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Sony Lawsuit: PS3 Other OS Removal Due to Cost, Not Security

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195w ago - Although Sony previously admitted and then apologized for removing PS3 Other OS functionality due to security concerns, today IGN reports that according to the ongoing lawsuit Sony states the PlayStation 3 Other OS removal was due to cost not security.

To quote: An amended class action complaint filed against Sony Computer Entertainment America this month is claiming the company removed the 'Other OS' feature from the PlayStation 3 to save money and not for security reasons.

In April 2010, SCEA removed the Other OS feature due to "security concerns." The complaint says the statement is a "fabrication," saying SCEA gave those reasons as a pretext so it could argue the Warranty and Terms of Service allowed for the removal of the feature.

In reality, SCEI and SCEA removed this feature because it was expensive to maintain (as they previously admitted when the feature was removed from the "slim" models - but which they conveniently removed from SCEA's website); they were losing money on every PS3 unit sold (due to poor decisions in the planning and design of the Cell chip as noted above and given the PS3's extra features); SCEA needed to promote and sell games to make their money back on the loss-leading PS3 consoles (and there was no profit in users utilizing the computer functions of the PS3); and IBM wanted to sell its expensive servers utilizing the Cell processor (users could cluster PS3s for the same purposes much less expensively).

The complaint also says it's "virtually impossible" to use the 'Other OS' for piracy.

When the 'Other OS' feature is enabled, the software prevents the proper operation of the gaming feature to avoid allowing the features to interplay. In order for a hacker to pirate a game, it is necessary to perfectly emulate the operating system for which the game is designed, including the API, which is the interface for the game OS that supports all of the features of a game.

However, when the Other OS is in use, the API and other hardware features are blocked, including the graphics chip in the PS3, which makes it impossible to run a pirated game on the Other OS. As of January 2011, Sony had yet to identify a single instance in which someone used the Other OS to pirate protected content.

Last month, the court dismissed all but one claim from the original complaint filed in April 2010. The judge still allowed the plaintiff's "Computer Fraud and Abuse Act" claim because Sony could not show that its use of the firmware update to remove the 'Other OS' feature was authorized.

"Sony's actions are like a car manufacturer telling a buyer that it is going to remove the engine because it does not want to service the part anymore and then telling the consumer, 'tough luck, we are not going to give you a refund,'" said Co-Lead counsel James Pizzirusso of Hausfeld in a statement.

"This type of activity is exactly what our country's consumer protection laws were designed to protect against."

SCEA has until this Monday, March 28 to issue a response. A copy of the amended complaint can be seen [Register or Login to view links].

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Comments 31 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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#26 - barrybarryk - 158w ago
barrybarryk's Avatar
My biggest problem is the judge seems happy to go along with Sony that they have the right to force users to choose one function over another even though no indication was given before purchase that it would be the case just because there's no precedent for it.

#25 - CJPC - 158w ago
CJPC's Avatar
That was an interesting read - what gets me, is the lawyer for Sony said:

"Roughly 40 percent of the PS3 purchasers never went onto the PSN; never got that direct dealing."

I find that very, very hard to believe- if there were 75 Million users on PSN, and there are 55 million consoles out there - that means 33 million consoles are on PSN, 23 million consoles not on PSN. I find that very, very hard to believe.

Furthermore, the point was brought up by the Sony lawyer that those 23 million consoles not on PSN never got the update, and they didn't agree to PSN terms etc. Nowhere in there did the other lawyer dispute his claims, as you can download and update via a PUP, never going online!

Just a few notes, is all.

#24 - PS3 News - 158w ago
PS3 News's Avatar
For those still following, Groklaw has posted an update regarding the Sony PS3 Class Action Lawsuit on their page here: [Register or Login to view links]

It's a lot to sift through so I won't post it all here, but attached below is the transcript (PDF file) of the oral argument from the July hearing they made available since the court lifted the sealing on it.

#23 - rianchio23 - 193w ago
rianchio23's Avatar
Quote Originally Posted by RevCube View Post
death of an awesome system stupid people wont just leave things alone. its a videogame system, who cares about otherOS, intsall linux on your damn PC's why the hell would i want to install it on my ps3? all that has come from jailbreaking ps3 is piracy and emulators and howmany times do we need to install emulators on systems just to see if it works?

does anyone actually play all the way through those old ass games anymore? i mean who wants to play the original crappy choplifter? did you guyssee choplifter HD? come on lets get on psn and have some fun.

Actually lots of people want to run linux on their ps3. Even the military uses ps3s with linux. obviously you dont care about linux probably but just because you don't doesnt mean others. do. if you want to go online so bad, then do it.. stop complaining on a forum for ps3 hacking. why don't you just leave the scene and spend your time playing ps3 games online instead of whining and complaining about hacking on a hacking forum.

Quote Originally Posted by GrandpaHomer View Post
Mainly because:

1. They've PAID for it so they want to do whatever they want with it.
2. It's most affordable IBM cell machine videlly available - you clearly have NO IDEA what are you blabling about. You can't compare power of PS3 / CELL with 99.99% of PCs around.

Amen! I'm so tired of people against hacking the ps3 coming onto forums for people that are interested and flaming them and linux... I mean really... coming into a forum for hacking then preaching how your against it and don't understand the benefit of linux.

Actually its not just a video game system RevCube. both microsoft and sony both marketed their "systems" to be multi media devices hence video and music oh and picture support oh and whats that? linux? sony actually had videos up showing how other os worked and how you could use ur ps3 as a cheap home computer seeing as they showed it running aol instant messenger. Anyone in here will tell you that you are just as stupid as sony for making false claims

#22 - Pretikewl - 193w ago
Pretikewl's Avatar
I'm not even saying that they'd have to put something on the drive that wasn't there. They could just as easily view your web history, find a questionable site, then claim that you were looking up hacking information to alter the system.

With Sony, it all seems to be about "intent" of what you'll do, rather than what you've actually done. Guilty until proven innocent.


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