Monday, November 18, 2013

The PS4's 'blue light of death': theories include Foxconn intern sabotage

Theories of intern sabotage have arisen with initial reports of a so-called "blue light of death" (AKA "pulse of death," pulsing blue light of death") PS4 bug. While the reports seem to affect more than a few people -- at the time of this writing, a glance at shows 1,402 five-star ratings offset by 609 one-star ratings -- as reported by Kotaku on Monday,

As end users struggle with the BLOD, suspicion rains upon Foxconn. Last month, we reported that Engineering students from the Xi’an Institute of Technology (XIT) were being forced into internships on the production line of the PS4. It is common knowledge that unlike the launch version of the PS3, which was built in Japan, the PS4's launch production was outsourced to Foxconn (Apple's biggest manufacturing arm in China) and allegedly manufactured at the company's plant in the Chinese city of Yantai. That is where the XIT students were "serving" their internships.

The allegations of sabotage arose last Friday Friday on IGN's message boards. The post reminded people that on Aug. 28, a thread appeared in a forum set up for XIT student, in which the poster asserted,
Since Foxconn are not treating us well, we will not treat the PS4 console well. The PS4 console we assemble can be turned on at best.
There is, of course, no confirmation of this. The thread was taken down for unknown reasons, but screenshots still exist.

To make matters more confused, another Chinese forum comment appeared on a different XIT forum thread. In it, one commenter allegedly wrote:
If the system is broken, don't blame us students. When we were studying, they shipped in 20,000 migrant workers from Guizhou. On top of that, there were also many Yantai local students and long-time Foxconn workers at the factories. The people that made the news were us Xi'an Technological University North Institute students. We're not even 1/10 of the workers at Foxconn. So don't blame the issue on us Chinese students, and don't talk about Foxconn on this board. You have no idea how hard it was to work in the factories as a recent high school graduate. Feel free to ask questions about the PS4 but not about Foxconn. Those with dirty mouths aren't welcome.

If you have a problem, go find quality control. We were only in charge of manufacturing. :)P
This is all rumor and conjecture. The idea of sabotage being done on the assembly line seems ludicrous, at first glance, as the students would need to know exactly how to perform the sabotage -- oh, wait; they are engineering students.

Either way, though, quite a few PS4 owners are suffering from the BLOD (which should make Microsoft fans and the company itself cheer; remember the Xbox 360 RROD?).

A video showing the problem is embedded.

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