Back when the PS4 launched in the US two weeks ago, many made a very big deal of the large percentage of one-star review lamenting hardware failure for the console, that initially was near to 50%, then went down to about 35% at the end of the seocond day and in the following days dropped gradually to the current 22%.
Now the console has launched in Europe, and the one-star dance is restarting. Below you can see the current “scoreboards” on Amazon.uk and Amazon.de (the French, Italian and Spanish branches of Amazon have a negligible number of reviews overall).
The first noticeable element is that either the German use Amazon a lot more (which is more likely) or they like to review their purchases more than the British. The German one-star ratio (35% at the moment of this writing) is also a lot higher than the British one (25%).
If we sum up the reviews between Germany and the UK, we get 345 one-star reviews in 1034 (33.3%), which, interestingly enough, is a set of numbers very similar to what was captured by Microsoft-News.com for a rather alarmist article in the same time frame after the US launch, as you can see below.
But let’s put the numbers in perspective.
First of all, the most evident fact is that the European batch of the PS4 isn’t some kind of infallible Japanese-made device like some seemed to hope. No device is free from a failure ratio, and in fact the same percentages have been seen for the Xbox One (and many other devices) across both continents. It’s to be expected.
Secondly, it’s absolutely normal for there to be a disproportionate amount of complaints compared to positive review, because people tend to feel compelled to post their opinion publicly a lot more if said opinion is negative, or fruit of a disappointment. It’s just the nature of the beast.
They tend to do so a lot faster too, while those that have a positive opinion either don’t post, or take it easy and do it later. They’re much less compelled to go drop those stars on the product they purchased, and they’re busy playing with it. In fact in the US the percentage of dissatisfied customer dropped gradually after a few days. We can pretty much expect the same thing in Europe.
The fact that the percentages are pretty much the same in Europe and in the United states is paradoxically positive, because it means that Amazon US didn’t get an inherently faulty or badly manufactured batch as some believed. The initial one-star votes are just higher for the reasons mentioned above.
This is not to discount the plight of those that indeed have a problem with both consoles (or any other consumer electronics product, mind you). While we shouldn’t make of every molehill a mountain, it’s undoubtedly frustrating when the molehill happens to pop up right in your rose garden.
That said, the trend seems to be exactly the same as it was in the United states, and it’ll probably deflate exactly in the same way as it did there. If someone tries to convince you that there’s some massive problem with the PS4 (or the Xbox One) because of those one-star reviews appearing in Europe as well, you should probably keep that in mind.