updated 08:30 am EST, Mon March 1, 2010
Sony says PSN should be back online soon
Sony suffered a major setback this past evening with a PlayStation Network outage. Those using an original-shape PlayStation 3, ranging from 20GB launch models through to the final 160GB version, have been given an 8001050F error code and unable to connect to the gaming service. The issue often switches the date to 1/1/2000 and in many cases prevents regular offline play; as many games check online for trophies when connected to the Internet, the titles produce an error and quit.
All slim PS3s are unaffected, Sony said.
The exact reasons behind the outage aren't clear, but most speculate that the hardware-specific failures are dependent on an unusual leap year flaw. Older consoles may be incorrectly assuming that 2010 is a leap year and are incorrectly trying to roll over to February 29th when the date would have switched in Greenwich Mean Time, triggering both the date flaw and the disconnect from PSN. Sony may have only partially addressed non-leap years on these earlier PS3s and could have inadvertently fixed the bug with new hardware.
Gamers as of this morning are still reporting a failure, though if truly time related it should be solved for North American customers by about 7PM Eastern, when most if not all systems should reach the next day in GMT.