While it seems like every time the PlayStation 3 undergoes a firmware upgrade is plagued by people trying to blame broken systems on the update, last night's 2.40 update seems to have caused genuine issues with many posters over at the official PlayStation forums. Owners of PS3s in all shapes and sizes have been reporting that their systems were loading to the initial PlayStation wave screen and simply hanging there after applying 2.40. No icons, no controller functions, no nothing, just the wave across the middle of the screen.
There doesn't seem to be any real pattern as to which systems are affected. 60GB, 40GB, 20GB, and 80GB systems alike have all been afflicted with the issue. We've contacted Sony for word on the issue, but in the meantime several of the more tech savvy forum posters have determined how to fix the issue, if you're willing to yank out your console's hard disk drive.
Users found that removing and reformatting their PS3 hard drive and then reinserting it into the console would get the system to boot completely, after which it asks to reformat the disk again and everything runs normally. Of course they lose all of their saved games and have to redo all of their downloads, but I suppose that is better than sending in the system for a $150.00 repair.
One can only assume that the update was the catalyst that caused certain data on affected hard disks to become corrupt, rendering the system unbootable. It would certainly explain why only certain systems are being affected, and why Sony couldn't have caught the problem in the first place.
We'll keep you updated on the issue as we learn more. In the meantime, feel free to hit the link below to read through 30 plus pages of quality PS3 forum drama.
2.40 Broke my Ps3 [PlayStation.com Forums - Thanks PsycheE]
UPDATE: SCEA has apparently pulled the 2.40 firmware update. We are awaiting comment from the company.