PlayStation 4 users who wish to keep their libraries going for a long time may breathe a sigh of relief, as the system’s most recent firmware upgrade repairs a ticking clock that was previously thought to be inside every console.
An unknown advantage of the PS4’s system software update version 9.00 has been confirmed by Modern Vintage Gamer, with unexpected advantages being revealed as a result of it.
The security solution, which had previously failed on both sides, prevented any PS4 software from running, digital or physical. This is fantastic news for people who want to play PS4 games (like as Hideo Kojima’s frightening P.T., a delisted proof-of-concept demo for the canceled Silent Hills) after the system’s PSN service has ended.
The PlayStation 4’s CMOS battery, which is housed within the hardware’s motherboard and used to keep track of the date and time even when there isn’t any power, is what causes this problem. The system can’t properly track the real-world calendar if this battery is removed for replacement or just dies.
A single-player game that uses real data can require the PS4 to connect to the Internet, which forces the system to perform a time check—a regular procedure that occurs whenever you try to play a digital or physical game. So, for example, what would happen if your dead-battery PS4 wasn’t connected to the internet before the update? Because the time check with PlayStation Network couldn’t be finished, any games wouldn’t run.
In his video, Dimitris Giannakis, the creator of MVG, ran tests to confirm rumors on Twitter that the CMOS failure had been resolved. To do so, he attempted to start a digital copy of 2018’s God of War after removing the CMOS from a base PS4 with older firmware disconnected from the Internet, which failed.
Giannakis began by updating the console to version 9.00, then unplugging it from the Internet and testing that game, as well as a disc copy of 2018’s Shadow of the Colossus, with the CMOS battery still removed. Both games booted up and ran properly, although Giannakis did note that his God of War trophy data had been reset.
Ars Technica has previously covered this impending danger, which still affects PS3 hardware even after the PS4 patch has repaired it. Sony announced initial plans in March to shut down its online shops for PlayStation 3, PSP, and Vita.
Soon, it was rumored that dying CMOS batteries—which have an average lifetime of ten to twenty years—would eventually brick all PS4s after Sony ultimately discontinues PSN service for the system. The firm reversed course on closing its PS3 and Vita shops in April after significant public protest, with Sony Interactive Entertainment head Jim Ryan claiming in a press release, “It’s obvious that we made the wrong call here.”
While both Sony and Microsoft have been releasing backwards compatible versions of their previous consoles for a long time, each has developed unique strategies to address legacy platform gaming. Xbox Series X includes a similar problem but with a twist: some offline, disc-based Xbox One games require a one-time online check to finish installing on Microsoft’s latest hardware, something the company has yet to solve.
It’s worth noting that the total cast of backward-compatible games for Xbox One and the original Xbox is also incomplete. Nintendo, on the other hand, has a track record of shutting down legacy storefronts and online services after its technology goes obsolete.
With the PlayStation 3’s notoriously poor CMOS sensor, Sony has long struggled to provide a solution. For years, the company has avoided addressing this problem due on technical or practical reasons. However, with the release of version 9.00 yesterday, that uncertainty appears to have evaporated for now at least.
While Sony’s official patch notes for version 9.00 strangely make no mention of the CMOS fix, that lack of discussion may imply a change in attitude regarding PlayStation’s legacy platforms. Taking the step to push an update that nixes the CMOS issue on PS3 as well would be a nice move forward, given how severely limited (so far) backward compatibility is with PS5 (and no major overhaul to its streaming library of games