Scorned PS3 Owner Demands Refund for "Other OS" Install, Amazon Obliges (Kind of)

Scorned PS3 Owner Demands Refund for "Other OS" Install, Amazon Obliges (Kind of)

As sincere as Sony can apparently be, the console maker has an issued an apology to gamers worldwide who might be upset at the removal of the "Install Other OS" option from their PlayStation 3. For a select few, the touted ability to install an alternative OS was a huge selling point in the PS3's favor, so we can understand why Linux fans aren't real thrilled at Sony's decision to strip away this feature.

"We are sorry if users of Linux or other operating systems are disappointed by our decision to issue a firmware upgrade which when installed disables this operating system feature," Sony said in a statement. "We have made the decision to protect the integrity of the console and whilst mindful of the impact on Linux or other operating system user we nevertheless felt it would be in the best interests of the majority of users to pursue this course of action."



Sealing the deal as a half-hearted apology, Sony goes on to remind users they have a choice whether or not to install the firmware upgrade, which was "clearly explained to them" when the firmware was made available. "Furthermore our terms and conditions clearly state that we have the right to revise the PS3's settings and features in order to prevent access to unauthorized or pirated content."

Despite Sony's 'apology,' the situation might not be as clear as the company thinks. According to fan site PlayStation University, Amazon has issued a partial refund to at least one European PS3 owner who complained about the new firmware. As the story goes, NeoGAF forum moderator "iapetus" cited European law to argue that his 60GB console no longer operated as advertised. The law in question -- Directive 1999/44/EC -- states, among other things, that the goods must:

  • comply with the description given by the seller and possess the same qualities and characteristics as other similar goods
  • be fit for the purpose which the consumer requires them and which was made known to the seller at the time of purchase
It's that second bit that might have Sony in hot water, at least in Europe. If we roll back the clock, Sony had previously made it known that you could install an "Other OS," and this is what iapetus argued. Amazon apparently agreed and reportedly issued a refund equivalent to 20 percent of the console's value, which was already out of warranty and well past the online retailer's 30-day guarantee. Should other PS3 owners also demand a refund, we could see Amazon trying to pass the cost over to Sony.



So what does this mean for Sony? Maybe nothing more than a little posturing (see apology above), but the company will probably find itself at the receiving end of a class-action lawsuit. Should that happen, Sony will likely argue that they have every right to change the software/firmware to protect intellectual property, as outlined in the PS3's terms and conditions.
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As I've stated multiple times, I'll gladly join in on the lawsuit against them. This is like taking your car in for an oil change and finding they removed the top gear from your transmission.

>> Sony will likely argue that they have every right to change the software/firmware to protect intellectual property, as outlined in the PS3's terms and conditions.

And I hope anyone considering that argument will think of this:  What if they had removed the ability to use it as a blu-ray movie player?  I don't use mine to play blu-rays, so what would I care?  It's the kind of porsition that quickly becomes invalid when you stop thinking about how it affects you and appreciate how it affects those who bought the device to actually use that feature. 

I had the choice not to install the update (AND DID NOT INSTALL IT, though I barely caught my son before he clicked on the 'agree' button), but now I suppose I won't have ongoing access to the PS store and lose all of those other features I paid for.

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Im sure it will make a come back at some point in time. Long live gen 1 & 2's!!!!

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3vi1:

As I've stated multiple times, I'll gladly join in on the lawsuit against them. This is like taking your car in for an oil change and finding they removed the top gear from your transmission.

>> Sony will likely argue that they have every right to change the software/firmware to protect intellectual property, as outlined in the PS3's terms and conditions.

And I hope anyone considering that argument will think of this:  What if they had removed the ability to use it as a blu-ray movie player?  I don't use mine to play blu-rays, so what would I care?  It's the kind of porsition that quickly becomes invalid when you stop thinking about how it affects you and appreciate how it affects those who bought the device to actually use that feature. 

I had the choice not to install the update (AND DID NOT INSTALL IT, though I barely caught my son before he clicked on the 'agree' button), but now I suppose I won't have ongoing access to the PS store and lose all of those other features I paid for.

 

You bring up a very valid point and if Sony ever took away the Blu-Ray support, I'm sure every PS3 owner would be in an uproar. But how big of a deal is this really? I would like to know how many people actually use this OtherOS feature. If it isn't a lot, then I can see why Sony decided to take this out to protect intellectual property.

 

Maybe they can have a firmware rollback for those who are complaining?

 

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The only way to rollback firmware is via an exploit of some sort, though they could provide an 'updated' firmware that brings the feature back.

Do working other OS installs keep working? If it didn't there would be grounds for massive loss of service and data for people that actually compute on these.

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@RyuGTX:

I don't think the number of PS3/OtherOS users is relevant. They did the wrong thing to every one of the customers who bought the non-slim systems, whether most of the customers know it or not.

That said, at one time there were entire vibrant communities of users dedicated to running specific versions of Linux other than the "default" YellowDog. I had participated in the Ubuntu groups a little over at http://psubuntu.com back in the day.

Most of those communities lost all of their steam after Sony released the PS slim sans Linux support and made it obvious that they never had any intent of pursuing improvements or opening up direct access to the video hardware. That in itself was a move against the interest of customers who had bought their systems partially because of Sony's "support" for Linux.

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I never knew the ps3 had a i stall other os feature... Lol but i never wanted one so that could be why. All you that have a ps3 should get your 20% refund. :)

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That’s a shame Sony.

Whats with this ‘lets keep it proprietary’ notion. What is it that you are building in software that out of the world. No doubt you have a kickass machine there and thats it , you do not have the stomach to put good software on top of it. It can do so much more only if you fire some stuckup senior management and move to an open model. Not that sony is selling ps3 so cheap that it can’t discount other using it for running a linux os on it.

Sony is using ‘Security threat’ as a yardstick to hide some idiots sitting in their cabins eating burgers making these stupid decisions.

This is way Sony is only inviting hackers to finger into this matter more than ever and hack the *** out of ps3. its coming guys… this is complete bullshit and ripping us off for the money we paid for buying a ps3.

For those who are still thinking go for xbox its cheaper and it very very open to use it as a machine that can run software. Value for money!

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The removal of this feature doesn't bother me at all since I don't use it and don't know anyone who does, but I can see why some people are upset about this.

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OK, so when you buy a hard drive, do you want them telling you that you can only use their software. or if you buy a graphics card that you should only use certain software that they say is ok?

I understand the property protection, and I support it. but this comes down to running other systems along side it or in place of it. If the other systems were going to infringe on any software then it might be understandable.

I am sure if this was never unlocked then it would not be an issue :)

Case in point, X-box seems to keeps everything proprietorially locked.

Yet just like the Japanese cracked PS3's, I am sure given enough time this to will be resolved by the computer elite :)

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Ahhh if only I had bought my PS3 from Amazon (got mine at Best Buy)

I will also be more than happy to join the lawsuit.  It's not fair to take the feature away like that especially if it was advertised.

PSN requires you to install the update even though it's "optional".  So no online games for you :P  In any case, you'll lose that Other OS support when a required update goes through the pipeline.

Also, if you ever had a PSP you know that Sony always used the excuse of "A security patch has been added to address security vulnerabilities in the system software" to cover up ways to install custom firmware.  I guess we might be seeing that from now on for the PS3 :P

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