PlayStation 3 owners hit by major PSN outage

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Update: Sony issued an update on the PlayStation Blog claiming the source of the problem has been identified as a bug in the clock functionality incorporated in the system. The company says it hopes to resolve this within the next 24 hours, and is advising owners of older non-slim PS3s to keep their consoles turned off until further notice.

PlayStation 3 owners around the world were hit by a nasty glitch over the weekend, preventing them from accessing the console's online gaming and shopping service, the PlayStation Network. That alone would be inconvenient, but according to a number of complaints on official forums, titles like the newly released “Heavy Rain” were even unplayable offline and trophies won in other games have outright disappeared.

Interestingly, the problem appears to be affecting only the older PlayStation 3 consoles and not the newer so-called "slim" models that were recently launched. Sony acknowledged the problem and stated that they are working on a fix. While it made no mention of what is causing the problem, some suggest it might be a combination of DRM and firmware issues rather than a network outage.

Affected units have their system date set to Dec 31, 1999 or January 1st 2000 and the consoles are reportedly only able to play non-protected games. Any PlayStation 3 owners experiencing PSN problems today? Share your experience in the comments.

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