‘Expired’ digital PS Vita and PS3 games rendered unplayable

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Players on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita are having trouble accessing their digital purchases after a strange expiration date suddenly appeared on certain games, as first reported by Kotaku. The problem seems to mostly affect classic titles, preventing users from playing Chrono Cross, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy VI, as the games are now “expired.”

But here’s the odd part: the expiration dates are dated half a century in the past. Twitter user Christopher Foose shared an image of his Chrono Cross download, which shows that the game expired on December 31st, 1969 at 7:20 PM. He says the issue only occurred after redownloading the game, and that he’s now unable to play it on PS3 and PS Vita.

GamesHub editor Edmond Tran similarly found he was unable to play Chrono Cross on the PS3 thanks to a 52-year-old expiration date. And while Tran says he could still play the classic title on his PS Vita, he wasn’t able to find the listing on the PS Vita store, a sign that Sony may have taken it down. Other users on Reddit and Twitter also reported the issue with Rune Factory Oceans, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, Gex: Enter the Gecko, and for some, their entire digital library.

As outlined in the various threads and posts about the problem, some players say they’ve tried factory resetting their consoles, subscribing and unsubscribing to PlayStation Plus, and restoring their game licenses, all to no avail. PlayStation has yet to acknowledge the situation, and the game company didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.

There is one possible reason why this may be happening, though. Kotaku notes that the issue may stem from a glitch causing the PS Vita and PS3 to revert the game licenses’ expiration dates to the Unix epoch, or the arbitrary time and date set by developers to designate the beginning of a console’s life.

Even if this is just a glitch, it’s stoking concerns that Sony is dealing yet another blow to the PS3 and PS Vita stores. After the game company nearly closed down both stores last year, it made them harder to shop at by taking away the ability to use credit cards or PayPal to make purchases.



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