PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X Launches Marred by Coil Whine, System Crashes, and Other Issues

Image: Sony

An increasing amount of gamers who picked up a PlayStation 5 and/or Xbox Series X on launch week have discovered that it doesn’t always pay to be an early adopter.

Numerous reports of hardware and software issues have been making their way around social media, suggesting that Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen consoles might be impacted by faulty components, system crashes, and other oddities.

Some of the first videos we saw revealed Xbox Series X consoles with defective drives. It appears that some lemons are unable to accept discs due to a defective slot-loading mechanism, while others sound like a grinder during operation.

More concerning are reports about Xbox Series X consoles going up in smoke. While the majority of these cases turned out to be gags involving vape pens, there seems to be some legitimate accounts of systems sizzling and overheating.

“Spoke to MS, got a replacement sorted,” wrote one user on r/xbox, who complained about their Xbox Series X “melting” and emitting smoke out of the top vent. “It didn’t power up lol, whatever caused the sizzling noise has completely knackered it internally. Hopefully I will receive my new one soon.”

The PlayStation camp has also reported on numerous issues affecting Sony’s next-gen consoles, many of which, unlike Microsoft, appear to be strictly software related.

The first of these involves Marvel’s Spider-Man. According to Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gerstmann, the PS5 will crash if the user puts the system into rest mode while that game is running.

As Gerstmann and others have hinted, the issue seems to stem from external storage. PlayStation 5 users have also found that booting PS4 games off of an external HDD may result in a corrupted database, which the system then tries to rebuild.

“The database is corrupted, it will now rebuild,” the error message reads. One user on r/PS5 claims this can be fixed by updating the system and then rebooting the console. “Don’t use rest mode,” he and others warned.

Next is some sort of download queue bug. As reported by IGN, queuing games or apps for download may lead to an error state that can only be fixed by factory resetting the console.

“[…] your game is stuck in limbo – it won’t download, and it can’t be cancelled and redownloaded,” IGN wrote. “In all cases among IGN staff, the PS5 library will show that you own the game/app, but checking the PS5 Store will say that you don’t, asking you to purchase it.”

At least one hardware issue might be brewing for the PlayStation 5, however. Some users say that they can hear an obvious coil whine and/or buzzing coming from their consoles, which is disappointing based on earlier claims of how quiet Sony’s system is supposed to be.

“[…] I start up God of War, and I hear an uptick in the pitch and sound level,” a user on ResetEra explained. “Still not bad but a slight difference. So I decide to give it an actual PS5 game to test, which was Astro’s Playroom.”

“As soon as I got to the part where you swipe the touchpad to shoot Astro out, the system buzzing got loud. I could hear a constant ‘bzzzzzzzzzzz’ coming from the PS5. It sounded just like Pro coil whine, only louder.”

Other users on r/PS5 have echoed this problem, saying that their systems are definitely making a buzzing sound. We’re not sure what the solution to that is other than turning your speakers up, but Sony is probably hard at work on software updates for the other issues.

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