Take due note that PlayStation 5 will have to face certain limitations once its Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) battery dies.
According to data gathered by Does It Play recently, “some” PS5 discs will continue to boot when the internal batery eventually dies out or is taken out for whatever reason. That as well as most PS4 discs. However, a dead CMOS battery will completely take away the ability to run digital games.
The same findings also point out that PS4 relies rather heavily on the internal CMOS battery in comparison. The death or removal of which actually results in the inability to play both digital and physical games offline. PS5 hence provides a silver lining for players to still be able to access a certain portion of their library.
What happens in the future when the CMOS battery in your console dies and the servers are unreachable? We fear it could have serious implications for software preservation.
— Does it play? (@DoesItPlay1) March 26, 2021
Sony Interactive Entertainment uses CMOS batteries for server verification and with most infrastructures going digital, a dead CMOS battery will potentially make playing games impossible in the long run. For now though, Sony appears to be leaving an option for PS5 on a game-by-game basis.
According to a few tests done, Spider-Man can boot and play without any issues. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War can also boot but its online nature makes connecting to servers impossible for multiplayer matches. Mortal Kombat 11 however requires a functional CMOS battery to even install.
“Our tests are continuing, but we are alarmed at the fact that Mortal Kombat 11 failed to install and we will be checking a variety of other games to see if other discs encounter the same issue.
At this stage we only have access to a single PS5 for testing, so until the issue can be replicated on more than one machine we advise caution in reading too much into these results for now.”
CMOS batteries tend to last for years and hence, players should not be having concerns right now. That being said, Sony can possibly address any lingering concerns by patching PS5 to continue accessing offline physical games without a CMOS battery.