You’re Playing It Wrong
Problems with your new hardware? Here’s a list of common fixes to earlyadopter teething troubles
Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have both hit the marketplace with a bang – in rare cases literally, since .01 per cent of units sold have reportedly exploded for no clear reason upon being powered on for the first time, spraying deadly shrapnel through the dens of innocent gamers. We still don’t know whether this small but statistically significant number of ‘suicide consoles’, as players have dubbed the machines in fearful whispers, stems from severe manufacturing errors or a ploy to introduce a Russian Roulette-style element of excitement to purchasing a new gaming machine. But one thing is certain: as is always the case with new technology, early adopters are serving as guinea pigs for a range of design flaws that more patient consumers will never have to face.
As a public service, we’ve compiled a list of solutions for the most commonly reported new console woes of this generation. Sure, you could easily look them up on the Internet via either console’s web browser. But one good thing about a magazine is that there’s virtually no chance it will blow up in your face – just in case it does, we refer you to the indemnity waiver on p137 of your subscription contract, which protects Edge against any liability in the event of spontaneous combustion. Not, of course, that you would still be able read it.
Problem: “My console’s disc drive makes a shrieking sound.” Solution: There are three reasons why this problem could occur. First, there might have been a simple mechanical error, in which case you should try and fail to repair the optical drive yourself, thereby voiding the warranty, and then shell out for a new machine. Second, your disc drive might be inhabited by vengeful sirens, in which case you should plug your ears with noise-cancelling headphones and lash yourself to your X-Rocker gaming chair, lest their song lure you to the nearest watery grave – which will quite probably be a toilet. Third, your console is about to explode, in which case you should make peace with your gods in the moments left to you.
Problem: “My console won’t install important updates.” Solution: If you’re certain your Internet connection is working, you may need to cycle your console by holding the power button for five seconds, simultaneously rubbing your belly and patting your head for 11 seconds, reciting US capitals in alphabetical order for 17.3 seconds, and then unplugging the system for 30 seconds. This occult ritual gives the magical maintenance gnomes who live in your console time to take a smoke break, which their trade union requires, as they watch your exertions through the grilles for their cruel entertainment. If this doesn’t work, it’s possible that you live in a mud hut and have tried to plug your console into a goat’s arse.
Problem: “Help! My PS4 won’t stop running mediocre platforming software.” Solution: Remove Knack from your disc drive, destroy it with a meat tenderiser, and then restart your console with a better game in it.
Problem: “OMFG, A BLUE OR RED RING OR LINE IS TOTALLY BLINKING!” Solution: OMFG! You are totally right to panic if a light of any shape or colour blinks, because even though blinking lights are instantly fatal to videogame hardware, console designers perversely insist on using them. At this point, many troubleshooting guides offer lame suggestions along the lines of “turn off your console for ten seconds”, like a doctor advising someone with a sucking chest wound to take an aspirin. Or they’ll advise you to pamper your hot-blooded console by placing it on a pedestal sculpted from Gläce Luxury Ice and blasting it with axial fans. But there’s only one sure way to save your console from this scourge: pry off, shatter or otherwise disable any light that looks like it’s even thinking about blinking as soon as you take your new console out of the box. Easy peasy. It’s really dumb that no one has thought of this yet.
Problem: “My console cost a king’s ransom, and now it keeps making my smartphone tweet at my refrigerator, and I’m pretty sure it’s reporting my every move to shadowy government surveillance agencies.” Solution: Disable Kinect, rendering your console useless, and dust off your ZX Spectrum, which won’t run Halo 5, but also won’t turn your den into an Orwellian police state.
Problem: “There’s smoke seeping out of my console.” Solution: Contrary to what you might reasonably guess, this doesn’t mean your console is about to explode. Excessive amounts of smoke coming from your console is a sure sign that the magical gnomes inside it have gone on strike because of your failure to cycle, and have begun to smoke furiously in protest. Your best bet is to murder the gnomes by submerging your console in the bathtub, though if the hardware survives, you will of course no longer be able to update it.
Problem: “My console seems to be the death knell for a once-mighty company.” Solution: You have somehow purchased a Wii U, even though Nintendo went to such great lengths to conceal its existence and function. Use it as a paperweight and buy another console immediately.
Pry off, shatter or otherwise disable any light that looks like it’s even thinking about blinking