You've probably seen this circulating around the internet by now, but if not, here's some light reading material for you to hit up in regards to the issue of PlayStation 3's seizing up with GTA IV.
For the uninformed: this isn't just a problem affecting a few people -- not by a long shot. PS3's all over the world have been going nutty when Grand Theft Auto IV is added to the mix. If you're one of the unlucky ones who are frantically trying to get this working again, we have a couple of solutions for ya.
The first solution is a relatively simple one. To quote resident GTANet staffer Justin:
Before you go ahead and say goodbye to your hard work in deleting your saved game (as suggested by T2), try signing out of the PlayStation Network (PSN). This can be done by either canceling the sign in process before it can be completed under the PlayStation Network option on the XMB, or - once signed in - navigating to your own PSN ID under Friends, hitting triangle and opting to sign out. For a permanent fix (i.e. so you don't have to go through this every time you turn on the system), disable your internet connection via Settings -> Network Settings -> Internet Connection.
The second solution is the official one from Take Two, and it's considerably more involved...
Please run through the following, go through in order.
1) Delete the game's install data. This is done via the PS3 options. Scroll along the cross media bar until you reach the 'Game' tab, now scroll up / down the list until you reach the 'Game Data Utility' Enter this and locate the GTA IV option. Highlight this and press triangle once, from the menu select Delete. This will delete the game's install information.
2) Delete the game's save files. To delete any save files you will need to do the following. Scroll along the cross media bar until you reach the 'Game' tab, now scroll up / down the list until you reach the 'Save Data Utility' Enter this and locate the GTA IV option. Highlight this and press triangle once, and from the context menu select Delete.
3) Disable your Internet connectivity for the PS3. To do this scroll along the cross media bar until you reach the 'Settings' tab, now scroll up / down the list until you reach the 'Network Settings'. Now scroll down to the Internet connection option and press x, now select the disable option. Once this has been done unplug the ethernet cable if you are connecting to the Internet if using this.
4) Disable the console's information board. To do this scroll along the cross media bar until you reach the 'Network' tab, now scroll up / down the list until you reach the 'Information Board', highlight this and press triangle. From the menu select 'Do not display' Press X to confirm this.
5) Disable Media Server functionality. Scroll to Settings, now scroll up / down to 'Network Settings' select Media Server connection. Once this has been done press triangle and change the option Disabled.
6) Delete all of the system's Internet cache. To do this scroll along the cross media bar until you reach the 'Network' tab, now scroll up / down the list until you reach the 'Internet Browser', highlight this and press X. Once you browser opens press the triangle button once, from the new menu highlight the 'Tools' option and press X. Scroll down the menu until you reach 'Delete Cookies' and press X. Confirm the files deletion. Repeat this for 'Delete Cache'.
7 ) Turn off the PS3 screen saver. Use the cross media bar to scroll to 'Settings', select 'Display Settings'. Now highlight 'Screensaver' and set this to 'Do not use'.
8 ) Once this has been done, manually restart you PS3 by holding down the power button for 5 seconds it will beep once and then shut down. Release the power button and re-press it and hold for about 5 seconds. The system will then boot and reset all display settings. You will be prompted to reset your display settings to how you require them.
9) Once restarted please try the game again, you will be prompted to reinstall.
Once the game has started please turn off the following features:
1) The game's auto-save. Press Start, Game, and locate the Auto-save option. Turn this off.
2) Turn off the game's flicker filter. Press Start, Display and locate the Flicker Filter option. Turn this off.
3) Turn off the controller vibration feature. Press Start, Controls and locate the vibration option. Turn this off.
If that doesn't solve the problem, Take-Two allows tech support users to reopen their cases within seven days.
Related Links: PS3 Seizing Up - GTAForums Topic, GTA IV Troubleshooting Forum