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01 March 2010 @ 06:52 am
PS3 Public Service Announcement  
1: Do not turn on your PS3

2: If you have a PS3 slim then you are _probably_ okay

The interwebs are abuzz (okay, technically not, or at least i haven't seen anything about it on Buzz so far =P) with reports that PS3s are experiencing severe problems this morning. The timing suggests that it's related to some kind of REALLY broken leap year check, although how even getting the leap year wrong could result in the date getting set back to 1999 or 2000 (reports vary) is beyond me.

This might seem like a minor problem at first, except it turns out that once the date has gotten FUBARed you can no longer connect to PSN.

And _that_ might not seem like a huge deal except for the fact that it in turn means that pretty much any game with any kind of online support no longer works. Most importantly for those of us who don't do a lot of online gaming per se, that also includes support for PSN trophies.

_Some_ people have even reported their trophy list getting deleted entirely, though even if that's true it's not clear if it's just a "local" problem that will be fixed once a patch is issued and they can reconnect to PSN.

I'm not sure what to suggest if your PS3 is already on. When i saw the news i turned the tv on and checked the date and saw that i hadn't been affected (at least not yet anyways) and turned the system off (and even flipped off the physical switch in back, though i didn't go so far as to unplug it.) I'm going to wait until there's news of a patch before turning it back on again. That may have been the right thing to do, or maybe that will just cause the date to get screwed up when i turn it back on (if the patch part doesn't happen first.) And i'm also not sure if the equation changes if you find that your date has already gotten screwed up. I'm gonna guess though that if you find your PS3 has a fucked up date that you probably shouldn't rush to load your trophy list to see if it has been affected as well. Trying out various games to see which work and which don't might be amusing, but there's a small chance that could break other things as well i suppose.

Edit: Via 1UP News: "Sony has released a statement confirming that the problems are caused by a clock error. They hope to resolve the issue in 24 hours, but in the meantime, they've warned PS3 users not to turn on their systems. Doing so 'may result in errors in some functionality, such as recording obtained trophies, and not being able to restore certain data.'"

It still doesn't seem to be specified if "not being able to restore certain data" is temporary, or if you're screwed for all eternity if it happens to you. The fact that they don't want you to turn the thing on makes it pretty serious in my mind though.
Kirin: Goomba-transparentkirinn on March 1st, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, fortunately mine's been off all weekend. Gonna just leave it that way until Sony reports a fix. While it mostly just seems to be "nothing except local media works until this gets resolved", there have been a few reports of corrupted data, and while I don't care much about trophies I'd like to not lose any saves. And of course I'd really *really* like to not run any tiny risk of losing my whole relatively irreplaceable backwards-compatible system.

It looks to me like what's going on is a stupid leap-year bug completely borks the date, and then some really low-level code that tries to verify that everything is on the up-and-up for online synching purposes (which includes both purchases and things like trophy synch) then says "oh no, this state is un-possible, we've been hacked!" and basically has conniptions, ensuring that nothing works. There might be some sort of further secondary failures from it being in that state that result in the rarer reports of actual data corruption... or they might just be transitory.

Eh, well, hope they get this worked out by next week.
DonAithnendonaithnen on March 1st, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, i was just discussing the "next week" think with Jmpava. It's gotta suck though for all the people who aren't excited about FF13 but were really looking forward to Heavy Rain...
Kirin: Goomba-transparentkirinn on March 1st, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
Apparently early reports are coming in of some systems successfully resurrecting after the date change to march 2nd in GMT. Crossing my fingers and leaving mine off for another evening, after which I'm sure there will be plenty of confirmation.