Update 2: A Sony representative has suggested the issue of broken PS4s affects less than one per cent of owners. The methodology for the statistic was not disclosed, making it difficult to cross-examine and verify.
Meanwhile, games site Kotaku was able to fix its broken PS4 after discovering a slight malfunction with the HDMI port.
Update 1: Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida says the company is looking into reports of PS4 hardware issues.
"Be assured we are investigating reported PS4 issues," he said on Twitter. "The number is very small compared to shipped, we believe they are isolated incidents."
Be assured we are investigating reported PS4 issues. The number is very small compared to shipped, we believe they are isolated incidents.— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) November 14, 2013
Original story: A number of early PS4 owners are reporting various display problems with their console.
At least four claims of broken consoles have been posted online, two from games websites and two competition winners. These represent a small, but not negligible, percentage of systems already available ahead of launch.
Hardware issues are common and expected with new games systems, due to the unavoidable inefficiencies of new production yields.
The first issue was reported by Kotaku editor Stephen Totilo, who claims: "The first retail PS4 we got from Sony didn't work".
"In the past week, my Kotaku colleagues and I have used one pre-release PS4 and three retail PS4s with no problems. I've also heard from fellow gaming reporters who've used their PS4s with no problems.
"But the first retail unit that Sony provided me failed to work when I plugged it into a TV in Kotaku's office. A colleague and I were able to compare it to a second PS4 that did work and we found that the issue was rather simple: the bad unit had a faulty HDMI jack that we couldn't fully plug an HDMI cable into.
"It couldn't make a solid connection and therefore, apparently, couldn't transmit a stable signal to our TV. We tried different cables and monitors. The issue was with the console. Again, to be clear, the other four units we've tested first-hand have worked fine."
The second claim came from Reddit user Arogon, who was the winner of an early PS4 through a competition run by Sony and Taco Bell. "When I turn on my console it just sits there pulsing blue," Arogon explained.
"As far as I can tell it is supposed to turn white but it isn't doing that. There is no signal on my TV either."
Games site IGN later reported that it had suffered a similar issue with one of its retail PS4 consoles.
"IGN experienced the same issue, but it happened after the console was already working", it wrote.
"It may not have contributed to the issue, but ours stopped working the morning after we updated to version 1.50. Furthermore, IGN tried a wide variety of methods to correct the issue: new HDMI cables, new inputs, new TV, putting a disc into the system, connecting it to and from the Internet, and, of course, holding down the power button during boot-up for seven seconds to try to reset things. Nothing worked. Oddly enough, we tried adding light pressure to the top of console and it briefly flickered a few active home menu images on the television."
There is not a clear indication, for now, that the first waves of PS4s will have as high a failure rate as the pre-launch versions. Kotaku notes that every other retail system it has tried has worked, and another Reddit user who won a PS4 reports that, after a few login issues, the console is operating as desired.
CVG has contacted Sony for comment.