Class action: SCEA removed PS3 Other OS to save money

Thursday, 24 March 2011 21:48 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

An class action complaint filed against SCEA this month has been amended, with the claim that Sony removed the Other OS feature from PS3 in order to save money, not to protect the integrity of the system’s security.

According to the amended complaint, Sony fabricated its reason for the removal so it could claim that its Warranty and Terms of Service allowed for the feature’s removal.

Per the amendment: “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 updated complaint challenges that it is “virtually impossible” to use Other OS for piracy, because 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.”

The filing states that when Other OS is used, API and other hardware features are blocked, including PS3’s graphics chip, thus making it “impossible to run a pirated game on the Other OS.”

“Since January 2011 Sony had yet to identify a single instance in which someone used the Other OS to pirate protected content,” reads the filing.

“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, head of Hausfeld LLP’s Consumer Protection Practice Group.

“This type of activity is exactly what our country’s consumer protection laws were designed to protect against.”

The suit, filed in April last year originally by Anthony Ventura, Jonathan Huber, Jason Baker, and Elton Stovell, had all but one claim dismissed with the presiding judge only allowing the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim to remain in tact. This was due to Sony being unable to show that removal of Other OS through firmware update 3.21 was authorized.

SCEA has until March 28 to issue a response.

You can find a copy of the amended complaint through the link up top.

Thanks, IGN.