Sony: “No More Linux for the PS3, You Dirty Pirates!”


Sony has announced that it will be removing the ability to install Linux on all PS3s in an upcoming firmware update, in what is thought to be a move to stymy efforts at cracking the console.

The feature, much touted at the PS3’s initial launch, was already quietly removed from the PS3 Slim, and will in future no longer be available for older “fat” PS3s.

Users can choose not to upgrade, though this prevents them from using later games and so is essentially a non-option.

The official announcement:

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.

In addition, disabling the “Other OS” feature will help ensure that PS3 owners will continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system.

Consumers and organizations that currently use the “Other OS” feature can choose not to upgrade their PS3 systems, although the following features will no longer be available;

• Ability to sign in to PlayStation Network and use network features that require signing in to PlayStation Network, such as online features of PS3 games and chat

• Playback of PS3 software titles or Blu-ray Disc videos that require PS3 system software version 3.21 or later

• Playback of copyright-protected videos that are stored on a media server (when DTCP-IP is enabled under Settings)

• Use of new features and improvements that are available on PS3 system software 3.21 or later

With Microsoft making next to no effort to keep its console free of piracy, and with what efforts it does take generally resulting in banned users being forced to buy new units, it seems two diametrically opposed strategies are at work.

Sony is successfully exerting total control through technological means, whilst Microsoft is so blasé about piracy that observers could be forgiven for thinking it is using the easy availability of free games on the system as a marketing tool, a strategy it seems to employ in maintaining the dominance of Windows as well.

Nintendo meanwhile is suing everyone it can lay hands on in an effort to stamp out widespread piracy on its consoles.

Just which strategy is most effective remains to be seen – it does at least appear that the prospect of no piracy on the PS3 has so far not stopped most publishers ensuring top games are multiplatform, and so effectively free on at least one.

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    Avatar of Barbarian of Gor
    Comment by Barbarian of Gor
    13:15 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    They are killing a market because they are so afraid of hackers.

    A small part of their market is, believe it or not, "Homebrew SuperComputers". This shouldn't be a surprise since the X-Box system itself was made to help cover the costs of making a Petaflop system.

    There are now even many commercial software applications that use multi-processors and do a "LAN Distribution" application, using multiple computers in a network. Most notably, 3D software like Bryce, Poser, Carerra, Maya... Linux, being a descendant of Unix, is very multi-processor friendly.

    For $3000, you can get ten ready to go PS3 systems that if you "Linux" them, form a blazing hot network that if you go to the "Super Computer" makers you'll be told is $30K just to stick your nose in the door.

    Frankly, though, I'm not crying or moaning. They are stupid and will pay for that stupidity. They close off a market that could have opened other doors and kept a 'baseline' customer base to keep the system alive long after it's obsolete. All this because they fear the "Damage" that they think hackers do.

    The "earlier" option is just to swoop down and grab "Obsolete" computers from the dumpster, Linux them, and have a noisy pile of boxes. Ugly and power wasting, but when you need the power...

    Also, "Plug Computers" are coming into the market at $100 each for the "Cloud" thing, and those are almost designed to attract 3D batch render junkies.

    So, it's really sad. Are the hackers doing THAT much damage, or is it an "RIAA Lawyer" crime where they think every single copy, real or imagined, is a "Lost Sale" and totally dis-count any "Side value" like "Free Advertising"...

    I've got the "Perfect Hack" of any "Copy-Protection System" designed to keep people from "Stealing" their stuff; "Buy no game system under a year old, focus on obsolete." For a fraction of the price, I get the system and tons of peripherals and games.

    Circus Maximus for the X-Box at $400 for the thing and $60 for the game...GAH! Buyer's remorse city! Several years later, $40 for the system, $5 for the game, awesome!!!

    The way around my "Hack" is to make the system usable in other ways. A supplement to a computer system is a nice touch. They should encourage personalization and modification of the systems, picking the cream of the crop for "Official" upgrades.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:55 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    First brilliant post in this thread. Congratulations. :)

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:46 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm pretty sure the people building Linux clusters from their PS3s have no need to connect to PSN or play games, and thus no need to update, making your post irrelevant.

    I am sorry you wrote all those words for nothing.

    Avatar of Barbarian of Gor
    Comment by Barbarian of Gor
    07:20 31/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Some might be playing games on them. Not all "Render Farms" esp. at that price are on 24/7. Also, might the thing not update itself and "Accidentally" kill that function?

    And, though the news is going like wildfire through the gaming community, what if someone buys a bunch (saving up their money...) only to find out they'd been 'botomized?

    Frankly, would you please FOAD, I think you are only sniping cause you dislike me, so are looking for something insulting to say.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:10 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is fake. Why the hell would $ony release an update on Thursday when they usually release them on Tuesdays?

    Why would this 'announcement' say JST rather then US time or EU time?

    If this turns out to be true, then $ony can go fuck themselves and I'm selling my PS3. What'll they remove next? The ability to play games? DVD playback? The picture viewer?

    First they remove PS2 BC, now this.

    PS3: It only does nothing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:47 01/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, it's April 1 in the U.S., and Sony's warning about update 3.21 can be found here:

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:12 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    My god, all you *NIX nerds with ePenises to go around.

    The motive here is not Piracy, It's profitability.

    I suggest you have a look at Sony's Zego Platform.

    And google on the "Sony BCU-100".

    Why would Sony want people that need to do serious business buy PS3's when you can sell them a pro-grade 1U Cell proc based server at a premium to run an "OTHER OS" on.

    PS3 allowing "Other OS" was just a trojan horse to cheaply get people hooked on Cell Development while the costs we're still crazy high.


    Informed Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:19 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Anon 16:12 :

    There aren't going to be any more large-scale computing clusters based on PS/3, because you can only get phat PS/3s on the used market; there won't be enough of them, and they'll have no warranties.

    According to the ZEGO wiki article you pointed us to,

    "As of August 2009 the device appears to have been discontinued. Searches on and for either Zego or bcu-100 return nothing but the year-old press release claiming the product would ship within a few months."

    So ZEGO is either dead or was vaporware to begin with.

    You can't -- and Sony can't -- sanely justify killing off the PS/3's "OtherOS" feature to favor Sony's "commercial" supercomputing products, because they have none.

    And, even if they did, what (non-masochistic) fool is going to buy from a company with a proven track record of fucking over their customers?

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    16:04 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Epic Sony fail which I believe Sony April Fool's joke is going away fast.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:23 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Microsoft's strategy is a losing one, sony's a succesful one and nintendo never had a chance of making one in the first place ~.~

    Avatar of GHS
    Comment by GHS
    20:24 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where do you like Sony's dick anyway? In your ass or in your mouth?

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:48 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Up your ass, preferably.

    Avatar of GHS
    Comment by GHS
    12:03 31/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol I see. So fanboys prefer it up the ass eh.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    10:41 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    well seeing how there's already a bypass out I don't see this doing any real harm for hackers

    Avatar of Hyra911
    Comment by Hyra911
    09:53 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I will wait around 10 years and see if I can play PS3 using emulator. Not that I practically fond of that idea though.

    Avatar of gpturismo
    Comment by gpturismo
    11:56 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Let's hope they don't brick their systems like Nintendo (and get legit non-hacked systems in the process.)

    It sucks. It won't effect me now that I quit using Linux on my PS3 a long time ago.

    Sorry geeks :-( Corporatism rained on your parade :-(

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:24 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I actually see this being a major issue with universities and similar institutes that have bought many ps3's to solve problems ect that might be running on home brewed programs that sony has nothing to do with. Maybe they will offering these institutes special solutions?

    Avatar of Japanese Butt Toucher
    17:20 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Except universities use them as computers and NOT for gaming. They most likely don't update either and these machines are always on linux. So they either won't notice or won't care. Try again please.

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    12:22 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Meh. What really sucks is how they basically promised this wouldn't happen when the slims launched, and now here we are.

    From a practical standpoint... you can get vastly better Linux distros running on vastly better hardware than the access they allow "Other OS" to have to the PS3. Researchers making PS3 clusters won't update and won't care, and gamers seem to rarely use the option. Sucks for some that they can't run emulators on their PS3 anymore, but... who can afford a PS3 and ONLY a PS3, not even a PC?

    So yeah, that doesn't justify it, and they're assholes to double-cross like that, but... does it really matter, just this time? It's not like they're pulling PS2 BC again. The PS3 just got owned in a practical, actual way, and so now they're pulling the plug on something maybe 2% of users ever touched to limit the damages and keep what has to be the longest uncracked run of any disc-based console going.

    Avatar of Philosopher
    Comment by Philosopher
    12:21 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, Microsoft did go so far as to ban people's XBOX Live accounts permanently if a pirated game was detected while playing. They do it manually in waves so if you were unlucky enough, your account was screwed.

    Don't know if they're still doing it or which games they're watching. Don't have a 360 so obviously I don't pay attention.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:51 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The long and short of it is this:

    intelligent developers will cry.

    Unwashed console gaming toadies will wonder what the fuss is about.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:21 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Anon 09:51 :

    Dual-boot PS/3 user here... running Ubuntu on PS/3 is kinda slow, but it's great when you're working on your x86 PC and need Internet access for patch files, PDFs, KB articles... which you can't do from your x86 PC, because it's currently BROKEN! ("It takes a computer to fix a computer.")

    This removal of features with a software update shows the consumer's risk of using things like Blu-ray.

    Damned if you do:
    Take the update required for the new stuff to work and some/all of your previously-purchased games, movies, and songs no longer work.

    Damned if you don't:
    Refuse the update so that all of your previously-purchased stuff continues to work, and give up on getting the new stuff to work...

    ... and pray some goofball "friend" or ignorant little sister doesn't click "Network Update" and screw the console.

    Sony: "Hey, buy our cool new car! You can run it on gas or diesel, and switch back and forth whenever you like!"

    (you buy their car, then later on...)

    Sony: "For security reasons, we're disabling the 'diesel' feature by default. You can keep the 'diesel' feature if you want, but if you do, the stereo, windshield wipers, and headlights will no longer work. Thanks for your support!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:37 02/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    geohotz, that talentless faggot could not hack his way out of a paperbag. His iDevice hacks are all stolen works. He needs to DIAF.

    Avatar of tyciol
    Comment by tyciol
    09:44 11/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I am loving the prinny pirates from Disgaea 2 reference

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:46 31/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    One more reason why I don't bother getting a PS3 nao o,o
    Sony really likes to screw with their fans xD

    Avatar of Riiku
    Comment by Riiku
    23:26 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It just struck me that by pirating Windows all my life (well, almost, since I cathed a blink of that time when DOS was still around) I actually help them. Good to know I'm not all that bad.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:29 31/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    HA! I'm sure someone will make a crack for it to fool the PS3 into allowing people to play games and install Linux.

    Avatar of Uncommon0taku
    Comment by Uncommon0taku
    07:41 31/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    NakkiNyan said:
    Sorry, but it isn't even 4/1 in Japan yet.

    true enough, but Japan is one day "ahead" of the west, so you'll know before the rest of us.

    Avatar of El Chaos
    Comment by El Chaos
    08:28 31/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Everyone who actually uses a PlayStation 3 videogame console as a goddamn GNU/Linux station: you're supposed to hit nails with a hammer, not with your fuckin' HEAD!!

    Both a desktop Asus Eee Box EB1006-B-111-5002 and an Acer Aspire One AO532h-2223 netbook go for the same $300 (on as your utterly useless "phat" PS3's, and actually can run a MUCH wider variety of distributions than the Sony Blu-ray movie player ever will. Now, please, pretty please, stop spewing retarded nonsense left and right and shut the fuck up. kthx

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:52 01/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I bought my PS/3 because it could do BOTH, for a one-time expenditure of $300.00.

    You know, saving myself some cash....

    Avatar of El Chaos
    Comment by El Chaos
    23:17 01/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I understand where you're coming from, but if you actually thought about this as a serious alternative to an actual PC (especially one with a GUI-based OS and with the processing power for, I don't know, running GIMP or something), well... you were wrong all along.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:25 31/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    If they can spoil the orher OS installation feature, there's no problem since I can spoil it back because it's only a software matter.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    04:55 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    There are enough worthwhile free games out there, why would I feel the need to buy a stupid console to waste my time on games I had to pay for? There are so many anime to watch and manga, light/visual novels to read, why should I bother wasting time/money on silly game consoles? (Besides, it's difficult as hell to tell which games are any good, so why bother in the first place.)

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Let me guess, you pirate all those?

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    06:12 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh dear no, I have this really generous and rich friend who buys like every animerelated content. He lends me all those things for free.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:13 03/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Anon from 08:25 30/03/2010

    Pointless request is pointless. A pirate won't buy blindly, only the things he really enjoys. And if he wasn't there, well,.. who isn't there in the first place can't buy stuff. Just treat pirates as nonexisting fans spreading the word of anime over the world.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:35 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Let me guess - the name of your friend is "The Pirate Bay".

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:25 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The world could use with less of your kind

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:14 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh shit, I have the same friend! It's a small world...

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    08:12 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No, on the web he's called Anonymous. Geez, what a coincidence, that's your name too. It's a pretty common one around here, I guess. Doesn't makes him any less awesome for sharing his stuff with me, though.

    On a side note, I think it was a mistake to establish the word pirate. (In case people who don't like them invented it. Ohterwise it was pure win.) Pirate just has this romantic feel about it. What do you wanna be; a mere customer or a... pirate. Yeah, rhetorical question. Anyway, the glorification of people who do or did things they shouldn't isn't that new (war hero) and now it's too late anyway. Not that this has anything to do with me and my generous friend...

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:19 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    To take something on the net don't make you a pirate, this is people who put on it who are the truly, damn some mentality make me mad °'o'°
    Ho shit i lost my sense of humor for a sec. ^^

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:06 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Then there's the Wii, which is 100% a homebrew console with patches that get hacked within a day. Seriously, Nintendo doesn't even bother trying. They even have official notes reminding homebrewers not to update officially in case of patch incompatibility.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:07 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It only does everything.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:48 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    ...except linux.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:12 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would much rather have a company remove problematic users than problematic features. Nintendo and Microsoft may have more piracy, but for the most part their methods don't go after non-pirates.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:43 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Microsoft? The same Microsoft that forces WGA down your throat? The same Microsoft which wants to disable your computer if it thinks your software is pirated? The same Microsoft which disabled millions of home user machines because of a software screw up?

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:12 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i loled.

    Meh no effect on me since i just play it for the few games i have. mgs 4, bio 1 n 2, lbp, and resistance 2. i will be getting gow 3 soon too so 6 game library ftw. maybe ff XIII

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:46 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    one reason less to finally get a ps3.

    *off to buy his shiny new msi 890fx-gd70* - ah it's not out yet. damn!

    too bad many cool games aren't ported to the pc. :(

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:00 30/03/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    At 1st april we will see, who will be an idiots... *evil face*


    Sony Upgrade Complete Keysaving System aka SUCKS.


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