Recently, a number of easy jailbreak tools have been released onto the web, which make it very easy to install software on your Playstation 3 other than Sony's approved stuff. While this can be used to play pirated games, it can also merely be used to enhance the functionality of the hardware you, I assume, bought, and therefore, is actually your own.
Sony clearly isn't happy about this, and to a degree, that's understandable. Like with jailbreaking your iPhone, certain individuals will use it to pirate software and games, and that sucks. However, I'd hazard a guess that at least with the iPhone, most people do it to get more functionality out of their phone - with consoles, I'm not sure what kind of functionality you would get, other than backing up your save games.
In any case, Sony decided to do something about this, and today, released a mandatory update, version 3.42 of the Playstation 3's firmware. This firmware update fixes the security issue used by the jailbreaking tools, but Sony obviously doesn't say anything about the real reason why this update has been pushed out so quickly.
"A minor update to your PS3 system is now available via system software update v3.42 that includes additional security features," the Playstation blog states, "For more details and instructions on how to update the system software for the PS3 system, please visit the PS3 System Updates page."
Talking to the BBC, however, Sony did state the real reason behind the patch. "But as we always have, we will continue to take necessary actions to both hardware and software to protect the intellectual content provided on the PlayStation 3," the company told the BBC.
This is only the latest strike in Sony's battle against jailbreaking. The company already managed to get a jailbreaking dongle prohibited in Australia, and they filed a lawsuit against the company selling them. A distributor of the dongle in my own The Netherlands has also received court documents.
In the meantime, Sony continues to ignore customer requests for actual new features for the Playstation 3. While Microsoft actually gives Xbox360 owners useful new features through firmware updates, Sony seems to be busier fighting the jailbreak community. How's that cross-game chat coming along, Sony?