Sony probes PS3 black screen of death

Gamers around the world are complaining that a bug on the PlayStation Network is preventing them playing PS3 games even when their consoles are disconnected.

Sony has acknowledged that a PSN connection problem has hit users of older PS3s, the bulkier “phat” models, corrupting their user profiles and making some games unplayable.

“We're narrowing down the issue and continue to work to restore service to all,” the company said on its Twitter account earlier today.

The cause of the problem has not been officially confirmed, but gamers have noted that their consoles' clocks have reset to 1999, leading to speculatation that the machines are seeing some kind of leap year bug. While 2010 is not a leap year, the problem emerged as clocks ticked over to the 1st of March, GMT.

Users started reporting this morning that they were presented with error code 8001050F. They were unable to connect to the PSN, and certain games that require the verification of “trophy” information became unable even in offline mode.