US Air Force Does Not Sound Pleased With The PS3’s Recent Changes

US Air Force Does Not Sound Pleased With The PS3’s Recent Changes

Last month, Sony nixed the option to install a second operating system to the PlayStation 3, one of the console’s original features. That angered some folks, particularly those who bought the console specifically for that feature, like the Air Force.

Last year, the United States Air Force Research Laboratory bought a whole mess of PlayStation 3s – following their successful assessment of the hardware – to capitalise on the system’s Cell processor and relatively cheap hardware. With “Install Other OS” yanked from the system, the USAF sounds none too pleased about its investment.

Lab reps told Ars Technica that the change “will make it difficult to replace systems that break or fail”.

“The refurbished PS3s also have the problem that when they come back from Sony, they have the firmware (gameOS) and it will not allow Other OS,” a USAF lab spokesperson said, “which seems wrong. We are aware of class-action lawsuits against Sony for taking away this option on systems that use to have it.”


Air Force may suffer collateral damage from PS3 firmware update [Ars Technica]


  • What about Yellow Dog Linux? There’s a company that prepared a Linux distro specifically for the Cell processor and marketed the PS3 + Yellow Dog as a desktop alternative.

    They had half their business model killed by the update…

    • Terrasoft (the makers of YellowDog) are probably used to it by now. Their previous mainstream market was Linux running on PowerPC based Macs, which dried up when Apple switched to Intel chips.

      I guess they’ll have to rely on supporting IBM’s enterprise hardware only then (which I suspect was their main profit centre anyway).

  • Pretty weak of the airforce to buy PS3’s, at a loss to Sony, without any intention of buying any fo the games that bring profit to the company.

    • That would be sonys fault then wouldn’t it.

      What sony has done is a disgrace and an attack on basic consumer rights. This is a landmark court case coming up because it will determine whether companies must maintain the same feature set as what was on the box when the person purchased it

      I think the class actions will be successful, and well they should be. You chose to market it like that, you need to support it.

      • I disagree.

        Whilst i understand the feature was important to some people, in the Air Force’s case, vital – but to others, important – I still disagree.

        It isn’t important to me – yeah i get the whole “But its good to know the option is their for a rainy day” but the PS3 is PRIMARY a gaming console.

        Added features like a web browser or Netflix are luxuries that come along to draw more sales and interest. I don’t think SONY have made more money off the PS3 by the Air Force or others buying it for Other OS rather than gamers buying it to play games.

        At the end of the day, the PS3 is still a copyrighted product to Sony. I would assume (if they had any sense) that in Terms & Conditions that we agree to in updates etc… that they are entitled to adjust certain things of the PS3 for security purposes and to make the product run better.

        Microsoft have advertised Netflix on the Xbox 360 – advertised that they support it and its available – to make people buy the Xbox 360 as an entertainment device and MORE than a gaming console. That is a joint venture between two companies, but they advertised that it is available. If Netflix was then dropped from the 360, could someone who bought it, based ON the fact that it supported Netflix, then sue Microsoft for then dropping it?

        I understand that sort of situation is a little different – but OTHER OS has not been advertised per say as much as something like Netflix has. OTHER OS has affected most likely a minor group of PS3 owners I would believe.

        Eh, thats my opinion but a class-action suit against Sony seems a bit extreme. Just hack your PS3 if you are THAT desperate.

  • I bought my PS3 second hand via ebay less than 6 months ago. One of the reasons I opted for the older revision hardware was the ability to put Linux on it as my wife is a bit a Linux hobbyist.

    Needless to say it was pretty disappointing to see it dropped as an option three months later. I guess the Slims lack of support for that feature should have signalled more to me than it did.

  • Even though I’ve never used it yet, nor probably ever would have used it, its a very nasty move to remove it.

    Its like the old man/woman upstairs saying “MWahahah I shall sicken thee with a dodgy appendix” and the doc takes it out.
    Sure, it was useless, but who knows what a well trained appendix is capable off??

    Is this all a knee jerk reaction purely the result of that dude who hacked into the OS? Grrr

    • With one US politician already saying 2 nukes weren’t enough Sony should thank it’s lucky stars if they only get sued!

      Ok, so that’ll never happen over a handful of PS3’s but still it’s fun to consider world war three could start because someone hacked a PS3. Didn’t War Games warn us about this?

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