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


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180w 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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Krazybone's Avatar
#31 - Krazybone - 141w ago
That ranting is fine you have a vaild point. I dont agree that you should have to buy a new to solve it and yes that is the easy way out.

I'm not saying we should all jump for that. I brought the PS2 linux system and loved for a while I was in my college days, which was really good and I liked the fact the PS3 supported otherOS, I worked in a electronic store and the day PS3 came in our store days before release I installed yellowdog and we could switch between demo the linux or games n videos.

It was great for everybody from kids to ages and even thoses geeks who never buy anything. (okay they do but they take forever!!)

Anyway it was pretty cool but most people at work weren't interested, which sounds about right major PS3 use was games then video and other content, including other os near the far end.

You find people who want niche market tech pay out a lot of money just to do things their way when everybody else wants something else.

People wanted the cheapest blu ray at the time and guess what it was a PS3, SOLD he also wanted a new games console I told him he was about to get it in one package, he liked the idea, but like a lot of customers they either wanted it for gaming or video

Keep in mind I am talking about the middle age with kids, they quite often brought two PS3s becasue they wanted one in the kids bed room the other in the main living room the reason they didnt want just one was because they didnt want the kids crowding the living room.

The hard thing is to keep moving one PlayStation up to their kids room and when they wanted movies they move it to the living room. They opt for the easy way and get two... their case closed. In this our linux case the idea is similar, but not the same, the difference is the customer knew in advance one wasn't gonna be convenient, or impossible on their part.

This case is that we didnt know they would remove the other os... But neither did we know they would discontinue the PS2 linux distro at some point... thats right when I asked for another one they said they stopped it and only had some parts left..

In This case all I am saying is, if I wanted linux I'd get my old phat PS3 60gb out that still works and install it, I brought a new slim one as I feared YLOD. Or I'd get one off the net or kept it in the first place. That or when I heard about it being removed I'd had brought one that day as the systems would still have older firmware installed.

And yes I would have taken what would seem the easy way. I would have liked Sony to have an alternative scheme to allow linux, but I can guess why they won't... I'm not saying I'm rich and everybody is and yea I'm not happy to buy a new one but sometimes if you want something you might just have to pay more than you expected.

You could look at many things we shouldn't have to pay through our teeth for e.g. iPad prices skyrocket yet they were selling for even more on the net in short supply because of demand... Its just the way things are. You want something that is no longer widely available you end up either forgetting it or paying the odds..

Fuel prices the same. Why should we pay more... Ya know they could change things for us we shouldn't have to be forced to pay but yet we do...

Loads of people sat at home not ever wanting to install linux, then all of a sudden they cant and on that screen where is said remove other os... It was like OMG what am I gonna do,... Wait I never used it anyway but now that this is happening I want to use it... maybe some physiology or something of the human nature I dont know but it appears people want what they cant get...

I'm sorry thats the end of my rant

Sent from my SK17i using Tapatalk.

CJPC's Avatar
#30 - CJPC - 141w ago
Listen why didn't they just keep it on the old firmware if they brought it for a linux system? I can understand the frustration as they wanted games and online in one package but sort ya self out get just get another PlayStation 3?

Seriously man if you have a washer dryer integrated and the dryer goes and the washer still works, you just buy a new one or make do with what you have maybe just get a dryer separate and keep the old??? Instead of a full replacement.

You don't hear law cases about that stuff. Stop being a crybaby and buy ya self a new PS3 and keep the old for linux.

Sent from my SK17i using Tapatalk.

I don't usually go very opinion piece - but I'm going to have to here. Why should you have to buy another console just to keep a feature? Of course, sony wanted to get rid of otheros as quick as possible (read: security). Costs are a very thin, but worthwhile explanation why it was pulled from the slims - but not the fats.

What's worse, since content and technologies evolve, the legal system can't catch up. Honestly, go up to any 40-60 year old, ask them about new technology, how stuff works. I can tell you that a large majority of them would be clueless. Now, use a much smaller subset of those in the legal / political systems - and your really screwed.

Old laws don't jive with new tech, (not even going on about pending legislation), but simply put - removing the feature strips you of, the feature, and staying on 3.15 cripples the rest of the system. No PSN, no new games, no new movies etc.

Buying a new PS3 is the easy choice - but it should not have to be. Now, if you happened to upgrade, the only way to go back is grey area, which is ridiculous!

Going to end my rant now!

Krazybone's Avatar
#29 - Krazybone - 141w ago
Listen why didn't they just keep it on the old firmware if they brought it for a linux system? I can understand the frustration as they wanted games and online in one package but sort ya self out get just get another PlayStation 3?

Seriously man if you have a washer dryer integrated and the dryer goes and the washer still works, you just buy a new one or make do with what you have maybe just get a dryer separate and keep the old??? Instead of a full replacement.

You don't hear law cases about that stuff. Stop being a crybaby and buy ya self a new PS3 and keep the old for linux.

Sent from my SK17i using Tapatalk.

PS3 News's Avatar
#28 - PS3 News - 143w ago
Here is another update for those following via courthousenews.com/2011/12/09/42126.htm with a PDF transcript attached below:

Sony Brushes Off Claims Over PS3 Upgrade

A federal judge has dismissed the remaining claim by class who said Sony reneged on its promise to let PlayStation 3 video game consoles function as computers.

Sony said the console was designed so users could "play games, watch movies, view videos, listen to music and run a full-featured Linux operating system that transforms your PS3 into a home computer," according to the class complaint filed in April 2010.

Lead plaintiff Anthony Ventura says he bought a PlayStation 3 instead of the Microsoft Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii because Sony's system offered this Linux feature, even though "the PS3 was substantially more expensive."

In March 2010, Sony announced on its website that its latest software update for the PS3 would no longer support Linux. PS3 owners who wanted to sign onto the PS3 Network to play games online or use their PS3 to play Blu-ray discs would have to download the software update, the class claimed. But the update would disable their Linux capability, forcing them to choose between using Linux or the PS3's other features.

To the frustration of many PS3 owners, the class said Sony disabled PS3's much-hyped OtherOS operating system installer after a hacker "jailbroke" a PS3.

The "jailbreak" prodded Sony to swiftly release a software update disabling OtherOS and frustrating PS3 owners, the complaint said.

In February, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg dismissed most of the class claims with leave to amend, finding the plaintiffs failed to state a claim.

"While it cannot be concluded as a matter of law at this juncture that Sony could, without legal consequence, force its customers to choose either to forego installing the software update or to lose access to the other OS feature, the present allegations of the complaint largely fail to state a claim," Seeborg wrote in February. "Accordingly, with the exception of one count, the motion to dismiss will be granted, with leave to amend."

Seeborg granted Sony's motion to dismiss the remaining claim Thursday under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Seeborg found the plaintiffs could not prove that they had a right to expect the OS feature beyond Sony's warranty period or continued access to the PlayStation Network (PSN).

"The dismay and frustration at least some PS3 owners likely experienced when Sony made the decision to limit access to the PSN service to those who were willing to disable the Other OS feature on their machines was no doubt genuine and understandable. As a matter of providing customer satisfaction and building loyalty, it may have been questionable," Seeborg wrote.

"As a legal matter, however, plaintiffs have failed to allege facts or articulate a theory on which Sony may be held liable," he continued.

elser1's Avatar
#27 - elser1 - 143w ago
when i received my ps3 60gig back from repair and it was on 3.60fw i rang sony to complain my other os was gone they said it was due to security.. LOL

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