Japan Paranoid Over 'Sony Timer' Legend

Topic started by gia on Jan. 13, 2010. Last post by John_Martone 4 years, 6 months ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13

I have never heard of this before, so I'm guessing you guys haven't either. Of course, everyone tells jokes about how products always seem to break or die right after their warranties are up, but...did you know that some people in Japan actually believe that Sony puts a timer in their devices to cause this?

The theory is thus: Sony puts a time-activated "kill switch" in its various electronics, from TVs to computers to god knows what else, and after a scheduled period of time (after the warranty is up), it activates, causing the user to either have to pay to get it repaired or replace it.

Apparently this urban legend has been bandied about in Japan since the 1980s, although it was exacerbated on the 'net back in 2006-- you may recall when Dell had to do a huge recall of Sony-made batteries that would catch fire.

I don't know how much stock I'd put into it: my Walkman, Discman, and Vaio desktop continued to function until whenever I stopped using them, and the only hardware problem I had with my Playstation 2 was when it stopped playing PS1 games...which was apparently a known error, so Sony fixed it for free, shipping and all. So I can't complain too much.

It also seems odd to me that in two decades, no one could definitively locate this "kill switch" to prove its existence.

But hey, conspiracy theories are fun, and we've all suffered the heartbreak of a treasured device breaking right after its warranty is up (R.I.P. first MP3 player).
Post by HSaabedra (136 posts) See mini bio Level 4
Anyone that buys Japan market electronics in Akihabara is always told of the Sony curse, especially foreigners.  Heck, even famed localizer/importer Dynamism leaves a little note in Japan-market Sony products about the curse.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@HSaabedra: Wow, so now it's a "curse" instead of a conspiracy? This is awesome. I wish we had more of this kind of stuff in the US.
 
Well. Maybe not. >_>;;
Post by JJOR64 (2,074 posts) See mini bio Level 16
So that's why my PS3 crapped out.    Just kidding.
 
 
I think they are just over reacting to this.  My family has been buying Sony products over the years and they only crap out because they have been used to much.  We had this huge TV that lasted use for 15 years or so before it gave out.
 
If this happened to be true for some weird reason, I'm never going to buy a Sony product again.
Post by HSaabedra (136 posts) See mini bio Level 4
@gia said:

" @HSaabedra: Wow, so now it's a "curse" instead of a conspiracy? This is awesome. I wish we had more of this kind of stuff in the US.  Well. Maybe not. >_>;; "


My father and I were really big on importing Japan-market Sony gear back in the mid-90s, which is when we were first told of the curse by a Japanese co-worker of his.  I didn't pay much mind to it until the A/V receiver died the day the Japanese warranty ended.  Thankfully, the local repair depot had the parts needed to fix it.  Best part:  the tech was surprised we had the receiver model in the country and decided not to charge us for the replacement parts.
Post by sunflower (191 posts) See mini bio Level 1
Damn, that's why our Sony microwave kept breaking after we put oatmeal in it.  Oh wait, that was the VCR...
 
Haven't had many problems with Sony.  Maybe it's a Region 2 curse.  ;P
Post by HeeroYuy (1,210 posts) See mini bio Level 12
On the contrary, I have a Sony mp3 player that is now 7 years old. That wouldn't mean much by itself, except that it has survived being dropped onto concrete pavement from the third floor of a dormatory TWICE, and generally it's been through electronics hell.... yet it's still working. (We have a joke now that there must be some sort of demonic influence keeping it working at this point)
Post by Kelleth (7,777 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Moderator
 Sony doing Robots:
 Imagine your fighting a robot battle against a group of other mecha`s originally they outnumbered you, but your mecha is superior in every way and you own them easely. Suddenly a red light start bleeping and your mecha starts acting weird, so you run to cover and call the command centre, You: hello i need back up my mech is acting weird. Command centre: sorry no can do. You: Why not? i`m in a bind here! Command centre: your mech is a Sony as do all our models and we bought them all at the same time. you getting owned: WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN!?! HELP!! Command Centre: The timer has reached its limit all our mecha don`t work anymore! good luck. You: Gets killed.
Post by zyn (74 posts) See mini bio Level 9
Wow.  This would really piss me off.
Post by Karasu (76 posts) See mini bio Level 1
I have heard of the Sony Timer outside of the context of Japan. Never had any Sony troubles, myself.
Post by John_Martone (2,992 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@JJOR64 said:
" So that's why my PS3 crapped out.    Just kidding.   I think they are just over reacting to this.  My family has been buying Sony products over the years and they only crap out because they have been used to much.  We had this huge TV that lasted use for 15 years or so before it gave out.  If this happened to be true for some weird reason, I'm never going to buy a Sony product again. "
Man, I'm just excited my ps3 is holding up so well. I mean, it had better, and I've only heard good things, but I worked my PS1 and PS2 into the ground. Both ended up with disc read issues throughout their time in my life.
 
Of course they were well deserved... I wore those systems into the ground, but just pointing out.
Mandatory Network

Submissions can take several hours to be approved.

Save ChangesCancel