PS4 consoles will still be playable long after PSN has died, thanks to this major update
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PS4 consoles will still be playable long after PSN has died, thanks to this major update

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Enlarge / Sony’s latest PS4 system update fixes a problem with the internal battery which would have eventually caused all consoles to be bricked. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

PlayStation owners looking to preserve their PS4 libraries well into the future can breathe a sigh of relief, as the system’s latest firmware update reportedly fixes a time bomb found inside every console.

Recently confirmed via tests by Modern Vintage Gamer, an unforeseen perk of the PS4’s system software update version 9.00 appears to have nullified an authentication communication between the system’s internal clock and the PlayStation Network. This had been a security measure that, when failed on both sides, prevented any PS4 software, digital or physical, from playing at all. For anyone concerned about being able to play PS4 games (like, say, Hideo Kojima’s terrifying P.T., a delisted proof-of-concept demo for the cancelled Silent Hills) long after PSN support for the system has been shuttered, this is great news.

Connection problems

The problem is the PS4’s CMOS battery, which fits into the hardware’s motherboard and is used to internally track the date and time, even when there’s no power. If that battery is removed for replacement or just dies, the system can’t properly track the real-world calendar. This forces the PS4 to reconnect to PSN to establish the correct time—a routine check that happens every time you try to play a digital or physical game. So what happened, preupdate, if you had a dead-battery PS4 that isn’t connected to the Internet? That time check with PSN couldn’t be completed, meaning any games wouldn’t play.

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