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.
Even though the firmware update will be pushed out April 1, it most certainly isn’t a joke. The update, version 3.21, has as its prime change the removal of the “Install other OS” option, and for the rest doesn’t seem to do a whole lot. Sony cites “security concerns” as the prime reason.
“The next system software update for the PlayStation 3 system will be released on April 1, 2010, 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,” writes Patrick Seybold, Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media, “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.”
Seybold continues, “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.”
And thus our true colours reveal. This of course has nothing to do with security concerns; this is all about appeasing the content providers, who apparently aren’t comfortable with users possibly having access to their content stored on PS3 hard drives through systems not in check by Sony (Linux). Sony, itself a content provider, happily dances to that tune.
This means that those who bought their PlayStation 3 because of this specific option are pretty much being screwed by Sony (one of the world’s larger providers of free screws). You might think, well, how about we skip this update, but that’s not an option if you want to continue to have access to the PlayStation Network, which includes access to content like games and films, as well as multiplayer abilities.
Once again, Sony pulls a testicle move, especially considering how only a few weeks ago, the company assured its customers the feature would not be removed. “Please be assured that SCE is committed to continue the support for previously sold models that have the ‘Install Other OS’ feature and that this feature will not be disabled in future firmware releases,” said Sony’s Geoff Levand, PS3-Linux maintainer.
Yes, that’s how much Sony’s word is worth.