The start of a new month would usually bring fresh excitement, especially considering the impending arrival of some of this year’s biggest titles – Final Fantasy XIII and God of War III – March has been initially hampered by an inherent bug within Sony’s PlayStation 3 consoles.
With Sony remaining firmly tight-lipped on the issue, speculation is that the PlayStation 3’s clock chip – on all the older ‘fat’ models – is currently searching for February 29th within its 2010 calendar. As well all know, this doesn’t exist, so issues have arisen in which users cannot play games, sync trophy data, or even connect to the PlayStation Network. It is the 8001050F error code is indicative of the machine being locked off PSN and being susceptible to Trophy data corruption.
However, the issue may be able to be fixed. If it is indeed hardware-based, there is a chance that Sony will be able to re-write the binary codes of the clock chip so that it can ‘understand’ that 2010 and other years won’t have a February 29th. It may also correct itself overnight when it alters onto March 2nd, so maybe Sony is currently playing the waiting game.
However, those that can’t connect to PSN will be left unable to download the patch, if ever managed, that will save their consoles. Sony may be able to utilize a server that isn’t clock-based to counteract this, yet that means the only other option the company has is to release the patch via PlayStation.com to be installed with a USB Stick, or seek some form of distributing discs to retail stores and PlayStation 3 owners directly.
Worst-case scenario is that the clock chip is such low-level tech within the PlayStation 3 console that it is unable to be patched through firmware, which would mean that if it doesn’t correct itself tonight Sony could be looking at having a much larger issue on their hands.
Some of the techy members on GAF believe that if it is unable to be fixed then Sony will have to recall all affected consoles, creating a situation that will rival even that of Microsoft’s widespread RROD issue with the Xbox 360. With the majority of PS3 owners in possession of a ‘fat’ model, and even Debug units being reportedly affected, this could be an incredibly worrying time for Sony if the issue remains unresolved.