Enlarge / Sony’s latest PS4 system update fixes an internal battery issue that would have eventually caused all consoles to crash.

Aurich Lawson | fake images

PlayStation owners looking to preserve their PS4 libraries in the future can breathe a sigh of relief, as the latest system firmware update fixes a time bomb found within each console.

Recently confirmed via Modern Vintage Gamer tests, an unforeseen advantage of version 9.00 of the PS4 system software update appears to have overridden an authentication communication between the internal system clock and the PlayStation Network. This had been a security measure that, when it failed on both sides, prevented any PS4 software, digital or physical, from being played. For anyone concerned about being able to play PS4 games (such as Hideo Kojima’s terrifying game PT, a proof-of-concept demonstration excluded from the list of Silent hills) long after PSN support for the system was closed, this is great news.

Connection issues

The problem is the PS4’s CMOS battery, which snaps into the hardware motherboard and is used to internally track the date and time, even when there is no power. If that battery is removed for replacement or it just dies, the system cannot properly keep track of the real-world calendar. This forces the PS4 to reconnect to PSN to set the correct time, a routine check performed every time you try to play a digital or physical game. So what happened, previous update, if you had a PS4 with a dead battery that is not connected to the internet? That time check with PSN could not be completed, which means that no games would be played.

In his video, MVG founder Dimitris Giannakis ran tests to verify rumors on Twitter that the CMOS problem had indeed been fixed. To do so, he tried to start a digital copy of 2018 God of War after clearing the CMOS from a base PS4 that was running older firmware and got disconnected from the internet, which failed. Next, you updated the console to firmware 9.00 and then disconnected it from the internet before trying that game and a disk copy of 2018. Shadow of the colossus with the CMOS battery still removed. Both games started and ran smoothly, although Giannakis noted that his trophy data for God of War has been rebooted.


Enlarge / Interestingly, Sony’s official firmware patch notes for their latest update do not mention fixing the CMOS battery crashing the system.

This isn’t the first time Ars has reported this looming threat, which still affects PS3 hardware even after the PS4 update has fixed it for that console. In March, Sony announced initial plans to close its online stores for the PS3, PSP, and Vita. Soon the word got out on social media that dead CMOS batteries, which have an average lifespan of 10-20 years, would eventually crash all PS4s after Sony inevitably discontinues PSN service for the console. The company changed course by closing its PS3 and Vita stores in April after a significant backlash, and Sony Interactive Entertainment Director Jim Ryan said in a statement: “It is clear that we made the wrong decision here.”

Other console makers have their own methods for dealing with legacy platformers. Xbox Series X has a similar, but different drawback, as some offline and disk-based Xbox One titles require a one-time online verification to finish installing on the latest Microsoft hardware, something Microsoft has yet to address. . Related to this, the total list of available backward-compatible titles for Xbox One and the original Xbox is also missing several games. Meanwhile, Nintendo has a history of shutting down older online stores and services once its hardware goes out of production.

While Sony official patch notes For the 9.00 update, strangely, don’t mention the CMOS fix, it may point to a change in your attitude about legacy PlayStation platforms. With PS5 backward compatibility limited (so far) to PS4 titles and in the absence of a major overhaul of your PS Now streaming game library, take the step to push for an update that removes the CMOS issue in PS3 would also be a welcome change. .



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