The older Play Station models PS3 and PS4 are still used on a large scale. In them, however, there is a small ticking time bomb (the clock inside the console) and so far there are no specific statements from Sony about how to deal with the problem.
If the manufacturer does not act, you will at some point receive reports from more and more users that their consoles have become unusable. The reason for this lies in the small battery that is housed on the mainboard of the game consoles and ensures that the internal clock continues to run even if the systems are disconnected from the power, according to a report by Ars Technica.
When the battery is dead, or removed or replaced for any other reason, a switch in the firmware flips. This means that the system time could no longer match the real-time. This has consequences for handling the copy protection systems that are built into almost all games for the platform. Because even if the user has bought a game with unlimited usage time, there is a check here to determine whether the usage time has not been exceeded.
Firmware update coming?
In any case, the game console must synchronize with the Playstation Network (PSN) and pick up its timing in such a case. If this does not happen, games that have been downloaded from the Playstation Store can no longer be used on the Playstation 3. In the case of the Playstation 4, it even affects all games, including those that have been purchased on a data carrier.
The battery usually lasts for a long time and there are many users who never need to change it. The devices that are in use today – especially the Playstation 3 – have definitely arrived at an age when the first battery installed in the factory can reach its age. In view of the numerous changes that are constantly occurring in the online offers of platform providers such as Sony, it should only be a matter of time until the PSN’s time server is no longer accessible and such devices would then become virtually unusable.
It would therefore make sense to address the problem again in a firmware update. So it would certainly not be a problem to integrate other time services on the Internet for the task. Or even to significantly disarm the firmware flag in question. The colleagues from Ars have tried several times to get a statement from Sony on the subject, but there were no answers – which does not suggest that the company wanted to confidently rule out problems.
I’m a communication enthusiast and junior editor-reporter at Research Snipers RS-NEWS, I have completed a degree in Mass Communication but very enthusiastic about new technology, games, and mobile devices. I have the main interest in Technology and games.