The myth of the Sony 'kill switch'

"For nearly 20 years Sony in Japan has been plagued by the myth of the "Sony Timer" – but is there really a kill-switch that destroys your device just after its warranty runs out? Many Japanese genuinely believe that there is."

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Pennywise4200d ago

Kind of like the 360's kill switch... The "ON" button.

Hellsvacancy4200d ago

lol, sorry, i should change it 2 caps - LOL

LiViNgLeGaCY4200d ago

Ya know, usually I'm against fanboy like comments such as that. But that really made me laugh out loud.

Obama4200d ago

It's funny because it's true.

AngryTypingGuy4199d ago

You know what else is funny cuz it's true? The Democrats are going to get their asses handed to them when the mid term elections come around.

I can honestly say that I've never heard this rumor before, and the Bravia HDTV thing is one hell of a coincidence.

Bodyboarder_VGamer4199d ago (Edited 4199d ago )


damn clever!

Shane Kim4199d ago

LOL that was brilliant Penny :D

Wrathman4199d ago

i think there is some truth in this.but not just with sony.

my friends samsung tv.3 yr warranty.1 month after that ran out..BANG
my xbox..originally 12 months warranty..13months in...BANG.
my friends ps3.2 years old..but had extended warranry.BANG BUT extends warrranty by 90 days..that runs out..BANG.

but its no coincidence that manufacturers put x-length of warranty on them.and when they run out the product is set to fail anytime after that.they test them and based on their tests they set the warranty.surely.

i mean if you get a warranty with a candle..the maker of the candle would have timed how long it takes the candle to completely burn out.candle takes 9 hours to burn they give 8 hour warranty.bad example but im sure you guys get the message.

it aint just sony.its panasonic,toshiba,acer,lg,epso n,fujitsu,nokia etc etc.

dredgewalker4199d ago

Damn i have just gone through fanboy rehab but that was funny. Still i don't believe there is such a thing and if there was wouldn't someone already have found out about it considering how many modders and hackers out there wanting to have a crack at a big corporation.

4point7BillionLoss4199d ago

Sony on the other hand build their hardware to fail the day after warranty expires ...

Stupid droids .... failing their teeth since ...well since forever ...

AnotherGamerUser4199d ago

On my crapbox this morning. Its already boiling hot after just 5 minutes of use and that's not even playing a game... You can't connect to xbox live and retrieve data. The system is a joke! Good thing I ordered that wii!

FFXI1014199d ago

Right, you think that's called "Manned Up" I think that's because they have no choice, they don't wanna get sued by millions of their consumers.

Back to the topic, a myth is just a myth. If that was true like dredgewalker said, someone would already found out consider how long SONY's been in the business. Besides, I'll take myth over 360's guaranteed death/RROD.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 4199d ago
NeutralGamer4200d ago (Edited 4200d ago )

Looks like noone gonna approve this one :(
Apparently I offended alot PS3 users (got alot of reports on it)
Just saw it at Engadget and thought it could be interesting, since alot us own sony devices (I own 4 sony gaming devices: Ps2,PS, PSP Go, PSX and a Sony TV) :I

The reports claim I took a PS3 picture to offend, but I didnt!
I just took the picture from the article and

EDIT: Anyway changed categories and picture to please fanboys... Hope I did'nt offend anyone and that it can be approved now...

And to all the reports: I mean come on? Reporting "fake" on this one? Its actually a good and interesting article.

randomwiz4200d ago (Edited 4200d ago )

"It was the recall of more than 4.1 million Dell laptops containing faulty Sony batteries in 2006 that jump-started a rumour "

Did you know Toyota recalled millions of vehicles because the accelerator could get stuck? I guess that had a kill switch too.

Megaton4200d ago (Edited 4200d ago )

I used to think that about the PS2 phat back when mine broke. It stopped reading discs exactly one year to the day after purchase, and at least 20 other people I knew with original PS2's had theirs end up the same way, all around the one year mark.

That was one of the reasons why I waited 2 years to get a PS3, which also broke 3 days shy of the one year mark due to YLOD.

/tin foil hat

S M N4200d ago

mine broke just a week after the warranty expired even though i didn't turn it on ever

Saaking4200d ago (Edited 4200d ago )

lol, this is just a myth. If it were true, someone would have already found out and sued Sony for all they're worth.

004200d ago

they have some kind of alien technology that is vastly superior to are own, testing it out, waiting to take over the world, when your devices strangle you in your sleep don't say I didn't warn you.

MAR-TYR-DOM4200d ago

This is possibly one of the dumbest things i've ever heard, a company wouldn't be that cold hearted to do something so evil like that.

Anyways, my 60gb ps3 broke 1 1/2 years after i bought it, repair cost was 170$ CAD but i wrote a genuine letter to sony and got mine fixed for free.
If you guys have broken ps3 just write a letter, saying you've supported the sony brand your whole life, you have ps1 - ps3, sony walkman, and tv's. Thats what i did and i got mine fixed for free. Its worth a try guys, you have nothing to lose.

Elven64200d ago

lol, it even has a Wiki entry.

It would be pretty hard to hide a "kill switch" especially in this day and age where people would hack just about anything, including you watch! Funny Urban Legend, but I think that is all.

Traveler4200d ago

My Playstation 2 died around a year after I got it, but I don't put any stock into the idea that Sony builds them to break after a certain amount of time. Some of my friends had their PS2s die on them after 2 years, some after 3 years, and so on, but some also never had them die at all, so there is obviously no timer. I think certain components just give out after awhile.

Eddie201014200d ago (Edited 4200d ago )

I have been gaming for more than 20 years and I have heard no such bull as the Japanese thinking there is a kill switch in the Playstation consoles. Playstation consoles haven't even been around for 20 years.

As for the battery problem, there have been many recalls by many companies and I doubt the Sony battery recall was the biggest recall ever. Sony makes many products so a recall was sure to happen eventually and it was only a small blip in strong reliability Sony product normally have.

I have owned all of the the Playstation consoles from PS1 to PSP and only Problem I had was with the PS1 and that was within a month of buying it. I have known many people who have owned and still own Playstation consoles and i can honestly say that none of them have ever mentioned having problems with there consoles.

If there was really a kill switch problem going on and the Japanese really thought there was, would it have really taken twenty years for someone to right an article telling everyone this.

Come on people, everyone has to know this is bull sheitt.

RememberThe3574200d ago

They can already see how it is affecting their image. Why would they risk the PR problems and slump in hardware sales. It would defeat the purpose.

My father had his Sony big screen tv for 10 years. When the tubes when out he just upgraded to another Sony big screen. I've been around Sony products all my life and the only problem that I can remember was a problem with my outputs on my PS2. Sent it to them and had it back in a week. It coast something like 20 buck to fix.

poindat4200d ago (Edited 4200d ago )

My launch PS2 is still running like the day I bought it, as is my launch 60GB PS3 and 2 Sony televisions.

All is well in Sony land, for me at least.

A kill switch though? Just the thought of somebody believing that makes me laugh.

presto7174200d ago

Preposterous propaganda.

LukaX234200d ago

Ya, there are also programs that track what you purchased which extend the lifetime of your Sony product. Depending on how expensive it is and how profitable is to Sony, the software automatically extends the lifetime of the product. /extreme sarcasm

Guys, come on... >.>

SaberEdge4200d ago

I had a Sony upconverting DVD player that died after only 7 months, but I also have a Sony Trinitron direct view HDTV that has been going strong for about 5 years. It just depends on the product. I would classify this in the urban myth category.

FACTUAL evidence4200d ago

since 2002. Sh!7 stills work...but dying because of dust. Only problem i had was around 09'. Dust is killing mah baby slowly...

badz1494200d ago

media is trying to smack sony with a myth now? seriously, how low can this go?? I had my 60GB YLoD after 26 month of use! so...this article is trying to tell me that's a 'kill switch' activated kinda thing? and then I fixed it myself for free and that means I've reset the so called 'kill switch'? like....REALLY? dumb article is DUMB!

FarEastOrient4200d ago

Well that's interesting, my PS2 is still running after 9 years of game playing...

Bloodraid4199d ago

Why would people even suspect Sony of doing this?

They lose money on each PS3 they sell, why would they want one person to buy multiples of them? It's a stupid 'legend' and anyone who believes it's true is a fool.

wicked4199d ago (Edited 4199d ago )

@1.16 - Yes, but if you pay to get it repaired then it's still same PS3 but Sony has made another £125 out of you to get it repaired!

WeaseL4199d ago

I think MS have a defective kill switch in the 360 made by the IE team.

beardpapa4199d ago (Edited 4199d ago )

you guys need to read plan obsolescense or maybe you already know about it if your professor mentioned it in your business classes.

practically every company does something like this, but I wouldn't call it a "kill switch." That just sounds so effing corny.

Wrathman4199d ago

the question it lucky to have any product that lasts forever?

any component in any product has ware and tear.and those components are tested for durability.and manufacturers know how long their product lasts for.thus the length of the warranty.if a company guarentees a product for 1 year,shud you get nervous after 1 year?i think so.

kill switch no..but the warranty shud be an indication of how durable the product is.

AAACE54199d ago (Edited 4199d ago )

I was going to say there was probably one for Daewoo products. This guy I knew went through 3 VCR's (I know, sounds funny now don't it) because they kept dying after the 6 month warranty period.

Now that I think of it, that could be why I went through so many Ps2's in the past! They always seemed to last a little over a year for me. I had 5 of the fat ones and then a slim. The slim lasted the longest though.

@The Band1t... You must be one of the lucky ones man! Mostly everyone I know has went through at least 2.

bnaked4199d ago

lol, what a bullshit..

Every device has a failure rate of ~3%.

And sometimes they have a problem like the RRoD.


Mr Pumblechook4199d ago

What a irresponsible and fanboy based article from an established newspaper.

To say it is a myth and then spread the rumour does not cover them legaly. Nor do they mention the fact that such a 'kill switch' is rumoured to exist for all manufacturers and not just one. And if they are talking about consoles that break down but don't adequately discuss the RROD difficulties of the 360, then the entire article is basically a disguised fanboy rant.

lightningsax4199d ago (Edited 4199d ago )

Sony is - pardon the cliche - big in Japan. Like any big part of culture, a small story will carry very well throughout the country and wind up as this "urban legend." There will always be that distrusting section of people for just about anything.

So yeah, I believe that some people in Japan think there's a "kill switch," because a company as rampantly Japanese as Sony will get some myths about it in its home nation. Also, there's a bunch of in-country competition in the electronics business there. Someone's going to get disgruntled at some Sony plant, move to another company, and start something.

I'm just glad this wasn't a Firmware 3.1 article. I'm done with that stuff.

HammockGames4199d ago

... I would think that companies offering extended warranties would have a vested interest in knowing about this if it were really a problem (regardless of what manufacturer we're talking about).

execution174199d ago

my launch 60gb died at 26 months, and my launch PS2 died around the 7 year mark, and my PS1 if i still had it probably would of still been alive and kicking

Whitefox7894199d ago

Well I guess my 60 gb PS3 is exempted from this myth because its nearly 3 years old and works fine.

Persistantthug4199d ago

In order I've had/owned:
Atari 2600 (Older Brothers), NES (Older brothers), Sega Genesis, Compaq Laptop (Older Brother), Playstation 1, N64, Compaq desktop computer, Dreamcast, Computer (built myself), PS3 (Jan 1 2009 buy).

I currently have all those systems, have only ever bought 1 of each, and they all still run to this day, including the ones my older brother handed down to me.

How is every one so unlucky to have to go through 3-5 of the same systems?

Having stuff break on me all the time is just something I can never get used to.

mastiffchild4199d ago

Not one of these, FFS. If I've heard this about one company I've heard it mooted about 100. Phillips were supposed to do this, Zanussi and Electrolux were meant to with washing machines, Ford, Alfa and Fiat with cars!The list would fill five sheets of A1(with REALLY little writing), seriously.

Anyway, this isn't true as I've had tons of Sony electrics going back decades and , while a couple have broken dopwn as you'd expect only one thing that I recall broke anywhere near just after the warranty ran out and because that was so near(it was a really dear cassette Walman in the early nineties)Sony actually just replaced it for free anyhow. Honestly, I've got two great big Sony FST TVs in the garage and they still work fine and I got them in the late eighties!I've two PS1s that work, a Phat PS2 and Slim PS2 that still run fine and a ton of other stuff from dictaphones to (gulp) bloody minidic players and odd things like that-and it all still works today.

This is just a myth like the one where the motor industry can run cars on water but because they wouldn't make such a proffit the fuel companies have got into bed with them to stop revealing it and cuts them a share! Or the one where the motor industry can make a sealed unit engine that's 99% breakdown proof with about a tenth of the usual moving parts-but, again, it wouldn't profit them as much so they say nopthing! It's all BS created by some unlucky guy or jealous rival that can't understand that things break at crappy times sometimes or that companies are in good positions through making good products.

If there was ANY truth to this Sony would have been massively hauled over the coals a long, long time ago. there are agencies that test how long things last and how hard you have to push or work them before they break FFS! IIRC it's a part of Trading Sandards here in the UK(the ones that used to award a kitemark if a device passed their tests)and there's similar things the world over as governments don't allow their citizens to buy poor or dangerous goods or foreign competitors undercutting their own faxctories and companies by cuttng corners and quality. I doubt I've seen anything quite so silly in a long while-not even here on N4G.

WildArmed4199d ago

My ps3 and Ps1 havn't broke on me and I bought em on launch date.
(the ps3 has gotten YLOD though)

So it's just another conspiracy theory to me

edgeofblade4198d ago (Edited 4198d ago )

Oh, that's some bullshit and everyone should know it. I never pegged the Japanese to be a cynical culture....

And anyone who wants to talk about "planned obsolescence" should remember... we are in the video game industry. Obsolescence is built into the industry. It's called "next-generation".

@skv: If you would call getting the RROD on Xbox 360 a "break", then the YLOD is a break. You need to send it in when that happens, right?

+ Show (28) more repliesLast reply 4198d ago
NJShadow4200d ago

I bought my 60 gig (now 250 gig) PS3 used nearly 3 years ago, use it quite heavily and haven't had any problems at all. I think it all comes down to common sense and taking care of your electronics.

TheBand1t4200d ago

My 60 gig broke, but that is the exception rather then the rule.

(Oddly enough my PS2 and PS1 still work like the day I bought them, and I was a early adopter.)

WildArmed4199d ago

Psx and ps2 are pretty solid machines.
Both of them still work perfectly.
Thank yoouuu sony.
(though My 60gb has died on me once so far.. but i blame that on 48-hour non-stop gaming marathons that I used to hold with my GF.. o_o)