After a worrisome 13 hours of silence from Sony, the company released new information about the PlayStation Network problem that has forced some PS3 owners offline and resulted in trophy complications.
"We believe we have identified that this problem is being caused by a bug in the clock functionality incorporated in the system," Sony posted this afternoon. "We hope to resolve this problem within the next 24 hours."
The problem struck Sunday night. First signs included players losing access to Sony's online features, such as multiplayer matches. Even single-player games fell victim because the glitch affected the machine's trophy tracking system. PS3 titles that award in-game trophies would refuse to launch, spitting back the message, "Failed to install trophies. Please exit your game.” Video games that do not offer trophies, such as Metal Gear Solid 4 or demos, seem to run smoothly. This is particularly vexing for people who picked up Sony's latest hit Heavy Rain. You can read reviews on the critically acclaimed game here.
Other symptoms include the PS3's clock resetting to the year 2000, problems with rental video downloads, and the error message "8001050F" stonewalling players from trying to fix some of the issues.
For reasons unknown, the new PS3 Slim model does not seem affected by the bug. This PlayStation Network problem appears to only impact the older, fatter systems.
So, what should PS3 owners do in the interim? Sony says that "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."