A hacker named Lance McDonald has discovered a serious design flaw related to the internal clock battery in the PS4. Sony consoles rely on an internal clock to encrypt and store information about PS4 games and achievements, but it also eliminates the possibility of being able to play physical or digital games.
This clock is powered by a CMOS battery that, like all batteries, has limited autonomy. In a few years, it will stop working and render the PS4 useless, and it is only possible to avoid the problem by changing the battery, but that’s not the end of the discussion.
Millions of PS4 consoles are at a risk
In fact, when changing the CMOS battery, it is necessary to synchronize the time with Sony’s servers, which requires connecting the console to the PlayStation Network platform to synchronize the time correctly.
This internal clock cannot be viewed, changed, or altered by users, a measure designed to prevent people from cheating when it comes to modifying the time at which they have achieved the various trophies that can be obtained in the games.
PS4’s internal clock battery design flaw raises questions
That CMOS battery is also necessary to be able to run the games, and if the battery stops working we would not be able to launch either physical or digital games. It is possible to replace the battery, but that makes it necessary for people to literally open their consoles.
The requirement to connect to the PlayStation Network is also important, especially since it is not known if this platform will be alive in the long term. It is supposed to, but Sony already decided these days to close its content stores for the PS3 and Vita next August.
It is not known if Sony will be able to solve the problem with a firmware update for these consoles, but if not the risk is huge for the 115 million PS4 that have been sold worldwide since the launch of this console in 2013.