PS3s overheating and shutting down while playing LA Noire

PlayStation 3 consoles are overheating and shutting down while playing Rockstar's new LA Noire game, in an issue the developer initially blamed on Sony's own firmware update.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Sony and fans of its PlayStation just can't catch a break -- gamers are reporting that their PS3s are overheating and shutting down while playing the much-anticipated gumshoe-em up LA Noire, which goes on sale in the UK tomorrow.

It's not certain at the moment what's causing the issue, but game developer Rockstar (the same chaps behind last year's Red Dead Redemption and the excellent Grand Theft Auto franchise) posted on its support site that the issue seemed to be caused by a recent PS3 firmware update to version 3.61, and wasn't limited to its own game.

The post's been taken down now (a cached version is available), but read, "We have received some reports of PS3s overheating while playing LA Noire or beeping three times before shutting down/turning themselves off, mostly on older 60GB and 80GB fat models.

"Primary reports seem to be that updating to firmware 3.61 will cause PlayStations to overheat." There's no indication as to whether any permanent damage is caused.

The fact that Rockstar's taken the post down suggests that it may have changed its mind -- it's possible the problem lies on the developer's end. But if indeed the problem isn't limited to LA Noire, Sony would have released a firmware update that causes its own console to overheat.

Sony's denying that it's firmware update is to blame though -- speaking to Edge a spokesperson said, "As with the release of any system update, we will invariably see a very small number of users whose console has failed following updating their console, which is an unfortunate coincidence.

"Rockstar... have admitted that it is a fault with their latest title LA Noire and have offered a work around. It should also be noted that the issue with this title is not PS3 specific and is also affecting other consoles."

Rockstar is yet to issue another statement on the matter since the original post was removed, but we're dying to hear its take on the matter.

It's not known how widespread the problem is, but word of this issue could put a dent in first-day sales of the PS3 version of LA Noire tomorrow -- gamers who own both a PS3 and Xbox 360 could plump for the Xbox version, and many may wish to wait until the problem's been ironed out before risking their consoles overheating.

The issue follows weeks of hacking, data theft and PSN outages that will no doubt have left Sony's PR team gasping for breath.

What do you think? Would you hold off buying LA Noire because of this? Let us know in the comments, or on our Facebook page