Try serious, game-eviscerating trouble, to put it mildly, if reports on this 37-page (and growing) PlayStation Forum thread — noticed by Joystiq yesterday — are characteristic of what the newfound error signifies.
The error presents as a blue report-a-problem screen on the PlayStation 4 with the following text: “An error has occurred in the following application (CE-34878-0),” followed by the game name and the usual bit about doing your part to help improve the platform by singing out.
As usual with arbitrary error codes, it’s not clear what the error indicates, with listed symptoms ranging from random (but otherwise innocuous) in-game crashes, to claims that the error corrupts save games or prevents games from launching at all, to howling that it bricks the system entirely.
The “fixes” are just as haphazard, with some claiming that reinitializing the PS4 fixes the problem and others saying they did so to no avail. A few users claim that after speaking with customer service, they were advised to return their system, presumably direct to Sony, in trade for a new one. And a handful are reporting real nightmare scenarios, in which the error flushes dozens of hours of gameplay down the toilet for good.
Sony appears to be aware of the commotion, and one of its community managers had this to offer some 350 messages into that thread:
If you are experiencing this ce-34878-0 error code, please close the application and then install the latest system software and game patch.
If the error occurs again, initialise the PS4 system after back-up of the save data and please also submit any crash reports after re-booting your console when the error occurs.
Hope that helps.
But that’s all the company’s saying for now, so a few thoughts on how to protect yourself until we know more, or there’s an official fix.
If you’re using PlayStation Network cloud saves, I assume the corrupt save files get copied up to the server right away, thus eliminating that as a workaround. You might consider turning off automatic cloud data uploads, then manually synchronizing saved data to the cloud periodically. Assuming the games support it — and if memory serves, several on the PlayStation 3 didn’t — you could alternatively perform those periodic backups to an external hard drive. Doing either of those things won’t make you bulletproof, but it should at least eliminate the “I just lost 40 hours of my life to a string of letters and numbers” thing.