Is the PS3 old, fat and stupid or is this a clever marketing ploy by Sony?

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News spread on Tuesday that a bug similar to Y2K sunk its teeth into Sony’s older ‘fat’ (or if we’re being PC, ‘horizontally challenged’) Playstation 3. As owners prepared themselves for the prospect of losing their saved games and being unable to play online, I couldn’t help but snigger.

Many couldn’t even play in offline mode, leaving frustrated gamers wondering what was causing the baffling ‘8001050F’ error.

The bug, dubbed the ApocolyPS3, occurred when the PS3’s internal clock switched to February 29, evidently causing the system much confusion as that date doesn’t exist this year.

The latest fiasco will have left the powers that be at Sony with faces redder than the gamers who couldn’t get their fix and whose hours of hard work (OK, play) might have gone to waste.

In a statement, Sony said: “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.”

Frustrated by the whole affair, gamers turned to social media to vent their anger. One comment on CVG said: “I cannot play any games, cannot log on to PSN. Your silence is doing nothing to help the situation. Looks like there is going to be millions of dead PS3’s all over the world with no fix in sight. Sony, you have just screwed up big time.” A video on YouTube called ‘How to fix PS3 error 8001050F’ showed an owner simply unplugging his PS3 and transferring the cables to an Xbox 360, whilst members of Facebook groups such as ‘I’m a victim of the PS3 Y2K bug’ offered more sensible advice.

Gamers were later left wondering why Sony failed to explain how they resolved the issue during an apology. It was later revealed that it fixed itself without any intervention from Sony. This sounds to me like a company that hasn’t got full control over and knowledge of its own hardware.

As the PS3 community flocked to forums for guidance in the wake of the crisis, it became apparent that saved games and ‘Trophies’ (an achievement tracking system) could be restored – no doubt accompanied by many sighs of relief.

Of course, the cynic in me wonders whether the whole episode was just an attempt by Sony to get everyone to upgrade to the newer, slimmer version of the PS3.

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