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Passage of Time Solves PS3 Glitch 147

An anonymous reader writes "A quick update on the widespread PlayStation 3 glitch we discussed recently: as of last night (Monday, March 1st) the problem has resolved itself. I powered up my PS3 to find the clock was set to April 29th, 2020, but once I went into the system menu and set the date and time via the internet I got an accurate date. That seems to be the test of whether your PS3 is 'fixed' or not; Sony says you should be all set."
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Passage of Time Solves PS3 Glitch

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @03:25PM (#31333952)

    The problem yesterday was that the servers thought it was the 29th, but the consoles refused to accept such nonsense. In 2012 it really is a leap year. I guess the reverse could happen, but then you'd just change the date to something else and you'd be alright.

    Actually it was the exact opposite. The servers thought it was March 1st. Some older consoles (with a bug in their hardware clock chips that have a leap-year programmed every 2 years instead of every 4 years) thought it was Feb 29. Newer PS3 Slim consoles were not affected. Not all "fat" PS3's were affected either as they did not all contain the faulty chips.

  • I'd love to hear an explanation from Sony about how, exactly, they managed to have this bug exist in the first place.

    Well, apparently, it wasn't a Sony bug per se, it was a bug in one of the support chips [].

    Sony decided to be paranoid about time because of pirates. If you can hack the PS3 and change the date, then you can avoid expiration times and so forth. So if the hardware clock and software clock get out of sync, their DRM and such stops working. Considering the PS3 is the only major console that has not been hacked to the point of widespread piracy, keeping to this level of paranoia seems to have paid off for Sony's purposes.

    As to Sony's "piss-poor handling of the entire incident", I'd like to know what, exactly, you think they should have done about it?

    Seriously, I've just appointed you, _xeno_, to be CEO of Sony, and you just got a phone call. "Oh, crap, it's midnight GMT on March 1st, 2010, and all the older PS3 consoles can't play downloaded content or games with trophies or sign into the PSN!". What are you going to do? What orders do you give?

  • While I agree they should fix the problem I don't think there is any point in pushing an emergency fix at this point. The correct thing to do (assuming this is a periodic problem) is to release a properly QA'd fix as part of a normal firmware update cycle.

  • by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @04:14PM (#31334722) Homepage Journal

    You may not be aware of this, but they have a Twitter account devoted to the PlayStation [] and a blog []. Sadly, the blog doesn't record the time when the entries were posted, but you may notice the 13-hour stretch between "slim consoles still work" and - well, actually, if you follow the link, it basically reiterates that slim consoles are working.

    Then complete silence until the 24-hour period ended, followed by a brief announcement that "hey, it works again!" and then completely ignoring that it ever happened. Instead they've posted several blog entries that conveniently knock the PSN outage way down the page.

    Do they intend to fix this issue with a patch? Can they? Does it even matter? Who knows, they certainly aren't saying. All they've said is "oops, sorry" and, well, that's it. Not even a "we're still looking into this matter."

    Of course, based on the vague "if we get new information we'll keep you posted," I get the impression that this isn't the fault of the people running the blog, it's that the PlayStation group themselves are simply not bothering to communicate. Maybe they're still looking into it, maybe they aren't, but the community managers apparently have no idea based on the weasel-wording on the blog. And that would be a problem that Sony should address.

    But in any case, I still have to wonder: why in the hell does a reduced instruction set computer have a buggy leap-year function? Why the hell does it care what the human-readable date is? All it needs to do is keep track of "units of time since a known start point." Let the OS worry about what the human time is.

  • by mattack2 ( 1165421 ) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @11:09PM (#31339904)

    So instead, you are suggesting that they think 0x10 is the same as 10?

    They are, in BCD.

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