Sony has released a mandatory firmware update for the PS3 that removes the ability to install GNU/Linux on the system. What is the problem with that? Well, problem is that, this feature was available only with older models of PS3 (upto the ones with 80GB hard disk).
I bought my PS3 at a time when these old ones and the new 120GB models (without GNU/Linux installation option) were just becoming available. (Mind you, both models cost the same in India..). I specifically bought the older model for this feature. It's a damn good piece of sophisticated hardware, and i loved it till now. The games look and play awesome on it, so does the HD movies. And I know a bunch of others who did the same.
I am not qualified, but is it legal for a company to remove feature from a product that has already been sold to the customer with the particular option being touted as a feature? If anyone is qualified, can they take the fight to sony? In india? What if somebody told you someday that a software update will disable the ABS feature on your car since some users were using counterfeited parts with it?
The most outrageous aspect of this whole thing is that unless one installs this update (s)he won't be able to log onto the PSN for playing online games and other stuff. That means you have to upgrade if you want to play online.
What is the way out? No safe ones seem to be in range. One could wait for the promised firmware from GeoHot. But that won't be legal. Meaning you may(will?) not get support from Sony if your PS3 bricks. I did BUY the PS3 at full price .. didn't rent it. What goes next? BD playback? DVD upscaling? DLNA streaming playback ( Well... you can play your pirated MP3s with it )?
Personally I do not like to use pirated stuff. I started using GNU/Linux for this primary reason around 8/10 years ago. I have quite a collection of Movie DVD's and Audio CDs. However, this time I am tempted. Will I update? Not right now... I need more time to decide.
I have a lot of sony hardware lying around the house ranging from phones to TV's. Now, frankly, I have lost my trust in them. I didn't buy an iPod/Xbox 360 for this kind of vendor mentality.
What next? PC's that don't let you install other OS? (If you install any OS other than the pre-bundled one [ we can all guess what that would be ], you won't be able to see HD on you 15K HD graphics card). Where does it stop? I urge people who read this blog to speak up against this outrage on customer rights.