Partying like it’s 1999; PS3 borked by March 1st [UPDATE 3]

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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.

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We believe we have identified that this problem is being caused by a bug in the clock functionality incorporated in the system.

Errors include:

  • 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:

Readers Comments (50)

  1. Required: Name March 1, 2010 @ 09:20

    “Partying Like It’s 1999”

    Lol!!! It isn’t supposed to be funny! Most fun I’ve had in 24 hrs.

  2. VofEscaflowne March 1, 2010 @ 09:21

    If they really have to recall all affected systems… ouch. Can you imagine the huge hit Final Fantasy XIII and God of War III will suffer as a result? What a terrible month for this to happen.

  3. There’s also a theory that the issue may fix itself when GMT goes to 12AM 3/2, which would be at 6 PM CT tonight.

    Fun fact: The Sony twitter account (@SonyPlayStation) had 158,822 followers as of 10PM CT last night. Right now (9:20 AM CT), they have 175,334. Unfortunately, there’s been no updates there in 12 hours.

  4. Yup this is a major load of bullish can’t sign on the psn, trophies are gone, and on top of that can’t play games offline. What’s worse is the new ps3 slims are working fine. Sony what about your loyal ps3 players that have had a ps3 since they came out? First Toyota now Sony? Cmon Japan

  5. bad company 2 comes out also! I hope they fix it cause its not worth it to get a new system back. ill just play on my PC. this doesnt even make sense

  6. Hopefully Sony fixes the problem soon because there are a lot of people that own the Playstation 3 models that isn’t a Slim. Some people are reporting that they have lost their trophy data and they are worried that they will lose their game saves as well. This problem with cost Sony a lot of money if they have to recall all the non-Slim Playstation 3 models because they probably will have to fix it for free, since it is not a problem caused by the user.

  7. Thank god i have a slim

  8. I hope this is sorted out soon. I want to play heavy rain! God cant imagine if sony had to recall all fat ps3’s. that would hurt sony badly but hopefully it will all be sorted by tomorrow

  9. Naan, no recals according to me, the ps3 still has the internet access, it’s going to have to be a patch, if not sony’s fucked.

  10. If this goes as far as a recall we may just throw in the towel for this console war now. Thankfully, I have a Slim. I found it weird that 3 of my friends called me yesterday about connection issues, now it makes COMPLETE sense.

  11. I pray to god that a system update will fix this. Who would’ve thought such a thing was going to happen to the ps3. . . . . . . . 2012 anyone?, lol.

  12. well i dont know what this issue is about… My Launch PS3 60gb NTSC is working fine with date displayed 3/1, i haven’t had any problem signing in to PSN all my games online and offline are working fine, so how come ………yup just now i signed into PStore, played Warhawk Demo everything is working Fine.

  13. My 160gb Phat PS3 is fine. Ive got all my trophies and I can go on the PS store just fine.

  14. My Slim is fine, I played a few games of UC2 earlier.

  15. Damn, that update sounds kind of serious. I guess not playing (or trying to, lol) would be recommended but, how about surfing the internet or watching a movie?

    And I’m also curious: has anyone tried to play a non trophy enabled game?, like MGS4 or Motorstorm 1?.

  16. Is this really happening, My god this is fodder for Xbot’s. Now they will continue rant about this error in every forum, many of them who won’t even have a PS3 will claim they had multiple PS3 with X amount of Data stored on it are gone and the system is bricked. By the way i am typing this from my PS3 browser still working fine…. I think it has to do with a particular time zone maybe HK

  17. @ Dreamer Lion yeah, i played Mgs4 in the morning and even PS2 game KH

  18. you are joking!!!!! I just completed UC2 and I might not even get the trophy for it??? :'(

  19. I think the problem is with how they programmed the Playstation 3 CPU chip in the non-Slim models because the internal clock isn’t programmed correctly to see the correct date. The new Playstation 3 Slim CPU Chip are smaller and they fixed that bug in the programming of the chip. Hopefully a patch can be release to flash the CPU chip of the Playstation 3 Fat models to click the internal clock problem.

  20. “Hopefully a patch can be release to flash the CPU chip of the Playstation 3 Fat models to fix the internal clock problem.”

    I made a typo above at the last sentence thats make it hard to understand what the last sentence was saying, so just take away the points from this post.

  21. Sony are really taking there time with this. It must be a massive error to sort out. Hopefully by tomorrow i can continue my heavy rain adventure.

  22. Who are facing this issue, could u please post it over here, with system model….
    Launch PS3 60gb NTSC no Issues

  23. I was trying to play Heavy Rain last night when this started. I have a 20 gig launch model, and it runs flawlessly until last night.I hope Sony fix this issue fast, and compensate us with a free downloadable game.

  24. dont worry sony will fix it

  25. lol my ps3 broke on me yesterday so i didn’t get this error, but I still have to fix it -_-‘

  26. My 1TB ps3 waz affected and i waz pretty mad, plz get it fixed soon

  27. My phat PS3 80gb is unaffected, thankfully.

    @RowdyNeil 1TB? I thought 500 mb was maximum.

  28. There is this video explaining how to fix this:

    I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU DO THAT. The interesting thing about this is that, I belive you can achieve the same result with the restore default settings option.

  29. cmon guys everybody except 80 gb and ps3 slim are affected

  30. Naah, I’ve got a 80 gb with bc and it’s still bugged T_T

    I guess the 60 gbs are the ones not affected. Oh well, I’ll be playing DMC 3 in the meantime (Made a new game on hard, lol. It really is freaking hard when you don’t have all your stuff).

  31. Damn that sucks for all the early adopter. Thank god I got a Slim.

    Hopefully Sony can get this problem fixed soon though.

  32. hopefully sony fixes this problem………and makes the mini game tetris playable on the ps3

  33. i have an 80GB fat and mine was affected =/

  34. Y2K is a little late to the party. Ten years, to be exact.

    I have a 120GB Slim, but I’m too paranoid to turn it on even though I know it’s safe.

  35. All I am thinking right about now is it better be fixed by the time I pick up my copy of BBC2 tomorrow!

  36. Moocows111111 March 1, 2010 @ 15:08

    I didn’t check my ps3 yet, but this problem should have been dealt with earlier, the Interal clock should have been tested or something, so a worldwide crash like this would not have happened. I’m disapointed in the fact that I can’t even play Heavy Rain even though it is an Offline title rather then online. This is one of the few instances where I am disappointed in Sony.

  37. people are afraid to turn on their console, as if they are afraid to go out in the dark as there are ghost lurking in every corner. my ps3 still not affected playing resistance 2, but very players online lol “we are the kings”

  38. Stupid effing sony!!!!!!!i lost all my trophies

  39. My 80 gig works just fine. Online and everything.

  40. Guys the problem is fixed.

  41. I have a 80 GB and I had 12/31/1999. I set time via internet and I got 3/1 and was able to log on to PSN. No longer partying like its 1999.

  42. Patrick Steen March 1, 2010 @ 17:55

    Time to turn them on guys. They’ve been waiting…and read our update for help on missing trophies =)

  43. “It only does Self-Resurrection” funniest line of 2010. That is so epic and funny at the same time.

  44. “It only does self resurrection” lol. Pretty clever guys xD. Now, let’s play some uncharted 2 MP. . . . . who wants to join me? =)

  45. My 80 gig BC ps3 is affected. Only thing messed up is the time and not being connected to the net. Everything else seems to work just fine. Haven’t checked my trophies though….

  46. My 80gig ps3 is affected. My Borderlands DLC completely disappeared, and the time went to 12/31/99.

  47. FINALLY, lol. I’m the only one in my group of friends with a slim PS3, everyone else kept texting me in a panic throughout this whole ordeal. Just in time for MLB 10: The Show!

  48. Crap…my U2 trophies are gone….but my medals are still there. Lol I was playing U2 campaign and earning trophies when my friend called and told me not to touch the PS3. Whoops.

  49. Patrick Steen March 1, 2010 @ 19:05

    Try our method in Update 2.

  50. My 40 gig got hit with the problem but i havent played or touched it since i found out about the issue. Does anyone know if its fixed yet cuz i wanna play some MAG

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