It was a date which will live in infamy (within the gaming community). It was a day in which trophies were lost, in which we all jumped back in time and in which Xbox 360 owners felt universally smug. It was – a term coined almost instantly across the web – the ApocalyPS3. Yesterday something happened to the Playstation Network and to original PS3s, and it wasn’t something good.
An error has occurred. You have been signed out of PlayStation Network (8001050F)
That was the message that greeted as many as 25 million owners of the original, chunky PS3 when they tried to get onto the PSN yesterday. Sony was quick to spot the error, shooting this announcement out into the angry masses from the safety of a window high atop a very tall building:
“As you may be aware, some customers have been unable to connect to the PlayStation Network today. This problem affects the models other than the new slim PS3. We believe we have identified that this problem is being caused by a bug in the clock functionality incorporated in the system.”
“We hope to resolve this problem within the next 24 hours,” the company continued. “In the meantime, if you have a model other than the new slim PS3, we advise that you do not use your PS3 system, as doing so may result in errors in some functionality, such as recording obtained trophies, and not being able to restore certain data. We are doing our best to resolve the issue and do apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Easy come, trophy go
The error, which some have accredited to the PS3 thinking 2010 was a leap year, brought with it a number of nightmarish side effects other than just blocking access to online COD fragging. These ranged from the trivial (turning the clock back to the year 2000), to the annoying (deleting rented movies) to the truly horrific (all trophy data disappearing into the hazy nether). Bearing in mind that these trophies can take many, many moons to collect, we’re surprised that Sony’s not bothered to open an ApocalyPS3 councelling hotline.
The internet speaks
Unsurprisingly, people weren’t all that happy about this. Those angry masses we mentioned went on to launch a tirade of online complaints, video rants and Twitticisms. Not only that, but the media jumped on the bandwagon and widely broadcast the fault as if it truly were the end of days. This was especially evident to any London-dwellers this morning, who would have seen the story slathered all over the front page of this morning’s Metro – probably the first time a gaming piece has been deemed such immense news since Super Mario was spotted with one of Wayne Bridge’s exes. Here are just some posts from the Tweet onslaught:
@kdsh7 sony release a statement about the ApolcalyPs3. It's like the Y2K bug, but with actual consequences!
@ElectricSpectre ApocalyPS3: Someone, somewhere in Japan is breathing a sigh of relief this morning after millions of PS3’s broke
@RyanAAnderson Fear the apocalyps3. All ps3's are dying!
@opilai is BOTHERED - lost my Heavy Rain trophies during theApocalyPS3
@MattyHusted I Survived The Apocalyps3
Related hashtags and trending topics still kicking up the PSN Bug dust are:
Facebook went just as ballistic, and kicked off an Xbox Vs PS3 debate that remains unfinished. If you’d like to have your go at writing something persuasive using the either phrase “ring of death” or the word "fail" then you should journey to our Fan Page now.
By the by, our favourite, most dramatic and over-zealous of the media's headlines on the piece was this from Wired: "ApocalyPS3: Buggy Clock Drives Playstation 3 Haywire." ...if only because we like the word 'Haywire'.
That's still not a patch on the witchhunt-style journalistic bandwagon-jumpery the BBC applied to the 'Yellow ring of death' story, mind. Of course, nobody in the whole of interweb land managed to sum up the anger, the sorrow and the rage quite like this chap from America. (Warning: Extremely colourful language).
Alls well that ends... with nobody dying
As you’d expect, Sony’s hastily fixed the bug, having presumably not let anyone go home yesterday until someone hit the PSN server with enough gusto to spin the clocks back to 2010. An official statement from the red-faced gaming giant reads: “We have verified that the symptoms are now resolved and that users are able to use their PS3 normally."
This, thankfully, means that the worst crisis of our time since the Y2K panic is over. It’s behind us now and all that remains is to move on with our lives - maybe go outside or something like that. Have you been irreversibly scarred by yesterday’s palaver, or were you too busy doing things in the real world?