PS3 Slims *not* safe from current PS3 problems

The Gaming Vault has been receiving reports by emails since this morning from some owners of PS3 Slim consoles claiming that their machines are being affected by the issues plaguing PlayStation 3 console and PSN today.

We have also received at least one report from an owner of an older “fat” model of the PS3 claiming that his console has not been affected by this issue.

It was assumed today (and claimed by Sony) that this problem was relegated to older models of Sony’s console. This appears to not entirely be the case, and your chances are hit and miss if you choose to use the PlayStation Network this.

Sony themselves have in fact recommending on their DevNet that “all consumer units” of the PS3 should stay offline today, regardless of the model.

Clearly this problem isn’t affecting all PS3 Slims, but only a select number of units, which is likely to be a small number. We’ll keep you updated.

[UPDATE] We have received some clarification from informed hardware buffs with information regarding why some Phats units are not affected, and why some Slim units are. Hit the cut for more information.

The gist of the issue is that the ARM SYSCON CPU that is used to power up the front panel of the ps3, it is responsible for doing things like sleep mode, eject, RTC etc. is an old batch that sony picked up from the shelf like other manufacturers that has that calendar year bug regarding Feburary 29th on certain periods.

In other words the front system panel ARM CPU RTC is saying its Feb 29th, while your ps3 console is saying its March 1st, causing the {S3 system clock and the real time clock to desync, messing up security measures like Digital Rights management software and sometimes games that relies on clocks for whatever reason. As well as signing up to the playstation network… This CPU is always on even when your PS3 isn’t plugged

This problem is also happening with various development PS3 models as you well know, particulary the ones that has the emotion engine cpu/gpu for ps2 dev.

This is the one of the same type of CPUs that is powering up mobile devices like zune and blackberries, they have been affected with this bug, so they done some software patches. A syscon update can also fix this problem

The Slims Ps3s aren’t affected because they use a newer up to date revision on the syscon cpu that fixes this bug, except for some units which still run on the older CPU.

A quick way to fix this is to remove the RTC battery for at least 5-10 min and plug it back in, you will see the date and time reset, and voila… Or wait 11 hours i guess for this problem to mysteriously clear? FW update might be possible but because the DRM is screwy and updates rely on that, it could work against it.

We hope this helps clarify the problem, and we appreciate any reports you provide letting us know if your Slim or Phat PS3s are similarly affected.

Categories: Featured, News, PS3 News