Oh dear. After years of crowing about the Xbox 360's red ring of death, now PlayStation 3 owners have a technical problem of their own to suffer. It appears that a selection of consoles across the world are giving error "8001050F", claiming that they can't access information stored on the PlayStation Network. We've independently confirmed the issue on MAG.

The error seems to do more than stop you accessing online content - it also stops you from playing a few games offline, too. Worse, the error appears to be affecting consoles that don't go online at all - like debug units. Both retail titles and PSN games appear to be affected in the same way.

Sony has issued a statement saying: "We're narrowing down the issue and continue to work to restore service to all. Updates as soon as we have them". Users on the NeoGAF forums reckon that the issue is related to a calendar bug in older PS3 consoles, because it also seems to be affecting date/settings, but that hasn't been officially confirmed by Sony.

Are you suffering PlayStation 3 issues on your console? Let us know in the comments.

Update: Sony US is as quiet as a mouse, but SonyEU's official Twitter account says that the company has "many people working on fixing this issue", and that there'll be an update as soon as there's news. Stay tuned for more.

Update II: There's a statement from Sony! The company says:

As you may be aware, some customers have been unable to connect to the PlayStation Network today. This problem affects the models other than the new slim PS3.

We believe we have identified that this problem is being caused by a bug in the clock functionality incorporated in the system.

Errors include:
* The date of the PS3 system may be re-set to Jan 1, 2000.
* When the user tries to sign-in to the PlayStation Network, the following message appears on the screen; "An error has occurred. You have been signed out of PlayStation Network (8001050F)".
* When the user tries to launch a game, the following error message appears on the screen and the trophy data may disappear; "Failed to install trophies. Please exit your game."
* When the user tries to set the time and date of the system via the Internet, the following message appears on the screen; "The current date and time could not be obtained. (8001050F)"
* Users are not able to playback certain rental video downloaded from the PlayStation Store before the expiration date.

We hope to resolve this problem within the next 24 hours. In the meantime, if you have a model other than the new slim PS3, we advise that you do not use your PS3 system, as doing so may result in errors in some functionality, such as recording obtained trophies, and not being able to restore certain data.

As mentioned above, Please be advised that the new slim PS3 is not affected with this error. We are doing our best to resolve the issue and do apologize for any inconvenience caused.

For the latest status on this situation please check either the PlayStation blog (blog.us.playstation.com) or PlayStation.com.

We'll wait until the promised patch materializes. In the meantime, don't turn on your PS3...