Reports began going out in March about how the PlayStation 4 suffered from a worrisome issue whereby physical or digital games could not be played offline if something happened to the console’s internal CMOS battery. This battery is crucial in that it’s responsible for powering the PS4’s internal clock, the date and time of which is checked and synchronized via PSN before a game can be played.
Modern Vintage Gamer has shared a video confirming that the problem has now been addressed by Sony, which quietly slipped a fix into its recent firmware update (v9.0) for PS4 consoles. Eurogamer has also confirmed that CMOS battery deaths should no longer be a serious concern for PS4 users who have qualms about keeping the console online or are worried about the PlayStation Network going down in the future, rendering games worthless.
This battery powers an internal clock the console uses to check eligibility for game ownership. Without the battery – such as when it naturally drains – both physical and digital games are left unplayable without connecting online.
Reports this week suggested the problem had been fixed in the v9.0 software update, even though it is not mentioned in Sony’s official patch notes. Our Digital Foundry team has since been able to corroborate this and confirm the problem is indeed now solved.
It’s unclear whether Sony’s new firmware update also includes similar changes for the PlayStation 5. According to a previous study shared by Does It Play, the PS5 requires a working CMOS battery to boot digital games, but PS4 discs and select PS5 discs still manage to work.
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.— Destruction Games (@desgamesyt) September 21, 2021
Also here’s a pic of a trophy I just earned, with the date and time earned being blank pic.twitter.com/ENOANw5afn