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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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  • Bummer ... (1st (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28, 2010 @11:39PM (#31652964)

    Bummer ....

  • On April 1? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KiltedKnight ( 171132 ) * on Sunday March 28, 2010 @11:41PM (#31652982) Homepage Journal
    Something sounds awfully fishy about this. If it's real, that's not exactly a day I'd want to release something like this.
  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28, 2010 @11:47PM (#31653022)

    I'm a flaming PS3 fanboy, I think the games on the PS3 are awesome and significantly better than the 360's, and I really love the full functionality of this machine.

    But this really has me seeing red.

    I've been using my PS3 for all kinds of shit. It's got firefox and open office and all kinds of productive capabilities. In linux, the Cell rips DVDs much faster than a conventional CPU can.

    I understand that the black hat community is actively trying to hack the PS3 because it's proven to be very well protected from pirates. I realize Sony is a business and they are simply trying to protect their rights. But this is removing functionality I paid for and own. Telling me this is my option, my choice, but I can no longer log into the Playstation network (which is required to play many games I downloaded for a fee... you have to be connected to their network or the game won't work... which I didn't know until I had a period without a connection) is no option at all.

    They are taking away something that belongs to me. I am really pissed that they couldn't figure out a better way to thwart hackers. Even their own version of Linux, some new version of YDL, that they control, would be better than completely taking away this feature.

    I sold my 360 after it was fixed from a RROD (I still play my SNES and don't need a gimp machine that can't last 20 years). I won't go back to xbox. But I am probably not going to go back to PS4 or PS5. Once this generation is over, I'm back to PC gaming. Fucking Sony. Once again, you've gone a little too far in fighting pirates. Like that root kit thing that was ages ago... people have a hard time forgetting that shit.

  • Greedy idiot kids (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28, 2010 @11:49PM (#31653042)

    This is what happens when Sony gives us a limited, but useful, homebrew/open source support and an idiotic media-whoring kid decides to use it to attack Sony's OS security for no good reason.

    Thanks, geohot. Good fucking job, you've managed nothing practically useful with your attack, but you pissed Sony off and now a) nobody can duplicate it any more, at least not if they want to keep using their PS3s for on-line gaming, b) the rest of us who didn't care for your retarded antics are now screwed.

    -- Anonymous Hacker.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28, 2010 @11:51PM (#31653052)
    You heard right. Even the YDL distro designed for PS3 installation was so slow and artificially hampered that it had little use outside of curiosity for the occasional hobbyist. I touched it once and that was it, it was painful.
  • by gearloos ( 816828 ) on Sunday March 28, 2010 @11:54PM (#31653070)
    How can they sell something with a certain set of features and then just take it away? Thats like Ford saying we are disabling the air conditioners that were previously working on pre 2008 vehicles. WTF? I know, it didn't (doen't) really work all that well (slow) but I did run PowerPC Ubuntu on mine. This is more of an "eroding consumer rights" issue. Why now, considering the rootkit etc.. This just proves once again that Sony gives a rats ass about its customers rights.
  • Best quote fta (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kral_Blbec ( 1201285 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:04AM (#31653138)

    In addition, disabling the “Other OS” feature will help ensure that PS3 owners will continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system.


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

    by Reservoir Penguin ( 611789 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:05AM (#31653142)
    It was a great platform to get your hands wet with Cell programming for one thing, as it was the most accessible cell platform. Plus I know of organizations that setup PS3 supercomputer clusters. There was eve an article on Slashdot a few months ago about military (air force) setting up a test cluster. I wonder what happens to them now. Stupid decision, IMHO.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:14AM (#31653222)

    No, it doesn't seem that Sony ever gave you anything, if they can take it back whenever they want without you having any say. You are a serf who was granted some small favor from his lord. That small favor was taken back because one of you dared to question him; but sooner or later, for any reason or no reason, lord Sony might have changed their mind anyway.

    Either the PlayStation 3 was secure, or it wasn't. If it was, then there is no reason to take any functionality away. If it wasn't, then it was simply a matter of time before someone, somewhere, by some method, did something that Sony didn't like. Either way, it's all because of Sony. They knew what kind of game they were playing; they've played it a dozen times before, and lost every time.

    As for him achieving nothing useful, and as to whether he had any damn good reason; you have no idea precisely what he achieved, nor what could yet be achieved by him or others as a result of what he achieved.

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

    by Kenoli ( 934612 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:34AM (#31653296)

    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.

  • Cell is a dead end (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:42AM (#31653336) Journal

    It might have amounted to something yesterday. Now it's just another fringe platform. In the long story of computer history there have been many processors that have been marginalized by their vendors when they really did rock. The Cell is one, and now it's lost.

    The thing is, I expected that from Sony because that's what they do - so I never bothered to master programming for Cell. They just don't get it. They never did and they never will. They've got some world class engineers and the poor bastards are restrained from ruling the world by the idiots they have in marketing and the executive branch.

    To be fair, Toshiba and IBM (who participated in the Cell design) don't get it either - they'll never release a Cell platform that normal people can afford, and so they'll avoid the synergy that takes it from the fringe to dominance. It'll live and die in their mainframes and that's it - and they'll make a mint migrating their customers to the next fringe platform because God & Everybody knows you can't run mainframe OS's on x86 harware (right?).

    But Sony? No, I expect this from Sony. Some people will find a way to break their DRM and run any OS you want on the thing now - but it's too late. That's too marginal and conditional for people who build stuff. Dammit Sony: we have enough stuff that doesn't work with our other stuff! Will you quit with the breaking flexibility please?

  • Re:Fishy. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:08AM (#31653486)

    Poisson d'Avril much?

    I don't buy that... if this was a joke, you'd ANNOUNCE it on 1-April, not announce it ahead of time that it will occur on 1-April. The announcement would be the joke. You don't joke on 29-March about something that won't happen on 1-April. Not if you understand the concepts of humor and the celebration of the day, anyway.

  • Re:Backlash? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nukem996 ( 624036 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:27AM (#31653600)
    Why should I have to spend $400 more to do something that I have already does?
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:33AM (#31653634) Homepage

    There would be an uproar heard in Congress if General Motors used their OnStar download links to remove a feature. Suppose GM did something so that third-party audio players like the iPod couldn't use the car's speakers. This isn't totally unreasonable. GM's onboard entertainment system has a port for connecting a CD changer. If you didn't buy the CD changer option, that port is unused. There are third-party non-GM adapter kits [crutchfield.com] for connecting an iPod to that port. The dashboard CD changer controls then control the iPod.

    GM could probably download an update to change the interface so that this would no longer work. GM would prefer that customers buy a GM audio source; they remarket XM Radio. Arguably, the iPod is a device for pirating music, and removing that capability would enhance the security of the system. It would also eliminate the possibility of unauthorized iPod software interfering with the car's networks, and perhaps the OnStar system.

    So why shouldn't GM do that?

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

    by nukem996 ( 624036 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:58AM (#31653756)
    Thats like buying a car with power locks and windows and after owning it for two years the car maker says you can now only have power locks or power windows pick one.
  • by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:02AM (#31653772)

    The x86 juggernaut basically made all other architectures irrelevant for most computer users. Most people use their computers for accessing the internet, writing documents, watching videos. Who cares what's hardware is running as long as it does what people want? At one point I was all about PowerPC, until I installed Debian on my Mac and then realized I could get faster hardware for less money. Now I don't really care what hardware my computer runs any more.

  • Re:Bummer ... (1st (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c1ay ( 703047 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:03AM (#31653786) Homepage
    More than a bummer. This option is what has made the PS3 a popular machine for clusters in the science community. This will be a big set back until a work around turns up.
  • Re:Backlash? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nukem996 ( 624036 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:07AM (#31653810)
    Some new games require newer firmwares, they have them on disc. If you don't upgrade you don't get to play. While that won't happen for a few months with this version it would prevent me from playing games or running Linux. The other issue is that many of the games I have advertise PSN which I won't be able to use. I said backslash because if it effects 1% or 100% of the user base people are going to complain. Depending on how much they complain results in x amount of dollars Sony has to spend. This could be in getting support calls to law suits.
  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:11AM (#31653836) Homepage Journal

    I agree with your sentiment, but I think you exaggerate. If we stop buying software for 24 months, corporate heads will wake up, and make a lot of concessions - but that won't end proprietary software. And, in fact, I really don't want to see all proprietary software eradicated.

    Hey, even Windows would be a decent buy, for twenty bucks, if they stopped with the WGA nonsense, end their stupid call-home validation processes, and whatever other idiot crap they have in mind. They never should have cared about small time dummies who download a ripped ISO. The only piracy they should EVER have gone after, are OEM's who use pirated Windows, and the mass producers of pirated CD's. I think almost everyone can get behind that sort of anti-piracy.

    Twenty bucks for a legal Win7 CD, and I can re-install it as many times as I wish in my own home, and I'd run right out to buy a copy. At ten times that price, it's nothing but a ripoff, and I will never buy it.

  • by laughingcoyote ( 762272 ) <barghesthowl@excit e . com> on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:18AM (#31653874) Journal

    Even if a class action suit is filed and they are found guilty or w/e ill receive a coupon in the mail for something i didnt want and have to pay real money to get anyways. Thanks alot Sony. I dont use my Linux on my PS3 whole lot, but i didnt give up 10 GB of precious HDD space for nothing.

    Small claims court is a great thing, and will quite often let you recover the full value of damages rather than getting a coupon or some similar crap from a class-action suit. File for the full value of the thing, claiming that whether you accept the update or don't, irreparable damage will be done to functions you purchased the system to perform. Quite often, they won't even bother to show up and will just quietly pay off what you win. I'd strongly encourage you to look into the small-claims rules in your jurisdiction, and you can also find some basic information here. [nolo.com]

  • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:26AM (#31653904) Homepage Journal

    Terrifying that they thought this was a good idea. That said, AFAIK, Cell was never part of the POWER architecture in any way; their mainframe integration amounted to a coprocessor card to which specially-written apps could offload work.

    No surprise that it got few takers; most code probably ran faster on the POWER6... with vector optimizations turned off... and the CPU scaled back to half its normal speed... and all but one core disabled....

    Not to mention that IIRC, Cell basically only does one thing well: single-precision floating-point math. For certain tasks, that's great, but then again, my GPU does a good job of that, too, and I can stick several beefy ones in a computer for a whole heck of a lot less than the cost of an IBM mainframe.... :-)

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

    by Vectormatic ( 1759674 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:38AM (#31653960)

    Only an anonymous coward with no real vetting in the industry could make such a claim, considering the PS3 has roughly double the raw horsepower and superior graphics and pretty much superior everything else

    only an anonymous coward with zero understanding of computer architecture would make such a claim. the Cell cpu might be teriffic for transcoding media, but it is absolute shit for general purpose computation. The GPU in there is nothing but an nvidia 7900GS, while the memory architecture is set up in such a way that it severely limits flexibility of allocation.

    and im not sure why you say we are about to pay for external storage? dashboard upgrades have been free like... forever (this isnt apple we are talking about here..)

    as for nickle/diming, sure, but i dont have to download DLC (in fact i just flat out ignore most DLC).

    As for the backwards compatbility, how the hell do you actually claim this is a plus for sony? They started out with "yeah, all ps2 games work IN HARDWARE", to "we are removing the hardware, but dont worry, you can still play 90% in software" to "yeah, we are gonna go and kill the software emulator, you guys dont mind do you? yeah thanks.." How the fuck is seriously degrading your device over its lifetime better then just setting up something that works for a lot of games, and STICKING WITH IT? those emulated xbox games play perfectly, so i dont see what your problem is with emulation..

    yeah i know, i just fed a troll, just couldnt resist..

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:49AM (#31654278)

    I've been using my PS3 for all kinds of shit. It's got firefox and open office and all kinds of productive capabilities. In linux, the Cell rips DVDs much faster than a conventional CPU can.

    The Cell doesn't have anything to do with DVD ripping/compression. It just appears as a PowerPC G5 under linux, unless you happen to have rewritten and recompiled something like x264 to take advantage of them, which I doubt. If you have, then I bow my head, and respectfully request directions to the source......

  • Re:Bummer ... (1st (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bluesatin ( 1350681 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @04:48AM (#31654500)

    Sony already caused massive issues with number crunching by removing the ability to install Linux on the latest slim PS3 models.

    The old ones never need to be connected to the internet or have the ability to play the latest games, so they will not need this firmware update and will be unaffected.

    This isn't big news, except maybe if they need second hand replacement PS3s.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @04:53AM (#31654530) Homepage Journal

    You not only hit the nail on the head, you drove it in with a single blow Daniel-san style.

    This is why I've avoided Sony hardware like the plague for years now.
    It's not that they don't release some EXCELLENT stuff.
    It's just that they're such control freaks that they eventually decide to take their ball and go home with it.
    Never mind that they're killing their own product.
    Never mind that they're destroying a potential developer base.
    Never mind that some of the things being developed on said platform are incredibly innovative uses of the equipment.

    No, it's "MY BALL! MY BALL! MY BALL!"

    Wake me when someone catches a clue.

  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2010 @05:57AM (#31654786)

    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.

    If he ends up buying the game afterwards then how can you possibly argue that he has done something wrong, without foregoing logic altoghether?

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

    by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @06:03AM (#31654818)

    While I'm sure many will welcome you taking Sony to task, do you mind if I ask exactly how a $10 voucher against your next purchase of a Sony product will help you run Linux on your PS3?

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

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Monday March 29, 2010 @06:48AM (#31655020) Homepage Journal

    And all you have to do, is just use only Free Software for 24 months

    The article is about PLAYSTATION 3, a device whose primary advertised features are to play non-free major-label video games and to play non-free major-label high-definition movies. So during these 24 months, how do you propose funding the creation of high-quality video games and feature films under a free software and free cultural works license?

    And every time I restart a PC running Ubuntu, I use non-free BIOS software. Where can I find an affordable computer that runs coreboot?

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

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @06:50AM (#31655030)

    DRM? Odd, none of the games I bought lately had any. I admit, it takes a little effort to make sure you only buy games whose creators treat you like a customer rather than a criminal that first has to prove their innocense before you're allowed to play their game, but these companies exist. Stardock is one of them, for example.

    10 years ago, your task as a computer gamer has been to read reviews and previews to spot the gem amongst the lemons. Today, your task is to read boards and online discussions to see which games don't infest your computer with malware in disguise and essentially only allow you to rent instead of buy your game. It hasn't really changed, you just have to read different information material. It's no longer the game reviews that tell you which game is "awesome", it's the user boards and DRM watchdog pages that tell you which games you can safely buy.

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

    by Sir_Lewk ( 967686 ) <sirlewk.gmail@com> on Monday March 29, 2010 @06:58AM (#31655078)

    Bi-annual hardware upgrades? Realistically you only need to upgrade your PC hardware once every console generation, since all of the games are multi-platform releases these days. You can game just fine on PCs right now with a 2 year old GPU and CPU. Just because you game on a PC doesn't mean you have to be a 'ricer' type. Hell, most PC gamers I know these days use laptops...

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

    by grumbel ( 592662 ) <grumbel+slashdot@gmail.com> on Monday March 29, 2010 @07:00AM (#31655102) Homepage

    Nobody was forcing you to install the firmware..

    Wrong, Sony is forcing you all the time to upgrade the firmware. Using new games might require a firmware upgrade, using the shop requires firmware upgrade, using Home requires firmware upgrade, using DRMed videos requires firmware upgrade and so on. Of course you can say "no" to the upgrade, but then you have basically a brick, as you can't do anything that requires a firmware upgrade.

    Sony gives you basically the "choice" to play games or run Linux, to bad that what I bought from them was a machine that could play games *and* run Linux. Stuff like this really should result in a lawsuit, as you shouldn't be allowed to remove features that the costumer payed for.

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

    And you seem to be one of them...

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

    by jean-guy69 ( 445459 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @07:05AM (#31655116)

    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.

    Do you need a free lunch to evaluate if a restaurant is worth your money ? How do you evaluate if a movie is worth the ticket without seeing it ? Seriously..

  • by IWaSBoRG ( 992305 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @07:23AM (#31655202)
    YOU can blame pirates for this. I'm going to blame Sony.
  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lifyre ( 960576 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @07:33AM (#31655244)

    2 Words. Penny Arcade.

    You might not like Gabe and Tycho, you might not like the games they play but they at least give you a fair idea of what they are like going in. The biggest thing that sucks is that they're format doesn't allow for them to review a lot of games. There is a reason they have become a power in the gaming world.

  • by Dudeman_Jones ( 1589225 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @07:33AM (#31655246)

    Wouldn't have happened if that hacker hadn't cracked the security core through linux. You can go ahead and tell yourself that Sony is being all demonically evil here, but the truth is they are acting in response to a legitimate piracy threat. If that threat didn't exist, then there would be no reason for Sony to waste the time and effort to remove an existing function from a product.

    You can blame Sony if you want. I'm gonna blame the root cause of the problem.

  • Re:Bummer ... (1st (Score:3, Insightful)

    by allcoolnameswheretak ( 1102727 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:46AM (#31655710)

    This might be one of the main reasons they are retracting this feature. Companies are selling game consoles at a loss. The real money is made with the games they sell. If Universities and NASA are buying up your consoles as cheap processing power, that's not good for their business.

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

    by Bakkster ( 1529253 ) <Bakkster.man @ g m a i l .com> on Monday March 29, 2010 @09:44AM (#31656284)

    I agree with piracy in some respects, I think it's a great tool to get what you want while protesting some aspects such as DRMs, aggressive pricing, inconvenience, etc...

    And this is why we have no effective protests anymore. If you're protesting, it's really only effective if you sacrifice something to do so. Otherwise it's shallow, and the corporation/government/whoever you protest against knows you can be pushed around because you don't really care. If your principles aren't important enough to you to sacrifice while fighting for them, why should they take them seriously? You obviously don't.

    Imagine if the Civil Rights movement had its members get up and leave as soon as they were threatened with arrest? What if they got up from the seats they were occupying in a whites-only cafe because they were hungry? What if they picketted, but only until they were threatened with fire hoses? What if they continued to use public transit during the boycotts, just because it was a long walk? Do you really think anything would have changed?

    By pirating, you let the game publishers know that you can't do without their game, so all they need to do is hold the line, increase the DRM, and eventually they can get you (or others like you) to buy it without giving into your 'demands'. Look at Modern Warfare 2. There was a 'boybott' group on Steam filled with players in MW2 on launch day. It's no wonder IW didn't care that people were upset, they still got paid!

    So don't blow a bunch of smoke up my ass about piracy being a useful protest tool. It likely does more harm to protests than good. Using the word 'protest' is just a convenient justification for "I don't want to pay for this, but I also don't want to feel like I'm doing anything wrong".

  • Re:Bummer ... (1st (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Inconexo ( 1401585 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @09:46AM (#31656312)


    Well, you buy a console with X functionalities, and then Sony decides to remove some of them. If you paid for a console which can install other OS, will they return the money to you?

    Figure that they want all consumers to buy the new PS3 and in the next update, they close the functionallity of playing games. Would it be acceptable?

    Is it acceptable to have functionlities removed after you paid for them? Come on!

    Idiot is thinking that because some people abuse something, you can remove it from legal users.

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

    by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @10:34AM (#31656968)

    Do you need a free lunch to evaluate if a restaurant is worth your money ? How do you evaluate if a movie is worth the ticket without seeing it ? Seriously..

    If I eat at a restaurant and the food is only halfway cooked, the water glass has a hole in the side, and my chair has an exposed nail in the seat, I generally get my money back.

    If I go see a movie and it is horribly spliced and random scenes are replaced with photos of cardboard cutouts, I generally get my money back.

    If I buy a game and it crashes constantly, seems to be missing several scenes, and the ending consists of shooting at a bat-thing in the middle of an otherwise empty skybox like it was just tacked on when the money ran out, I would expect my money back. But it isn't likely to happen.

  • by johndoe42 ( 179131 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @10:40AM (#31657038)

    While suing Sony sounds great, it involves finding a lawyer (ideally a class action lawyer) to handle it. But here in the US, we have another mechanism: the FTC.

    If enough of us file FTC complaints online, they might take note. I wrote something like the text at the bottom of this post.

    The company in question is:
    Sony Computer Entertainment America
    919 East Hillsdale Boulevard
    Foster City, CA 94404


    Sony (as Sony Consumer Entertainment America, Inc.) sells, and has sold for several years, a popular device called the Playstation 3. Up until now, this device has two features of note:

    1. It supports a feature called "Install Other OS." This allows users to install operating systems such as Linux on their Playstation 3, which many users use for scientific and other purposes.

    2. It supports something called the PlayStation Network. This is an online network of gaming users and is critical to obtaining the full gaming experience advertised by Sony.

    Yesterday, Sony announced (http://blog.us.playstation.com/2010/03/28/ps3-firmware-v3-21-update/) that they were going to disable the "Install Other OS" feature on all PlayStation 3 units, even those already sold. Users can opt out of this disablement, but that will in turn disable PlayStation Network.

    Sony claims that this is due to "security concerns." These security concerns are probably that Sony realized that "Install Other OS" might allow PS3 owners to bypass digital rights management restrictions. In other words, Sony is crippling an existing product to aid in preventing users from doing something that may hurt Sony's relationship with content developers. (Users attacking the Playstation 3 may or may not be legal, but that shouldn't matter here.)

    I am not an expert in the relevant law, but it seems to me that a company should not be permitted to disable functionality of products already sold, especially when the reason that they disable that functionality is to prevent their users from doing something.

  • by Call Me Black Cloud ( 616282 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @11:19AM (#31657642)

    Does the PS3's license agreement say that Sony can add or remove features at will? If so, it seems like all the ranting and noise about a lawsuit is for naught.
  • Re:Sorry kids (Score:3, Insightful)

    by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @11:19AM (#31657652)

    Do you need a free lunch to evaluate if a restaurant is worth your money ? How do you evaluate if a movie is worth the ticket without seeing it ? Seriously..

    In addition to the things the other commenters have pointed out, despite what the industry may think, a game is a good. Eating at a restaurant and watching a movie in a theater are services.

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

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:10PM (#31658414) Homepage Journal

    Well I would love to see the Hypervisor cracked. I would love to have access to the GPU in Linux. Sony doesn't because then people could write good games that run under Linux on the PS3
    As for the stopping cheaters. Great fine just don't take away a feature to do it.
    Frankly I doubt that will stop them for long and will only cripple access to those that want to access the Cell.
    If Sony had allowed access to the GPU through they hypervisor then the only reason to crack it would be to copy games and cheating.
    So yes I agree that you are defending Sony too much. I liked the PS2 but felt the PS3 was too expensive for what you got at the time. You can like the PS3 hardware all you want. It does look like a nice piece of kit.
    However again this policy just sucks and is really annoying. If Sony just updated the Hypervisor to stop people from cracking it while allowing people to still run Linux I would not complain.
    If Sony added access to the GPU I would praise them and go and buy one.
    I did not even get too bent when Sony came out with a new model that didn't support Linux. That is their right to change a product BEFORE I BUY IT.
    It is the post purchase crippling that is just evil and frankly I feel dishonest.

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

    by Bakkster ( 1529253 ) <Bakkster.man @ g m a i l .com> on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:44PM (#31659686)

    Well, the case in point is that if/when people do protest by stopping purchasing (and even stop pirating), it doesn't matter because the publisher/distributors simply BLAME PIRATES for the loss of sales and put MORE INVASIVE DRM on the product, which is the very thing you are PROTESTING AGAINST!

    But the very point is that they don't need to. They see higher piracy numbers, and the CEOs make the only conclusion that makes economic sense, particularly for a publicly traded company.

    As a secondary effect, if even the serious protestors are seen as hypocrites ('I don't like their measures to stop piracy, so I'll pirate it'), no neutral 3rd party will take their side. Rather than evoking sympathy at injustice, they are seen as a bunch of stuck-up middle-class white teenage thieves, and Ubisoft and Activision win the PR battle.

    And if you're still playing the game, you might even get other people interested in the game who weren't otherwise. Again, the piracy argument tries to play both sides of the field: some say piracy is good because it increases publicity for the game, others say it is effective protest. Really, it's neither, because the protest is failed because it doesn't truly harm the company, yet the company further cripples their future products in response.

    If the game companies are going to blame pirates, take the high-road and force them to manufacture that excuse, rather than handing them the data to justify the very things we hate to their shareholders.

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

    by Bakkster ( 1529253 ) <Bakkster.man @ g m a i l .com> on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:10PM (#31660026)

    I dislike it when people degrade protest for human rights by comparing it to a protest for fair value on entertainment.

    How did I degrade them? I'd say the degrading thing is those who use the same word 'protest' to describe their anger over a luxury item not being suitable to them, while simultaneously selfishly consuming the very thing they disagree with.

    My comparison? Civil rights activists were brave and willing to stand up to injustice. Pirates are children who justify getting what they want without paying as 'sticking it to the man'.

    Piracy itself is a "problem" created in order to take stock holders focuses off the real problem, which is people are getting screwed and are saying, "I'm not going to pay for that because {you're nickle and dimeing me || you want my arms AND legs || you don't want me to use something I paid you for || you want complete control over everything I do if I use your product}". Causing a loss in profits. Piracy is a way out so the company can say, "It's not our fault, look how many hundreds of millions of billions of people would have bought our product if it wasn't being stolen"

    I don't disagree with you. However, because of the quantity of real piracy, these companies have a very strong case that there are lost revenues due to piracy. It's not the 'problem' that's invented (piracy is real and doesn't provide tangible benefits to the company), just the interpretation of the solution. Because they have a quite reasonable scapegoat for lost sales, they focus their attention toward fighting piracy instead of fixing their games and using fair pricing.

    In other words, pirating a game to protest the pricing/implementation/DRM actually encourages increased DRM, harsher pricing schemes, and more creative methods to get money from you. Piracy is counter-productive to gamers, in general. Not that the corporations are innocent here, but piracy (which is a real cost to companies) puts them in a bind with their executives and shareholders that encourages this type of behavior. Pirates share some of the blame here, too. Don't pretend you're all innocent or harmless.

    It's close minded people like you who think there is only ever one way to go about something that devalue the actions of anyone that disagree with your point of view that is enabling the corporations and government to get away with murder.

    Calling it 'murder' to overcharge for a video game seems a bit excessive. Nobody died because they couldn't play a brand-new AAA video game, and anyone who spent too much or regretted a purchase on a luxury item has only themselves to blame. I'm also not sure what the government has to do with any of this, let alone how they benefit from aggressive DRM on video games.

    Personally, I think it's the people who buy and play these luxury items regardless of the cost, DRM, and ramifications that allow the companies to take advantage of us. They're the ones that reward the game producers for the status quo, so they're the ones to blame for the lack of innovation and fairness to the consumer.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Monday March 29, 2010 @04:10PM (#31661514) Journal

    So you're the guy who made some law firm crazy rich in exchange for no benefit to the community whatsoever?

    Successfully suing DRM-happy publishers is a great service to the community, because it prevents fraud (you buy the game, and it doesn't work - that is fraud). The pay-out in this case is a punishment for bad business practices, and its value lies mainly in that, not in someone receiving a $10 cheque.

    I can certainly thank GP for doing what he did, since it makes a difference for me as a gamer who buys (and not pirates) games, as well.

  • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @01:25PM (#31673828) Homepage Journal

    OtherOS was available directly at launch. They heavily advertised the ability to install your own operating system.

    And their current "It does everything" ad campaign is a total lie since the newer models and very soon older models with new firmware won't have some of the originally advertised capability.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!