Ever since Sony released firmware update 3.61 for the PS3, there have been a few reports of older consoles—like, say, my launch 60GB model—overheating. Dying a death. A lot of those deaths have occurred while playing LA Noire, but that's apparently not LA Noire's fault.
A statement released on Rockstar's forums—and since retracted by the company—gave the following explanation to consumers complaining of console problems while playing the game.
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.
Primary reports seem to be that updating to firmware 3.61 will cause PlayStations to overheat. There have been various reports of this on a few different games now, 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.
Seems that little piece of impromptu R&D wasn't enough for an official company statement, hence the retraction, but we get it. Back when Xbox 360s were dying all over the place, we'd get emails by the dozen saying "OH MY GOD THE LATEST BIG GAME IS KILLING XBOX 360s".
No, the consoles were dying of their own accord, and it was just that so many people were playing the latest big game at the same time that it would get the blame. Seems to be the same situation here.