Private message with unknown character could put PlayStation 4 in bootloop

PlayStation 4 users are reporting a private message that their console is entering a bootloop. The problem can be avoided by allowing messages from only friends or no one at all.

According to Reddit posters, the message contains a character that cannot be displayed, after which inputs and outputs fail and restarting results in a bootloop. According to reports, the problem can be avoided by leaving the message on the console unopened and deleting it via the PS4 Messages app. For those who have already opened the message, a factory reset seems to be the only remedy, possibly followed by a database rebuild from safe mode.

The problems seem to have started this weekend. In some cases, entire groups of players are affected by the issue at once through a group conversation. The problem is likely to occur on every variant of the PlayStation 4, as they run the same firmware. Sony has not yet responded to requests for comment from Kotaku, for example.