PlayStation 3 leap year bug

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An ApocalyPS3 error showing the code 8001050F.

The PlayStation 3 leap year bug, nicknamed ApocalyPS3, is an error that affected many PlayStation 3 "fat" models on March 1, 2010 (UTC) when they wanted to pass the date from February 28, 2010 to February 29, 2010, which is an non-existent date, instead of March 1 due to a problem calculating leap years (e.g. 2004, 2008, 2012...). The nickname ApocalyPS3, a play on the words apocalypse and PS3, was dubbed by the Twitterverse.

Background

The problem occured at approximately 4:00 PM PST on Sunday February 28, 2010, when some PS3 owners found out they couldn't log into the PlayStation Network. Gamers usually got the error code 8001050F (as shown in the photo on the right). The problem was related to the internal system clocks on many "fat" PS3 consoles worldwide.

The main problem seemed to be the inability to connect to the PSN. However the root cause of it was unrelated to the PSN, as even PS3 owners who had never been online (in other words, never connected their PS3 consoles to the internet) also had problems with playing offline games (which queried the system timer as part of startup), using system themes and viewing trophies. It was noted by many users that the clock has gone back to December 31, 1999.

The error was confirmed by Sony, and they restored the PlayStation Network service and corrected the leap year bug on the next day, March 2, 2010. They stated that the affected models incorrectly identified 2010 as a leap year, because of a bug in the BCD method of storing the date. However, for some users, the hardware's operating system clock, which is mainly updated from the internet and not associated with the internal clock, needed to be updated manually or by re-syncing it via the internet.

Aftermath

On June 29, 2010, Sony released PS3 system software update 3.40, which improved the functionality of the internal clock to properly account for leap years.

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