“Fat” PS3s Down For Indefinite Period

(Image via Kotaku)

PS3 users around the world are currently experiencing a debilitating error that prevents their consoles from signing into the PlayStation Network.  This error is affecting online gameplay for many, and even offline gaming for some titles with dynamic trophy support.

On Twitter, Sony has responded to the complaints by assuring users that they are looking into the problem:

We’re aware that many of you are having problems connecting to PSN, and yes, we’re looking into it. Stay tuned for updates.

Meanwhile, reports to Sony seem to indicate that 120GB and 250GB “Slim” models are continuing to operate normally, meaning that this issues is only affecting the older “fat” consoles.  The fact that this issue is affecting consoles that aren’t connected to the Network could indicate a major Y2K-style bug within the hardware or firmware.  Kotaku reports that the issue may be related to the calendars on older PS3s; many are reporting that the date has reset on their consoles.

UPDATE: Fellow writer Patrick Talbert alerted me to this post on NEOGaf that explains the issue quite clearly:

Here’s what’s going on right now: something with the PS3’s internal clock has borked in some pre-slim models. This is not a PSN issue; it has to do with your PS3’s clock. This clock is NOT related to the OS clock. It seems to be a leap year bug. Setting your clock ahead will do nothing. All PS3s around the world were affected at the exact same time.

Does this affect me?

-If you have a Slim PS3, you’re good to go. Continue playing it as normal.
-If you have a “fat” PS3, you may be affected. Some fat PS3s have worked ok, but it seems a good majority have been bugged.

What does this bug mean?

-If affected, your date and time has been set to a random past date. This prevents you from signing into PSN, playing any PSN games, or using any DLC. Your trophies will also not display correctly or be able to sync.

How do I fix it?

-You can’t. Even if you don’t sign into PSN, it won’t help. This is a hardware issue.

So, what do I do?

-Wait 24 hours. Other products that have had similar bugs have corrected themselves after the “bugged” day. On Monday around 8pm central time, all PS3s will automatically correct themselves…maybe.

-If that doesn’t work, we’ll need a firmware update from Sony, which should be a pretty important priority for them right now.

Did I lose my data/themes/etc?

Your save data/games/dlc/themes are fine. They’ll be fixed when the PS3 is fixed. Trophies are uncertain right now, but they’ll be fine if you’ve synced them before the PS3 was bugged. Unsynced trophies are an unknown right now.

If I have a bugged PS3, can I still use it?

It’s probably not a good idea, as I have no idea what will happen to the trophies you earn during the bugged time. Movies/media will work fine.

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  • I’ve been hearing that it’s not a PSN issue at all. Apparently, this NeoGaf post gives a clear concise version of the issue:

    Jordan, feel free to update the post with this information if you’d like.

  • Jordan Silverthorne (Silverthorne)

    Done. Much appreciated.

  • lol, good thing I didn’t plan on gaming tonight, I would be pissed. It’s one thing to deal with downtime on a free service, it’s a whole other thing when it comes to gaming as a whole.

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  • Tony

    I was missing out on trophies all day but now I know it is from this so it still affects your PS3 even if you aren’t even hooked up to the internet. Hopefully they get it fixed, I got a trophy for finishing a game and I can’t go back and do it again because my game saved so I better not miss this…

  • En

    Im mega pissed, no multi-player, PSN is one thing, but “heavy rain” which i just bought wont work either. SOOOO annoying! Was obvioulsy not a PSN issue as PSP’s can connect fine. Gonna be interesting to see how they issue updates / fixes for this…

  • Nick

    I’m just curious as to see what happens with the long awaited arrival of Bad Company 2. I’m hoping that my playstation gets a hold of it’s problems, but as my wife has already assured me. I will not give up on playstation because of a minor set back, and this may give me a reason to get one of the new slim PS3s. 😉


  • SickPigeon

    Sorry guys!! I think I caused the worldwide problem. At exactly the same time the problems starting occurring worldwide, I put an unlabled disc inside my PS3 which is connected to the Internet (that Al Gore invented). Once the music started playing I quickly realized it was a copy of Vanilla Ice’s single Ice Ice Baby. Yes that’s right I accidently helped Vanilla Ice destroy PSN.

  • This is bullshit. PSN should fix this within atleast an hour. But thanks this site calmed me down.

  • Eric

    Fun fact: non trophy games are not affected. I’m playing the surprisingly awesome NHL 09 reenacting the glorious Canada US gold medal game.

    • Not true…my DL’d copy of Final Fantasy 7 has no trophy support and is still not working.

      • The bug also affects all PSN downloaded content too, that’s why your FF7 won’t work for now. What Eric meant was that disk based games that don’t have trophies should be working.

  • Walt

    uh, 2010 is not a leap year. seriously. i wish i would stop seeing that as the explanation.

    • Jake Green

      We know that, but all the clocks have reset the 1999, which was a leap year, and as this year isn’t the times don’t match up so it’s had a panic attack. That’s pretty much what’s happened

      • Jake Green

        my bad, it thinks it’s the year 2K. 1999 was not a leap year.

  • Jordan Silverthorne (Silverthorne)

    True, but I think the PS3s think that it is for some reason. Seems simple enough: the PS3 thinks it’s a day that doesn’t exist, so the whole system decides to stop working and take a vacation.

    • Nick

      It is Y2K 10????? Although the vacation idea seems nice!

  • marleebaby

    I have a fat ps3. I haven’t noticed anything, and i am online playing mw2 right now. thank god!!

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    Set your clock to GMT.
    I bet there is no leap year check routine to govern the TZ offset.

  • Nick

    Has anybody switched out their harddrive in their PS3s and if so. Are these people experiencing the same issues that most of the rest of are. Those of us with the “fat” system.

    • Matt

      Hey Nick

      Swapped out my hard drive quite a while ago and replaced it with a 320GB one. Have an old fat PS3 and the issue is affecting me too. Nothing to do with hard drives I’m afraid.

  • OakFoSho

    #sonyfail #sonyepicfail #sonyhacked

  • NTSC

    “Set your clock to GMT.
    I bet there is no leap year check routine to govern the TZ offset”

    wtf did you just say?…who do you think your talking to?

  • my ps3 is not fat its just big boned

  • 01456

    what about playing ps2 games? is it safe to still play them on the bugged ps3?

  • I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about this on the playstation blog and asking how they could overlook this etc. Fun fact: Microsoft had the exact same problem with the Zune which wouldn’t turn on for a full day due to a leap year miscalculation. It fixed itself the following day.

    If you’ve ever dealt with coding, you know it’s hard to anticipate every error, especially one that is only relevant once every four years. It’s an unfortunate event, but hopefully it’ll be fixed by tomorrow. My suggestion is if you haven’t turned on your PS3 today, wait until tomorrow to do so.

    • Rik knaepen

      i turned my PS3 on this afternoon what can i do ? wait till tomorrow?

  • dorlkeburg humpyourmom

    Netflix streaming won’t work while this is in effect either.

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  • Cod 4 works fine offline …

  • Cod 4 works fine offline 🙂

    • ur not ment to play it offline either

    • Lindsey

      My cod4 wont load at all! Offline, online…. any kinda bloody line and its doing my head in coz the tv is crap tonight and im bored with the internet!