Sony Corp. (6758) said some of the PlayStation 4 consoles that went on sale in North America last week were reportedly damaged during shipping, following customer complaints the devices suddenly turned themselves off.
Sony sold more than 1 million PS4 consoles during the first 24 hours of sales. Some buyers reported the power-indicator light kept blinking, there was no picture or sound coming from their televisions, or the machine powered down on its own, the company said.
“There have been several issues reported, which leads us to believe there isn’t a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of PS4 units,” Satoshi Nakajima, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Sony, said in an e-mail. “We also understand that some units were reportedly damaged during shipping.”
The malfunction rate for the machines is less than 1 percent, Nakajima said. Some customer comments posted on the Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN:US) and Best Buy Co. (BBY:US) websites said the devices didn’t work upon delivery. Sony shares fell 1 percent to 1,868 yen in Tokyo trading.
Amazon is working with Sony to assist the “small percentage of customers who reported issues,” the company said in a statement. The Seattle-based online retailer said it shipped more PS4 devices than any other video-game console in its history.
“We’ve worked hard to ensure all elements of our packaging and supply chain delivery are of the highest possible standards,” Amazon said in the statement. “We’ve used the same tried-and-true processes implemented successfully with other gaming consoles.”
Phone calls and an e-mail to Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy’s public relations department outside office hours weren’t answered.
The PS4 is the centerpiece of Sony Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai’s strategy to turn around the Japanese electronics maker and film studio. Sony is competing for the attention of game players against Microsoft Corp., which is releasing the Xbox One on Nov. 22.
Sony priced its console at $399, or $100 less than the Microsoft machine.
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