The PS4 and PS5 CMOS battery has been a highlight of discussion this month. This being after Sony announced the closure of the PS3, PS Vita, and PSP digital stores. Of course, Sony did backtrack on the PS3 and PS Vita store closures but the PSP one is still going offline on 2 July. In short, the CMOS battery built into the PS4 and PS5 would one day prove to be a problem for gamers. When the battery dies, as all batteries do, gamers won’t be able to connect to the PlayStation Network in order to activate their licenses.
This means that if one day Sony decides to shut down the PlayStation Network for some reason and the user’s CMOS batteries die in the PS4 or PS5, the console will be rendered useless to a certain point. Users can still play specific disc games but no digital content.
Does It Play, a Twitter account dedicated to video game preservation and accessibility tested out this theory and it is worse than we thought? By removing the CMOS battery from the PS4, they were unable to play games offline – even physical discs. As for the PS5, it was a similar situation. The removal of the CMOS battery in the console prevented all digital games from launching. However, some PS4 discs worked fine while some PS5 discs did not install.
So in order to prevent this from happening years down the line, Sony would have to make a plan and forcefully drop its reliance on the CMOS battery for both the PS4 and PS5. This may not be an issue today but years in the future if Sony ever shuts down their digital stores for PS4 and PS5, users won’t be able to play digital content.
Thankfully, Sony is reportedly working on a fix. According to emails being sent out by Sony to specific users, the company is currently working on a solution to the problem. Twitter user Does It Play claims that Sony’s PR wants to stay on top of this ongoing CMOS debacle and their internal teams are working on a fix. This will most likely arrive in the form of a firmware update but let us wait and see how the company tackles the issue.