Update: Sony claims that it has fixed an issue that was allowing players to send messages that would crash other players’ consoles. According to the UK PlayStation Support Twitter account (via Eurogamer), the messages weren’t “bricking consoles, just sending them into a crash loop that can be quickly fixed in under five minutes.”
If you were affected by one of these messages, download the PlayStation mobile app, go into Safe Mode, use Option 5, and you’re console should be back to normal.
It’s still unclear exactly how Sony fixed the issue, and the company has yet to release a statement on what in the messages was causing players’ consoles to crash.
Original Story: Several PlayStation 4 users have reported receiving messages that are bricking their consoles, and Sony is still trying to figure out how to stop it.
One of the earlier reports came from a Rainbow Six Siege player on Reddit, who claimed that a player on the opposing team used a dummy account to send a message that crashed their entire team except for the one player who had their messages set to private. The message bricked their consoles and forced those affected to factory reset their PS4s. The Reddit post even included an image of the message accessed through the PlayStation App.
The weirdest part is that you don’t even need to open the message for it to affect your console. Simply receiving the message seems to trigger a crash. The message reportedly triggers a mistake in the code that forces a crash.
This might sound like some sort of hoax, but it’s real. Sony has confirmed that it’s “aware of the situation and [is] planning a system software update to resolve this problem,” according to a statement sent to VG 24/7.
The best thing you can do in the meantime is set your messages to private so only your friends can message or else turn them off entirely. You’ll find this under your privacy settings on your console.
Obviously, this exploit isn’t Rainbow Six Siege‘s fault, but it is kind of funny that this is where the malicious message was first reported. Last year, a bug in a Siege update was accidentally bricking PS4s, an issue that was thankfully resolved.