Japanese electronics giant Sony warned millions of users of older versions of the PlayStation 3 on Monday not to use the videogame console until it can fix a bug in the system.
"As you may be aware, some customers have been unable to connect to the PlayStation Network," Sony's online gaming hub and store, Patrick Seybold, a Sony spokesman, said in a post on the Sony PlayStation blog.
Seybold said the problem, which has left many PS3 owners unable to connect to the Internet for more than 24 hours and some unable to even play games offline, was only affecting models released before last year's "slim" PS3.
"We hope to resolve this problem within the next 24 hours," Seybold said.
"In the meantime, if you have a model other than the new slim PS3, we advise that you do not use your PS3 system," he said.
"Doing so may result in errors in some functionality, such as recording obtained trophies, and not being able to restore certain data," said Seybold, Sony's senior director for corporate communications and social media.
Some PS3 users had complained on the PlayStation blog that "trophies" they earned for progressing through game levels had disappeared.
Seybold appeared to confirm speculation from PS3 users on the PlayStation blog that the problem was related to the transition from February 28 to March 1.
"We believe we have identified that this problem is being caused by a bug in the clock functionality incorporated in the system," he said.
PS3 owners have deluged the PlayStation blog since Sunday with hundreds of comments and complaints.
"Please fix it as soon as possible. I can't even play my games offline," said "MohammedMK."
"I'm so very worried here. I bought my PS3 real early so please fix it! I don't want a new system," wrote "Destiny89."
Seybold said the problem could result in the date on PS3 systems being reset to January 1, 2000.
When users try to re-set the time and date they receive a message that says "The current date and time could not be obtained."
Users are also unable to play back certain rental videos downloaded from the PlayStation Store.
"We are doing our best to resolve the issue and do apologize for any inconvenience caused," Seybold said.
Sony has been pushing the PS3 as more than just a videogaming console, partnering with Netflix, for example, to allow users to download movies to television sets or computers.
According to market tracking firm NPD Group, Sony has sold 11.4 million PS3s in the United States including 276,900 latest-generation consoles in January.
Since its launch with much fanfare in 2006, the PS3 has boasted power and rich graphics, but at premium prices when compared to Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's innovative Wii consoles.
Sony cut the prices on existing models to 299 dollars when the new PS3 went on sale in September.
Soon after Sony slashed the price of its PS3, Microsoft cut the price of its Xbox 360 console, followed by Nintendo, which reduced the price of its Wii for the first time since its 2006 launch.
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