Looks like Sony will have a rusty time with its latest firmware v3.21 release in March, which disabled Linux support from PS3. Consequently, users will not be able to install Linux OS anymore on the Sony PS3.

Customers Lose Either Ways!

This firmware update was not mandatory; however, those who chose not to do this upgrade were cut off from several existing functionalities, including the capability to sign into PlayStation network. On the other hand, those who downloaded the firmware upgrade could no longer install Linux OS on their PS3 console, and use it as a home PC. So, customers were forced to sacrifice on some of the functionalities in either case, which wasn’t really welcomed by loyal Sony fans!

Anthony Ventura from California filed a lawsuit against Sony on 27 April, 2010, for “intentional disablement of the valuable functionality originally advertised as available”. The allegation also involves violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, under which, it is unfair for Sony to force the customers to choose between the originally advertised capabilities, and the upgrades released in the 3.21 firmware upgrade.

Sony cleared out that they took this step for security reasons to prevent hackers and intruders from stealing data via other OS. However, legally, it is being considered as a breach of contract between Sony and the PlayStation customers.

Although it may sound like just a stupid lawsuit, because removal of Linux support has got nothing serious to do with the hardcore gaming functionality of PS3, and its capability to play movies, music, and communicate with WiFi, Blu-ray enabled devices.

A Whooping $5 Million Lawsuit?

But, the shocking fact is that the amount involved with this lawsuit, and all the controversies is well in excess of $5 million! The figure is not yet officially disclosed, and Sony’s take on this lawsuit is yet to be revealed, but one thing is for sure, that there are a good deal of Linux supporters who did not appreciate Sony’s latest firmware upgrade that disables Linux support.

Originally Sony had advertised that the ‘Other OS functionality’, which allowed users to install another OS like Linux alongside the Sony’s primary OS was one of the important attractions of the next generation gaming console that distinguished it from Microsoft’s Xbox, and Nintendo’s Wii. But, now Sony’s new firmware update has nullified this feature, and it is being considered to be a deceptive marketing strategy to fool the customers by luring them to buy the Sony PS3 and then taking off those functionalities.

Payback Time!

Sony had clearly advertised on its official website that Sony PS3 owners will be able to run fully functional versions of Linux Operating Systems, and convert their gaming console into a home computer at no additional cost. Sony had also touted countless times that Sony PS3 owners will not need a home PC; the PS3 will be one-stop solution, which will serve the purpose of a home PC, music player, movie player, and a gaming console.

But, with the removal of Linux support, the Sony PS3 owners will no more be able to use their PS3 machines as a home computer. So, it’s payback time!

You can find complete information on this lawsuit, and take a look at its PDF version, by clicking here.