Yann Vernier’s Blog

2010-09-02

Playstation 3 debacles

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — yannv @ 08:11

A long time ago I bought a Playstation 3 console. I specifically hunted down the first model released here because of the alarming rate at which functions were disappearing from new models.
Features that had been removed at the time, but not on my model, included: Linux support, half the USB ports, memory card reader, and Playstation 2 compatibility.

In April, Sony abruptly decided that was not enough. They started killing features – indeed, key selling points – of machines they had already sold. Models they had not made for years. Suddenly, I was expected to sacrifice the computer functionality as well as the contents of the hard drive, without explanation. This was a change they had vehemently promised not to do after concerns were raised by the less capable slim models. My refusal led to the specific sabotage of other functions, including online gaming, new games, and even the ability to use credit I had already paid for to get expansions for the games I own.

As that last was their strongest money maker, I know the credit thus stolen from me is easily outweighed by what they don’t let me buy. From a purely economic standpoint it is an obvious loss. Yet the few replies (they systematically ignore contact) made insane claims like this being an improvement for all PS3 owners.

About a week ago, the first “modchip” for the PS3 appeared. I do not think it a coincidence that this occurred mere months after Sony performed this attack on customers – after years of no such modification being around. Sony have tried using legal means to restrict the distribution of the accessory, which is doomed to failure as it was replicated in a matter of days. It is now possible for anyone to make one. Unlike the feature Sony attack, the dongle is not specific to the early PS3s.

Yet in all of this, I’m still waiting to get back what was lost. The new dongle permits running independent code, but as yet I haven’t heard of anyone getting Linux to run with it. And that is not a feature up for negotiation.

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