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We Finally Have Visual Proof Your PS4 Is In Trouble

A couple of weeks ago, PlayStation fans were alerted to an issue that could cause their PS4s to essentially break at any minute. Media preservation account Does It Play explained that if the console's CMOS battery dies, it will render all games unplayable. Because of the way that the PlayStation Network logs Trophies by time and date, a failure of the system's internal clock would prevent players from accessing any of their paid content. Now, PlayStation gamers have a few forms of visual proof for this unfortunate error.

YouTube channel Hikikomori Media, which typically specializes in video coverage of Japanese games, decided to test out Does It Play's claim. In a lengthy video posted to the channel, Hikiko tested out a few of the games that had been purchased digitally on his PS3 console, which has a dead CMOS battery. Hikiko then adjusted the system's internal clock to several years in the future and restarted the console. As he did so, he warned Playstation users, "Your paid content is on borrowed time."

When Hikiko attempted to fire up the same games he had previously started on the system, he could no longer do so. Instead of being able to play Okami, he was greeted with an error that told him, "This content has a time limit."

Hikikomori Media isn't alone in conducting a test like this. Twitter user @Forest_Reviews decided to replicate the test with a slim model PS4. While Forest cautioned that he is no expert on the inner workings of the PS4, he felt he owed it to the gaming community to see if this error (or one like it) could be replicated on the PS4. 

Sure enough, after removing the CMOS battery from the PS4 and disconnecting from PSN servers, Forest was unable to play any games. Instead, as can be seen in a photo posted to Forest's Twitter account, he received an error message that read, "Forest Reviews will be logged out of the PS4 because an error has occurred."

Forest explained, "I took out the battery to see if I could replicate the issue and well, It does not play any physical or digital games without connecting online. error CE-30391-6 appears." 

It should be noted that the failure of the CMOS battery is not exactly the end of the world — for now. According to Forest Reviews, the battery itself is relatively easy to replace, and the clock can of course be reset to the right time by connecting to the PlayStation Network. However, as noted hacker Lance McDonald previously pointed out, such solutions are only workable for as long as Sony still utilizes the PlayStation Network. If and when PSN is ever discontinued, players may find themselves with completely bricked consoles.

Unfortunately for any PS5 owners who were curious about the effects of removing the CMOS battery, Forest has said that he will not be replicating the experiment with that console. Considering how hard it is to get your hands on a PS5, it's kind of hard to blame him. As before, Sony has yet to comment on this situation.