Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th Mar 2010 12:59 UTC, submitted by NiceGuyEddie
Games The PlayStation 3 Slim already had an ability penalty of -35 Geekiness because of its lack of the "Install Other OS" option, and now the regular PlayStation 3 will follow in its footsteps. A PS3 firmware update, scheduled to land April 1, will disable this option on regular PS3s as well. This, dear readers, is what we in the business call a "testicle move", especially since only a few weeks ago, Sony bold-facedly claimed the feature would not be removed.
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RE[4]: Comment by Kroc
by Neolander on Mon 29th Mar 2010 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kroc"
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Well... Sony are the ones who invented Minidisc after all. For those who haven't met it, it was a portable audio player&recorder technology which brought

-Incredible storage technology for its time (to sum it up : high capacity, small size, reliability that remains unmatched as of today, removable, easy to use, extremely rewrittable. For the drawbacks : noisy players and low data transfer rates, that's all.)
-Extremely low power consumption
-Higly efficient audio encoding
-Excellent recording capabilities
-Players are not very expensive for their times and discs are very low-priced

The Minidisc appeared while CD walkmans were the norm and MP3 players were buggy, big, and impractical. It could have dominated the world of multimedia players/recorders fairly easily with its superior technology. As of today, it's still used by musicians who like it as an inexpensive and relatively efficient way of recording demos.

What did go wrong ?

Sony invented DRM. If you wanted a minidisc player, you got SonicStage, or OpenMG Jukebox, depending on the MD player brand. It was mandatory to use that software in order to transfer audio in and out of the player. Both were extremely heavy and buggy, frequently crashing, especially during data transfers, causing loss of data (because you couldn't transfer data two times from your player to your PC. You know, DRMs are so sweet...)

When you got a new computer, you couldn't get your data back from your MD player to your computer. MD was unusable as a USB drive in order to enforce use of that cr*p, and hence those inexpensive disks couldn't be used in order to save data (which they were perfect for).

With that, Sony killed the Minidisc before having ever launched it. Only people that desperately needed it, like those wanting a portable recording device under 300€, would buy it. Who would want to use a resource hog, unintuitive piece of software that spent more time crashing than doing something useful, when there were those new USB pens around where you could only drag and drop files and it worked ?

The Minidisc is an academic example of why people should not, ever, trust Sony or any other control-maniac company (modern examples include Apple and Google). I still have some MD players around, and in 2010 they remain unmatched under a number of criteria, despite being more than 10 years old. With proper R&D and without OpenMG nonsense, Minidisc could have ruled the multimedia world completely. Sony should be brought on a stake for what they did.

Edited 2010-03-29 17:24 UTC

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