Play ps3 games online without updating firmware
Sony was ultimately sued via class action for the decision.
After six years of litigation, Sony has agreed to settle the dispute by doling out a whopping to each console owner that bought a PS3 based on Sony's promises to provide "Other OS" functionality, and to each PS3 user that managed to get Linux running on the console.
Case in point: back in 2010 we noted how Sony issued several firmware updates for its Playstation 3 gaming console that effectively made the console less useful.
One specifically (PS3 software update 3.21) removed the console owner's ability to load alternative operating systems like Linux.
We've noted countless times how in the modern computing era, you don't really own what you think you own.
You don't really own the music or books that can arbitrarily disappear on your devices, and you no longer really own a wide variety of hardware that can be dramatically changed (often for the worse) via firmware update months or years after purchase.
Sony's lawyers at several points tried to claim that the update was "voluntary," refusing to acknowledge that users that refused to install the firmware couldn't actually use it for much of anything:"... However, without updating, console owners couldn't connect to the Play Station Network, play any games online, play any games or Blu-ray movies that required the new firmware, play any files kept on a media server, or download any future updates.
An update to the Play Station 3 system software was released on 1st November 2016.
Before the settlement, Sony argued that its terms of service allowed it to remove the Other OS feature and that the functionality wasn't that big of a deal for most console owners."Part of the settlement requires that PS3 owners show "some proof of their use of the Other OS functionality" -- which after six years may not be all that easy for impacted users.
While it's nice to see PS3 owners get a little something after six years of litigation, the overall trend in technology remains one where consumers can't tinker with the hardware they "own," can't be sure the hardware will adhere to day one marketing promises, have no guarantees that the gear will even work even one year down the line, and can't sue if what they own is intentionally downgraded or crippled by the manufacturer.
But tinkerers being tinkerers, some users found ways to use the feature to expand the console's functionality in all kinds of creative ways.Fearing a loss of control and potential spike in piracy, Sony decided to make the console significantly less useful.