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Operating Systems PlayStation (Games) Sony Games Linux

"Install Other OS" Feature Removed From the PS3 739

Hann1bal writes "The next system software update for the PlayStation 3 system will be released on April 1, 2010 (JST), and will disable the 'Install Other OS' feature that was available on the PS3 systems prior to the current slimmer models, launched in September 2009. This feature enabled users to install an operating system, but due to security concerns, Sony Computer Entertainment will remove the functionality through the 3.21 system software update." Updated 3:49 GMT by timothy: An anonymous reader writes "This comes as something of a surprise. Particularly because only a month ago Sony Computer Entertainment management seemed committed to the continued support of the Other OS option on the PS3."
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"Install Other OS" Feature Removed From the PS3

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  • Sorry kids (Score:5, Informative)

    by piripiri ( 1476949 ) on Sunday March 28, 2010 @11:40PM (#31652970) Journal
    It doesn't run linux anymore.
  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot.hackish@org> on Sunday March 28, 2010 @11:47PM (#31653024)

    No, the other OS will become inaccessible after the firmware update (the linked article warns users to back up any data on their "Other OS" partition prior to the firmware update).

    You could just not install the firmware update, but then you can't use a lot of online features that check for current firmware.

  • by adamstew ( 909658 ) on Sunday March 28, 2010 @11:48PM (#31653028)

    from TFA:

    For those PS3 users who are currently using the “Other OS” feature but choose to install the system software update, to avoid data loss they first need to back-up any data stored within the hard drive partition used by the “Other OS,” as they will not be able to access that data following the update.

    It looks like if you have an OS installed and do the update, the OS gets zapped as a part of the update.

  • by Nunavut ( 1662173 ) on Sunday March 28, 2010 @11:51PM (#31653050)
    As per TFA: "For those PS3 users who are currently using the “Other OS” feature but choose to install the system software update, to avoid data loss they first need to back-up any data stored within the hard drive partition used by the “Other OS,” as they will not be able to access that data following the update." They'll also prevent older versions from signing in to PSN; which totally sucks as I do have Linux installed on my PS3 and love to play MAG!
  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo ( 1000167 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:02AM (#31653114)
    Websurfing using the full capabilities of an HDTV, playing any number of emulated old-school console games just to name a few.
  • Backlash? (Score:5, Informative)

    by nukem996 ( 624036 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:04AM (#31653136)
    I bought my PS3 for two things, cell development and games. So to play games I need the latest firmware but the latest firmware makes it impossible for me to do cell development. This was an advertised feature when I bought it(a few months after launch) so I don't see how Sony can do this without facing a class action suite.
  • by TheKidWho ( 705796 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:53AM (#31653400)

    No, that's not true. The "Other OS" feature runs through a hypervisor which limits full access to the cell processor and restricts access to the GPU.

  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:4, Informative)

    by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:15AM (#31653530)
    Yeah, I mean, it only got the best [] reviews [] of any game ever released for the current crop of consoles. Clearly the fact that it doesn't suit your idea of what GTA "should be" means it's a train wreck.
  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:5, Informative)

    by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:27AM (#31653602) Homepage Journal

    By the way, for those of you wanting to join me in the class-action I'm gong to form - just look up Finkelstein and Thompson if you're in the state of CA - they helped me out with Spore and they'll most certainly come in handy for this nonsense NOW.

    100 Bush Street
    San Francisco, CA 94104-3954
    (415) 398-8700

    Ask for Mr. Punzalan.

  • by acid06 ( 917409 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:37AM (#31653650)

    They're still advertising the "Open Platform" feature on their website: []

    "There is more to the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system than you may have assumed. In addition to playing games, watching movies, listening to music, and viewing photos, you can use the PS3(TM) system to run the Linux operating system."

    Let's see how long that page lasts...

  • Re:Backlash? (Score:2, Informative)

    by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:38AM (#31653662)

    It's $299. And, as you can see, Sony doesn't want you to use Linux on PS3 any more. So your options are to upgrade and stop programming on it, don't upgrade and play only the current games you have, or get another one. Take your pick.

  • How can they sell something with a certain set of features and then just take it away? I know, it didn't really work all that well....

    1 Because the feature was never advertised

    Wrong. []

  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:5, Informative)

    by ElKry ( 1544795 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:51AM (#31653732)
    You do realize that songs on iTunes are DRM-free, right?
  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:57AM (#31653746)


    > Although it's disappointing that Sony have removed the feature from new
    > models, It's good to have this public assurance from Sony that at least
    > the feature won't be removed from older models which are already
    > working.

  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zephiris ( 788562 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:01AM (#31653768)

    Given the mention of PC...there's a good reason why it's #86 on PC (4 times lower than San Adreas), instead of #1.

    The PC port was just unjustifiably buggy and lame, with Rockstar withholding fixes for months at a time.

    Given that it's based on critic (not popular) review, you could even say that the 86 position is too damn good for it, especially since USERS give it a mere 4.6/10. []
      That, is a freaking trainwreck, especially given that it used particularly invasive form of SecuROM DRM which was the principle reason generally agreed upon (perhaps wayback has archives of the GTA4 forums just after release) for it performing so slow. []

    You could throw a monster machine at it, and get 14-20FPS, even on low detail and low resolution.

    If you point to how well received console versions were when somebody references the PC port, you clearly don't know what the hell you're talking about.

  • Re:Backlash? (Score:3, Informative)

    by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:10AM (#31653832)

    Except the game comes with the firmware that it requires such that if your PS3 is not connected to the internet, the game downloads the needed update from the disc. Since this system update is currently in the future, no games actually "require" this update and should not be checking for it.

  • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:19AM (#31653878) Homepage Journal

    It's probably the minor hypervisor glitch I discovered back in 2.7 that allowed me to send more commands than I should have been able to send to the GPU, right past the hypervisor.

    That was the best potential vulnerability we had at the time and I just stumbled upon it trying to figure out if I could tweak the encoder I was writing for the PPC Ubuntu install I had on at the time.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:19AM (#31653880)

    The rampant chipless/modless piracy didnt help either.

    The Dreamcast died because Sega needed to get 10 million more units sold and they didn't have the capital to build the machines.

    There are a few people that like to claim 'piracy' had anything to do with the Dreamcast's death because geeks like you and me went on an IRC channel and downloaded a game or two and burned it, and found it played just fine. Then we asked a friend with similar interests and PC capabilities and they said "yeah, I did that too!", and mentally we turned that into a baseless statistic that must mean so many people did it that Gamestop was full of unsold games!

    Nobody seems to remember that back when the DC was popular broadband was not available in most places and there was some skill and knowledge invovled in acquiring the .ISOs before getting them burnt to a disc.

  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:2, Informative)

    by Zoidbot ( 1194453 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:14AM (#31654146)

    Nobody was forcing you to install the firmware..

    If you only wanted to use it as a mythTV frontend, then it will continue to function as that.

    Where have all the smart people gone from Slashdot? It seems to be full of clueless kneejerk reaction retards now...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:41AM (#31654250)

    Why is this modded funny? Does "Finkelstein" sound too much like a jokey "stereotypical Jewish lawyer" name? 'Cause a quick Google search seems to confirm that this is a real law firm.

    Sony is negating an advertised feature of their products after consumers have bought, paid for, and privately own them. Sounds like ripe material for a legitimate class-action lawsuit to me.

  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:5, Informative)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @04:16AM (#31654380) Homepage Journal

    If you want Linux so badly, install it on a PC. I installed Linux on my PS3 for fun. It worked. I got bored after a couple of minutes (I already use Ubuntu 100% on my machines at home and work, apart from when I need to remote desktop into Windows servers). It's meant to be faster these days, but still it's rather pointless unless you're writing multicore research programs, or don't have a PC with Linux.

    If they had included access to the 3D graphics capabilities then I'd be saying something completely different here, but the capabilities that they built in are pretty worthless, and only having 256MB (I think?) of RAM limits what apps you can run usefully.

    I suspect there will be a crack soon anyway, that's why Sony are currently trying to lock things down. Maybe they will succeed. I don't really care either way. I probably wouldn't risk bricking my PS3. It's too useful to me as a games and multimedia machine. We'll soon be at the stage where you will be able to build a faster PC for less money anyway. Hopefully they will include a decent "Other OS" setup for PS4, but I doubt it. Especially considering they were making a loss on the early units and thousands of them were being bought up just for Linux based research projects..

  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:4, Informative)

    by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @04:21AM (#31654396)

    I don't like pirates... they suck profit out of a tough field and generally make the world a worse place out of their selfishness... but I pirate games all the time just as a demo, and buy the ones that don't suck.

    I guess it's okay if you do it.

    I quote: "just as a demo, and buy the ones that don't suck"

    I do exactly the same as the GP, so I'm really interested to know how exactly can we otherwise evaluate if a game is good enough to buy. Please let us know.

    We're past the time when demos were freely available and representative of the game as a whole, commercial game review sites and magazines are pretty much in the pocket of the industry (two words: "grade inflaction") and will hype POSes harder than anybody else and "user review" sites are full of fanboys and "grassroots marketing".

    [How often have you seen a game review which actually heavilly criticized a game from a major publisher due to bugs?]

    To add insult to injury, consumer legislation is such that in many countries you'll be hard pressed to get a refund if a game doesn't at all work in your system. As a mater of fact, pirating games before buying them has saved me lots of problem with games that wouldn't work at all or were just too buggy: try getting a refund from any game store (especially an online one) on a game because it crashes every 10 minutes and see how far you get.

    The day when I can go back to the store and get my money back on a game because it's buggy and/or sucks is the day I'll stop downloading games before buying them.

  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @05:32AM (#31654686)
    I thought the option was only there to skirt tax laws and get the machine taxed as a 'computer' ... perhaps the laws have now closed the loophole? It could have just been a rumour of course.
  • Grammar Nazi time... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lifyre ( 960576 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @07:37AM (#31655252)

    Their not They're....

  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:3, Informative)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @10:56AM (#31657294) Homepage Journal

    That depends, how crappy is your TV? Mine has VGA and HDMI inputs..

    Your PS3 basically already is a media center. The built in media browser isn't great for music that's already on the HDD I'll admit, but it works really well for external drives, and the built in browser is fine fine for TV and movies already on the HDD.

    It's fine for crunching numbers yes, but if this guy is "saving up for a console" he doesn't sound like the type of person that is looking to be crunching numbers.

  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:3, Informative)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @11:15AM (#31657592) Homepage Journal

    Well, it is a bit of a dick move on Sony's part, but I guess I just appreciate not having cheaters on PS3 games much more than I do being able to mess around with the Cell.. someone was getting close to creating a full crack for the hypervisor and this is their way of trying to slow him down.

    You still would be able to install Linux and play PS2 games if you bought one of the original PS3s. I think simply wiping the HDD should reset it back to the factory OSS and you wouldn't ever need to run a system update if those are the only 2 things you're doing. And even if a game did update your system (not sure if any PS3 games do this, but PSP ones certainly do) then you'd be fine with any game made up to this date. Yes, I'm perhaps defending Sony too much here, but I think the PS line is a great line of products and it's harsh to criticise the PS guys for what guys in the music branch of Sony did. Same as I actually think Exchange Server and Visual Studio are okay products despite hating MS management in general.

  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:2, Informative)

    by Rowanyote ( 980640 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @11:57AM (#31658230)

    I have demanded and received my money back from a theater when the quality of goods (Skinwalkers) was unacceptable.

      I have asked for and received a replacement substitute for unacceptable goods from a restaurant (maybe with spit, maybe without, I tried to be very nice about the request).

    Neither of these I can do for a game that is buggy, broken, or just plain completely sucks. I am not paying to be defrauded, I am paying for something that is of value to me. If I can't get any value, I don't intend encourage them to continue making or releaseing crap.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN