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Operating Systems PlayStation (Games) Sony The Almighty Buck The Courts Games Linux

Sony Refuses To Sanction PS3 "Other OS" Refunds 396

Stoobalou writes "Sony says that it has no intention of reimbursing retailers if they offer users partial refunds for fat PS3s. Last week, the first PS3 user successfully secured a partial refund from Amazon UK as compensation for the removal of the ability to run Linux on the console. The user quoted European law in order to persuade the online retailer that the goods he had bought in good faith were no longer fit for his purposes because of the enforcement of firmware update 3.21, which meant that users who chose to keep the Other OS functionality would lose the ability to play the latest games or connect to the PlayStation Network."
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Sony Refuses To Sanction PS3 "Other OS" Refunds

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  • by jprupp ( 697660 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @04:08AM (#31868824)
    I bought a PS3 because it could run Linux. It was interesting for me to see what Linux could do in that machine. After some time, I became bored by it, I couldn't turn it into a decent Linux media center, many video formats didn't play properly, and I wasn't really playing much with it. DVDs or Blu-Ray discs from other zones wouldn't work in it, and I think the device was too locked for my open sourcer taste. I felt like when I had an iPhone. Then I get the news on the firmare update that would disable Linux compatibility, and that was the end for me. I sold that motherfucker through online auctions along with all games. So much for proprietary platforms and me.
  • by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @04:30AM (#31868938) Journal

    I read someone here on slashdot who claimed it was done so that they could avoid certain taxes (putting the PS3 as a general computation machine) but do not quote me on that... in fact I would be happy if someone shed more light to that claim.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2010 @04:32AM (#31868944)

    Just a hint: the laws are made by the proxies in the government which represents the corporations that issue the EULAs. I don't think there's really a contradiction.

  • Class action (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SgtChaireBourne ( 457691 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @04:55AM (#31869076) Homepage

    A lot of countries consumer protection laws provide for protection that devices should operate as advertised. Sony advertised the "Other OS" option and many purchased PS3's instead of Wii because it could run Linux. Sony pulling that feature retroactively after the purchase is worse than a bait-and-switch, which is also illegal.

    Sony has always had a slightly dodgy rep, but given the popularity of the "Run Other [Linux] OS" feature, it is possible that they have rats or cockroaches [] in their larder: "Find and Lean on your insider friend, 'the fox' Having a trusted MS friend in the account is critical. Some people (unix Bigots) can think of lots of reasons not to have a MS solution. MS folks may not be the strongest voice but they are true believers (Protect them, make them look good)". Sony can gain a lot of goodwill, and thus cash, by cleaning house if these are present. Yahoo's is not the only company Microsofters have worked at destroying through entryism.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 16, 2010 @05:50AM (#31869348)

    In fact they have not broken the hardware in any way, they have changed the software. It's your machine but it's not your software; sorry.

    Still a dick move by Sony though.

  • by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @06:39AM (#31869580)

    No he didn't.

    The Linux hack only works because Sony's Hypervisor is fundamentally broken. Newsflash: That means that the rest of the system is vulnerable, too. The hackers will continue to chip at it now. They will eventually get it working fully with Linux on 3.15 (I think they are crazy close already) and then find a way to hack a gamesave to do the same thing. From there, Sony has no hope of fixing the hack. They will have destroyed customer good will and broken laws in multiple countries for only a short reprieve.

    Sony's move makes no sense.

  • by MemoryDragon ( 544441 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @07:55AM (#31869968)

    The funny thing was that even with the lower import taxes and counting out the VAT sony mostly charged 30-50% more for the consoles here than they did in the states, so they tried to ripp off the governments of their import taxes and sack them in themselves by also using a 1:1 dollar Euro calculation!
    Speaking of slimey behavior!

  • Sony at one point shipped a disc with some (iirc) Redhat install for the PS2, possible it was that move that they did for tax reasons.

  • by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @08:50AM (#31870508)

    Careful, the story that reported on the first refund also mentioned that not all EU member states implement that clause.

  • by ZildjianKX ( 872002 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @11:09AM (#31872234)
    This brings back some bad memories. My PSP had 18 (yes 18) dead pixels and Sony refused to warranty it and ebgames refused to exchange it without buying a protection plan (Sony explicitly told them they wouldn't take back PSPs with dead pixels). $25 later (from buying the protection plan), I swapped it out after a year when the systems had better build qualities. The new unit had a perfect screen. I bought a slimmer model later and the screen was fine. Maybe the launch units were the only bad ones, but still... Sony handled it horribly. I guess I forgot about that when I bought my PS3...
  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@w o r f . n et> on Friday April 16, 2010 @11:14AM (#31872296)

    In this case, the functionality was already there, and the update that removed Other OS was a required update if you wanted to continue using any Internet features on the device.

    This should worry players on PSN then.

    Playstation Network relies on the client PS3 to do version checking.

    Why is that worrying? Because my PS3, which I have NOT updated (it's at 3.15 so I could play FF XIII and God of War 3), gets on PSN just fine. What I did was set up a DNS and web server at home, made it authoritative for a particular zone (the one Sony uses to check for updates), and serve up a update file that says "no, there are no updates". PS3 powers on, checks the update, sees none, and connects. And yes, I've tested this by downloading videos and stuff off PSN.

    It is unknown how old your PS3 version can be before PSN won't work anymore.

    Next, if geohot's hack really works, and all you have to do to re-enable OtherOS is to install a PS3 update, it means that modified firmware is possible without modding the machine. Such customizations may include an ISO loader (despite Blu-Ray, most games don't use all 50GB, and terabyte laptop hard disks are on their way, or simple SATA extension cables let you use those 2TB hard disks externally), or other interesting mods, like say wallhacks or aimbots, or allowing a PC to proxy in for PSN unencrypted (PSN communications are encrypted, but if they aren't, imagine gaming with someone who uses their PC to "assist" them).

    A mythical "hack" that required lots of luck, specialized hardware has possible revealed bigger cracks in the PS3 ecosystem, not only allowing possible piracy, but also cheaters.

    BTW, if you want to do the PSN hack so you can still get online:
    If you trust someone on the 'net - set your DNS setting as described on the following page (easy, just requires updating PS3 DNS server setting) - []

    If you want to do it yourself - this forum thread has BIND and IIS details - []

    DIY has a slight advantage - the method is transferable to the PSP as well, so it can offer a way for CFW users to get on PSN (LittleBigPlanet and such).

  • Indeed.

    I stay about two years behind on PC hardware, and it seems like, 75% of the time, I'm way way ahead of consoles. And spending about 25% of the cost. (At this point, you can actually buy a laptop more powerful than a PS3 for PS3 prices. Crazy.)

    Every couple of years new consoles come out that mostly match PC levels, and I, might, gasp, be temporarily behind until I upgrade in a year. As I tend to buy games a year behind anyway, whatever.

    I honestly don't understand why people buy consoles.

    Yes, I've heard nonsense about 'playing on TV screens'...but, newsflash, you can do that with a PC too. And buy wireless joysticks and whatnot. Even assuming you don't want to hook up your existing PC (And with wireless controls and some long HDMI cable, you can do it even in another room.), it's often cheaper to build an entire new PC than buy a console. (And, while you're at it, stick XBMC on there on there, buy a $35 MS remote, and watch videos too.)

    I guess an argument can be made for multiple players, as many console games have better 'multiple people playing off the same screen' setup, but it seems a sorta weak argument, and if people would start playing PC games that way, we'd quickly have split-screen PC games.

    The only console I understand buying is the Wii, because it actually is pretty cheap, and you can't really get those sort of casual active games on the PC. But that only makes sense because Nintendo intelligently dropped out of the 'more power!' race to stupidity that consoles were using as a selling point but, by any objective measure, were constantly losing to PCs. (Simply because consoles took years to come out.)

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.