you obviously have not done.

    1.)Corrupted Cartridge were not the ones who took the screengrab.
    2.) The user qbroid on IGN who created the thread on IGN, took the screengrab and posted it on IGN, they should be the ones who are sourced.
    3.) NeoWin even say the allegations were posted on IGN, he didn’t say that the Chinese student was the one who started it on IGN.
    4.) Corrupted Cartridge were the only ones who have given correct story and the only ones to source correctly.
    5.) Shocking journalism…

    #13 9 months ago
  14. G1GAHURTZ

    ^ Hey, don’t think you can come on here and badmouth Mr Cook in his own back yard!

    #14 9 months ago
  15. Dave Cook

    @13 you have no idea how busy I am. Mistakes happen. I’m fixing this now.

    #15 9 months ago
  16. GregoryRasputin

    @14 it is not my intention to badmouth Dave Cook as a person, i am badmouthing the fact, that he didn’t research the story properly before rushing it out.

    #16 9 months ago
  17. Dave Cook

    @13 Corrected. Thanks for flagging. Maybe be a little less harsh next time?

    #17 9 months ago
  18. Christopher Jack

    @11, Even if true, I don’t think damaging a partner companies products will help their cause.

    #18 9 months ago
  19. TheBlackHole

    @6

    No criticism intended Dave, certainly not like the douche at 13, but your quote says the claim was ‘only .4% of PS4 consoles have failed since launch.’

    The claim was made before launch, so cannot apply to those affected since. The quote was claiming that it accounted for 0.4% of SHIPPED units.

    Assuming they shipped 1.5m units (conservative, given they’ve sold 1m in 24 hours) that would mean 6,000 pre-release units have been considered faulty.

    How many do you think were actually in people’s hands before sale? Including staff, devs, promotional etc, I reckon 6,000 represents a pretty large proportion.

    #19 9 months ago
  20. KineticCalvaria

    Less arse kissing would be nice too.

    @18, that number must be higher than 0.4% now, seems to be quite a lot of issues.

    #20 9 months ago
  21. G1GAHURTZ

    @18:

    Well pointed out.

    #21 9 months ago
  22. Joe Musashi

    This story/rumour seems a little far-fetched.

    If true, what is to be gained from revealing the sabotage? Especially so soon after a product made by the plant has gone on sale (not even on global sale).

    Surely if the saboteurs wanted to damage Foxconn’s reputation then they would do this over a range of products so it was more apparent that the issue was with Foxconn.

    If the saboteurs wanted to damage Sony’s / PS4′s reputation then why bring Foxconn into it? Why not make some allegation about quality control (or better yet, PS4′s actual hardware design)??

    As to % failure rates, what is an accurate measure? Anonymous people on forums? Amazon comments? Neither are what I’d regard as accurate – both are easy to fabricate in one direction or another.

    Either way, it sucks for the early adopters. It’s a sorry thing to see so many others taking such glee in another’s misfortune.

    JM

    #22 9 months ago
  23. mongbatstar

    @18

    You’re asserting opinion without any evidence to back it up. You can’t make up statistics because “it must be higher now”.

    The quoted figure is the only official statistic to run off, It’s not unreasonable still to use it in this article. In fact, The Guardian are still running with that figure too in their article on the the 1m US sales. That was published this morning.

    #23 9 months ago
  24. Dragon

    That is like the most uninformed rumour. Its just a post on a sites message board that was locked.

    Rumour…

    #24 9 months ago
  25. GregoryRasputin

    #18 i don’t mind being labelled a douche, i respect Dave, but it doesn’t mean ill kiss his ass and tell him he has an awesome post, when its full of errors.

    Also you are wrong about the 0.4%, Sony changed it to .4%

    There have been several problems reported, which leads us to believe there isn’t a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of systems. The number of affected systems represents less than .4% of shipped units to date, which is within our expectations for a new product introduction

    And you are right Dave, I could have been less harsh, i apologise for that, though that is the way I am :p

    #25 9 months ago
  26. Dave Cook

    @23 People are free to disbelieve rumours if they please, but I’m tired of the way some replies to our rumour stories act like we’ve made them up or something. (Not saying you’re doing this of course).

    We’re just the messenger here. People can view rumours as garbage or plausible if they wish. It’s their choice.

    #26 9 months ago
  27. G1GAHURTZ

    @22:

    How is it possible to say that 0.4% of your consoles are broken, when they’re still packed in a sealed box, sitting in a stock cupboard?

    Did you know that they were broken when you put them in there?

    Or are you just making a ‘conservative guess’?

    How is it possible to get the 0.4% figure with evidence?

    (“you” means Sony, btw, not actually you, mongbatstar.)

    #27 9 months ago
  28. mongbatstar

    I don’t know how they came up with it. FWIW, I agree with the sentiment that it’s probably a bullshit figure, and that the real number would seem to be much higher based on the anecdotal evidence.

    That’s not my point though.

    #28 9 months ago
  29. TheBlackHole

    @22

    “You’re asserting opinion without any evidence to back it up. You can’t make up statistics because “it must be higher now”.”

    Please explain which statistic I’ve made up?

    The only stat I used was the official 0.4% of shipped units being faulty. That comes from Sony directly. All I did was calculate what that would be in actual units if you did the maths, based on an almost certain underestimation of the number of shipped units.

    So, I asserted a fact, based on a fact, coming straight from Sony. I’d also suggest that given this article was changed to reflect my correction, that I wasn’t making anything up.

    Feel free to try and explain yourself though.

    #29 9 months ago
  30. Dragon

    @Dave,
    No offence man, but that dude who posted it on IGN forums was a member since like 4 days and really, there are infinite rumours like that on various internet forums everyday. Even IGN didn’t post it.

    Your discretion obviously, just saying we have a difference of opinions here ;)

    #30 9 months ago
  31. vOL

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-i4ZZtnUAGlw/TymvDAbtRwI/AAAAAAAAArg/zTD_ZeOSulc/s1600/supernatural-mouths-open.gif

    @25 Because that’s how manufacturing works buddy. It is foolish for Sony or any other manufacturers to think that their product was 100% fault-proof. They just can’t inspect every units produced one by one. They do sampling for each production batch for an estimation quality for the entire product line. There is lot of possible factors which contribute to faulty product and FYI, “Human Factors” are the worst of them.

    0.4% failure rates is minuscule in high volume manufacturing scale.

    #31 9 months ago
  32. Dave Cook

    @28 “just saying we have a difference of opinions here”

    And that’s completely fine :)

    #32 9 months ago
  33. freedoms_stain

    So, you’re told you have to work at foxconn for free so you can get your degree. The hours and conditions are poor but you want to continue your degree so you put up with it.

    But in addition to putting yourself through those hellish conditions for weeks or months you decide you’ll sabotage some PS4 units in protest at your poor treatment and post about it online, knowing that if you’re caught you’re probably not going to get your degree after all.

    Sounds legit.

    #33 9 months ago
  34. SplatteredHouse

    http://www.ign.com/boards/threads/student-as-the-op-of-the-foxconn-internmade-bad-ps4-three-month-ago-i-have-something-to-say.453524775/

    I don’t believe these actions are fabricated. It’s a lot of effort to deliberately set and spin this many plates. What effect they have for customers is too early to tell, but Sony ought to be able to lump it in with expected failure rates.

    #34 9 months ago
  35. G1GAHURTZ

    @29:

    Sure, I can totally understand taking samples from batches. That makes sense, and it’s reasonable to make calculations and percentages based on those samples.

    What doesn’t make sense, is taking statements like:

    There have been several problems reported, which leads us to believe there isn’t a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of systems. The number of affected systems represents less than .4% of shipped units to date

    And turning them into ‘The PS4 has a 0.4% failure rate’.

    First of all, the initial quote is meaningless, because the only “problems reported” could have come from the relatively tiny amount of pre-release consoles that the press and competition winners had access to.

    So “affected systems” at the time when the quote was made was only a tiny portion of the >1m units that they actually shipped.

    The key term here, which is crucial to the statement, is “problems reported”.

    He’s not talking about a scientific estimation based on a sample test. He’s talking about real consumers reporting issues with units.

    So my question was, how can he get a figure based on “problems reported”, and “affected systems”, when all they had to go by was a handful of pre-release units, at a time where there were almost certainly another 1m units sitting on shelves in the US and Canada alone?

    Of course the other units aren’t going to have any “problems reported”, because no-one’s opened the box.

    #35 9 months ago
  36. DeVitowned

    First of all, let me begin by saying I am one of the many, yes many, who received one of these sabotaged consoles. This made me very angry, and even moreso disappointed.

    Secondly, if this rumor is true, GOOD FOR THE WORKERS WHO ARE REVOLTING AGAINST THE POOR CONDITIONS! I do not mind at all being given a mild inconvenience if it can help these exploited workers bring attention and potentially positive change toward their situation. I work for Wal-Mart and I can sympathize with these workers when it comes to being exploited, but, no matter how bad I have it, it’s nothing compared to what these people have to endure at FOXCONN. Still, even with this incident, I doubt any good will come of it, because even with what the world knows about the poor living conditions, the low pay and massive suicide rates, no one has done anything to change things there.

    #36 9 months ago
  37. antraxsuicide

    I can pretty much guarantee that it’s higher than .4%. Someone was told by Sony support that they’ve received 4000 returns from Amazon alone. That equals .4% of the 1 million sold mark, and that’s only from one retailer.

    #37 9 months ago
  38. bobnice

    @ #5

    That quote was also make by the same Sony guy who when asked on twitter said the Red Line of death was “Not True”

    #38 9 months ago
  39. bradk825

    If I remember right he used the .4% when the Taco Bell ones went out, and then again after launch. It seems funky that it would be the exact same number when it’s a sampling of 4000 units or the whole launch…

    I also wonder about whether the software issues are included in that. Supposedly, if you ask (but don’t really ask because they wont tell you)EA there were problems with the patch… Was that in the .4%? It’s not really clear.

    Truthfully I hope the .4% is true. I would like to think that both sets of manufacturers learned from last gen.

    #39 9 months ago
  40. bradk825

    @13 Slow down bro, we like Dave here.

    #40 9 months ago
  41. xino

    good news for me
    bad news for sony
    good on Foxconn!

    now they will know how to treat their employees with respect.
    These people will start to know they have the POWER, just because they work for foxconn, makes it feel like foxconn is in control.

    but truth is people are in control.

    hopefully foxconn will stop using underage people and working their employees every 16 hours every day!

    #41 9 months ago
  42. jonahfalcon

    100% bullshit. Launch consoles are often defective. Look at the C-64, the iPod, the PS1, the Xbox 360. What do all of them have in common? They were all rushed for one reason or another.

    #42 9 months ago
  43. TrickyAudio

    Looks like we could be getting Japanese made ones in Europe. Worth the wait after all? http://gearnuke.com/is-europe-getting-made-japan-playstation-4/

    #43 9 months ago
  44. DrDamn

    @41
    It’s an interesting point. May not have some of the US problems, may have a whole host of new ones :). *If* it is a better quality build then maybe related to tougher warranty laws in Europe. Interesting.

    #44 9 months ago

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