PlayStation 3 Worldwide Glitch Mysteriously 'Fixed'

PS3s appear to be working again after an error crashed offline games and nerfed PlayStation Network access for most of a day

The glitch that nerfed my old-style "fat" PlayStation 3 and temporarily 'bricked' millions of others worldwide appears to have vanished as mysteriously as it appeared.

At about 3:45pm PT, reports began flooding gaming boards suggesting units were coming back to life after a time-date error that left them unable to connect to Sony's PlayStation Network or play certain games offline. I'd been waiting for GMT +0:00 to pass, but risked powering up early based on the sudden deluge of anecdotal evidence.

For starters, the screen color was different at startup, a kind of deep green (hello March!) suggesting some internal mechanism had silently triggered and automatically switched the date setting (the PS3 draws its default color scheme from the system clock). A glance at the system date confirmed it was now sometime in April 2010. To paraphrase the guys on How I Met Your Mother, Future-PS3 had apparently solved Current-PS3's problem.

Tapping over to the system's time-date settings, I ran an auto-sync - a feature that wasn't working during the glitch - and the system auto-righted itself to March 1, 2010. One last thing to check, and sure enough, my copies of Heavy Rain and White Knight Chronicles loaded without incident.

Just to be extra-sure, I powered up my debug PS3, and presto, it too was working again. Thank goodness, because I'm on the hook for a Final Fantasy XIII review - not the sort of game you want to fall even a single day behind on.

Sony has yet to update its international blogs or Twitter feeds, possibly because the company's collectively collapsed from stress-exhaustion, but more likely because they want to be sure things really are back, not just bits and pieces. I can vouch for my own recovery--two units, one retail, one debug, but that's it.

If you want to test yours safely, power up, then before doing anything else, run a time-date interent sync. If it works, you're back in business, and if your trophies don't seem entirely right, try performing a manual trophy sync.

One thing's for sure: Sony has some 'splainin to do.

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Matt Peckham

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