A devastating "calendar bug" appears to be crippling older model PlayStation 3 consoles around the world, locking users out of the PlayStation Network and trashing retail and PlayStation Network games alike.
The problem popped up yesterday, when owners of older, "fat" PS3s were greeted with a looping "8001050F" error message when they attempted to connect to the PlayStation Network. Offline consoles with games that automatically synchronize Trophies with PSN when the system is booted have also reportedly been affected and even debug units at numerous PlayStation studios are suffering the effects of the error. Only the newer PS3 Slim appears to be immune.
The exact cause of the problem remains unclear but it appears to be a calendar bug in older PS3s that resets the date to January 1 2000, causing huge amounts of trouble with DRM and authentications. Because of it, all purchased PSN content on affected consoles revert to unactivated status and will only run as a trial version, if one is available.
"We have found out that some users are experiencing a network connection failure when signing on to PlayStation Network," a Sony rep told Eurogamer. "We are currently looking into the issue to identify the cause of this network connection failure and will update further information as necessary (on the Blog or official website)." On the PlayStation Blog, Social Media Manager Jeff Rubenstein put out the official Sony line that the company has "narrowed down the issue and have engineers working to restore service even as you read this."
The bug was still active last night and is apparently still affecting systems booted up today, so owners of non-Slim PlayStation 3 consoles who have not started them since Saturday are being advised to keep them turned off until Sony sounds the all-clear. In the meantime, this sounds like a great opportunity to come up with a catchy acronym. Y2PS3, anyone?
Thanks to ColdStorage for the tip.