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Watchdog's PS3 repairs stunt falls flat

'Fixed' consoles break weeks after repair; report points to "trapped gas" in hardware

The BBC's flagship consumer show Watchdog has highlighted failure rates for the PlayStation 3 and the so-called 'yellow light of death', although attempts to fix consoles on behalf of disgruntled consumers backfired.

Watchdog established a repair team outside Sony's UK HQ earlier this month, complete with branded van, and filmed 11 users getting their consoles repaired for free. During the show tonight, it admitted four of those consoles repaired by "experts" were no longer working.

Earlier today Sony issued a six page report to defending technical and warranty support for the PlayStation 3 console, ahead of the Watchdog broadcast. understands Sony declined to appear on the show due to concerns the tone of the programme would ridicule its defence and it would not receive fair treatment.

During the show, the report claimed the PlayStation 3 costs "£400" and with repair will total "£528" according to show presenter Anne Robinson, who also said "thousands upon thousands" had broken.

Also included in the segment was an x-ray of the PlayStation 3 showing "trapped gas", although no explanation of this was offered.

Sony's UK MD Ray Maguire said earlier today that of all the faults reported to Sony's customer complaints and warranty database, yellow light issues account for "less than one half of one per cent of units."

Sony's warranty for the PlayStation 3 is for one year since purchase, and repairs for any faults after that cost GBP 128.

Although the BBC report lacked credibility, Sony will be unhappy with any bad press in a month that has seen PlayStation 3 sales turn a corner following the release of a new model console and a lowering of the retail price.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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