Updated: PlayStation bug cripples "fat" PS3 models worldwide

Owners of the older "fat" PlayStation 3 game console are waking up this morning to discover they are no longer able to sign-in to the PlayStation Network, check trophies or access purchased content from the PlayStation Store, Neowin has learnt via Kotaku this morning.

It is understood that not only does the error prevent users of Sony's console from going online, but it also prevents gamers from playing some games offline as well - even for consoles not connected to PSN such as debug units. PS3 "fat" consoles are being assigned a random past date preventing users from signing into the PlayStation Network (PSN) or playing any PSN games. Some reports suggest not all PS3 "fat" consoles are affected.

According to one post on the NeoGaf forums, the problem could be related to a time and date bug in the console hardware. Some posters speculate there could be a leap year issue that is preventing the consoles from connecting to PSN. If this is the case then it mirrors a similar issue that Microsoft experienced with the original Zune devices in December 2008.

Sony officials have confirmed the problems. "We're narrowing down the issue and continue to work to restore service to all. Updates as soon as we have them," said a Sony representative. Sony also said the "slim" units (120/250 GB models) are connecting to PSN normally.

The current advice being given to owners of "fat" PlayStation 3s is to keep them turned off until there is news from Sony on a patch or fix for the issue. Neowin will keep you posted on any developments.

Update: Sony has posted a full update on the issues, it looks like it's a clock bug and will be fixed within 24 hours.

"We believe we have identified that this problem is being caused by a bug in the clock functionality incorporated in the system.

Errors include:

  • 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 followingmessage 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. 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."

Image Credit: Kotaku

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Yerp all working again now, turned my ps3 on after midnight and works great, just had a game on mw2, all is ok. Just expect an update within the next few days for it

WORKAROUND FIX FOR ERROR 8001050f

Got to Date and Time Settings
Set Manually (you will notice it will be off a day)
Back out and go somewhere else on the PS3
Go back in to Date and Time Settings and Set by Internet
Back out again and do something else
Go back in manually and make sure date and time are right

You should be fixed!

shammyclause said,
WORKAROUND FIX FOR ERROR 8001050f

Got to Date and Time Settings
Set Manually (you will notice it will be off a day)
Back out and go somewhere else on the PS3
Go back in to Date and Time Settings and Set by Internet
Back out again and do something else
Go back in manually and make sure date and time are right

You should be fixed!

No need it's working as usual now - if times slightly out just set update via internet and get back to usual stuff

lol, U.S. air force must has hard time today.

[b]Air Force to buy 2,200 PlayStation 3 consoles for supercomputer[/b]
The U.S. Air Force recently issued a request for proposals to purchase 2,200 Sony PlayStation 3 video game consoles. Does the Air Force plan to play lots of Grand Theft Auto?

No -- rather, the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y., is interested in the chip technology inside the PS3, specifically the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture, according a blog post by Gartner Inc. analyst Andrea DiMaio. The Air Force is studying whether the PS3 chips could be a cost-effective technology for modernizing the military's high-performance computing systems.

Supercomputer experts at the Air Force already have 336 PS3 consoles hooked together in an experimental Linux-based cluster. Now they want 2,200 more to expand the research project. The laboratory evaluated chips from other vendors, such as IBM and Intel Corp., but found the PS3 chips to be much cheaper.

An RFP-related document justified the purchase this way: "With respect to cell processors, a single 1U server configured with two 3.2-GHz cell processors can cost up to $8k, while two Sony PS3s cost approximately $600. Though a single 3.2-GHz cell processor can deliver over 200 GFLOPS, whereas the Sony PS3 configuration delivers approximately 150 GFLOPS, the approximately tenfold cost difference per GFLOP makes the Sony PS3 the only viable technology for HPC applications."

DiMaio said the Air Force's interest in the PS3 is in line with the trend toward the consumerization of IT. "This is a pristine example of how consumer technology can be used in pretty demanding government contexts -- although still in an R&D rather than operational capacity," she wrote.

The Air Force said the PS3 Cell processor has shown strong potential for applications such as high-definition video image processing and "neuromorphic computing," which mimics the neuro-biological architecture of the human nervous system.

"The additional PS3s will allow the R&D community to expand its current capabilities and investigate other applications that require many more processors to perform real-time tasks," the Air Force document said.

Read more about hardware in Computerworld's Hardware Knowledge Center.


Link from: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/345642/Air_Force_Taps_PlayStation_3_for_Research

cheng said,
lol, U.S. air force must has hard time today.

The issue was with the original PS3 firmware/PSN. I severely doubt that the USAF would still be using the original firmware instead of the Linux alternative OS which is available...

So is it Sony's turn to go to Congress?? Are we going to hear an apologize?? If I turn mine on today and play it, will I too also get error messages on my body?? Did someone set the time manually for the future and started Chile's earthquake? So I didn't have to strangle wife before I got the news that she didn't do anything and it was Sony fault?? Please help.

Masterp said,
So is it Sony's turn to go to Congress?? Are we going to hear an apologize?? If I turn mine on today and play it, will I too also get error messages on my body?? Did someone set the time manually for the future and started Chile's earthquake? So I didn't have to strangle wife before I got the news that she didn't do anything and it was Sony fault?? Please help.

What ? It's more or less a bug that went under the radar during initial production like Zune had at beginning of the year and will be resolved either by time like many have said around GMT when tick over to 2nd (30 mins ish from this post) on 2nd or Sony will release a minor patch to manually resolve it.

Microsoft don't go in front of congress for every windows update nor do they predict earth quakes so I'm not sure what you're referring to there but simple BIOS/internal clocks can be muddled by simple programming algorithm mishap or calculation or formula which is generally easy fixed once all precautions and investigations are concluded and taken into account.

Im glad this site caters for a wide range of news, i switched on my PS3 this morning and had the sign in problem and noticed that the date was wrong. I didn't look into it at the time and just wondered if it was some random glitch. I wouldn't have thought it was a bigger problem as it was, saved me resetting and playing around with it. I don't mind i can wait it out until they have a fix.

So what exactly was the "clock issue"? It's not like this was a leap year or anything wierd, the next one of those is what 2012?

The PS3 clock thought it was a leap year and it could not find the date (February 29th 2010) and reset to the default date (January 1st 2000)

It should fix itself in 2 hours 45 minutes (12 AM GMT)

Lewism said,
The PS3 clock thought it was a leap year and it could not find the date (February 29th 2010) and reset to the default date (January 1st 2000)

It should fix itself in 2 hours 45 minutes (12 AM GMT)


I believe that the clock they are referring to is the real-time clock chip on the board. When the software reads the time it will get something invalid. My guess is that newer PS3s have a different clock chip that doesn't have this bug.

tmorris1 said,
You will be fine when it the clock ticks over at 12:00 GMT, so 7:00 EST.
Do we actually have confirmation on this?

If it's going to resolve itself by simply ticking over to the 2nd March / 1st March depending on how you look at it, shouldn't we have heard by now from people e.g. in New Zealand with the same problem?

rfahy said,
If it's going to resolve itself by simply ticking over to the 2nd March / 1st March depending on how you look at it, shouldn't we have heard by now from people e.g. in New Zealand with the same problem?

Straight from a Kiwi I can report that time and date as of 2nd March, 09:28 AM - Time and date are still buggered on my launch day 60GB and no sign in possible as of yet.

rfahy said,
If it's going to resolve itself by simply ticking over to the 2nd March / 1st March depending on how you look at it, shouldn't we have heard by now from people e.g. in New Zealand with the same problem?

Sony servers go by GMT time.

And jeeez a lot of /facepalm earlier in this news post.

rfahy said,
If it's going to resolve itself by simply ticking over to the 2nd March / 1st March depending on how you look at it, shouldn't we have heard by now from people e.g. in New Zealand with the same problem?
The clock runs on GMT, and just converts the time for your timezone... You have to wait until 00:00GMT+0000

d4v1d05 said,
The clock runs on GMT, and just converts the time for your timezone... You have to wait until 00:00GMT+0000

Surely it'd be UTC and not GMT for the hardware clock? (And yes, the is a difference between them)

fiber0ptic said,

Surely it'd be UTC and not GMT for the hardware clock? (And yes, the is a difference between them)
That's what I meant, thanks for pointing out my incompetence! :P

Apparently you have to take the coin battery out in order to fix this problem, though I'm betting most users don't want to take apart their PS3. ;)

Chanser said,
Apparently you have to take the coin battery out in order to fix this problem, though I'm betting most users don't want to take apart their PS3. ;)

It's not so difficult as long as you're organised and keep a note of where the screws go. Obviously, you wouldn't want to void your warranty, but if your console is out of warranty already then I say go for it. It's fun.

Quigley Guy said,
Probably need a special torx screwdriver to open it... which most people wouldn't have

Nope. The first screw, to get the lid off, is a torx T9 but you can just use a small straight-headed screwdriver to get that out. I know, I did just that.

Hehe.

I can personally confirm that opening your PS3 up, taking it to pieces, removing the battery and reassembling DOES work. ;)

Not Sure if this is related, Both my sons have PS3 (8OG Fat, 120GB Slim) and they were both complaining yesterday that they kepp getting logged out of PSN.

Okay, here's some info I've dug up from around the web...

- The PS3 (like most computers) has two clocks. An internal hardware timer, and a software clock.
- The software clock isn't important. It produces the date on the screen, and is used for things like putting timestamps on saved games, etc.
- The internal timer, for some unknown reason, currently believes it's February 29th 2010. Since this is an 'impossible date' things have stopped working.
- Sony may, or may not be, working on a fix at the moment. If they're not, it's likely to be because the internal clock should tick over to March 1st 2010 later tonight (but will then be a day out, obviously).

A countdown to the March 1st tickover is currently on display at http://www.bored.com/makecountdowns/show.php?id=198464

Garry said,
Okay, here's some info I've dug up from around the web...

- The PS3 (like most computers) has two clocks. An internal hardware timer, and a software clock.
- The software clock isn't important. It produces the date on the screen, and is used for things like putting timestamps on saved games, etc.
- The internal timer, for some unknown reason, currently believes it's February 29th 2010. Since this is an 'impossible date' things have stopped working.
- Sony may, or may not be, working on a fix at the moment. If they're not, it's likely to be because the internal clock should tick over to March 1st 2010 later tonight (but will then be a day out, obviously).

A countdown to the March 1st tickover is currently on display at http://www.bored.com/makecountdowns/show.php?id=198464

Yeah sounds like a possible temporary Zune like issue that happened but I think Sony may release a tiny patch like Microsoft do for Windows time related issues.

Garry said,
Okay, here's some info I've dug up from around the web...

- The PS3 (like most computers) has two clocks. An internal hardware timer, and a software clock.
- The software clock isn't important. It produces the date on the screen, and is used for things like putting timestamps on saved games, etc.
- The internal timer, for some unknown reason, currently believes it's February 29th 2010. Since this is an 'impossible date' things have stopped working.
- Sony may, or may not be, working on a fix at the moment. If they're not, it's likely to be because the internal clock should tick over to March 1st 2010 later tonight (but will then be a day out, obviously).

A countdown to the March 1st tickover is currently on display at http://www.bored.com/makecountdowns/show.php?id=198464

That makes sense...

If it's a leap year bug why didn't the problem occur last year? And why doesn't the problem occur on leap years when the PS3 would think its March 1st instead of February 29th?

kraized said,
If it's a leap year bug why didn't the problem occur last year? And why doesn't the problem occur on leap years when the PS3 would think its March 1st instead of February 29th?

Because this is the first time the PS3 system has encountered an even-numbered year which isn't a leap year, perhaps?

Garry said,

Because this is the first time the PS3 system has encountered an even-numbered year which isn't a leap year, perhaps?

But why? So the PS3 has been programmed incorrectly. My old mobile phone from year dot is intelligent enough to get the date correct.

kraized said,

But why? So the PS3 has been programmed incorrectly. My old mobile phone from year dot is intelligent enough to get the date correct.

Because someone at Sony screwed up. I think that much is obvious.

Garry said,

Because this is the first time the PS3 system has encountered an even-numbered year which isn't a leap year, perhaps?

Say WHAT??? First of all, leap years aren't simply even-numbered years (as that would make them every other year). Second, the PS3 was initially released in 2006, so this is the third even-numbered year that it has seen (2006, 2008, and 2010), although its only the second time it has encountered March 1st (2008 and 2010). Finally, 2008 was a leap year, this year is not.

roadwarrior said,
Finally, 2008 was a leap year, this year is not.

So everything Garry said is exactly true, this is the first time the PS3 has encountered this kind of situation... (the first of march on an even year which isn't a leap year)

I just checked mine. The date says 12/31/1999 6:32PM. I tried setting the date manually hoping that it would be the answer. Nope. Still does nothing.

HalcyonX12 said,
What a ridiculous bug, I can't believe it exists!

You probably done know the first thing about programming, computers or even how leap years come about.

Just to confirm, my PS3 which isn't online, set it's date back to 31/12/1999 and refuses to play FIFA 10. I get the error message after the language selection.

There will be millions of PS3 owners around the world, like myself, who don't wish to play games online or connect to the PSN who, at the moment, are receiving very cryptic error messages when trying to play their games.

Sony have really, REALLY dropped the ball.

Garry said,
Just to confirm, my PS3 which isn't online, set it's date back to 31/12/1999 and refuses to play FIFA 10. I get the error message after the language selection.

There will be millions of PS3 owners around the world, like myself, who don't wish to play games online or connect to the PSN who, at the moment, are receiving very cryptic error messages when trying to play their games.

Sony have really, REALLY dropped the ball.


same here.
i only connect mine to PSN when i need something. all my LBP stuff is disabled even the free stuff.

Xero said,
Mines ****ed Can't even play games without internet. Real ****ty Sony better fix this soon.

Nice. They provide you with a service that you don't have to pay for to use, and when it doesn't work your first thought is "****ty Sony."

Relax, they say that they're working on it. Use the time wisely and go play outside for a bit, it's good for stress relief.

Quigley Guy said,
Paying €400+ for the console then not able to play games... offline.
Sony messed up.

Yeah, and why would playing games offline be reliant on a connection to their network? It doesn't make sense...

humanz. said,
Is this considered a "partial brick"? Or is this entirely network related?

Sounds to me like network. The good thing is PS3's allow you to update the firmware via a USB Thumb stick, so no worries!.

warwagon said,

Sounds to me like network. The good thing is PS3's allow you to update the firmware via a USB Thumb stick, so no worries!.

Getting Joe public to perform such a task won't be easy. I just had a home user checking their cables are all plugged in on their router as they cant get online. It took 3 calls to her and 2 to the ISP when on the last call to her we asked her to take pictures of her router when she said that the phone cable wasn't plugged in. Sadly these calls are not rare :(

humanz. said,
Is this considered a "partial brick"? Or is this entirely network related?

It's purely network associated by an internal bug - like what happened on the zune on new years day, however, they recommend not using PS3 in relation to things like trophies could be corrupted of sorts in mean time. I think that's mainly aimed at people who sincerely care about their trophies that much I guess...

Digitalx said,

It's purely network associated by an internal bug - like what happened on the zune on new years day, however, they recommend not using PS3 in relation to things like trophies could be corrupted of sorts in mean time. I think that's mainly aimed at people who sincerely care about their trophies that much I guess...

Yeah, was this due to the leap year?

I work for CEX and this is proving to be an absolute ball ache. Had 3 people attempting to return their PS3's already. Telling them its a worldwide issue and not just the usual substandard second hand gear you get from CEX just isn't cutting it. That is untill we show them all the google results for this issue

why is this affecting normal ps3s insted of slims as well? perhaps a firmware update is on the way and will silently fix that new ps3 exploit.

So is this due to a firmware update? I have my fatty disconnected from the net, and its at either 3.0 or 3.1 firmware, is it that its the date time thing?

I hope they get this fixed soon. I want to be able to play through God of War 1 and 2 again before March 16th...

Maybe Sony did some stupid knee jerk reaction to try and limit impact of the recent known attack on Hypervisor allowing full access to SPE's and memory from Other OS on "fat" ps3's. Other OS does not exist on "slim" ps3's so currently are not affected by the attack.

MytMowse said,
Very interesting news. Hope it gets fixed soon.

Yeah im hoping its fixed well before Thursday when i get BF-BC2

Been hearing about this all morning and not bothered to turn on my one in the living room, apparently it isnt all the fat models as some people have said theirs is working ok, lets hope there is a fix for this issue asap heh