Disclaimer: We Don’t Do Flame Bait At ZKG, and we only cover the PS3 so we are definitely not Xbox 360 fanboys. We are a news site and we report it even if it goes against our console of choice. Our first loyalty is to the people who own PS3’s and our readers. Thank you. -ZKG
So about six months ago we did an article called “Is Call Of Duty Causing Disc Read Error On The PS3” (read the comments you will see this does happen). Please read that article first so you will have a frame of reference for what I am about to say. The reason I wrote the original article is because it happened to me, I was playing Call Of Duty: World At War when all of the sudden my PS3 freaked out and froze. I had to do a hard restart and when it came back the game disc didn’t appear, I knew it was in there but it didn’t get recognized by the PS3. I tried everything to make it work as I talked about in the other article but nothing worked. While searching for fixes on the net, I came across what I thought was starting to look like a very disturbing trend. And that my friends is what brings us here.
Apparently Treyarch’s COD isn’t so good for your PS3.
So even though that original article was six months old we were still getting comments on it, people from all over the place saying that Call Of Duty, particularly “World At War” was giving them the same error. I had been thinking about doing an update on this and had inquired to both Infinity Ward and Treyarch for comment but at the time this article was written had not received a response. That was just preliminary though and I still wasn’t sure I was going to write it and then something strange happened. Through the course of working out an issue I was having I came in contact with someone that was intimately familiar with the issue, a former employee of Infinity Ward. They signed NDA’s and what not so I can not reveal their name. I had no idea that our conversation would lead where it did, but this is my recount of it.
I mentioned that I needed to review a game and that I should have had it done already and they inquired as to what I did. I told them that I ran my own site and gave them the url. They checked it out and said they liked it. One way or the other after they mentioned they used to work at Infinity Ward, I mentioned the disc read thing to them and they weren’t surprised at all, in fact they already knew about it. I suggested that since Infinity Ward and Treyarch use the same base code that the issue must be inherent to the all COD titles but I was told that this is not the case. Our major concern was that if that was true then this issue could affect the upcoming Modern Warfare 2 and we wanted to make sure that is not the case because from what we have seen it looks like GOTY material. They said that the issue was in fact specific to Treyarch’s version and that it had to do with how the code was compiled and executed. They said that the way that Treyarch’s code is executed and organized causes the disc to spin too fast in the PS3 thus blowing the Blu Ray lens and that is what causes all those disc read errors. According to the source Treyarch knows about this, though we can’t confirm that allegation. They said that the Infinity Ward code is done properly and thus doesn’t suffer from this issue, which I am pretty much inclined to believe since when we searched the net we found a few instances where people mentioned this happening with COD4, but the overwhelming majority of cases we came across were focused on World at War which is made by Treyarch (So we aren’t saying that this doesn’t happen with COD4 or Infinity Ward COD’s as well but nowhere near on the same scale or frequency according to the information we have gathered). So I asked them straight out, “are you saying that Call of Duty is causing disc read errors in the PS3?” and they said “Treyarch’s Call Of Duty, Yes”. At the sound of that revelation I have to admit I felt a little vindication because when I wrote the original article so many said we made it up, that it doesn’t happen so it was nice to know that our assumptions were true.
This seems to be yet another strike against Treyarch.
Now did we question their motivation being that they were a “former” employee of Infinity Ward and they might be trying to skew views about stuff yes, but after talking with them it was apparent that they were still very fond of Infinity Ward and that there didn’t seem to be any malice behind the insight they were providing, they seemed to be motivated to set the record straight. We talked about several other things that we may or may not write about in future articles, but there is one piece of unannounced info that was given to us that if proven to be true will validate their whole story.
They asked us if we had ever heard of the TV series, Firefly, a short run Fox series (only 14 episodes) that was set in the year 2517, after the arrival of humans in a new star system, and follows the adventures of the renegade crew of Serenity, a “Firefly-class” spaceship. The ensemble cast portrays the nine characters who live on Serenity. The show explored the lives of people who fought on the losing side of a civil war who now make a living on the outskirts of the society, as part of the pioneer culture that exists on the fringes of their star system. They said that we should be on the lookout because we would be hearing about a title from Infinity Ward very soon that is loosely based around the same premise as the show. If that proves to be true then by reading this article you just got a twofor, you found out the truth about the disc read error on the PS3 and about a new IP from Infinity Ward.
If further evidence is discovered that substantiates what you have just read in this article, I don’t know what it could mean legally for Treyarch. What are the ramifications if they knew their code could potentially cause this issue and didn’t disclose it or try and correct it? It may also be a bit of a boom for Sony, who could separate itself from the problem of the Blu-Ray lens failures to a degree. However, it still would be in Sony’s best interest to try and make it so that this can not happen, either by changing how the game interacts with the system or by tightening the quality control on developers. In any case a customer shouldn’t have to worry about what games they put in the system as long as its an approved disc. To be even more clear, Sony should have some kind of fail safe in place that monitors the disc speed (We would think that this could be done with an update) and if it breaks a predetermined threshold then it should automatically stop the disc and power down the PS3, the PS3 is an expensive piece of hardware that needs to be protected, not to mention it would go a long way in decreasing the overall number of PS3’s that fail thus increasing the reliability of their product. The bottom line is that a piece of software shouldn’t be able to break a piece of hardware this easily. Right now we aren’t sure why some PS3’s are affected and some are not, my first one had the issue but my second one didn’t, though I did play it a lot less after that.
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In the other article some people mentioned the possibility of a class action lawsuit and while before I thought that might be harder to achieve, now it might be easier than I thought. Sony would be good to replace free of charge the PS3 of anyone who has had this issue because if a game is causing a hardware failure that is absolutely NOT the fault of the consumer. The only problem there is how do you prove that the person actually had the issue, especially if it was someone like me who just went out and bought another console. As far as the cost goes, Sony shouldn’t care because the bill should be footed by Treyarch’s parent company Activision-Blizzard. Activision’s head guy blasted Sony for not lowering its price on the PS3 and having a console that was difficult and expensive to develop for and pondered not supporting the PS3 in the future, if Sony can substantiate this issue I would say that puts the leverage right back on Sony’s side in that ongoing battle.
The bottom line is what are these two huge companies going to do to make this right with the consumers that have been affected by this and we don’t think that doing nothing is an option. But that’s what we think, we want to know what you think?