Sony released firmware 2.40 Tuesday, and reports of problems started flowing in soon after on the official PS3 message board.
"I downloaded version 2.40, put in Metal Gear Solid 4 [video game] and I get a black screen forever," one customer wrote. "I can't even get demos to start."
A Sony spokesman confirmed that the company pulled the firmware off its servers while it investigates the problem, which he said was experienced by a "limited number of consumers."
"In order to further assess the issue, we have temporarily taken the firmware offline for further testing," the spokesman said in an e-mail to InformationWeek following a request for comment. "We are working diligently to isolate the problem for those few consumers and to identify a solution before we put the firmware back up."
The problem was first reported by the video game site Joystiq.
Key improvements in the latest firmware are in-game access to instant messaging to communicate with other players and other PS3 features, such as checking downloads, changing settings, and playing music from the user's library. In addition, the firmware introduces a trophy system to award players for game performance.
Meanwhile, a security firm on Tuesday reported that Sony USA's PlayStation Web site had been the victim of a "SQL injection attack."
SophosLabs said that visiting the site ran a script that pretended to do an online security scan of the visitor's computer, and then presented a bogus warning message that the PC was infected with malware. "Users frightened by the scareware 'warnings' might rush to spend money on useless software," the security firm said in its blog.
SQL injection attacks involve passing malicious code to SQL databases as user input. An improperly configured or vulnerable SQL application can be made to execute that input. All that's needed is to add HTML into a Web page that calls a script on a malicious site.