Sounds like Sony has another bug to fix. Fans returning to the Chrono Cross PS1 Classic re-release on PS3 and PS Vita this week, presumably buoyed by the recent PS4 re-release, have discovered that a PlayStation Network The bug is making the legendary RPG game unplayable. And it’s not an isolated incident: while we’ve tried to replicate the issue on our own consoles without success, there are reports on forums and social media that others are affected.
Our first suspicion was that Square Enix might have retired the title in favor of their new Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition, similar to what Rockstar did with the previous version of Grand Theft Auto before the release of GTA Trilogy. But it turns out that this is much more likely to be an issue with Sony’s database – the consistent theme across all unplayable games is that their expiration dates have been reset to January 31, 1969.
Kotaku found evidence of dozens of fans sharing the same problem, which seems to be related to a tricky programming feature called Unix epoch. In as simple terms as possible, this is a tool that programmers use to parse the number of seconds since the date of January 1, 1970. Somehow there seems to be a glitch where the expiration dates of the content are defaulted to the aforementioned Unix era, effectively making them unplayable.
But why do games have expiration dates? Well this was something that Sony put together to help determine if PSPlus games could be played. In essence, the way it’s supposed to work is that the expiration date should line up with the end of your subscription, but something clearly went wrong here. It will be interesting to see if the platform owner actually fixes this, especially considering he tried to ruthlessly shut down the PS3 and PS Vita stores last year.