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Sony Warns Users Not to Use PS3s Until Bug Fix (UPDATE)

Gordon Kelly


Sony Warns Users Not to Use PS3s Until Bug Fix (UPDATE)

If you own a PlayStation 3 chances are you've noticed not all has been well...

Late yesterday Sony issued a much requested progress report and things certainly sound serious:

"As you may be aware, some customers have been unable to connect to the PlayStation Network today. This problem affects the models other than the new slim PS3. We believe we have identified that this problem is being caused by a bug in the clock functionality incorporated in the system."

Sony lays out a list of major errors, including:

  • The date of the PS3 system may be re-set to Jan 1, 2000.

  • When the user tries to sign in to the PlayStation Network, the following

    message appears on the screen; “An error has occurred. You have been

    signed out of PlayStation Network (8001050F)”.

  • When the user tries to launch a game, the following error message appears

    on the screen and the trophy data may disappear; “Failed to install

    trophies. Please exit your game.”

  • When the user tries to set the time and date of the system via the

    Internet, the following message appears on the screen; “The current date

    and time could not be obtained. (8001050F)”

  • Users are not able to play back certain rental video downloaded from the

    PlayStation Store before the expiration date.

"We hope to resolve this problem within the next 24 hours," added Sony, before taking the drastic step of announcing: "In the meantime, if you have a model other than the new slim PS3, we advise that you do not use your PS3 system, as doing so may result in errors in some functionality, such as recording obtained trophies, and not being able to restore certain data."

Ouch. Furthermore, at this stage it isn't clear how users with PS3s that are not online will be catered for. There's a famously concise saying about how a certain waste substance occurs, PlayStation owners it is your turn to experience it. We'll keep our eyes peeled for developments. In the meantime *adopts fiendish grin* perhaps try an Xbox...?

Update: thankfully the fix has arrived within 24/48 hours. Joystiq is reporting a bug fix has been discovered and requires no download at the user's end so all PS3 owners can get back to their gaming and bashing the Xbox. The more cautious amongst you may wish to wait for an official Sony comment, but it looks like everything is now A-ok.


via the Official PlayStation Blog


March 2, 2010, 2:35 pm

Well y2k might have been a white elephant, but it seems the leap year is causing far more headaches. Didn't the Zune fall foul of this 4 years ago?

You'd think it would take more than a leap year to disrupt systems worth millions of dollars in development, but I guess not.

snoop 7

March 2, 2010, 3:42 pm

I have the "fat" 60GB PS3 and I was affected until today (Yippppeeeeeeee. Must say the Playstation network is a poor man's XBox live, it is often slow and buggy with crashes aplenty. Although most PS3 users put up with a sub standard online experience, Sony can do better.

Ala Miah

March 2, 2010, 4:28 pm

I lost 2 games on FIFA 10 online because of this and I was well angry. Didn't think much of it until I saw the announcement yesterday. Hopefully its fixed now.


March 2, 2010, 4:28 pm

Gordon: "Perhaps try an XBox"... actually, shouldn't that read "Try an XBox... oops, try a different XBox... and another... ok now you're good to go"? :P

I'm only kidding, as I'm sure you were. But the worst thing about yesterday's bug was the sight of thousands of rabid fanboys sneering all over the internet. The Youtube videos showing "how to fix your PS3" were mildly amusing; the moronic message board comments less so. I'm not going to get into a debate about which console or which overall service is better - personally I'd own both if I could afford to - but the mindset of some of these people is really worrying.

It reminded me of the recent Toyota problems; caused enormous worry to many motorists, but all the Clarksonites, the people with a grudge against the Prius or irrational hatred of all Asian cars, practically dancing in the street and soiling themselves in their excitement at other people's misfortune. The same thing happened here - deeply unedifying.

FWIW I think Sony messed up, particularly with their lack of communication - a few posts along the lines of "Yes yes we'll get it fixed, now leave us alone" - and the fact that the trophy system prevented offline play is a major flaw in the system - but as you said, stuff happens. How they react now is important, and we'll have to wait and see. But how gamers reacted - and I mean the more insane PS3 owners as well as their detractors - was spectacularly embarassing.


March 2, 2010, 5:00 pm

If this little hiccup was IE related the beeb would have gone to town. At least Sony are making great leaps in their technology.

Sir Stuie

March 2, 2010, 5:29 pm

When I heard of this error I had a sudden urge to play the PS3... And it was such a stupid error.


March 2, 2010, 5:35 pm

I had this issue last night but does indeed seem to be fixed this morning. I've got a fat 40Gb.


March 2, 2010, 5:38 pm

Great. On the one hand I have a PS3 which is ballsing up nicely and on the other my 360 has decided for a second time to not run for more than 20 seconds before freezing (RROD imminent in other words).

Wouldnt it be nice to have a console that was reliable. I have a Wii but I cant be bothered playing that - it's essentially a glorified set of scales these days.

As for the fanboys, I guess we just have to put up with it. This sort of nonsense has been going on since the playground days of "my SNES is better than your Megadrive" movements. I just though folk left it behind once they got older than 12. Unfortunately not. Instead we have to put up with thousands of folk who probably closely resemble comic book guy from The Simpsons whinge over their corner of choice. Who cares!


March 2, 2010, 5:46 pm

yeah... @Chris it's another 2 years till the next leap year, and the zunes problem was 2 years ago on a leap year


March 2, 2010, 5:55 pm

Lucky I have a slim but to be honest I'd have been far more bothered to lose my Gamerscore than Trophies.

Funny hearing all the 360 owners have a laught when Xboxes are still red ringing.


March 2, 2010, 6:32 pm

@hank: It's the top story on the technology section, how gone to town would you like?

@MrGodfrey: Great post, also reminds me of Apple haters :)


March 2, 2010, 7:24 pm

Thanks Keith. I have been accused of being an Apple-hater myself, and it's true I have very strong opinions on Apple's way of doing things, on the media coverage they receive, and the effects of Apple's dominance even on those who choose not to buy their products... but my problem is with the company, not the customers - if everyone's iPods and iPhones suddenly crashed it would give me no pleasure.


March 2, 2010, 7:44 pm

@MrGodfrey: I'm no fan of some of Apple ways of doing things too, and I'm not a fan of some of the things and control other big manufactures have, Sony / Microsoft etc, Apple are certainly not alone in this regard. A great example is actually with the Playstation & XBox, both machines are very very powerful and would run a proper OS without any issues, but this is not possible due to the restrictions that are implemented. I have an XBox360 and yet I can't even browse the internet on it, how ironic is that since M$ actually create a browser. I could go on and on, with numerous examples of control these other big players have. I'm not defending Apple here, but just pointing out that there no worse/better than any of the others. The biggest gripe I have with M$ at the mo, was the waste of money I spent on Vista, they could have eased my anger by making an upgrade pricing to W7 more realistic, that in my eyes would have gone some way to make good PR.


March 2, 2010, 7:44 pm

@Jones: You could always buy a Gaming PC, that certainly won't have any platform-wide faults like the 360 and PS3.


March 2, 2010, 8:05 pm

@Jay: Crikey you're right, I just realised it isn't even a leap year and the PS3 still falls over on Feb 28th! Nice one Sony. It seems Feb 28th will henceforth be known as the annual broken gadget day...


March 2, 2010, 8:40 pm

@Xiphias - I own an MSI GT725 too! Probably one of the biggest wastes of money I have had yet mind you as I only ever play Fitba Manager on it haha


March 2, 2010, 8:55 pm

Sony were lucky that the issue resolved itself without needing any patches. It could have been a lot worse. Fat PS3 owners can console themselves with the fact that a significant number of XBox 360 early adopters have been deprived many more days of gaming owing to hardware faults.


March 2, 2010, 9:08 pm

@keith For a Google inspired bug that had a threat level on 10% of the market IE got a a HUGE banner with Rory "the scoop" Teflon Jones in comparison to the Sony little link and Icon pointing to the Newsround desk LOL. Im proud of the technical staff at the beeb taking my taxes but the journalism and 50+ £100K+ pear shaped lady managers are killing the beeb I once loved. Not to mention the Idiot at the top - Can you really justify Woss a top talent on £18 million it's obscene.

Back on topic kudos to Sony for a quick fix, people missing out on Bad Company and Final Fantasy would have been a real shit hit fan moment not to mention other great games.


March 2, 2010, 10:24 pm

@Xiphias - you obviously haven't read about UbiSofts latest DRM solution - the one that requires a permanent Internet connection to play the game (even single player). That is a disaster waiting to happen IMHO. Gave up PC gaming some time ago because of DRM, I just don't trust them not to shag my PC.

Overall this is very embarrassing for Sony. The fact that the bug is in a hardware chip means they should have known it was coming and fixed it in advance. In the end they appear to have been lucky in that the bug only showed itself on the one specific day. Microsoft have had their own tails of woe on the 360, both hardware and software. It just goes to show that these things are built by humans and humans make mistakes!

@Keith, sorry you are being very naive. The reason that M$ and Sony don't allow you to install your OS (ok, you could on the older PS3 models - but it was pretty much useless as it basically ran as a VM and ran too slow to be of any practical use) is that the business model for these devices rely on making money from software sales and other revenue streams, rather than the hardware itself. Therefore they can sell the hardware much cheaper, even at a loss. If they allowed you to simply install some other OS on them then all that revenue would be lost and they would in fact make a loss - not exacely a sustainable business model I suggest!

At the end of the day all these big corporates have one objective in life - to make money! Of course they will dress that up in all sorts of ways, but that is the bottom line. Some are more blatent about it than others, but don't let that kid you, underneath they are pretty much all the same.

Don Kanonjii

March 3, 2010, 2:31 pm

"Sony Warns Users Not to Use PS3s Until Bug Fix" Erm, I dont recall being warned at all!


March 3, 2010, 3:26 pm

@Steve32: That was my point, "Apple are certainly not alone in this regard.". The whole rant on XBox and Playstation was how they have control, and how Apple is no different here. So in what way was I been naive again?

Oh, and the bit about not been able to run an OS on these without running inside a VM, you are joking right?, even the original XBox ran XBMC / Linux. And I even bet with the power of the 360 & PS3 running inside a VM wouldn't be too bad either.

Your "At the end of the day" part I totally agree with, my argument was how Apple is no different, can you see were I'm coming from now? :)


March 3, 2010, 4:35 pm


Maybe the difference is that Apple make a massive cut on the hardware. They don't need to lock it down to make back the cash they lost on the initial sale.


March 3, 2010, 5:23 pm

@Keith - You moaned about not being able run your own OS on an Xbox/PS3. It is nothing to do with control - it is about economics. I was simply explaining why the business model wouldn't support it. I am sure if a good business model could be devised that did support it then they would do it. Apologies if "naive" came across as offensive. I was just pointing out that what appears as someone exerting control for the sake of it, is a bit more complicated than that. I am not saying I like it either, but I do understand why they do it and accept it as such.

Running OS as VM: I was referring to the option in the PS3 (older ones) that allowed you to install an OS of your own (i.e. Linux). The way Sony implemented this option meant that the OS runs inside a hypervisor that allows limited or nor direct access to all the hardware. As a result it runs like a dog and has little practical use. I researched installing Linux on the PS3 and using some decent media software on it like XBMC - but everything I read said it didn't work as performance was too slow. Of course, "technically" you can run an OS native on these devices outside of a VM - but I have already explained why Sony/M$ don't allow that. (I only pointed the VM thing out to pre-empt someone saying "You can install your own OS on a PS3.....")

@ravmania - Exactly.

@hank "kudos to Sony for a quick fix" - Errr, they didn't actually fix anything! They bug only happened on the 1st March. It went away after 24 hours. Had it not then they could have been in deep dung! (Especially if the bug prevented them downloading a patch remotely). Basically, Sony got lucky!


March 3, 2010, 5:23 pm

@ravmania: I tend to agree, in terms of specification Apple hardware is very expensive. So does that mean making a massive cut on software is the lesser of 2 evils?. IOW: Apple is the scum of the Earth because they make money on selling Hardware, Microsoft are the saints because they make a massive cut on selling software. As you can see, I certainly don't believe Apple are saints, but I just find it very odd that people have a massive distrust/hatred of Apple, and the same doesn't happen to Sony/Microsoft etc etc.


March 3, 2010, 6:59 pm

@Steve32: I wasn't moaning, I was pointing out how other companies take control. It was meant as a comparison :), I totally understand why they do it, and as such understand why Apple do it. Hope that makes sense now, as you see reading between the lines we actually agree, the part I keep trying to explain is that Apple is no better / no worse than the rest. This is the biggest problems with forum type messages, it's so easy to go of track, I certainly didn't want to get into a debate on why Sony/Microsoft do what they do. And at the end of the day, your "At the end of the day" is what it's all about :)

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