A simple case of a dead internal battery had huge implications on the Sony PlayStation 4. Sony appears to have quietly released a new firmware update that “addressed” the “C-BOMB” issue.
Several Sony PlayStation 4 owners had started experiencing weird issues with their gaming consoles. The problem was linked to a dead or drained internal CMOS battery. Sony has managed to mitigate the problem with a firmware patch.
A dead CMOS battery stopped gamers from playing games offline:
Sony PlayStation 5 may have arrived, but its predecessor is still going strong. Moreover, the acute shortage of gaming consoles due to the ongoing chip shortage has only forced gamers to return to their Sony PlayStation 4.
— Destructoid (@destructoid) September 22, 2021
Several players, however, started experiencing trouble playing physical or digital games without connecting to the internet. A quick investigation revealed that a dead or drained internal battery was the culprit preventing offline gaming on Sony PS4.
Apparently, the console, just like a computer, has a CMOS battery inside. The battery helps to keep a record of the Real-Time Clock (RTC). If the RTC is not correct, there can be serious syncing or security issues with the servers the console connects with.
What happens in the future when the CMOS battery in your console dies and the servers are unreachable? We fear it could have serious implications for software preservation.
— Does it play? (@DoesItPlay1) March 26, 2021
In the case of the Sony PS4, the CMOS battery powered the console’s internal clock, the date, and time. The Sony PlayStation Network (PSN) verified this before allowing gamers access to games. Incidentally, this requirement was mandatory even for offline games played using physical discs.
Sony PlayStation 4 dead CMOS battery will no longer stop gamers from playing games offline:
Reports indicate Sony has quietly addressed this concerning issue with Sony PS4. The company recently rolled out a minor firmware update. The v9.0 firmware for the console contains a patch for the issue dubbed C-BOMB.
Simply put, CMOS battery deaths should no longer be a serious concern for PS4 users. It is not immediately clear how Sony addressed a physical problem with a firmware update.
My date when booting my PS4 was 1969 and 5:00PM which is the default date and time the PS4 falls back on with a dead battery, so my battery is definitely still dead.
Also here’s a pic of a trophy I just earned, with the date and time earned being blank pic.twitter.com/ENOANw5afn
— Destruction Games (@desgamesyt) September 21, 2021
It seems Sony merely took out the CMOS battery from the syncing and authentication sequence. In other words, the company may have tweaked the firmware to sync with the Internet clock, and not depend on the internal RTC of the Sony PS4.
Incidentally, the “Trophy System” still relies on the RTC to maintain a record of the achievements in games. This system still records the in-game conquests but they lack timestamps. Some experts claim the game console could delete unsynced trophies.
Sony could have allowed a simple way to replace a dead or drained CMOS battery. However, owing to the Sony PS4’s design, gamers will have to fully dismantle the console and reapply thermal paste.