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Operating Systems PlayStation (Games) Sony Upgrades Games Hardware Linux

Geohot Brings Other OS Support To PS3 With Custom Firmware 270

suraj.sun tips news that hacker Geohot is following through on his promise to fight Sony's removal of the "Install Other OS" feature on the PS3. He posted a video of the work he's done so far that shows a PS3 console booting into Linux. Quoting Engadget: "While it's not available to the public just yet, Geohot's 3.21OO custom firmware will apparently be simple to install and, as you can see in the video after the break, it works just as you'd expect and simply restores the 'other OS' option to its previous place. Geohot even says that the custom firmware might actually enable the other OS feature on the PS3 Slim, but he hasn't yet had a chance to try it out."
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Geohot Brings Other OS Support To PS3 With Custom Firmware

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  • I don't know if America has anything like the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission [accc.gov.au] but if you do, I'd urge you to raise this issue with them (and if you're in Australia, please get onto the case).

    This is a simple case of a company changing the specs on a product that you have bought, after you've bought it and changing it in an adverse fashion. It is removing a feature that you have paid for and have possibly had for years, without offering any workaround or compensation.

    Sony claim that the update is not mandatory, and that it is entirely your choice if you wish to install it or not, but the simple fact is that by not installing the patch, you lose even more functionality than if you do install it. No PSN. No Playstation Store. On online gaming. No access to new games that require this or a newer firmware. No access to bluray content that requires this or a newer version of the firmware. Etc.

    Here's the text of the submission I made to the ACCC (you're limited to 1500 characters)

    Sony have recently released a firmware update for the PlayStation 3 Games Console.
    From what I can see, all this update does is remove a feature from the console. The feature removed is the "Other OS" support - the ability to install another operating system, such as Linux, on the PS3 and use it as a general purpose computer.

    Sony claim that the update is not mandatory, however by not installing this update, you lose access to the PlayStation Network, so any games that require this for online play will no longer work. One of the main reasons for owning a PS3 is the online gameplay component.

    More information about other features that will be locked out are here on Sony's web site: http://blog.us.playstation.com/2010/03/28/ps3-firmware-v3-21-update/ [playstation.com]

    "Consumers and organizations that currently use the “Other OS” feature can choose not to upgrade their PS3 systems, although the following features will no longer be available; Ability to sign in to PlayStation Network and use network features that require signing in to PlayStation Network, such as online features of PS3 games and chat Playback of PS3 software titles or Blu-ray Disc videos that require PS3 system software version 3.21 or later Playback of copyright-protected videos that are stored on a media server (when DTCP-IP is enabled under Settings) Use of new features and improvements that are available on PS3 system software 3.21 or later"

  • Re:Ha. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mejogid ( 1575619 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @07:22AM (#31773808)

    Which would be precisely the reason they made this change in the first place and does nothing but prove them right. If you want to stick it to the man (as with all piracy), don't buy their products, send them an email and maybe try to draw some media attention to the issue. Sure the impact might be small, but at least it's a positive one.

    Pirating just convinces the corporations that stricter anti-piracy measures are the answer, and frankly they may have a point in this case given console vs PC piracy rates. If you don't think the game's worth what those who made it are asking for, show some self restraint and *don't buy it* rather than ruining things for the rest of us.

  • Re:Ha. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Vanderhoth ( 1582661 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @08:19AM (#31774182)

    If you choose not to update you can do whatever the hell you want with your PS3

    Except use it to play newer games, new BluRay moves, Can't use the media server to watch movies I bought and downloaded and I can't access the PSN to retrieve any DLC I've paid for and need to re-download, sync my trophies, chat and the list goes on.

    What I can still do with my PS3 if I don't downgrade it with the 3.21 patch is use Other OS, play PS1 and PS2 games (the fat has backward compatibility) and use the media server to play pirated movies and TV series.

    So, the results are I won't be buy any new Sony products, I won't ever be buying any DLC, BluRay or downloadable movies again. This experience has taught me that at anytime any group can take stuff you've bought away so I'm not going to be wasting my money anymore. Sony has lost one paying customer and gained one proponent to piracy.

  • Re:Ha. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dr.newton ( 648217 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:38AM (#31775114) Homepage

    There is no reason why you cannot keep running a previous Sony version, which still has Linux support.

    Yes, there is. If you update, you lose linux support. If you don't, you lose the ability to play online games.

    Nowhere in there is there an option to keep all the features the PS3 currently has. Sony will take something from you, and giving you the rock/hard place choice is not adequate to excuse this.

  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert&slashdot,firenzee,com> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:49AM (#31775268) Homepage

    Their console is in third place...
    Their console is the only one which doesn't have rampant piracy...

    Anyone else notice the connection?
    I know plenty of people with xbox or wii consoles, most of which are modchipped to run copied games... Most of these people have a mix of copied and original games.
    The few people i know who have ps3 consoles have a much smaller number of original games, and no copied ones...

  • Re:Ha. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @10:49AM (#31776218) Homepage

    You forget to factor in the fact that console hardware is sold at a loss.

    Actually, that's wrong.

    Except that in some cases, the cost of copy protection can effectively kill the console.

    See the case of Playstation vs Nintendo 64. The cost of copy protection was one of the main reasons that gave the victory to PS. The N64 cartridge system, although it virtually prevented any piracy, also meant the game copies were much more expensive and space limited. While I personally prefer my N64 to my PSOne, especially due to its more robust construction (having no moving parts in a major plus), it was a very bad business decision.
    Of course, current copy protection are different, and don't rely on special hardware per-game copy, but they cost money nevertheless.

    Remember that the PS3 (which is the less pirated console) only had one of the game on the top ten list of sales of 2009 [gamasutra.com].

    Again, there's always right and always wrong decisions, it's cost analysis.

  • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:47AM (#31777202)
    Does this mean Sony can no longer sidestep EC import taxes [theregister.co.uk]?

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson