Amazon suppresses PS4 sales; DOA systems may be at fault
Launch-day sales issues are a familiar beast for gamers when a new console touches ground, but Sony’s Playstation 4 has gathered a particularly bad cloud of press on Amazon.com. With almost 40% one-star user-submitted reviews at the time of this article’s writing, the dominant problem is obvious: dead-on-arrival systems that flash a new “Blue Light of Death.” So many low reviews and complaints have come in that Sony has requested that Amazon cease selling the unit until the problem is addressed.
According to a NeoGAF thread, Amazon Customer Support reports that Sony has halted production on the system until they can address the issues arising with the sold units. Amazon sellers who log in and attempt to sell a PS4 are confronted with a message that “the ability to create a listing for this item has been restricted.” So much for all those folks hoping to jump in and sell their couple extra systems for a quick buck on the website. Many people are still selling their systems on EBay, though likely not for the premium price they hoped for; yesterday units were selling for $600 or over a piece; now many auctions are ending the $450-$500 range.
Even with this said, many users have gotten online and are using their PS4s successfully (members of the GotGame staff included). Remember that there are 420 5-star reviews on Amazon right now for the base system, and generally pissed-off users are more likely to get up and leave reviews than people too busy playing their systems. Commentors on the NeoGAF thread seem to be pointing to poor shipping containers and packaging as the source of many unusable units; we’ll have to wait to hear officially from Sony and other sources about just how many estimated users are dealing with faulty hardware and what the strategy to address those problems will be.
One question remains: with the XBox One launch around the corner, will these reported failures impact the sales of Microsoft’s next-gen console? Leave your theories in the comments.