Rockstar Games released its film noir-inspired opus L.A. Noire earlier this week, delivering one of the most unusual and genre-defying play experiences that the industry has seen in some time. Unfortunately, it also seems to be causing some headaches for players on both sides of the console fence, with reports of freezes and overheats coming from the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 camps. The issue was initially believed to stem from the recent 3.61 firmware upgrade that the PS3 received, the same one that ushered in the return of the PlayStation Network, which as we all know was taken offline last month following a network security breach.
Sony immediately denied the connection between the issues with the game and the recent firmware upgrade. Rockstar looked into the issue and responded with a post on its website. While it has “received a very small number of customer support questions about PS3s overheated or shutting down while playing L.A. Noire,” both the game developer and Sony were able to “confirm that neither L.A. Noire or firmware update 3.61 are causing the PS3 hardware to overheat.” That’s when similar reports started coming in from Xbox folk.
The matter is now being investigated further, but a temporary fix is available and easy enough to implement by following the instructions on the Rockstar website. The fix amounts to clearing out some of the game data stored on your console’s hard drive, and note: this does not mean your save data. For the PS3, this means going into the PS3 Game Data Utility and removing the “L.A. Noire Game Data” entry. On the Xbox 360, you’ll want to clear the console’s memory cache; go to Memory in the System Settings menu, highlight your hard drive, press the Y button and select Clear System Cache from the menu that pops up. A few other alternatives are offered as well should that not solve the problem, so check out Rockstar’s website if you’re still having troubles.
It’s worth noting that our L.A. Noire review session unfolded over roughly 20 hours spread across a two-day period. The review playthrough was conducted on a 60 GB launch PS3 and no freezes or overheats occurred during that time. It’s hard to gauge how isolated this issue is based on just that, but it’s at least worth mentioning.