PS Vita sees early patch to iron out hardware, software bugs
Sony launched its latest portable gaming device the PS Vita in Japan last Saturday. Just two days later, early adopters were required to download an update to fix myriad hardware and software problems.
Engadget reported that customers took to Twitter not long after snatching up the handheld and complained about serious technical issues, including system crashes and dead touchscreens. One owner posted a video of his launch-day experience with the Vita on YouTube: a minute of him trying in vain to circumvent a system-freezing error message.
Sony Computer Entertainment Japan quickly attempted to nip the backlash in the bud. The official Vita Customer Support page was updated with new troubleshooting tips, claiming “simple procedures” might mitigate some of the documented problems.
Rough hardware launches have unfortunately become the norm in the competitive, multi-billion dollar gaming industry.
Following the launch of Sony’s PlayStation Portable handheld in 2004, many buyers experienced self-ejecting UMDs and busted buttons. One year later, Sony settled a class-action lawsuit related to a major hardware defect that plagued early models of its PlayStation 2 console.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 also suffered from pervasive hardware meltdown called the “Red Ring of Death.” GameStop-owned print publication Game Informer surveyed readers in 2009 and found that over 50 percent of those who owned Microsoft’s HD gaming system had experienced the problem. Another estimate placed the figure at a still-considerable 25 percent.
While the exact number of consumers affected by the Vita launch SNAFU is unknown, just over 321,000 units were purchased in its two-day opening. Japanese video game news blog Andriasang noted that despite the impressive figure, Sony’s handheld still fell 50,000 units shy of Nintendo’s 3DS debut. The site earlier reported that initial allocations for the device could top 700,000.
The PS Vita launches in the U.S. and Europe on February 22. (via Engadget)
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