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A dead CMOS battery could cripple the Sony PlayStation 4 in a few years

A PlayStation 4's lifespan could be limited by its CMOS battery. (Image source: Norbert Levajsics)
A PlayStation 4's lifespan could be limited by its CMOS battery. (Image source: Norbert Levajsics)
The PlayStation 4 could inevitably become unusable in a few years, unless you fancy cracking it open and tinkering with it. Apparently, the console requires a working CMOS battery to play games, regardless of whether you purchased them physically or digitally. Replacing the battery is only possible for as long as the PlayStation Network supports the PS4, too.
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Games consoles do not last forever, but the PlayStation 4's lifespan may be limited by its CMOS battery. According to reports, the last-generation console uses its CMOS battery as an internal clock, which cannot be viewed, changed or altered by end-users. Theoretically, this prevents people from gaming when their consoles award trophies. However, the PlayStation 4 requires a working CMOS battery to run games, too.

Hence, a dead CMOS battery renders the console useless, preventing it from opening games of any form. This is true of games bought on disc too, as @manfightdragon has outlined in a thread. Replacing a dead CMOS battery will resolve the problem, but that requires people to open their consoles, which they may feel comfortable doing.

Worse still, replacing the CMOS battery only restores the PlayStation 4's functionality if it can access the PlayStation Network to reset its system clock. So, you should only replace the CMOS battery if you can connect your PlayStation 4 to the internet. While this may seem trivial, it is not a given that the PlayStation Network will always be accessible for the PlayStation 4. Earlier this week, it emerged that Sony would be closing its PlayStation 3 and PS Vita stores in August, having restricted their games to their respective PlayStation Store apps last year.

It is unclear if Sony will address this peculiarity with a firmware update, which could still prevent consoles from awarding trophies in the event of a dead CMOS battery. If that does not happen and Sony disables the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 4, then many of the 115 million or so that Sony sold may end up as e-waste.

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 4591 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 03 > A dead CMOS battery could cripple the Sony PlayStation 4 in a few years
Alex Alderson, 2021-03-25 (Update: 2021-03-25)