The older PS3 has this issue as well, but it only arises with downloaded games—discs still work fine with a dead CMOS battery. And, worrying about the far future, it’s an issue on the PS5, as well. There are petitions for Sony to release a patch to solve this issue on all their platforms, but so far Sony hasn’t responded. This isn’t outside the realm of possibility, either. Last month, Sony announced they were shutting down the online store for the PlayStation 3, the PSP, and the PS Vita. This week they walked that back and are only shutting off the PSP’s store, but it is a clear indication that these online services only stay up for as long as they are profitable. And these days, it’s all about the current platform, PlayStation 5.
Download-only releases have already had game preservationists on alert, but the assumption was that at least physical disks should always be playable. Now, even that is being challenged. Now, the repair is relatively simple, and once the battery is replaced and the system connects back to Sony’s servers to reverify the console, everything will work perfectly again. But, that only works if Sony still maintains the systems to reverify the consoles. If, in the future, they shut down those servers, PS4 systems could be locked out for good.
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