Sony's PlayStation 4 has largely been a success and a pacesetter in the world of next-generation video game consoles since launching in November, but a save game error affecting many users has recently drawn complaints. Beginning in December, users on a PlayStation community forum began reporting that they were encountering an error message labeled ce-34878-0. The forum thread had generated 35 pages of discussion and complaints when it was reported on by IGN.
Users on the forum complained of lost game progress in files across titles such as NBA 2K14, FIFA 14, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4. Gamers reported that they were unable to save games, that their save files were becoming corrupted and that, in some cases, the games were completely unplayable. One user told Joystiq he had lost 30 hours of game progress due to the error, and many others reported their games crashing or not loading at all.
"[I]f games are going to become unplayable, what is the point of owning a games console?" forum user MikeBgsw wondered in the post that started the thread of more than 400 responses.
Sony acknowledged the error and reported that it was looking into it. The company later recommended a solution in a statement to IGN, suggesting the error had been patched in the latest system software.
"If you are experiencing this ce-34878-0 error code, please close the application and then install the latest system software and game patch," the company stated. "If the error occurs again, initialize the PS4 system after back-up of the save data and please also submit any crash reports after re-booting your console when the error occurs."
While the error appears to have been resolved, the widespread outcry is instructive of the responses that can emerge in the gaming community surrounding errors – especially ones that jeopardize players' progress and efforts. For developers, such incidents are a reminder of the importance of avoiding bugs, particularly in the gaming space. Tools such as static analysis software can help catch errors in production and avoid the PR challenges that such flaws can prompt.
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