updated 02:05 pm EST, Mon March 1, 2010
Sony urges players to avoid using PS3 until fix
Sony and sources today provided added details about its ongoing PS3 service outage. Officially, the company says the issue is triggered by the console's clock and that it expects the problem to be fixed within 24 hours. Sony has unusually asked players to avoid using their consoles entirely until a solution is found.
People familiar with developer discussions, however, have told Electronista more specific details and have expressed concern that it could be fixed properly. The issue specifically revolves around an ARM processor inside the PS3 that controls both the clock as well as other base-level tasks, such as putting the PS3 to sleep. It's believed to be similar to the leap year bug that affected original Zunes and rendered them inoperable on New Year's Eve only to resolve itself the following day.
If the problem isn't automatically resolved, however, a downloadable fix might not be possible as the consoles wouldn't necessarily have the option of using Sony's official channels. Those aware of the situation suggest that a mail-out disc might be necessary; they don't say if a firmware update could be shuttled over on a USB drive.
Regardless of the cause or solution, the failure has arrived at a dangerous moment for Sony, as it comes just a day before the high-profile launch of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. The Japanese electronics giant is also facing low supply of slim PS3s and may not leave some gamers the option of simply upgrading to the safer model.