Rockstar Claim Firmware 3.61 Causes PS3 Overheating

Rockstar has issued a blog post on their customer support website to let PlayStation 3 owners know that the latest firmware, version 3.61, is apparently causing “overheating” and “red light” issues.

“We have received some reports of PS3s overheating while playing L.A. Noire or beeping three times before shutting down/turning themselves off, mostly on older 60GB and 80GB fat models,” says the publisher.


“Primary reports seem to be that updating to firmware 3.61 will cause PlayStations to overheat.”

This isn’t limited to just Rockstar games, or indeed even L.A. Noire specifically.  “There have been various reports of this on a few different games now,” says the blog, “all reporting their PS3s turning off or ‘Red Lighting’ after having installed 3.61.”

“This can range from games randomly freezing to PS3s turning off anywhere between 30 mins use to 2 hours. We have confirmed locally that multiple games (Rockstar and non-Rockstar) overheat or freeze only when 3.61 is installed. ”

Rockstar say they recommend contact Sony directly to report any issues, but confirm that they are “continuing to test L.A. Noire on all firmware versions.”

Our version of the game, which was running on 3.61, didn’t crash at all in the few hours we’ve played it so far.

Update: looks like Rockstar might have jumped the gun a little – they’ve retracted (removed) the original post and replaced with it one that suggests Xbox 360 owners might be experiencing crashes too.

That said, a support operative in the comments does reiterate the publisher’s original sentiments.  “The issues of PS3s overheating appears to be due to the latest Sony firmware update,” it says. “We recommend contacting Sony if your console is shutting off during play.”

Our guess?  It’s the game itself, not the firmware.  We’ll see tomorrow when hopefully this is all cleared up.



  1. At some point this year Sony will have a good month. You watch.

    • hopefully November will be it (if not one of them)

    • Jan/Feb/March were pretty good… :-p

      • Agreed, they must be somewhat overshadowed by something.

  2. I can’t see how its 3.61, surely there was barely anything in that firmware? Could it not just be that Rockstar have created an incredibly power hunger game? =P

  3. Or maybe everyones PS3’s were off for 25 days and collected a lot of dust.

    • Hahaha.
      I find it hard to see what could cause this though.
      (Apart from your explanation, it could very well be it.)

    • mines turned gray

  4. Well I’ve been hammering Motorstorm Apocalypse on my launch day 60Gb for several days since 3.61 and not had any problems.

    • I’ve got mine hooked upto a projector and my room is a sauna at all times. I’ve got my PS3 as well ventilated as I can (on it’s own shelf next to a (high) window with a fan on it).
      This news article has really worried me, I’m running 60GB LAUNCH day model.
      Is there anything you guys would suggest I do to minimize the risk of mine dying on me? And should the worst happen is there any way I could get some kind of compensation from Sony?, or would I have to wait from a press release from them (in a week likely!) where they admit it’s happening before I could expect them to take any responsibility for my PS3?

      I’m looking for an answer other than the obvious “Don’t use your PS3”.

      • I hear that running the tube part of a vacuum cleaner over the vents is good for removing dust, which could lead to overheating.
        I’m used to people complaining the new firmware update has bricked their PS3’s, but not from major companies such as Rockstar. Perhaps there is some weight to the issue this time? Personally I’ve not had any problems, but I am running a new slim PS3, and they’re saying older models are the problem. In any case, I hope it gets sorted, or debunked, either or.

      • Just keep your sessions a bit shorter until the dust settles on this, I would have thought R* would have researched it before making the claim, so there probably is something in it, especially if they can test on different firmwares.
        So its not worth the risk of a marathon session until some more light is shed on the story, probably tomorrow

      • If you really are worried about dust, it’s not that hard to crack open the case and give it a good clean. I did it once and the fan (which is MASSIVE by the way) was caked in dust. Afterwards, if it didn’t run any faster it was certainly quieter. All you need is some basic experience, like changing a pc’s memory or graphics card or something, and the right screwdrivers.

        Otherwise if it does break you can always try phoning sony. I had a 60gb from 2 months after launch which broke 6 months out of warranty and they replaced it free of charge with a refurbished one within a week. May not work now, but they might let you trade it in for a refurb at a small cost?

      • If you’re still within the guarantee period I wouldn’t have any worries with compensation, my original ps3 stopped reading discs after a firmware update, Sony came round the next day with a free replacement for me.

      • i cracked mine open for its first clean today, really easy. mines a 40gb fatty btw so pretty similar, heres some good guides: &

      • Before you open it you need a special screwdriver to get the last screw out. I took of the void if removed sticker only to find this out a while ago.

      • Think the “special screwdriver” is a torx 10, pretty easy to get your hands on and useful for opening up any electronic kit, all the rest are just phillips

  5. Same as 3shirts, socom4 & motorstorm I’ve been playing since 3.61 came out, no problems. 60gb btw ;)

    • God of War III, Little Big Planet 2, FIFA World Cup, Red Dead Redemption, Medal of Honor, Arkham Asylum and Lego Harry Potter have all been played in decent sessions over the last two days, with no problems.
      Although this has reminded me to check for accumulated dust now.

      • Oh, and fat 40gb with my own 320gb hdd put in.

  6. LA Noire is too hot for PS3.

  7. I would have expected the 40GB to have been up there as well if 3.61 is the cause.

  8. Has the Rockstar Blog post been taken down? I get “this has possibly been deleted” when i click it

  9. Huh…My PS3 has been really quieter since the patch…(60gb)…

    • Based on your claim, perhaps the fan’s have had power reduced to them, thus the cooling effect has been reduced, and that’s why the PS3’s are overheating :P

  10. Surely just the usual case of people drawing the wrong conclusion when their PS3 stops working shortly after a firmware update. Consoles go wrong all the time and the law of averages says some of those times will be just after applying a new firmware. Two coincident events do not necessarily imply causality.

    • Also saying “continuing to test L.A. Noire on all firmware versions” is a bit odd. Any net-connected PS3 will have to be running 3.61 and presumably L.A. Noire uses one of the most recent SDKs.

      I’d have thought Sony would have required them to build the release code with one of the later more pirate-resistant versions like 3.55 or later and it’ll have that version on the Blu-ray. So they won’t need to test it with very many versions at all. o_O

      • they could probably run dev code of the game on any fw they want with the retail version having the 3.55 or above check coded in seperately, or yes they’re just checking on 3.55 & 3.60 to compare operating temp with 3.61

    • Apart from R* were claiming they’d tested it and they specifically had found it to be the case, can imagine Sony’s legal & PR teams starting their engines now and firing off emails as we speak

      • It just seems an utterly bizarre knee-jerk reaction from a developer. Of course the majority of failures will be on PS3s running 3.61 because the majority of PS3s will be running 3.61. And we know older models are the least temperature-tolerant and therefore more susceptible to YLoD.

        Perhaps it’s L.A. Noire rendering all those trilbys which is overtaxing the GPU and R* are just trying to point the finger elsewhere. /joke

        I look forward to the forthcoming retraction.

Comments are now closed for this post.