Sony PS4 error shows complexity of game ecosystem

A number of news outlets, including IGN, Polygon and the Huffington Post discussed on 20 January on a frustrating PlayStation 4 error that deletes saved game data.

Reported on the European Playstation forum as far back as 4 December 2013, the error affects games like Battlefield and FIFA 14. User jpc76, who encountered the problem with FIFA 14, explains it succinctly in the thread, which runs to 394 posts: “It wouldn’t be so bad if it saved after each match but when you reload, it has gone back to before the match.”

The CE-34878-0 error indicates that an application has crashed. According to a support page on the US Playstation site, this can be fixed by the follow steps:

Step 1: Close the application, install the latest system software and game update, and restart the system.

Step 2: If the error occurs again, back up your saved data, and then go to [Settings] > [Initialization] and choose [Initialize PS4].

LordRoss, a community coordinator for the European Playstation forum, is a little more detailed. In a post offering a solution to the problem he says: “If you are experiencing this CE-34878-0 error code, please close the application and then install the latest system software and game patch.

If the error occurs again, initialise the PS4 system after back-up of the saved data and please also submit any crash reports after re-booting your console when the error occurs.”

CE-34878-0 is also the error code displayed when some PS4 users try to enter the Playroom and the Kill Zone. The European Playstation blog has a separate thread on Playroom entry with the latest complaint dated 12 January. SoyUK says the Playroom problem was fixed by reinitialising from safe mode as Sony suggests, but that the Kill Zone still does not work.

Electronic Arts, the makers of Battlefield, have themselves been targeted for what gamers say are bugs in Battlefield 4, and rolled out an update on January 13 to “address some stability and balancing issues…and more”.

The ecosystem of games and hardware is complex and it is hard to assign responsibility. As user Soilderblue (Paul, this is not a typo) asks on the Playstation blog: “Just who is responsible for it, the games publishers or Sony? All these games cannot be causing this problem (or can they?), or is it a problem with the latest firmware?”

Alvis187tsai also notes that many vendors are hard to contact, which exacerbates the problem. “There is no way to report it, I tried to call or chat online, however, it is impossible to get the help,” he (or she) says.

In the end however, what really matters is that gamers just want to play games on the PS4 without problems. “All I want to know like many others, is this fixable via a patch coming soon, or do I just have a faulty console?” SoyUK asks.