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Sony responds to PSP dead-pixel reports

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Gaming

Soon after the PSP launched in Japan last December, reports began to surface that some units' LCD screens suffered from pixels that were either permanently light or dark. Within 24 hours of the portable's North American launch, similar complaints began to reverberate around the Internet. The locus of the complaints was, ironically, the official PlayStation forums, which was temporarily down yesterday following heavy traffic.

Some gamers' outrage over the perceived issue was fueled by an e-mail allegedly sent out by Canadian game retailer Video Games Plus. The e-mail said the company was "informed by Sony that they will not be warranting any dead pixel units. They are only warranting hardware defects ie [sic] broken buttons, malfunction with drive, and so on."

An informal survey of the dozen-odd PSPs in the GameSpot offices found half had at least one pixel that stayed white or dark constantly. While these dots were almost all invisible while playing games, they did stand out when displayed against a black or white screen.

While commonly referred to as a "defect," Sony says the off-colored pixel problem is common in all LCD screens. "A very small number of dark pixels or continuously lit pixels is normal for LCD screens, and is not a sign of a malfunction," a representative for Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) told GameSpot.

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