When a PlayStation 3 (PS3) system becomes “bricked,” it means the console is completely broken--and it implies that the system has become nothing more than an unresponsive brick. A PS3 may become bricked due to overheating, damaged internal hardware or corrupt software. The system's power light displays different colors based on errors with your PS3. You can use these colors to determine if your PS3 is bricked.
Turn on your PS3 as you normally would. This should change the solid red power light to the solid green power light in a working system.
Determine if your power light is flashing red. This may indicate overheating or internal damage due to heat. The PS3 will turn off after three minutes if the heating issue is not resolved. If your system does this consistently and you have taken all steps to clear out proper ventilation for your PS3, you have a bricked system.
Determine if your power light changes colors when turning on. If a PS3's power light changes from green to yellow and then to flashing red, this is a sure sign of a bricked system. In this situation, the system will not turn on at all due to internal damage or software corruption.
If your PS3 is consistently overheating, do not continue to attempt to power it up. This may cause internal damage to the hardware.
Do not attempt to service your own PS3 if it has become bricked. Contact the PlayStation service center online instead.
Erin McManaway holds a B.A. in professional writing from Francis Marion University, where she earned the Richard B. Larsen Memorial Award for Business and Technical Writing. She has worked in materials development, media and information technology in the nonprofit sector since 2006. McManaway has also been a writer and editor since 2008.