Sony sued over PS3 firmware update problems

Owners of bricked systems file suit on behalf of everyone who downloaded system update 3.0 or 3.01; demand unspecified damages.

The ability of console makers to update their systems' firmware has a number of benefits, as evidenced by the continually expanding capabilities of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. However, the updating of firmware on all three platforms is sometimes associated with reports of systems being broken by the updates, or "bricked."

So we just install the new firmware and...

In some cases, the owners of ruined consoles do more than make angry message board posts about their misfortune. In late 2006, an Xbox 360 owner sued Microsoft over a system update rendering his console inoperable. That suit was dismissed in mid-2007 when Microsoft and the plaintiff reached an agreement out of court.

Now it's Sony's day in court, as last week a pair of PlayStation 3 owners who had their systems bricked by the September 3.0 and 3.01 firmware updates filed suit agianst the company. The two gamers--one from Texas, the other from Iowa--allege that the updates caused PS3s to malfunction, with problems including loss of controller use, malfunction of the Blu-ray drive, and bricking of consoles. When they contacted Sony's customer service representatives, the pair were told that the system failures were coincidental and unrelated to the system update. Furthermore, Sony would charge them a repair fee of $150 in order to fix the systems.

...Voila!

"Defendant's unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices include, but are not limited to, misrepresentations regarding the fitness of the PS3 and software updates, failing to disclose defects in the system and software updates, and refusing to repair PS3 systems free of charge," the suit alleges. It also takes exception to Sony making it so that certain software refuses to run until the firmware update is downloaded and installed on the system.

The pair are seeking class-action status for the suit, with the stated class being every gamer who owns a PS3 and installed either one (or both) of the firmware updates in question. They are seeking unspecified damages and restitution from Sony.

As of press time, a Sony representative had not returned GameSpot's request for comment.

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717 comments
Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

I would hope suits like this will put them out of business some day. Their darn updates ARE bricking their DARN consoles left and right. And this is simply unacceptable.

tachsniper
tachsniper

It's just like buying a new cell phone and suddenly without warning they locked out the feature to push 10 specific number buttons so you can hear and talk to a person connected with those 10 specific numbers.. All without your consent or approval. Oh and by the way you're still in the contract. Everyone should be in support of this suit, if you don't you must love bending over for corporate greed.

TC_Squared
TC_Squared

By the way, here is the text book definition of Firmware: In electronics and computing, firmware is a term often used to denote the fixed, usually rather small, programs and data structures that internally control various electronic devices...No strict or well-defined boundaries separate firmware from software.

TC_Squared
TC_Squared

Now, responding to AlnilamE's response, the new firmware update fixed the problem. You can criticize my statement all you like, but I was right. Like I said, the same thing happened with Firmware 2.00. P.S. I didn't say that Firmware doesn't effect hardware; I said it doesn't damage hardware. If software officially damaged hardware, Norton Anitvirus wouldn't exist, we would just have to replace our hardware any time our computer got infected.

Baldies12
Baldies12

Well patch 3.1 got everything working again, Yeah! Can finally play DA:O. So all you people who said "Oh no its not a firmware problem." Start choking on that pole now and eat your words. 3.1 just fixed all the crappy issues that 3.00/3.01 caused. No, hardware doesnt just stop and magically reboot itself after another "Firmware" update

2point5RSman
2point5RSman

lol at the guys below me. Ive DROPPED my PS2 twice and the thing still plays DVDs. We stopped playing my friends 360 because he tilted it 1 degree with a game in it and it broke the thing.

snake3rules
snake3rules

justforfun wrote: ----------- @snake3rules You prove my point again. You imply I am stupid because I point out the flaws in your logic. You make up numbers to justify your opinion. You bought a game console; you didn't cure cancer. Get off your high horse. --------------- dude you are out of your mind... lets re-read my post and see what the heck you're talking about: --------------- justforfun -- you and most other xbox geniuses seem to be forgetting that this update only came out a month ago, and so your cries of "see happens on ps3 too, you liars" is stupid on your part, and not evidence of on-going or long-term problems at all.... I love people like you lamenting about xbox's "false" failure rates ... That must be why they extended the warranty by 300 percent, and publicly addressed the overwhelmingly large failure rates at the time of the announcment ... And for the record, I had my xbox 360 die four times in two years before I got a ps3 ... and in the over 1.5 years I've had my ps3, absolutely no problems ... ---------------- no made up numbers, and absolutely nothing "made up to justify my opinion"... just cold hard facts-- facts that you cant seem to accept, at least based on your other comments on these talkbacks, where you dig into everyone thats says a negative word about xbox, and with totally absurd arguments that have no basis in cogency.

Baldies12
Baldies12

Well low and behold... I just got the new PS3 Slim a week ago and bought dragon age : origins. Well, DA:O just happens to need the 3.01 update, so I press ok, thinking its their new ps3 on the market, this seems to only be affecting the older models. Once the updated is downloaded.. BAM! Cant watch blu-rays nor will it read the game discs. haha go figure... So for all you people thinking its only affecting the old models, Its affecting the slims as well. The update went from 2.78 (Slim version) to 3.01. Oh well... hopefully a fix soon. I must say.. gotta hate spending $400 for a system and game to not be able to play anything on it. I dont plan on waiting a month for it to return to me either on warranty given the fact that they would probably just F it up some more considering their service is absolute garbage in all means to fixing their products... its funny they're so damn sure of themselves when you're in the market for their crap, haha. Anyways enough said... I had the launch 360 and still have until this day with no issues still.

Xaviersx
Xaviersx

Old consoles, they did seem to last forever, . . they really were simple devices with virtually no moving parts. Cartridges were more inclined to fail than the console, . . how many people blew into their cartridges or polished contact points in a lost cause to revive their games. Modern consoles or 'PC lites' suffer from a number of probs like rushed production, cheap production parts in search of a profit margin, moving/heated parts, some end users habits, etc etc. That any of them haven't 'publicly' burned down some houses still amazes me, but they are fun to play and often easier to use than a PC when you just want a game to play, not fail to install or fail to like your system . . . unless they fudge an update.

Mr_Bodywave
Mr_Bodywave

@Hvac0120 Remember though, that the link said 360 fails after the last update (Jasper) were 4%. Compared to 10% for PS3. So yes, the 360 use to break a lot more, that doesn't mean that the PS3 isn't breaking more than it should. At least MS upped the warranty, Sony is not. And the link said Jasper systems were 4%. As I said, hopefully the PS3 slim fixed Sony's problems like the Jasper did for MS.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@Mr_Bodywave That article and survey was a small sample of 5000 people. I participated in that survey. It also said that 360 was 23.7% failure. That survey, while it did make a good comparison, does not represent that actual failure rates. They are all probably inflated over the actual rates for all customers of all 3 systems. I will give you credit for pointing to a valid resource, but I don't agree with the numbers represented in the results of that survey because the sample used to represent the population of was tainted in a way. A true scientific survey would likely return different results with lower rates for all 3 consoles. The point they make in that article is that 360 is played only slightly more than PS3, yet failures were much more likely. Wii's were not played as often as the others and their failures were pretty low.

FF_fan2004
FF_fan2004

Thinking back on past consoles, it makes me realise that they don't make consoles like they used to. The ones that can last for more than 10 years and still works.

Limboman1
Limboman1

I understand being upset about your playstation being "bricked" but it doesnt warrant a lawsuit. It's not like sony wants to lose your business and does personal damages to you as an individual. If it was personal harm that would be another thing, but its not like they caused severe trauma. If they do win, they deserve a replacement and minor compensation for time loss thats all.

DaSlyOne
DaSlyOne

Heh, my PS3 bricked on it's very first firmware update back in June 08. Luckily, it was only a week old and Sony replaced it. However, it took them a month to return it (compared to a 2 week turn around for MS with my X360). Now I cross my fingers during updates on both systems.

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

Regardless of weather this is true or not. I still think that Sony has to fix it if it indeed was not operator error. We all remember the lawsuits at Microsoft over the overheating issues with the launch model Xbox360s right? Microsoft won the lawsuit by correctly saying: Hay it's in the manual that you should pout it in and I quote: "A well ventalted area away from both vents in your room, and allow for at least 2 inches or more space around the console." Sony has a similar claim to make here: I quote this from the PS3 Manual baring a few words might be wrong: "Sony is not responsible for any failings during a PS3 software update, if you installed Linix, or another OS and then try to update your PS3 via our software we cannot be held responsible for the problem. This also apply s to failings of PS3 systems due to user neglect, lack of proper ventilation, and or the use of third party hardware solutions." (That last part is for upgraded HDDs, and USB HDD solutions)

MetallicFPSNut
MetallicFPSNut

Thankfully for me, my console managed to survive my roommate installing 3.0 , and I made sure neither he nor I installed 3.01 after I found out about the bigger problems that update was causing. I paid 400 bucks for my unit (40 GB) and I'm not going to lose it to faulty code (even if it means not getting to play Uncharted 2 from the moment I get it).

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

Sony has really no issues with this. M$ on the other hand? They are PROs at bricking consoles with dashboard updates. (crosses fingers that his 60GB PS3 never gets bricked) Is it possible to BACK UP your PS3 and use the backup to restore if there is ever an issue like this?

daveg1
daveg1

i hope they win the case like i hope anyone would win a case for something like this. released by the any company that damages their own hardware..they should fix it for free surely there cant be many systems bricked so i think fixing those sytems for free is a drop in the pond for sony/ms/nintendo..

gamemaster8995
gamemaster8995

Right before the update isn't there a user agreement?...Plus the bricked systems only happen to people who don't take care of there ps3's and treat them like a toy.

thingta42
thingta42

Would it really matter if Sony just gave them a Free PS3 in return for what they did to the owners PS3s? Really Im sure out of all the Consoles Sony could afford to give two out for Free to make up for this.

Xaviersx
Xaviersx

Now it's Sony's day in court.... So, if Sony did do the damage, Sony should reasonably fix those systems and fix the update system in place. If the charges are false claims and/or unreasonable, violation of the purchase, Sony would/should bare no burden in the incidents. But, it may fall on who buys the better lawyer.

AlphaCommando
AlphaCommando

They probably did something stupid to brick their systems. Their fault. Actually, that's not fair. Maybe 2 out of like 100,000? systems genuinely failed due to the update?

Ivory-Dynamite
Ivory-Dynamite

If the updates did damage the consoles then they should fix them like how Microsoft fixed the d-rod problem when that first happened to me the Microsoft call service blamed the climate of where i live and I had to wait for them to accept the blame.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@ Jack_n_Coke07 even though the article doesn't state an amount, how are these people greedy? A mandatory update caused their systems to fail. If it turns out they had modded systems, their warranty was invalid anyways. Big companies always have some sort of magic number that must be reached before they admit there is a problem. RROD proves this. If this were the old days, this article would be nothing more than a paragraph in the rumors section of your favorite gaming mag. It's easier for consumers to get together and form these lawsuits now if they feel they've been slighted.

Jack_n_Coke07
Jack_n_Coke07

Some people just want thousands of dollars just because their $300 PS3 quit on them? Greeeeedyyyyy.......

ffviiifreak
ffviiifreak

Sony sued cause some PS3 ownes are jerks!

rafaelp11
rafaelp11

@PumpkinBoogie - thanks for the info...

savageandres
savageandres

What happened to invincible systems like atari and snes? I have both of those and they still work. Shouldn't technology get better as it goes on? (By the way i have an xbox for 3 years, no rrod here)

PvtRyan3
PvtRyan3

Yea, those firmware updates are deadly. It's wiping the flash clean and replacing it. If the console turns off during the process or if something goes wrong then the device will not function. The video game consoles are all automated and there is no way for the end user to reset the device in the event of corruption.

Mr_Bodywave
Mr_Bodywave

@arivaltobeknown wow--you suck. I would contact the credit card company along with the police (fraud).

AdjacentLives
AdjacentLives

I can sort of understand this lawsuit, being a owner of "two" red ring Xbox 360's. At the very least they shouldn't have to pay for a new system.

1r0nbane
1r0nbane

FF_fan2004, I have had my 360 fail twice and both times I have recieved 1 month free as well. I agree with you on getting a PS3 ASAP! Gettin tired of payin for online.

Solidus713
Solidus713

I've also asked a good amount of my friends that own a PS3 and theirs all work fine with the firmware. Deal with it i mean...tough luck that your system failed.

Solidus713
Solidus713

You must really have alot of time on your hands to go out your way to sue Sony. Usually people complain and throw some stuff around to get their anger out that their P3 is Deffective and buy another couple months later. Thats Just Me THo

Pwnd56
Pwnd56

hey, fanboys!!!! NOW LISTEN, U 2, THIS HAPPENS WITH BOTH SYSTEMS, X360 AND PS3, THEY ARE NOT INVINCIBLE, AND JUST CAUSE OF ONE CASE, 360 FANBOYS, SONY WILL NOT FAIL, SO ALL OF U FANBOYS, STFU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you!

FF_fan2004
FF_fan2004

Not just free console repairs, MS were nice enough to give me 1 month xbox live for free. Compensation I guess. I will definitely get a PS3, I'm still waiting until the price drops.

Arab-man666
Arab-man666

At least M$ is smart enough to give you free console repiars.

Roxas_27
Roxas_27

If suits like these actually paid out, then Microsoft would've gone bankrupt a LONG time ago. And I have an original 60 GB model, and a friend of mine has an 80 GB model, and neither of our PS3's were affected at all. These guys are part of the handful of PS3 owners who got defective units. If instead this suit asked for free repairs to defective units and nothing else, then it might have a chance.

DarkNeoBahamut
DarkNeoBahamut

oh after reading this, I was afraid of updating my system, however I had to do it and I've got no problems :)

02050muh
02050muh

@tekken6 and i thought u live in a free country with freedom of speech...i can say whatever i want,right?

02050muh
02050muh

@tekken6 haha....xbox fanboy is mad i see...(sad for u)

sniperdude87112
sniperdude87112

What the hell is sony thinking relasing new firmware just a couple weeks after 3.0 I mean i'm still stuck with the old version (but i haven't been able to get online in a while so i haven't updated it yet)

Musashi920
Musashi920

rounder617 Posted Nov 8, 2009 12:17 am GMT but what will they get out of this a new system and free t-shirt i think its to much for them bricking you ps3 its going to cost more to go to court and hire a lawyer than to get your ps3 fixed ======================================= Wrong you are! It's a class action lawsuit. Meaning those guys are paying for squat to lawyers. Should they win or settle out of court for money The lawyers will get a huge chunk of money. The rest to be split between everyone involved in the class action suit. $150 to fix the damn thing when it was Sony's own fault a slap to the face to anyone who bought it. Sony deserves this. No wonder its losing to MS.

rounder617
rounder617

but what will they get out of this a new system and free t-shirt i think its to much for them bricking you ps3 its going to cost more to go to court and hire a lawyer than to get your ps3 fixed

btlgearx
btlgearx

i own 2 ps3's and both of them have a 3.01 fw update and i don't see any problem with it. it's working fine especially my 60 gb model. it maybe happening on a very few consoles but i think it's probably the owners fault. mishandling it or something. its just my opinion

redskinStu
redskinStu

Good story. By the way all you professional writers at GameSpot, the word "agianst " is actually spelled "A G A I N S T."

massuht
massuht

arivaltobeknown, that is messed up. You are a piece of human waste.

Commando148
Commando148

So what does that mean for all the other PS3 owners? And what was the outcome? Did the customers or the SONY win in the law suit?

CaptainCrazy
CaptainCrazy

I personally think there are far too many firmware updates these days. We didn't need them before so why so many now? They most definitely do have the potential to cause hardware failure. Not physical failure but low level "BIOS" type failure which basically can shut down the hardware components if the firmware corrupts. Hardware can't do anything without firmware so you might as well consider it "bricked".

arivaltobeknown
arivaltobeknown

aw man same thing happened to me last christmas they told me the same thing and sent me a box to ship it back to sony so they can fix it. But i just ended up selling it and yes it was damaged but i made enough to buy me another one and enjoy the rest of my christmas playing resistance 2 for the owners who bought my ps3 im sorry but life is unfair sometimes