back to article Old PS3s locked out of PlayStation Network

Sony has confirmed that many if not all of its old-style chunky PlayStation 3 consoles will no longer connect to the PlayStation Network. The glitch, which began to strike users worldwide yesterday, does not affect the new, slimline version of the console. The machines are "connecting normally", Sony said on its official …


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  1. Frostbite


    PSN down agaiiiiiiiiiin !!!

    This bites, happened in November last year too, how about some software version control Sony?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    much worse than PSN down

    Even offline the fat PS3s don't work. Their clock goes to 31/12/1999 and any games that use trophies will not start (e.g. everything published in the last 2 years).

    Obviously it's a firmware/hardware problem. This is going to be a "Toyota".

    1. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      I haven't tried it on mine yet, however, does this fix it?

      This sounds like a 'leap year' issue. If the clock is resetting to 31/12/1999, is there any reason it can't be manually set to 01/03/2010, and does this fix the problem?

      1. Frostbite

        Yes and no

        Yes you can manually set the clock and no it doesn't fix it.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    PS: it's a leap year bug

    Sony is a hardware vendor. They just can't write software. They should have realised by now. They treat software development with the same processes they use for the assembly line.

  4. MJI Silver badge

    I wonder?

    I lost connection to PSN on Sunday while on Multiplayer Uncharted 2, I thought it was odd.

    Anyway logged back in and all was OK

    1. Test Man

      Funnily enough...

      ... so did I, while I was on the vs screen of Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. The one time the said I had been disconnected from the PlayStation Network and was actually accurate!

  5. Greg J Preece

    Thank God for that!

    I was getting an error on my PS3 last night and all the Google results coming back suggested my PS3 was buggered. Glad to know it's not.

    That said, having the PSN network die and take Burnout Paradise with it mere hours after I set up my new LED telly... Grrrrr!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was working fine last night....

    at about 1am GMT on an old style 80Gb. Logged on and got the demo of Heavy Rain.

  7. SynnerCal
    Black Helicopters

    Could there be another explanation?

    Is it possible that Sony are looking at a method of banning chipped PS3's from PSN? After all, Microsoft did it with XBL, and I guess the reasons they did that are just as 'relevant' to Sony.

    (Even though I'm a '360 owner not a PS3 one, I'm not trying to troll - just suggesting another possible explanation).

    1. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge


      There is no such thing as a 'chipped' PS3. The encryption technology they use has yet to be properly broken*. This doesn't necessarily make it 'stronger' than that in the Xbox, although I suspect it is.

      *Before anyone says it, making hardware modifications in order to be able to peek at the memory behind the hypervisor when running Linux doesn't really count as breaking the encryption.

      1. Lou Gosselin

        I own neither

        "*Before anyone says it, making hardware modifications in order to be able to peek at the memory behind the hypervisor when running Linux doesn't really count as breaking the encryption."

        Non of the modded consoles have broken encryption. Obviously, if they had broken the encryption, a hardware mod would be unnecessary. Both techniques would be a means to an end of running arbitrary software on the box, which is the goal.

        The arbitrary software can be a game patch, a linux console, a home brew game, whatever.

    2. EvilKurisu

      Youmust be a 360 owner....

      to not realise there is no chip available for the PS3.

    3. Richard 86

      Chipped PS3?

      There aren't any widely available hacks for the PS3- it was only hacked for the first time last month!

  8. Professor Tinklepants

    Playstation not working?

    That's the God of Gaming telling you that you should have bought an Xbox....

    Ouch, that's GOTTA hurt......

    1. Bilgepipe


      Nahh, it sounds like a Zune-style "too stupid to calculate the date correctly" bug to me.

    2. Frostbite


      No, the god of gaming had me send my XBox 360 Elite back after it died when only 4 months old!

      (Red Ring of Death)

    3. Greg J Preece

      In that case...

      ...what was RRoD all about? A billion dollars worth of dead Xboxen tells me to keep my PS3. :-p

      1. Orclev

        Oh Rly?

        Nah, the god of gaming was trying to tell you you should have bought a Wii.

        I know, I know, I'll get my coat.

    4. Rob Beard

      Too noisy!

      Nah the 360 is too noisy for my liking (I have all three, a Wii, an XBOX 360 Elite and PS3 80GB). In fact the little old Wii is the quietest out of the bunch, shame it doesn't do HD video playback.


    5. Tarthen

      And like

      And like WinMobile's 2016 bug telling you to get an Android phone.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Lets hope

    They fix it in the next 10 days, as that would be as bad as when Xbox Live was unavailable all over Xmas and New year...

    I suspect a firmware update will be out in a couple of days to fix this. 'til then, set your clock manually and perhaps avoid signing into PSN...

  10. Subliteratus


    As they've hosed folks' access to PSN, how are they going to get the firmware updates out? The next round of BDs from Sony? It'll be a laugh to see how this all pans out.

    Apart from the bit where I'm not laughing because half my games don't work any more.

    1. Sooty

      i suspect

      exactly the same way they issue firmware updates to their dvd/blu-ray players for people without a handy network connection. A simple cd image available on their support website, not as convenient as the direct network update, but far from being difficult. They will probably even post one out to you if you don't have a pc/cd burner.

      It's also possible that the firmware updates can be downloaded without fully logging into the psn.

  11. John Goodwin 4

    Spherical objects

    Mine's borked - date was reset, and even resetting it manually doesn't achieve much. The only games I've been able to play are WipEout 2091 (PS) and Colin McRae DiRT (reeespek Colin).

    Last twitter update for PSN was 9 hours ago so it looks like they've given this top priority NOT.

    On my 5th PS3 due to YLODs and my patience is wearing thin - somewhat understandably. When this one goes bang ;-) I might even consider swapping it for the new slim version they keep offering me. And accept the fact I won't be able to play older games. Grrrrrr!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmm, yeah right

      You must be the unluckiest PS3 owner out there cos I know quite a few people with phat PS3's (80gb models, 1 with 40gb) and have not heard that any one of them having the YLoD. The only time I ever hear of the YLoD is from an Xbox 360 owning friend trying to justify that piece of shit.

      Can't really decide whether you are exagerating or lying.

  12. Stu

    Yup, dead PSN.


    I noticed it last night too after watching a DooVD. I tried multiple time to sign back into PSN. No joy.

    Sounds to me like this could be a combination of Sony's software ineptitude and, indeed the game authors themselves, If Colin McRae bumdirt still works, and thats a modern game, then the others should perhaps have coded their games to be a little more resilient in the face of PSN outages.

    Game writers should NEVER assume permanent network connectivity, but its nice to have sufficient forethought - Codemasters seem to have managed it tho.

  13. asdf

    Sony fail

    After becoming a Sony user due to disgust with my Xbox experience all I can say is so much for Sony taking the high end and giving us gaming snobs a better gaming experience. Sad enough, though the WII games suck, you can still pirate them, online is free and the damn system works. You knew which way Sony was heading when they let a westerner (and an evil drm friendly media executive at that) run the company. My bet is most of these problems would not be near as nasty if the systems DRM was not assuming the user is hacking the system instead of the fact that once again the Japanese fail at software development. Outside of the gaming industry Japanese software has always been among the worse in every industry I have worked in and now it looks like this slowly coming to pass in gaming as well.

    1. asdf
      Thumb Down

      my mistake

      Sorry looks to be more of a hardware fail which until recently was very rare for Japanese companies. Honestly though this Welsh fail because after all it was Sir Howard Stringer that had such a hardon for DRM and punishing his honest paying customers (coincidence it was under Stringers watch the Sony rootkit fiasco happened?).

  14. Steve 26

    Oh no, world stops spinning

    Hoards of spotty teenagers forced to enter into conversation with real people - what a shocker.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Steve26

      Conversation? Nah... this is what will happen.

      <cold sweat>comeoncomeoncomeoncomeon damit, reset try again, comeoncomeoncomeoncomeon DAMIT! re-set, try again....comeoncomeoncomeonDAMITDAMIT!wimper re-set</repeat>

  15. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

    It is not just PSN

    It's interesting that everybody is focusing on the PSN outtage when the problem is much worse than that. I saw it live on a friend's PS3, which wasn't connected to Internet in any way... at 6 pm here (exactly midnight GMT) it threw up the infamous 8001050F error an locked us out of RE5. It also borked the trophies for all games, reseted the system date to 12/31 1999 and turned Marvel vs Capcom and Bionic Commando from full versions to demo (Not sure, but the error may have also killed my friend's cat and pissed on the fridge)

    As speculated, the error might be in the way the PS3 handles leap years... and if that is the case, I sincerely hope someone will be losing his job at Sony *today* This is just embarrassing

  16. Tom Adair

    Unaffected here

    Seems my late model 80Gb (CECHL04) is working just fine, displaying 1st March date and connecting to PSN & the Store as normal.

    Would be odd if this is a leap year calculation problem, because what makes this year different from last year, which also was not a leap year? Unless by a long shot 2010 produces some sort of DIV#0 error, while 2009/2011/etc will be fine...

    1. Andy Jones

      Same here

      Same here. 80Gb PS3 and unaffected. Don't know what all the fuss is about!

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Not a network problem

    It is not a network problem as just about everywhere is reporting. Its affecting offline units and debug units that have never been connected online.

    It looks like its a problem with the internal clock which is used to validate DRM and by the looks of it used by the trophy system.

    Games that have been bought online will not function properly, many just function as demos. Themes that have been purchased are no longer usable, same with DLC for games like Little Big Planet.

    Retail games that do work will have their local trophy data erased off the system. No doubt it will be back when you are able to sync your trophies.

    Some retail games throw up a trophy sync/validation error and don't let you proceed. Its not that they require a network connection to play, its another issue entirely.

  18. Stuart Jones

    Mine too

    Didn't see this post until looking up the issue - just decided to try and have a game of PES2010 and that doesn't work either. Internet access including the iPlayer seem okay - just seems to be playing games which is the problem. Typical as I am on holiday today. Will just have to work instead :(

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Anonymous Coward

    welcome to DRM hell

    Once again we see evidence that selling content that requires to be validated ALL THE TIME to work has the ultimate consequence to screw the consumer.

  21. Arthur Daley
    Thumb Up

    some news

    just heard from a ps3 dev pal of mine and apparently this effected even the ps3 test units (phat)

    and to quote..


    he removed the RTC battery for about 10 minutes as I suggested earlier, stuck it back in and he is now back up and running, on PSN and everything!

    So, if you guys want to give it a try and your box has been opened / out of warranty - it should work!

    I'd just, for now, set it to today / tomorrow's (3/1/2010) date, to be safe!


  22. Arthur Daley
    Thumb Up

    The going theory is

    The going theory is that the PS3 is storing some form of date in GMT, then modifying that to get whatever you see in the on-screen clock. That modification process seems to be fine; the system can take 2/28/2010, 9PM GMT, add four hours, and get 3/1/2010, 1AM random time zone.

    What’s apparently wrong, as speculation goes, is when the internal GMT-tracking rolls over to 3/1. It’s either not rolling, or rolling to 2/29, at which point a system tries to add/subtract from 2/29, which it can’t do because the front-end calendar doesn’t have a 2/29/2010. Everything started to collapse around 4PM PDT, which I think is 12AM GMT.

    And the PS3 launched in 2006; it’s hit four 2/28s so far. 2007 and 2009 were odd-numbered years; 2008 was an even, and a leap year. 2010 is the first even non-leap-year the system’s been around for. If some sort of base-level math is choking on itself, it may have ruled out the odd 2007 and 2009 successfully, but is convinced the even 2010 is a leap year (this part I’m less sure of, but is why leap year could theoretically come into play at some point).

    Read more:

    1. Kevin Reader
      Paris Hilton

      This is the common theory and I have a how!

      According to my Son who's well into the PS3:

      a) The problem is rife

      b) Affects many games that are offline even where that PS3 has no internet connection and never has done.

      c) The consensus is moving to a first even year that's not a leap year error.

      d) Many people (in the early hours) even did things like reformating & reflashing their PS3 thinking that it was only their own machine that had gone stupid. They've already lost *everything* and are less than happy bunnies now.

      Think about the mechanism of a leap year bug the following immediately springs to mind.

      Its quite common to check the modulus of the year vs 4 either by masking for the lower 2 bits or shifting and restoring the year:

      eg. (year % 4) == 0

      or year == (year/4)*4

      Now the more efficient way to divide by 4 is to shift by 2 eg: year == (year >> 2) << 2

      See where I'm going here. Its pretty easy to put a 2 in place of a 4 or use LEAP_YEAR_SHIFT instead of LEAP_YEAR_DIV or rather more subtly divide by 2 when you meant to shift by 2. And Bob's your auntie an unexpected result. Then you load a bogus date into the hardware clock, it rejects it resetting to date code 0. You reboot, the PS3 bios then barfs on the date code 0 (= whenever) as its never ever seen one earlier than 2006.

      Paris - cos she's never missed a date she wanted.

  23. Arthur Daley

    3rd time lucky

    sorry to post 3 in a row..

    Fix 1: as above, remove/replace RTC battery = CONFIRMED WORKING

    Fix 2: sit tite, at 12am gmt this could very well correct itself = sony will take credit lol

  24. Alex Walsh

    lets hope...

    ...the firmware update server is reachable, even if the PSN isn't :)

  25. Jonathan White

    Still flashable

    @Alex - You can (and always have been able to) download the PS3 firmware from the EU playstation site, stick it on a USB pen drive and reflash a PS3 from that. You can even, with the right combination of holding down of buttons, reflash a PS3 that won't boot up to the usual OS.

    If they get a firmware fix people will be able to apply it. Well, people with access to a PC, at least.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sony statement

    Sony say they now know the cause of the problem and the fix should be along in the next 24 hours.

    HOWEVER, they're saying all users of fat PS3s should NOT use their machines until the fix is released as there is a risk of data corruption for trophies and PSN purchases.

    Details at:

    Astonishingly, this info isn't even on the front page of the Playstation site. Sony's PR people should be taken out and lightly shot.

    BTW. Sony's current slogan: 'It Only Does Everything (tm)'

    Apart from work.

  27. lr127

    not good enough

    Another toyota. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. people spend alot of money on these consoles and games. What i would like to know is just because their network has a fault , that should not stop one from playing. Trouble is THEY Want the power over you. If they cannot fix this problem then they should replace all the machines free of charge no matter how old or face court action

  28. TtRx

    Latest Update - IMPORTANT

    Sony has finally spoken up about the game-crashing issues currently plaguing non-Slim PS3 models. A post on PlayStation Blog has confirmed that the problems are "being caused by a bug in the clock functionality incorporated in the system." The statement puts a loose timeframe on a fix for the issues, saying, "we hope to resolve this problem within the next 24 hours."

    Additionally, the PlayStation Blog post includes a word of warning to PS3 Phat owners: "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." (Read Sony's full statement after the break.)

    We know you're curious to see what the console apocalypse looks like, but trust us -- it's just not worth it. We'll let you know when it's safe to turn your system back on.

    Official statement from Sony:

    "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.

    "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 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. 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.

    "As mentioned above, please be advised that the new slim PS3 is not affected with this error. We are doing our best to resolve the issue and do apologize for any inconvenience caused."

  29. Myopic Aardvark

    Download still works

    Managed to download the update to Heavy Rain (just bought today), but couldn't play the game as I can't connect to the PSN.

    Gah and I was so looking forward to that game!

  30. npupp 1


    great. i have a productive day in office (read a day without erading El Reg and gaming blogs), get home, turn on PS3, see date is wrong, change and start playing. Now i read PS3 Phats shouldn't be used, after i google to find cause of DLC not being found for Boderlands :/ a save happy game. woo. whats the bet those trophies and data have been lost to the aether. *sulks*

  31. Yorkshirepudding

    Damn what to do

    well thats shafted my evening of annoying americans on MW2 ah well...

    i actually thought there would have been pages of flaming on here but its not as bad as i thought, all the same its a tad annoying that we cant play games offline even, i feel blocked from doing what i could do.

    and also warning people not to turn the console on? seriously not everyone checks the interwebz all day for PSN news so what if you got home turned it on, then checked the error code? oh shazbot!

    if its all the same ill wait till the panic calms down but i reckon a new firmware update will be required but i also think sony should allow us to download one free game.

    PS3 MK1 owners only though you slim ones can go shaft yourselves

    /sour grapes

  32. Cosmo
    Thumb Up

    My PS3 phat seems to work

    I tried a quick test by trying to join a COD MW2 multiplayer game. It signed in fine. My 80GB PS3 was bought about two months before the PS3 slim came out. I'm not sure if there was a subtle change in hardware as time went on...

  33. BongoBoy

    Let's hope Sony suffers for this

    Ok, so Sony's network is free, unfortunately this is reflected in the playing experience.

    I don't expect to pay £40-odd quid for games then not be able to play them because of Sony's inpetitude/general uselessness. This is also worrying for the future when Sony decide games are no longer supported.

    Sony's whole approach to networked gaming is half-baked and amateurish and this latest travesty is completely unacceptable.

    Let's hope a million disgruntled American PS3 owners get together with a class action and hit Sony with a financial sledgehammer.

    1. Tarthen

      At least

      At least we don't have to pay for our downtime :) .

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Pathetic press about turn.

    Previously it was that the PS3 sucked and had no games. Now PSN is down for like 10 hours (as opposed to Microsoft's record of 10 DAYS), suddenly it's as if the world is gonna end.

    Pathetic is the word...

    1. Leo Davidson

      It's not just PSN

      It's not just PSN that's affected and Sony are advising people not to turn on their consoles AT ALL until they know more.

      No, it isn't the end of the world, but it's also hardly a good turn of events.

  35. Rob Beard


    BBC Newsbeat say that Sony are saying now to use a phat PS3 at the moment, so if it just affecting people playing games or should owners not turn the console on?

    Sods law the kids have been watching DVDs on it all day and I've been streaming videos from PS3 Media Server.

    As it happens though, I fired up the XBOX 360 today for a change to play a bit of Hexic.


  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I turned mine on

    I used mine yesterday before I knew about this issue...

    I couldn't connect to the PSN, and my date/timewas reset to 1/1/2000, however I had no trouble playing games (that had no PSN interaction), or movies (DivX or DVD) on it.

    Hopefully I didn't cause it any damage by using...

  37. Neoc

    Which is why...

    I do not play any of the newer games, whether on PC or on PS3/XBox. I see no reason why a game *needs* to be connected to the 'net. The other reason (coming clean) is that I am a part-time gamer - I play when I need to relax... and the last thing I need is to be stuck in a game with teenagers who have been on-line every spare hours of their day, and no way to opt out. Not fun OR relaxing.

  38. Arthur Daley

    Fixed at 0:00 GMT+0

    strange (NOT) that it works now 24 hours to the second later.

    dont even try and take credit for this sony..

    i want a free game from psn to make me 'feel' better

    1. Aortic Aneurysm

      Not really...

      The actual problem was fixed before midnight... some forums were reporting users able to get back on from as early as 10.30pm last night.

  39. Frostbite

    Midnight fix

    I agree with Arthur Daley above, my PS3 was dead at 11:58pm GMT but was online again a minute past midnight.

    I had to laugh at the news reports this morning at Sony saying they had "fixed" it.

    Yerrrr riiiiiight. - don't take credit for it Sony, nobody is buying it.


  40. Anonymous Coward

    Thought mine was bricked

    When I turned it on March 1st, the screen was garbage.

    Then this morning after the "leap year" it was fine.

    So the problem was much worse than not being able to connect to PSN for at least one user.

  41. MJI Silver badge

    Definately duff leap dates

    I wonder if Sony will be having words with their chip supplier?

    On the 2nd of March on the PS3 I suddenly realised it was actually the 3rd, so it definately used 29th of February.

    Anyway mine is all OK

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