Blu-ray player owners know how important it is to keep up with the latest firmware updates so that their players can handle all the new bells and whistles on the latest discs. Now comes this alarming warning: PlayStation 3 owners—especially those with the older 60GB models—should think twice before they open up and swallow Sony’s latest 3.0 and 3.01 updates. An increasing number of users are reporting that the updates disable the Blu-ray player, rendering the PS3 useless for playing Blu-rays or games on disc. The problem seems to be the update that intended to decrease disc read times by speeding up the motor is causing an increased power draw that’s making the older chips overheat (newer models already use less power so it isn’t as much of an issue, but owners beware).
Users have set up a website [http://www.ps3circleofdeath.com] about the problem. Others have signed petitions and complained to the Better Business Bureau. What does Sony have to say about the firmware update from hell? Patrick Seybold, SCEA senior director of corporate communications and social media, posted on a PS3 Web site blog that the company was aware of "isolated issues" with the 3.0 firmware update. "Rest assured that we are looking into the matter and will provide an update here as soon as possible," wrote Seybold. "We apologize for any inconvenience, as it’s our mission to deliver the best consumer experience on all PlayStation platforms."
Until Sony figures out what went wrong and posts an update, Blu-ray Bob recommends that you stay far away from the latest PS3 firmware update if you have an older model—unless you harbor a secret desire to turn your home entertainment console into a really expensive, shiny brick.