The month God of War III and Final Fantasy XIII came to the PlayStation 3 is also the month that Sony’s console spontaneously combusted with excitement. A worldwide system error reminiscent of Y2K, or the millenium bug that never happened, is affecting PS3s.
Gamers were alerted to the problem when attempting to sync trophies last night, which responded with the error code 8001050F. The problem exacerbated when consoles were unable to connect to the PlayStaiton Network, with the internal PS3 clock resetting to December 31st 1999. Error code 8001050F is now a trending topic on Twitter.
Sony is aware of the problem and is currently working on a fix, further adding that PS3 Slims are unaffected (it is also said that 80GB ‘fat’ PS3s are also unharmed):
“We are aware that some users are experiencing a network connection failure when signing on to PlayStation Network. Those of you with the newer, “slim” PS3s (120GB/250GB) seem to be unaffected.
“We are currently working to restore service as a matter of priority and will update with further information as necessary.
“We apologise for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and continued support.”
The US PlayStation Blog has added that the company has “narrowed down the issue and have engineers working to restore service even as you read this.” There has however been no confirmation as to when the fix will be available, with the Hong Kong PlayStation website stating that the PlayStaiton Network will be down” until further notice”.
Though many of you may think that this problem is limited to a PSN error, the problem reportedly goes further, with many PS3 video games failing to play, whether they are off- or on-line titles. Moreover, there are worrying reports that consoles which are not connected to the internet are also affected by the problem. Developer debug-PS3s are also said to be affected, stuck in a continual reboot loop of the error.
The current theory suggests that the problem lies with the PS3′s internal clock, where the console is unable to roll over to March 1st since the system is searching for February 29th 2010 in its calender, which of course does not exist. It is hoped that Sony will be able to fix the problem with a firmware update and the problem may be fixed automatically on March 2nd, but some hyperbolic reports suggest that the problem may be so low level that Sony may have no choice but to recall non-slim PS3 consoles. We’ll keep you updated.
[UPDATE] - Sony has released the following comment, advising gamers not to turn on their PS3s:
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.
- 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 playback 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 one of the above listed models, 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 the new slim PS3 is not affected with this error. We are doing our best to resolve the issue and do apologise for any inconvenience caused.
[UPDATE 2] - Although it’s not quite yet March 2nd in GMT, ‘fat’ PlayStation 3′s are beginning to return to normal, with gamers now able to connect to the PlayStation Network with only a botched clock as evidence. To fix this, try re-syncing the clock through the console’s internet function. Also if you think you’ve lost some trophies, start the game the access the individual game’s trophy data and then sync this with the server. All should be fine =) Crisis averted.
[UPDATE 3] - Just for a little bit of fun, watch the official PS3 Error 8001050F rap in the following video. Credit goes to RastaMan on YouTube: