Sony Confirms Firmware Withdrawal After PS3 'Bricking'
The firmware is basically the software that runs the drives and such, tells it how to power up, what controllers are connected, what tv is hooked up, etc.
None of those things were apparently working after the update was downloaded. Sony quickly pulled the update and is inspecting it for any issues.
Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at JupiterResearch, called the firmware incident a black eye for Sony that will continue to raise quality-control questions until the company can come up with some answers about what and why it happened.
"No one wants to have their PS3 turned into a PS paperweight, which is apparently what happened to some users," Gartenberg said. "Sony was wise to immediately pull the update for general availability so no one else is affected by it. An official firmware upgrade put out by the company should never, ever damage the user's hardware."
It's not uncommon for firmware updates to go wonky, and apparently Sony's 2.4 PS3 update is no exception. The PlayStation forums are scattered with various reports of bricked PS3s—users report that upon booting their system, the SIXAXIS controller will not sync and the video signal is blank with no sound. Unfortunately, you can never tell how widespread these issues are when the sampling is just one messageboard. And I've updated my 60GB launch unit without issue. Suckers.
"I downloaded version 2.40 ... and I get a black screen forever," one customer wrote. The problem was first reported by the video game site Joystiq.
A Sony spokesman confirmed that the company pulled the firmware off its servers while it investigated the problem.
"In order to further assess the issue, we have temporarily taken the firmware offline for further testing," the spokesman said, though only a "limited number of consumers" experienced the problem.