At the end of last month, it was discovered that if the internal clock battery dies on a PlayStation 4 console, players won’t be able to play any games unless they can connect to the PlayStation Network. With many concerned their console could become nothing more than an expensive doorstop if live service is taken down permanently for the console in the future, @DoesItPlay1 on Twitter has heard reports Sony are looking into the issue.
The purpose of the clock is to verify games can be played on that console by confirming its stored date and time with the PlayStation Network. The clock is powered by a simple CR2032 battery known as a CMOS and it’s used to keep track of time if the console is ever disconnected from a power supply. If the battery dies, players have to enter the date and time every time the console is booted up, and this is then synced with the PlayStation Network. The problems start if those servers can’t be reached.
The reason for the date and time is believed to be to prevent players from hacking the PlayStation trophy system. As such, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 consoles all have a CMOS battery. The removal of the PS3 servers will prevent all digital games from being played, whereas if the PS4 servers are closed, the console’s trophy system will prevent all digital and disc games from being played on a console with a dead CMOS battery. The closure of PS5 servers will also prevent digital PS5 games from being played on an effected console, something digital PS5 owners may want to bear in mind. While PS4 and PS5 discs can be played on a faulty PS5 console, some games suffer from a host of other issues with installation, server dependency, and error messages.
Many players are concerned about preserving game libraries on older consoles, especially with the initial threat of the closure of the PS3 and Vita stores before Sony announced they would be staying open. @DoesItPlay1, the people who originally found the problem with the clock battery, have “heard from internal sources” that Sony “want to get on top of it.” Some users who have inquired about the problem have also reportedly received e-mails stating Sony is looking into the issue. Hopefully they find a solution soon.