PS Vita’s Blue light of death needs firmware update fix asap

By Alan Ng - Feb 2, 2012

Before you get all worked up on how we may be overreacting, let us start by saying the PS Vita is a great bit of kit. Since we picked up our model from Hong Kong we have been delighted with what Sony has produced with the Vita overall, however we have discovered that there is one big problem that threatens to spoil Sony’s western launch plans.

The system is prone to a never-ending freeze issue. During our experience with the Vita, we can tell you that our system inexplicably shut down without warning and we were left with an unresponsive device and a blinking blue PS Home light in the bottom left hand corner of our unit.

Our first thoughts was – ‘how on earth do you reset this thing then?’, until we discovered that there wasn’t an easy solution available straight away which would solve the problem. The good news, is that the problem can be solved – but only by holding the power button down for around 30 seconds (no kidding) until the system shuts off and then a further hold of the power button brought the system back to life as normal.

It turns out that we were not the only ones who have experienced this blinking blue light (of death?). After some very quick digging we found that others had run into the same problem too, as you can see in a thread over at GameFAQs here. The thread mentions the problem occurring with the WiFi Vita, but we can confirm that ours happened with the 3G model – so both are affected. We’ve even found a video up on YouTube which unfortunately tells of the exact story, only this poor chap waited until the whole battery drained instead.

We’re not sure if Sony are aware of this problem, but if not they ought to be. We’re guessing that a simple firmware update will be able to fix the problem and stop it occurring from EU and US models, but at the moment – our Vita remains on firmware version v1.52. If you have experienced this problem on your imported Vita or have any additional questions on the 3G model, be sure to leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

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  • LostLilJon

    I have that same problem with mine! I have to wait until the entire batter to drain out in order for it to work again. And if it goes to sleep mode the screen will stay black forever with the blue PS light on. From there I can’t do anything except for pressing the power button for 30 seconds since i pressed both PS and power buttons (which usually the screen will light up right away). After the 30 seconds, it goes straight to the Recovery Mode which I tried all the options (Restart, Rebuild, Restore, and Update, well except Format). But it does nothing but goes back to the Black Screen with the blue PS light on! PLS HELP ME!!!

  • Humbertorgr

    Damn it. Im hating sony lately. I’ve been having a problem with my ps3 and a blinking black-and-white-doted screen. And now this on the first day I’m using it. This is too much.

  • Eric

    Thank you so much, this just happened to my ps vita.
    I did a quick search and found this. I was about to return it back to the store, but now it’s back to life. 

  • Zosmatech

    had it on my first wifi after doing the update, but the light stood solid, couldn’t get it out. this was the first day I had it, game stop replaced it with no problem. got a new one and one day later got the flashing light, but reset with no problem with the mentioned fix. after looking around seems a lot of people have this problem with the unit 13 demo. I too had just installed the unit 13 demo,, sound died on the unit while playing it.. reboot unit 13 came up.. started playing and the phone rang and I put the vita in sleep mode. went back and it wouldn’t come up. , but like I said the above steps fixed it.

  • Everything that people are describing as the blue light of death sounds like the built in power saver sleep feature…. Go to your settings and change the setting to go for a longer time.  If it is just the sleep feature simply press the ps button twice and then pull the screen down.  

  • Dragonflamer89

    Mine just had the blue death and I was gonna let the battery die but thank God I found UT site thank u

  • You guys should probably stop being dip shits and giving this guy crap for the “blue light of death” since its being referred to as that basically everywhere. Thanks for the info man!

  • alex merino

    actually i think all it needs is to charge

  • alex merino

    my also has this problem and it wont turn on
    plz help

  • ReturnOfXero

    got the 3G version. FW 1.61 got this crap problem as well. but the problem when i put it in recovery mode nothing in the options work! nothing! not restore. not restart. not rebuild. and the update only goes to the point of downloading the FW again but back to square one after that

    • John

       Did you ever solve it?

    • LostLilJon

       I have that exact problem! Did you ever solved it? If you did please help!

  • Mr Glennchapman88

    Thx dude! I was suppose to show it off today to my xbox friends. They were looking for a reason to down playstation yet again. So you saved my ass man. Now we are at the store buying them one. THXagain!

  • Edgar

    Hi Im from Mexico City , thank you for your advise, a few minutes ago my ps vita did this blinking, I was just about to return to my stroe to make a dev, but Ill be more carefully and search the web like this, thnaks again.

    • NgTurbo

      You’re welcome Edgar

  • mine just did it and its 1.61 too. the power button only took me about 15 seconds, still an issue that needs fixing. i was trying to delete the unit 13 demo and it tried to go into standby while it was uninstalling. got a little scared but went straight to google

    • NgTurbo

      Glad to hear your Vita came back to life, it’s not a nice few minutes is it! 

  • ThreeWayKiller

    i did a firmware update to v1.61 and then my psvita became non reaponsive, all i get is a solid blue light not a blinking one i have tried booting it in system restore  but noting and holding the power button doesn’t do a thing. any one els have this problem wit the update?

    • NgTurbo

       Are you sure you are holding the power button down long enough? Sony has added a recovery menu now which you should see after holding the button down. The first PS Vita models didn’t have this, so Sony are obviously aware of this problem now.

    • John

       Did you solve it?

  • Brylewicz

    this type of journalism is a joke! blue light of death (what death!!) this is a typical system freeze.   i’ve had vita since launch date december, and this  SYSTEM FREEZE, NOT DEATH! happened to me too, only once in the two months that i’ve had it. My android phone gets system freeze roughly around once every two weeks ands needs battery taken out to reset.

    • Anonymous

      Typical system freeze still needs a firmware update, hopefully it will come on Wednesday.

  • Marleyzack

    Same thing happened to me, first i almost freaked cz i bought my vita jan1 this year and there was no known fix at that time, so i just figured it out myself. But the thing is that Sony must address this problem if they want to have a successful launch this month of february. -edwardkeira

  •  But if it doesn’t kill the system calling it death is over reacting. Unless you are just being cheeky.
    This scared me when I first read it, shame on you!

  • andrew1953

    I remember a similar sort of thing happening with the 3GS when it came out but it turned out to be a beat up.

  • Blue light of death my ass. You’re blowing this out of proportion just to get hits. It’s just a system freeze, happens to many devices even on smartphones.
    This is why they say game journalism is a joke.

  • Anonymous

    Why on earth would we think you are overreacting? Red light of death on xbox 360 and yellow light of death on the ps3 basically bricked the system. You call this blue light of death to bring people on to your website and boost your hit count.
    Is it good? nope of course not. Does it brick your system? nope apparently not. Thing is blue light of need to hold a button for 30 seconds just isn’t as catchy is it.

    • Guest

      Blue light of comatose

      • Anonymous

        If anything, chemically induced comatose than can be chemically broken…It’s a system freeze, not bricking, lol.