March 01, 2010, 2:07 PM — Sony's PlayStation 3 appears to be in the throes of an inadvertent global gaming lockdown, suffering from an unidentified glitch that prevents gamers from playing specific games whether online or offline. The issue appears to be related to the monthly turnover (February to March, last night) and occurs whether you're connected to the Internet or not. The company isn't responding to press emails at this time or detailing what the problem is, only that it's working on an "issue" and attempting "to restore service to all."
Are you affected? Here's what we've gleaned so far.
It only affects older "fat" PlayStation 3's. It also affects debug PS3s, i.e. those used by journalists and game developers. Newer PlayStation models--notably the "slim-line" version--are reportedly unaffected.
It prevents you from connecting to Sony's PlayStation Network as well as from playing certain games, whether online or offline. Which games? Games that perform a trophy-sync check at startup, e.g. Heavy Rain, White Knight Chronicles, and Final Fantasy XIII. Games that don't, or that don't use trophies, i.e. older PS3 games, appear to work fine.
It doesn't prevent you from downloading demos, surfing with the PS3's browser, or performing a 'system update'. Affected PS3s aren't forced offline, in other words. You're still able to browse the web, finish downloading demos you'd initiated prior to the glitch (you can't initiate new ones), and pull down firmware updates. The latter seems the likeliest route for a fix, should one be forthcoming from Sony.
The error codes vary by game but appear to be trophy-related. The most common error code judging from user complaints--8001050F--reads "Registration of the trophy information could not be completed...The game will quit." Another error message outputs "Trophy data failed to load...Please use the PS button to quit." Biz site Develop reports some PS3 debugs are also experiencing an 'endless loop' reboot error that seems to be related. My debug unit hasn't gone into a reboot--it simply generates the 8001050F error when I try to load Final Fantasy XIII--but then I'm not a developer, and I'm only loading official debug code.
The glitch occurs initially when you power on your PS3. It apparently happens whether you're connected to the Internet or not: Disable your wireless and/or unplug your Ethernet cable before powering up, and you'll still experience it. The only way to avoid the reset, for now, is not to power on your PS3.