See, it is not just the normal consumer and enthusiasts that are complaining, even the researchers are complaining about Sony's bad move. Granted, they could easily request for specific firmware flash or made special firmware just for research, but specific firmware flash is unlikely since they would have teach their repair center how to that at the risk of possible information leak and the special firmware is unlikely as well since leak is possible too.
Besides being sued all over, not they are going to have Air Force breathing down their necks.
Either way, however Sony want to handle this matter, they need to be careful. Because they might just made a bigger and more powerful enemy if they do not tread carefully.