Still only a speculation, but a pretty weighty one to be fair, is that the bug was caused by a calendar/clock glitch as the fault emerged overnight as we changed from February to March; many PS3 owners reported that their console date had reset to Dec 31, 1999 or Jan 1, 2000.
This fault however has apparently only affected owners of the older PS3’s and not the slim line versions. The unhelpful error message these gamers are getting is "8001050F – Hardware failure. Cannot update Firmware or connect to internet". Access to the network and even playing games downloaded from the service is not an option at the moment.
Sony engineers are working "flat out" to mend this issue.
A statement from Sony reads:
"We have found out that some users are experiencing a network connection failure when signing on to PlayStation Network. We are currently looking in to the issue to identify the cause of this network connection failure and will update further information as necessary on the PlayStation blog and official website. We appreciate your understanding and continued support."Although Sony have said that users can continue to use their consoles in offline mode without hindrance, some gaming websites are warning readers not to turn their consoles on at all because some users have reported problems despite having not even tried to access the PlayStation Network.
This could be just a scare, but then again, why risk it. Issue shouldn’t take long to fix.