L.A. Noire In Stores; X360, PS3 Owners Beware

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The highly anticipated open world adventure thriller L.A. Noire has released in India for a price of Rs 2,499 for both PS3 and X360 versions. However, before you break open your piggy banks, it's wiser paying heed to recent reports about disgruntled PS3 and X360 owners citing random freezing, restarts, and shutdown issues with their consoles while playing the newly released game.

Blaming Sony for the thermal woes, an initial statement from publisher Rockstar read, "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 60 GB and 80 GB fat models. We have confirmed locally that multiple games (Rockstar and non-Rockstar) overheat or freeze only when [firmware] 3.61 is installed". According to the publisher, the problem is restricted to older generation fat PS3s updated to the latest 3.61 firmware, which Sony released as a security patch after the PSN breach. However, in stark contrast, Internet forums are abuzz with users reporting overheating issues on both slim and fat PS3s.

We would have bought Rockstar's version, if it weren't for a substantial number of Xbox 360 users citing the same problem, which the Grand Theft Auto maker recently acknowledged on its website. However, the official statement still denies L.A. Noire of any culpability towards the overheating issue. Sony, which is still reeling under bad press following the recent PSN breach and shutdown fiasco, was quick to rebuff Rockstar's statement blaming the 3.61 firmware update. "There is not an [sic] over heating problem with PS3. Occasionally a PS3 over [sic] heatrs for numerous reasons and we re not seeing an increased number of reports at the moment," clarified Nick Caplin, Head of Communications at SCEE, in the comments section of Sony's official blog post.

After L.A. Noire's official FAQ section posted a workaround for the problem, news sources interpreted this as Rockstar's tacit acknowledgement of thermal issues plaguing the game. This prompted the publisher to issue yet another statement clarifying that the FAQ was meant as routine troubleshooting tips for "a very small number of Xbox 360 console owners that have reported issues with the game freezing or locking up while playing". It reiterated that the reports about L.A. Noire's overheating woes are "categorically untrue".

The last time we checked, Sony and Rockstar have stopped blaming each other and have issued a joint statement proclaiming that neither the 3.61 firmware update nor L.A. Noire cause the PS3 hardware to overheat. Then what exactly is behind these recurring X360 and PS3 gremlins that somehow only occur while playing Rockstar's jinxed release? Interestingly, even the users who haven't faced any freezing/overheating issues yet, have reported hearing the tell-tale whine of their consoles' ventilation fans spinning faster while running the game. Although it would be premature to reach a conclusion at this juncture, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that, more often than not, it takes a genuine problem to spur so many official statements and clarifications.

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