Update 2: Older Sony Playstation 3 Units No Longer Encountering Severe Issues

The Playstation Network is encountering an unplanned outage that is affecting certain PS3 owners around the world. Those trying to sign in encounter the error code 8001050F, and are unable to sign in, play games, use dynamic themes, view/sync trophies, and so forth. The strange part is the problem only resides within the 1st through 3rd generation glossy PS3 units while the PS3 Slim is completely unaffected. I turned on my 3rd generation 40GB PS3 and noticed that my time was reset to 12/31/1999 and I was unable to sign in to the PSN.

Update 2: Everything is fixed, I believe – my PS3 now works properly and can connect to the Playstation Network.

Update: Sony confirmed this issue yesterday, and has finally given more detailed information about the issue today and how there will be a fix within 24 hours. With millions of consoles affected, there better be a fix soon or this could have severe consequences. Is anyone else skeptical they can enable a fix on their side which allows you to log in again? If that were the case, I figured that solution would have happened in the first 12 hours. It’s been a while now. A possible download this file to the PS3 via USB thumbdrive would be complicated and confusing to the average Joe Schmoe. The $64,000 question is how the fix will be offered.

Many people that I’ve spoken to familiar with the inner workings of the hardware and software think this is really bad. However, Sony has said they can fix it in 24 hours.
I’m just afraid of the long-term impact this will have on the integrity of the brand. People will use this in argument against the console, which isn’t what it really needs right now. The PS3 was red hot from great sales gains throughout the Holidays. Sony played it really well by offering attractive bundle deals; its also had some great new games lately with many more exciting ones coming soon.

Here is the official update from Sony Playstation:

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.

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 play back 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 a model other than the new slim PS3, 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, please be advised that the new slim PS3 is not affected with this error. We are doing our best to resolve the issue and do apologize for any inconvenience caused.

For the latest status on this situation please continue to check either the PlayStation.Blog or PlayStation.com.

The going theory is that the PS3 is storing some form of date in GMT, then modifying that to get whatever you see in the on-screen clock. That modification process seems to be fine; the system can take 2/28/2010, 9PM GMT, add four hours, and get 3/1/2010, 1AM random time zone.

What’s apparently wrong, as speculation goes, is when the internal GMT-tracking rolls over to 3/1. It’s either not rolling, or rolling to 2/29, at which point a system tries to add/subtract from 2/29, which it can’t do because the front-end calendar doesn’t have a 2/29/2010. Everything started to collapse around 4PM PDT, which I think is 12AM GMT.

And the PS3 launched in 2006; it’s hit four 2/28s so far. 2007 and 2009 were odd-numbered years; 2008 was an even, and a leap year. 2010 is the first even non-leap-year the system’s been around for. If some sort of base-level math is choking on itself, it may have ruled out the odd 2007 and 2009 successfully, but is convinced the even 2010 is a leap year (this part I’m less sure of, but is why leap year could theoretically come into play at some point).

Fortunately for most of you experiencing this issue, the save data, games, DLC, themes are okay. There are reports that some have lost data, but I haven’t seen anything consistent. It’s not clear if unsynced trophies will be saved.

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