Firmware 3.21 to disable PS3′s ability to run other operating systems

Monday, 29th March 2010 03:40 GMT By Nathan Grayson


The cross-media bar is great and all, but did you know that your non-Slim PS3 can eschew its Sony heritage and run operating systems like Linux as well? No? You didn’t?

Well then, you might as well go ahead and forget what we just told you.

“The next system software update for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) system will be released on April 1, 2010 (JST), and will disable the ‘Install Other OS’ feature that was available on the PS3 systems prior to the current slimmer models, launched in September 2009. This feature enabled users to install an operating system, but due to security concerns, Sony Computer Entertainment will remove the functionality through the 3.21 system software update,” said Sony’s Patrick Seybold on the PlayStation Blog.

Well, at least they can’t disable our backwards compatibility, right, other PS3 Phat owners?




  1. xino


    They can’t f**ing do that, I paid £299 for this sh* because I want to install O.S, so why the hell should they remove it!?

    If they can gonna freaking do that, then give us PS2 Emulation software and other bunch of stuff we want!

    They are stripping us of our power and won’t give anything back!

    #1 5 years ago
  2. TheWulf

    Isn’t that a case for false advertising, right there? Of course they can’t legally remove a feature that they advertised at sale, that’s grossly illegal. What the hell are they thinking?

    I mean, I know there’s a way to crack the PS3 via Linux, but simply locking everyday users out of their Linux account because of that is asking for trouble, they should find another way to handle this.

    Stupid, Sony, very, very stupid.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Uncontested

    Pretty sure its to counter the PS3 hackers

    And I doubt there is anything ‘grossly illegal’ about it.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Plainview


    #4 5 years ago
  5. Dralen

    It’s a console, what did you expect.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Aimless

    xino, if you wanted a Linux box that badly you’d have bought a comparable — and much cheaper — PC.

    On the face of it software PS2 emulation on a PS3 is technically impossible. Given enough time and money Sony’s engineers might be able to work around the fundamental hardware differences, but even then it’s most likely that emulation would need to be tweaked on a game by game basis. In other words it isn’t going to be free because they’re a company, not a charity.

    TheWulf, I can guarantee you that the EULAs you never read state very clearly what Sony can and can’t do. If you don’t want to lose the feature you can forego the update and forfeit your access to PSN.

    That’s your handy dose of realism for the day.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Mike


    #7 5 years ago


    #8 5 years ago
  9. xino

    Aimless don’t talk rubbish please!

    PS3 is not just a gaming console, it’s a super computer. And if I want a minn linux on my ps3, then I WANT IT!
    Because there are tons of things you can do with linux on ps3!

    Second PS2 Emulation is not impossible. It’s be cracked on PC ages ago. Sony already did it with ps3 launch consoles.
    All we need now is a ps2 emulation software.
    And if the software was cracked on PC, then Sony shouldn’t have problems with making their own since they made the damn ps2!

    They are not adding ps2 emulation software because publishers of ps2 games wants to make extra money by bringing back those games on PSN: God of War, FF7 etc.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Mike


    It’s a games machine that plays videos.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Aimless

    I would hate to step on your toes by posting rubbish, xino; going off that last post you must have an exclusivity deal.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Johnny Cullen

    Can I get an “Ameh”?

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Robo_1

    It’s a shit thing to do, but thank PS3 hacker Geohot for this, not Sony. Whilst he’s not been able to run any unsigned code, he’s turned the hypervisor inside out, and it could well be just a matter of time before the entire system is compromised.

    His attack approach requires the presence of other OS, so without it his exploit is useless, and this is clearly Sony’s response to that.

    This certainly won’t have been a decision which was taken lightly, after all, removing features which were advertised as part of the console from day one isn’t going to be a popular move, regardless of any terms and conditions they have on their side.

    The inclusion of Linux was always Sony’s way of offering an olive branch to the programming community, however it predictably wasn’t enough, and they’ve tried to hack the system regardless.

    It sucks for those who have made legitimate use of PS3 Linux, but you have to put yourself in Sony’s place. Do they risk upsetting the handful of people who have made use of the other OS feature, or do they risk leaving it in there, knowing it’s a huge security risk at this point and could potentially lead to a fully hacked system capable of playing ripped games. Sony’s partners would string them from the yard arm if they sat on a fix for this, so I don’t see what other sensible options they have.

    Pity though.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. xino


    before PS3 was released, Sony has rapidly doubt the PS3 as a super computer:/

    do your research.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Phoenixblight


    A few months back SOny patented PS2 emulation program for the PS3 FYI

    #15 5 years ago
  16. Mike

    “Please be assured that SCE is committed to continue
    the support for previously sold models that have the
    “Install Other OS” feature and that this feature will
    not be disabled in future firmware releases.”


    #16 5 years ago
  17. Blerk

    This is a terrible thing to do to the four people who actually use this feature!

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Erthazus

    Its because of Geohot. But really, you don’t need Linux on your PS3.

    Sony is just trying to defend its system. Thats it. They are not even profitable with its system now.

    @17 Blame Geohot.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. justiceblob


    Talk about an overeaction, what would you do if you were sailing a barely floating ship, which you had been slowly fixing for years; then all of a sudden it went Titanic -style into an Iceburg, but you knew you could fix it. Are you going to let yourself sink, or are you going to be sensible and save yourself and your ship?

    Remember this is a multinational company, NOT a little independant start-up…

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Dralen



    #20 5 years ago
  21. Galactic_Barret


    #21 5 years ago
  22. OrphanageExplosion

    Sony shouldn’t force its security problems onto the honest users who *do* use Linux. However, I guess there’s so few people who actually do that it won’t be that much of an issue.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. ninjanutta2

    anyone notice that this happens on april fools day?

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Happy Hardon Harry

    I can see this upsetting around 0.01% of PS3 users.

    #24 5 years ago
  25. Malfet

    @17 – Sarcastic, aren’t we? It’s kinda really is terrible thing. The fact that it affects “4 people” doesn’t make it more pleasant.

    @18 – _you_ really don’t need Linux on _your_ PS3. Other people can think otherwise about _their_ needs.

    @24 – Well, dunno ’bout that. I didn’t even have a PS3, still that’s upsetting news for me. Stupid moves in game industry is a sad thing to behold :(

    #25 5 years ago
  26. Happy Hardon Harry


    If you want to run any OS properly, then buy a PC! Not a fucking console.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. theevilaires

    why am i not surprised to see mike in here trolling :D

    #27 5 years ago
  28. S0meRand0mN00b

    consollers get falcon punch once again haha

    #28 5 years ago
  29. mike3648

    April 1st…April fools for believing this?! lol

    #29 5 years ago
  30. Uncontested

    Its simple: Sony doesnt want to be like Xbox where they lose 100k+ of legit sales (sometimes in upwards of a million depending on the game) per release to hacked/ripped games.

    #30 5 years ago
  31. theevilaires

    Not being able to access the RSX made having LINUX on your PS3 useless anyway. I know its still a nice option to have but we can live without it.

    Plus look on the bright side, now the die hard XBOTS won’t feel as bad their systems don’t have one less thing the PS3 can do over the XBOX360 :D …its nice to share some glory with them after their laughable 3 disc FFXIII embarrassment :D

    #31 5 years ago
  32. TheWulf


    Clueless and aimless? I think so!

    See, the problem with a EULA contract is that *gasp!* it isn’t a contract and legally it means about jack and squat.

    Here are some reasons why:

    - EULAs commonly infringe upon statuary rights.
    - EULAs don’t have a signature, therefore they’re not a contract.

    The thing with a EULA is that any lawyer with their salt, even an amateur lawyer, will tell you that all EULAs (period) are a joke. An absolute joke. They’re there to scare people but they don’t do any good. And even if taken seriously they usually have flaws big enough to drive starships through.

    So don’t accuse me of being clueless about what a EULA is, that’s you, witless and aimless. It’s not a contract.

    A class-action lawsuit could still be filed at Sony for removing a feature which was advertised at point of sale, and if Sony tried to point out that the EULA invalidates those statuary rights then they’d just be digging themselves deeper.

    If you were to patent breathing it would have more worth in a court of law than a EULA.

    So your ‘realism’ is the airy-fairy fantasies of the witless, average, everyday dolt who baselessly fears EULAs out of a lack of knowledge (fears ‘em like witchcraft). Please understand law before you start waving EULAs around like they’re some sort of bloody holy grail. Read a little. Better yet, read a book… on law.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. theevilaires

    Shouldn’t Sony be also held accountable if a firmware update fucks your PS3 up? I mean really think about it. They say they are not to be held accountable if you download the firmware update and it breaks your PS3, but they also block you from being able to go online which forces you to download something that could potentially break your system and they know this.

    WTF, that shit needs to be address in court whoever sues them next. It’s clearly basic contradiction.

    #33 5 years ago
  34. frod

    consoles are hilarious. Also, the console owners with Stockholm Syndrome crack me up.

    #34 5 years ago
  35. Aimless

    @32 Well, aren’t you delightful.

    The enforceability of EULAs varies from country to country, state to state and court to court. Hell, case to case! So whilst I do appreciate the irony in your attempt to scare me, I can’t help but feel you are no more qualified to speak on the legality of digital contracts than I am.

    In any case, Sony holds jurisdiction over the PlayStation Network. You have no inherent right to said service, and you only forfeit access to it if you decide not to upgrade your firmware and retain access to the Other OS feature. Whilst the decision is very weighted, it is not forced; a feature is not being stripped away without your permission, you are agreeing to give it up.

    Could you argue your case in court? Of course; people have taken legal action over pettier things. I’d hope you’d have more worthwhile uses for your time and money, though; you could fund a case that’s actually worth fighting, or perhaps buy that Linux box you’ve apparently always wanted.

    #35 5 years ago

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