updated 11:20 pm EDT, Sun March 28, 2010
Sony says PS3 Linux support a security risk
Sony tonight stirred controversy by saying its upcoming 3.21 firmware for the PlayStation 3 would disable the "other OS" feature and prevent Linux installs on older systems. While already gone from the slim PS3, the feature is allegedly being pulled from all systems as it now creates "security concerns." Customers could refuse the older firmware but would lose access to PSN as well as any future games or movies that required 3.21 or later.
Representatives didn't say what the security vulnerabilities were or whether there would be any replacement for alternative OS installs. The update should be available April 1st across all regions.
Some users have already accused the company of having ulterior motive for the removal, as it may ultimately be used to prevent piracy that would use the dual-boot feature to modify the OS. Piracy has been more difficult on the PS3 than on competing platforms due to the rarity of Blu-ray disc drives for computers, but Linux and similar platforms can also give access to the low-level file system and bypass some forms of copy protection.