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Sony axes PS3 Other OS over “security concerns”

Sony plan to drop the Install Other OS feature from the PlayStation 3 via a new Firware update (3.21) due this Thursday.

Sony plans to drop the Install Other OS feature from the PlayStation 3 via a new Firmware update due this Thursday. The ability to install Linux distro’s on the popular console is a key feature of interest from the Open Source community and the move has already caused uproar on the Official PlayStation blog which is filling with comments of outrage from its small, but vocal, Linux user base.

Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry blog (via considers this move to be a “pre-emptive strike” by Sony protecting themselves from possible cracked games being created and distributed in the future. It’s likely Sony consider George Hotz’s exploit which allowed read/write access to the console via a Linux install as proof of concept.
“In taking such a measure to counter the hack, the logical conclusion is that Sony wants to the limit overall number of PS3s out there potentially capable of running copied games – an extraordinary pre-emptive strike against the possibility of piracy,” wrote Digital Foundry Director, Richard Leadbetter.

Firmware 3.21 will be released this coming Thursday and though it wont be mandatory, a failure to update will inhibit certain popular features including playing games and movies that take advantage of the new firmware.

What do you think of Sony’s planned update? Are they wise to crack down in this way? Is it right to deny end users of functionality that drove their original purchasing decision? Let us know your view in the comments thread below…