PS4 gamers say messaging bug bricks consoles; Sony says it's a 'crash loop'

Players say it's forced them to factory-reset their consoles, but Sony says it has a better solution.

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Sean Keane
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A messaging bug is reportedly bricking PS4s.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Some Sony PlayStation 4 players are reporting they're getting messages that are bricking their consoles , forcing them to resort to factory reset.

Gamers set up several threads on the PS4 subreddit over the weekend outlining the glitch, which was linked to a specific string of characters -- like the text that once crashed people's iPhones.

Some reported that the messages caused their consoles to crash when opened, while others said the message notification popping up on the screen was enough to cause the problem.

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Sony acknowledged the issue Tuesday in an email to video game news blog VG24/7 and noted that it's working on a fix. 

"We are aware of the situation and are planning a system software update to resolve this problem," Sony told the site in an email.

@AskPS_UK, an official PlayStation account on Twitter, offered further clarity and a solution.

"We've since fixed the issue, and it wasn't bricking consoles, just sending them into a crash loop that can be quickly fixed in under 5 minutes," @AskPS_UK tweeted, before outlining a fix.

Those impacted can use the PS Messages app, which is available on iOS and Android, or the My PlayStation site to access and delete the message, then boot the console in safe mode and rebuild the database.

Sony  didn't immediately respond to a request for further comment.

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One player said team members got the malicious message while playing Rainbow Six: Siege.

"A player from the other team used a dummy account to send the message and crashed my entire team," Redditor Huntstark wrote in a post Saturday. "We all have had to factory reset."

People who've been hit by the glitch say that the message remains on the console and resets it each time they try to turn it on, so they've used a factory reset to wipe it. However, this also deletes all the games and saves on the console. The approach suggested by Ask PlayStation UK would prevent that.

As a precaution, PS4 gamers can set their messages to private by going to the console's Account Management menu, then Privacy Settings and Personal Info, where they can change their message settings to Friends Only or No One.

First published at on Oct. 15 at 6:47 a.m. PT.
Update on Oct. 16 at 5:25 a.m. PT: Adds Ask PlayStation UK tweet and solution.

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