If you’ve been following this story, you should be aware that Sony recently removed the “Other OS” feature, which allowed the PS3 to boot into a Linux kernel, as of firmware 3.21. However, one could still access PSN by using a proxy to trick the PS3 into thinking it has the latest firmware installed. However, as of today, Sony has altered the PSN authentication process such that the actual login into PSN fails.
Many people have different positions in this situation but I shall briefly give you my two cents: I believe that it is unethical for Sony to announce that they are committed to keeping a feature yet a little more than a month later suddenly change their mind. Essentially, Sony lied and they have lost my, and I’m sure others’, trust. No longer can I believe anything that comes out of Sony. I will need to remain skeptical with anything they announce for they have proven their words are meaningless.
Also, I need to say that I am quite surprised to find people giving in to Sony’s decisions (read user discussions). Especially those who seem to believe that Linux users are “hackers” and that the Other OS feature was a “hack”. These people are clearly ignorant of what this feature was (and I suppose what Linux is in general). Note that I make emphasis on the fact that a feature is being retroactively removed. It could be any feature, not just Other OS. For example, say they removed themes. I’d still be upset and I’m sure others would be as well. If they remove themes from future models, sure, that’s fine because we know what we are agreeing to purchase but if they remove themes for all models then those who made the earlier purchases may feel cheated. Likewise, this is how some people, myself included, feel about the removal of features of all models.
Until Sony makes a worthy compromise or restores this feature, I cannot support the platform any longer. What’s the point of supporting a platform that is iteratively losing features for those who made explicit purchase decisions for an earlier model? Taking out features in next iterations to lower the costs is acceptable as long as they respect those who made the decision to purchase older models that supported features that influenced the purchase. To retroactively take out features to me is a slap, no, more like a punch to the customer’s face.
Here is what I think Sony should do:
- All users can still log into PSN but they can only join games whose host is running the same firmware as the user. Why remove access altogether when you can easily contain them?
- Allow access to the store for all users. Why shut out potentially paying customers?
- The compromise would be that new media won’t work.
Or, they could just properly fix the “security issues”.
EDIT: So now that I cooled down a bit, I was able to give this subject some more thought. From their recent actions, Sony is clearly making a paradigm shift. At the same time, users have the choice of not joining Sony in this shift, that is, those who remain in firmware 3.15 or below. This shift started emerging ever since Sony released the slim model. So essentially, the PS3 is now split into two partitions: one that is feature-riddled, the fat PS3, which really does everything, and another that is feature-stripped but is market-focused. So Sony is asking its customers the following question: do you wish to join us in this paradigm shift? It is your choice.
Personally, I would rather not have my PS3 lose features. However, I do like where PSN is going and with the Move approaching, I actually may consider purchasing a slim model exclusively for PS3/PSN use, which is what you can only do with it anyway, while keeping my fat PS3 for PS2 (60 GB model), NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis gaming via emulation in Linux.