Tuesday, 02 March 2010 09:53

Sony: Don't switch your PS3 on

Some PlayStation 3 game consoles are suffering the equivalent of the Y2K bug that could cause data loss if turned on.

Yesterday it came to light that there was a glitch on the PlayStation Network, Sony's PS3 online gaming service and digital distribution store.

Sony escalated the issue, reporting '.. do not use your PS3 system, as doing so may result in errors in some functionality."

That 'Some Functionality' may include data such as the converted gaming trophies system not recording properly as well as the somewhat generic warning of 'not being able to restore certain data'

Reportedly this glitch is only affecting the older 'fat' PS3's and not recent 'slim' models, this seems to be backed up by a report over at TheGamingVault, which explains the calendar bug as follows:

The gist of the issue is that the ARM SYSCON CPU that is used to power up the front panel of the ps3, it is responsible for doing things like sleep mode, eject, RTC etc. is an old batch that sony picked up from the shelf like other manufacturers that has that calendar year bug regarding Feburary 29th on certain periods.

In other words the front system panel ARM CPU RTC is saying its Feb 29th, while your ps3 console is saying its March 1st, causing the PS3 system clock and the real time clock to desync, messing up security measures like Digital Rights management software and sometimes games that relies on clocks for whatever reason. As well as signing up to the playstation network'¦ This CPU is always on even when your PS3 isn't plugged


This problem is also happening with various development PS3 models as you well know, particulary the ones that has the emotion engine cpu/gpu for ps2 dev.

This is the one of the same type of CPUs that is powering up mobile devices like zune and blackberries, they have been affected with this bug, so they done some software patches. A syscon update can also fix this problem.

The Slims Ps3s aren't affected because they use a newer up to date revision on the syscon cpu that fixes this bug, except for some units which still run on the older CPU.

A quick way to fix this is to remove the RTC battery for at least 5-10 min and plug it back in, you will see the date and time reset, and voila'¦ Or wait 11 hours I guess for this problem to mysteriously clear? FW update might be possible but because the DRM is screwy and updates rely on that, it could work against it.

Whilst this sounds semi-plausible, leaving your PS3 off for the (at the time) 11 hours suggested should not fix the issue, as both processors will still be out of sync date wise.

Still awaiting further official word on this issue from Sony, seems like a good time to play Mass Effect 2

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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