Sony is in the process of fixing an issue that causes PlayStation 4 systems to freeze up after receiving a message with unsupported text characters.
According to an email received by VG247, the company is “aware of the situation and are planning a system software update to resolve this problem.”
News of the exploit first started making the rounds late last week, with some players taking to Reddit to warn others that their PlayStation 4 consoles had been essentially bricked after they received a message containing unsupported text characters from another PlayStation 4 user.
While this is a particularly malicious exploit on its own, many users have reported that the bug is being weaponized by players looking to get ahead in competitive games who then send the offending text to shut down the consoles of opposing players.
The tricky thing is that players don’t even have to open the message for it to lock up their console; the crash kicks in as soon as the message hits the PlayStation 4's inbox. Some of those Reddit users have suggested deleting the message from the mobile PlayStation 4 Messages app will do the trick. Others say that once the message is in the console’s cache more drastic measures could be required for a fix, ranging from booting into safe mode to rebuilding the PS4’s database or a full on factory reset.
While results may vary, the only certain way to dodge the potentially system-breaking bug is to turn message privacy settings to ‘no one’ or ‘friends only’ from either the console or one of the PlayStation 4 mobile apps while Sony works on a fix.