TOKYO (03/09/2000) - Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) today denied reports, spreading fast across the Internet, that the company has issued a recall of memory cards for its recently launched PlayStation 2 console.
Nevertheless, the company admitted to having received complaints from customers regarding the memory cards and issues with DVD Video playback.
He said the company was still compiling data regarding complaints and was not in a position to tell whether the source of problems was an issue with the hardware itself or incorrect operation by the user.
News of problems with the console began appearing Wednesday on various computer gaming Web sites and have fallen into three main areas: complaints that the unit overheats; complaints of occasional sound skipping on DVD Video playback; and the loss of the DVD Video driver software from the memory card when Ridge Racer V is played. Later in the day several sites began reporting an "official recall" of memory cards although the spokesman denied any such step has been taken.
"We have not issued an official recall. There is no recall going on right now," he said. "We've had various complaints concerning DVD Video and Ridge Racer V but it hasn't been extremely overwhelming."
The memory cards for the PlayStation 2 contain both Flash memory and a memory controller which also controls the MagicGate encryption system. The memory chips are supplied by Toshiba Corp., the controller is made by a Sony Corp. subsidiary company and the whole package is assembled at Sony Kisarazu Corp. in Chiba near Tokyo.
A lack of memory cards has been blamed by SCEI for its inability to meet all original demand for the PlayStation 2 when it launched on Saturday. The company shipped 720,000 units over the weekend although it had orders for an additional 260,000 consoles. [See "Memory Card Shortage Hits PS2 Shipments," March 6]. A spokesman for Toshiba said the company had no problem supplying the memory chips for use in the cards and the problem must lie somewhere else.
A spokesman for Sony Corp., the parent company to SCEI, refused to disclose where the memory controllers were being manufactured and comment on the current state of production. A similar response was also received when the Kisarazu assembly factory was contacted directly.
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.scei.co.jp/.