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Sony: PS3 leap year glitch caused network lockout

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Old-style PlayStation 3 consoles are now able to reconnect to the PlayStation Network, after a glitch in the machine's internal clock blocked access to the online service.

Sony last night confirmed early claims that the clock was to blame. The bug caused the console to treat 2010 as a leap year and so change the date at midnight GMT Sunday to 29 February rather than 1 March.

The new, slimline PS3s were not affected.

Clearly, the PSN log-on process involves some degree of time synchronisation, and all those consoles around the world sending in the wrong date were told they would not be allowed to connect.

Once the consoles' clocks changed to 1 March, they were allowed to connect to PSN once more.

Users can set the date to the correct one, if they haven't already, in the PS3's settings.

Sony apologised for any inconvenience the glitch may have caused, but has yet to say whether a firmware patch that will fix the problem is on the way. ®

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