Sony: PS3 leap year glitch caused network lockout
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. ®
WE'RE ALL DOOOOOOOMED!
The news people made this sound like the end of the world, rather than a date glitch which was easily fixed. still, good job i didnt use my phat ps3 yesterday. All is fine today.
phew. Banana skin avoided!
Loving Sony's PR spin today, being reported by BBC etc., that they have fixed the problem.
Although they don't appear to have explained their "fix" consisted of them crossing their fingers, closing their eyes, repeating "Please! Please! Please!" all day, and waiting for 1-Mar-10 to pass into history.
Ta-da ... fixed!
No, the RealtimeClock was trying to set the OS Clock to Feb 29th, which the frontend clock refused to do, because it knew that was a bogus date.
Some PS3's (most of the 80GB units, and all the slims), the RTC was setting the correct date.
In a way, the PS3 firmware was TOO smart, it knew the date the RTC was trying to set was bogus and refused to have it. The fix is either to code a workaround in the PS3 firmware so the next time the realtime clock tries to set a bogus date, rather than refusing to accept it, it does something more sensible like patch the date temporarily until the Realtime clock starts trying to set a valid date again.