Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

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Endless Mike
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:44 pm UTC

wst wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:
wst wrote:2 major selling points for the PS3 were - free online gameplay. Complete gameplay. Against others, like XBL Gold, but FREE! All you need is the console!. The other one was being able to run Linux on it.

I'm sorry, being able to run Linux wasn't an even remotely major selling point or they wouldn't have cut out half the available RAM, some of the SPUs and the entire GPU. It was more like an added bonus for some people to tool around with.
Oops, I'm sorry, I mean... it was a major selling point to those people who would look at Linux-capability when buying a console. These same people might want to get the full functionality of any games they buy.

Ok, amended. Any nitpicks from you on my statement now?

So it's a major selling point to like five people? Do you check for Linux capability when buying toasters, too?

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:37 pm UTC

If there were a toaster that offered Linux capabilities in addition to toasting features, and you purchased it because you wanted both those things, and suddenly the manufacturer stated a forthcoming update to toasting features would eliminate Linux capabilities, would you just shrug and say fuck it?
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Endless Mike
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:43 pm UTC

No, because I wouldn't buy a toaster for Linux if I could buy a computer that runs Linux better for half the price.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:15 pm UTC

What about the people who wanted the Linux toaster? They BOUGHT a Linux toaster. They were SOLD a Linux toaster.

Why should they not be audibly pissed off?
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Crius » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:14 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:If there were a toaster that offered Linux capabilities in addition to toasting features, and you purchased it because you wanted both those things, and suddenly the manufacturer stated a forthcoming update to toasting features would eliminate Linux capabilities, would you just shrug and say fuck it?


Ah, but you could choose not to take the update, and the toaster would continue to work correctly, except it couldn't toast a few of the latest breads.

Also, you can't toast online with your friends.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Decker » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:28 pm UTC

I think the metaphore is breaking down.
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby The Reaper » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:29 pm UTC

Decker wrote:I think the metaphore is breaking down.

Well maybe you should stop browsing this forum from your toaster and use your coffee maker instead.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Decker » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:33 pm UTC

I don't even drink coffee!
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Kayangelus » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:41 pm UTC

Decker wrote:I don't even drink coffee!


So than it is perfect! You can keep the Linux feature since you won't need to update, since you won't be drinking any newer versions of coffee. which of course raises the question of why you would buy that coffee maker...

Endless Mike wrote:No, because I wouldn't buy a toaster for Linux if I could buy a computer that runs Linux better for half the price.


So, because you don't like a product, it is perfectly fine for people who have the product to end up losing product features that that payed for?

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby The Reaper » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:44 pm UTC

Kayangelus wrote:
Decker wrote:I don't even drink coffee!


So than it is perfect! You can keep the Linux feature since you won't need to update, since you won't be drinking any newer versions of coffee. which of course raises the question of why you would buy that coffee maker...

Obviously so he can illegally replicate a name brand coffee without actually causing any harm or loss to anyone, and then stare at it and touch it in the comfort of his own home.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby achan1058 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:53 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:No, because I wouldn't buy a toaster for Linux if I could buy a computer that runs Linux better for half the price.
With the same kind of power and capacity? The only problem with this toaster is that the size of the toast that one can make with this toaster is smaller than a normal toaster, but it can make it toasts a few times faster if you know how. It is especially important when your toasts takes a while to make.

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Looks like 3.21 Updates does more than advertised

Postby phillipsjk » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:16 pm UTC

Looks like disabling "Other OS" is not the only thing the update does:

Gleaned from a troubleshooting thread in the PS3 updates forum.
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby MrGee » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:23 am UTC

Endless Mike wrote:No, because I wouldn't buy a toaster for Linux if I could buy a computer that runs Linux better for half the price.


Well thank God we all have the same resources and utility functions as you...I was worried that we wouldn't be able to find a single solution that worked for the entire planet! :D

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Re: Looks like 3.21 Updates does more than advertised

Postby achan1058 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:59 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:Looks like disabling "Other OS" is not the only thing the update does:

Gleaned from a troubleshooting thread in the PS3 updates forum.
I don't think either of these are 3.21 specific, and I already have the 3.20 update.

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PS3 owner receives partial refund from Amazon

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:19 pm UTC

It looks like Amazon agrees this is a bait&Switch situation: http://www.playstationuniversity.com/ps3-owner-refunded-without-return-for-missing-other-os-3555/

The car analogies I have read about this are varied:
  • It's like having the glove box welded shut.
  • It's like having the passenger side door you probably never use smashed.
  • It's like having the rear doors welded shut so you have to enter or load goods from the front.
  • It's like having a gasoline/diesel switch replaced with a wire in the "Gasoline" mode.
  • It's like having 6 cylinder car with silly cylinder activation rules made to permanently operate in 4 cylinder mode after somebody figures out how to activate all 6.
  • It's like having a 5th seat removed from a sedan as part of a "safety recall."
  • It's like having the faulty (recalled) air conditioner disconnected instead of repaired.
  • My comparison to a GM policy change (I like it because It can happen tomorrow!)
  • I'm sure I am missing some good ones.
Last edited by phillipsjk on Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:41 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PS3 owner receives partial refund from Amason

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:53 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:It looks like Amazon agrees this is a bait&Switch situation: http://www.playstationuniversity.com/ps3-owner-refunded-without-return-for-missing-other-os-3555/

I hope Amazon is able to get the money they're refunding back from Sony. In addition, I hope a lot of people attempt to cash in on this.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby zombie_monkey » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:01 pm UTC

In addition, Sony will have to pay to EU countries the VAT they evaded by selling it as a general purpose computing device.

As for people buying it for that feature, plenty of people bought it to use it as a cheap (by far cheaper than others) cell development platform. Not to mention researchers who bought it for physics simulations and such.

So basically this was a weird and seemingly internally uncoordinated move by Sony which is going to get them into a lot of trouble, and will have to pay a shitton of money in compensation and evaded taxes. But maybe they calculated that will all cost them less than "piracy"?

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby phillipsjk » Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:46 pm UTC

One theory is that Sony wants to sell expensive ($3000+) rack-mounted computers (pdf) using the Cell/B.E. processors. They make up an 80 pound loss per console by charging a higher markup on the ones used for High Performance Computing. If true, that can be construed as Bait&Switch as well, except HPC users won't be installing the update.

I think they screwed up the math for how many pixels HD movies have: 2048×1080 is 2.2Mpx, 4096×2160 is 8.8 Mpx. (Maybe "2K and 4K" just refers to the number of horizontal pixels; that term seems a little specialized to me.)
Last edited by phillipsjk on Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:59 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby achan1058 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:52 pm UTC

zombie_monkey wrote:So basically this was a weird and seemingly internally uncoordinated move by Sony which is going to get them into a lot of trouble, and will have to pay a shitton of money in compensation and evaded taxes. But maybe they calculated that will all cost them less than "piracy"?
Unless the court orders them to undo this move. Now that Amazon has appears to take a stand on the issue, I wonder what drama unfolds.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:01 pm UTC

zombie_monkey wrote:In addition, Sony will have to pay to EU countries the VAT they evaded by selling it as a general purpose computing device.

I'm pretty sure that wasn't why they did it. On top of that, I was told elsewhere the law had changed shortly before Sony even released the PS3 anyway.

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PS3 security is broken

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:05 am UTC

Update: Sony screwed up the signing of binaries. Through a series of earlier hacks, it was possible to derive the private signing keys. This means you can sign your own images with Sony's private keys.

I am not sure, but AsbestOS may even have access to the GPU (they mention the software they hook into has more access than OtherOS did),

Sony's PS3 Security is Epic Fail - Videos Within

Not sure what to say except that this gives me hope I will be able to Jail-break my computers for the forseable future. I am still following a "no DRM taint" strategy, but that is tough. Even the Lemote Yeeloong sold by "Freedom Included" may be tainted by DRM: It includes a SD card reader which may include CPRM unless it falls back to MMC mode.

Edit: "Leemote" is the manufacturer of the laptop I mention (not Freedom Included).
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Technical Ben » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:44 am UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:
zombie_monkey wrote:In addition, Sony will have to pay to EU countries the VAT they evaded by selling it as a general purpose computing device.

I'm pretty sure that wasn't why they did it. On top of that, I was told elsewhere the law had changed shortly before Sony even released the PS3 anyway.

France is looking to add an MP3 tax. For some unknown reason, windows machines are exempt. So it could be a clever marketing tactic to make the PS3 a "computer" and avoid a "mp3/music player/media system" tax.
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Gellert1984 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:08 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:France is looking to add an MP3 tax. For some unknown reason, windows machines are exempt. So it could be a clever marketing tactic to make the PS3 a "computer" and avoid a "mp3/music player/media system" tax.


Doesnt that have something to do with the radio companies pushing to have a DAB radio welded to anything with a speaker?
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Technical Ben » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:25 pm UTC

Not as far as I know.
Only in that they are both ways of gaining extra revenue by introducing a law requirement for your citizens customers to own them.
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:35 am UTC

Technical Ben wrote:
Amnesiasoft wrote:
zombie_monkey wrote:In addition, Sony will have to pay to EU countries the VAT they evaded by selling it as a general purpose computing device.

I'm pretty sure that wasn't why they did it. On top of that, I was told elsewhere the law had changed shortly before Sony even released the PS3 anyway.

France is looking to add an MP3 tax. For some unknown reason, windows machines are exempt. So it could be a clever marketing tactic to make the PS3 a "computer" and avoid a "mp3/music player/media system" tax.

MP3 tax? As in a tax on items & software that can play mp3 files?
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Re: PS3 security is broken

Postby Shii » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:15 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:Update: Sony screwed up the signing of binaries. Through a series of earlier hacks, it was possible to derive the private signing keys.

The reason they could derive the key was because Sony used the same "random" hash for every key. Why, this is so stupid it's almost kind of... familiar....

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby drewder » Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:11 am UTC

I know this is an old post but I'm curious did any Sony marketing material ever advertise the thing as a great system for installing Linux on? I'm pretty sure they mostly focused on things like playing the newest games and the best graphics. Perhaps they allowed a feature to be included which made some think it would be a great computer but it certainly wasn't something they sold it hoping their consumers would do so. My understanding is that each of the systems was sold at a loss on the idea that they would make up the difference in games and services. So people who did use it for its computing power were basically receiving a subsidy from Sony as the hardware was worth more than the money they were receiving for it. They understood this could happen when they started selling the system but perhaps they were building good will among the few who would use it to crack hashes instead of playing games. They may have tolerated it but they certainly didn't have to support it. But, But, But, you say they didn't have to remove a feature, why not just leave it as is. Perhaps they didn't realize how big the geek market was going to cut into their profits, although I doubt it, it seems more likely that making their system HDCP compatible was more important to them than mollifying a few geeks and no system is secure against intrusion when it actually has a jailbreak button built in.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby cphite » Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:54 pm UTC

drewder wrote:I know this is an old post but I'm curious did any Sony marketing material ever advertise the thing as a great system for installing Linux on? I'm pretty sure they mostly focused on things like playing the newest games and the best graphics. Perhaps they allowed a feature to be included which made some think it would be a great computer but it certainly wasn't something they sold it hoping their consumers would do so. My understanding is that each of the systems was sold at a loss on the idea that they would make up the difference in games and services. So people who did use it for its computing power were basically receiving a subsidy from Sony as the hardware was worth more than the money they were receiving for it. They understood this could happen when they started selling the system but perhaps they were building good will among the few who would use it to crack hashes instead of playing games. They may have tolerated it but they certainly didn't have to support it. But, But, But, you say they didn't have to remove a feature, why not just leave it as is. Perhaps they didn't realize how big the geek market was going to cut into their profits, although I doubt it, it seems more likely that making their system HDCP compatible was more important to them than mollifying a few geeks and no system is secure against intrusion when it actually has a jailbreak button built in.


They advertised it as a system that could run Linux, so the folks who bought it for that purpose have a point.

The reason Sony decided to discontinue support was because of cost and upgrade considerations. In order to keep the option, Sony would need to maintain the OtherOS hypervisor drivers regardless of what new hardware they used in the console; so any new hardware version (the PS2 Slim for example) or any new source of hardware for later production lines would be constrained by having to ensure that drivers were available, which adds a significant cost to development. The company decided that the number of users actually using the feature was small enough that it no longer made sense to incur that cost, or pass it along to their overall customer base.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:02 pm UTC

Also, Linux support doesn't drive game sales.

Console sales are all well and good, but game sales matter quite a bit as well. So, even though it had a niche popularity for this capability, it wasn't one that translated to success for Sony in the same way that traditional gamer sales did.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby slinches » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:45 pm UTC

cphite wrote:They advertised it as a system that could run Linux, so the folks who bought it for that purpose have a point.

As I did, and I wouldn't have bought it at all had I known they would remove the capability the first time it became a minor inconvenience to them.

cphite wrote:In order to keep the option, Sony would need to maintain the OtherOS hypervisor drivers regardless of what new hardware they used in the console; so any new hardware version (the PS2 Slim for example) or any new source of hardware for later production lines would be constrained by having to ensure that drivers were available, which adds a significant cost to development. The company decided that the number of users actually using the feature was small enough that it no longer made sense to incur that cost, or pass it along to their overall customer base.

That's a valid argument for new hardware, but why would it be applicable to existing consoles? What extra cost is there? The drivers and hypervisor already existed and just needed to be carried over in new firmware updates. They could have stopped providing support for the feature without disabling it entirely.

drewder wrote:But, But, But, you say they didn't have to remove a feature, why not just leave it as is. Perhaps they didn't realize how big the geek market was going to cut into their profits, although I doubt it, it seems more likely that making their system HDCP compatible was more important to them than mollifying a few geeks and no system is secure against intrusion when it actually has a jailbreak button built in.

That's beside the point. Why should I, as a customer, care how much money they make from the sale or how much they need to spend to secure and support it? That should be reflected in the purchase price and if it isn't then that's on Sony since they, not I, had the power to set the retail price


Ultimately, my problem with Sony's handling of this issue was that they sold a device capable of being a game console and running Linux, then after the sale forcing the owner to choose which one of those they wanted to keep. If they discontinued the feature for new sales and/or the new "slim" version because it didn't drive enough sales to justify the cost (like they did with PS2 compatibility), then fine. But removing features from devices customers already own is a violation of the purchase agreement.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby cphite » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:07 pm UTC

slinches wrote:
cphite wrote:They advertised it as a system that could run Linux, so the folks who bought it for that purpose have a point.

As I did, and I wouldn't have bought it at all had I known they would remove the capability the first time it became a minor inconvenience to them.

cphite wrote:In order to keep the option, Sony would need to maintain the OtherOS hypervisor drivers regardless of what new hardware they used in the console; so any new hardware version (the PS2 Slim for example) or any new source of hardware for later production lines would be constrained by having to ensure that drivers were available, which adds a significant cost to development. The company decided that the number of users actually using the feature was small enough that it no longer made sense to incur that cost, or pass it along to their overall customer base.


That's a valid argument for new hardware, but why would it be applicable to existing consoles? What extra cost is there? The drivers and hypervisor already existed and just needed to be carried over in new firmware updates. They could have stopped providing support for the feature without disabling it entirely.


The extra cost is in having to maintain that capability in future OS updates, despite it not being in new hardware. The extra cost is in testing every update to ensure that it works whether hypervisor is there or not. The extra cost is in dealing with customers who don't understand why the PS3 they bought last week doesn't work the same way as the PS3 their friend bought a few years ago; and customers who can't use Google to figure out why their new PS3 isn't letting them boot to Linux. The cost is in keeping programmers and testers on staff who know hypervisor in and out, and how it will effect future development.

They certainly could have handled it better; but it's really not all that surprising. No company is going to spend resources on something that gets them nothing in return; and the truth is there is really nothing they get in terms of revenue from the system running Linux. Maybe a teeny tiny number of people buy the machine for that reason, but in the grand scheme of things, it ended up being a net loser for them. So they cut their losses.

drewder wrote:But, But, But, you say they didn't have to remove a feature, why not just leave it as is. Perhaps they didn't realize how big the geek market was going to cut into their profits, although I doubt it, it seems more likely that making their system HDCP compatible was more important to them than mollifying a few geeks and no system is secure against intrusion when it actually has a jailbreak button built in.


That's beside the point. Why should I, as a customer, care how much money they make from the sale or how much they need to spend to secure and support it? That should be reflected in the purchase price and if it isn't then that's on Sony since they, not I, had the power to set the retail price


They care because they're a business, and that's how business works. The whole point is to make money; and part of that is cutting costs, especially for things that return no value. Very, very few companies are going to hang on to something that gives them no return just because it's the nice thing to do. And supporting hypervisor turned out to be a loss for them.

In all seriousness, even if folks don't want to hear it, it's not like a bunch of Sony executives were sitting in a smoke filled conference room thinking up ways to f*** their customers. It's far more likely that someone said "Hey, why are we paying for this?" and when nobody could come up with a legitimate answer, the decision was made to kill it. I have no idea what the actual overall costs were; and I can't imagine they were all that high - but someone decided that it was worth the PR shit-storm, and that's generally not something that's taken lightly.

Ultimately, my problem with Sony's handling of this issue was that they sold a device capable of being a game console and running Linux, then after the sale forcing the owner to choose which one of those they wanted to keep. If they discontinued the feature for new sales and/or the new "slim" version because it didn't drive enough sales to justify the cost (like they did with PS2 compatibility), then fine. But removing features from devices customers already own is a violation of the purchase agreement.


Well, actually no... the EULA includes this: "These contracts specifically provide PS3 purchasers with a license, not an ownership interest, in the software and in the use of the PSN, and provide that SCEA has the right to disable or alter software features or terminate or limit access to the PSN, including by issuing firmware updates."

As the judge who presided over the case says (paraphrased) it was a dick move, but still within their legal rights.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby slinches » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:14 pm UTC

cphite wrote:They certainly could have handled it better; but it's really not all that surprising. No company is going to spend resources on something that gets them nothing in return; and the truth is there is really nothing they get in terms of revenue from the system running Linux. Maybe a teeny tiny number of people buy the machine for that reason, but in the grand scheme of things, it ended up being a net loser for them. So they cut their losses.

And doing so in the way they did cost me a substantial portion of the value of the product I purchased. Which, I argue, Sony should be liable for.

cphite wrote:They care because they're a business, and that's how business works. The whole point is to make money; and part of that is cutting costs, especially for things that return no value. Very, very few companies are going to hang on to something that gives them no return just because it's the nice thing to do. And supporting hypervisor turned out to be a loss for them.

I asked why I should care.

cphite wrote:In all seriousness, even if folks don't want to hear it, it's not like a bunch of Sony executives were sitting in a smoke filled conference room thinking up ways to f*** their customers. It's far more likely that someone said "Hey, why are we paying for this?" and when nobody could come up with a legitimate answer, the decision was made to kill it. I have no idea what the actual overall costs were; and I can't imagine they were all that high - but someone decided that it was worth the PR shit-storm, and that's generally not something that's taken lightly.

I never claimed there was any malicious intent. Intent is irrelevant, it was their actions that caused harm.

cphite wrote:Well, actually no... the EULA includes this: "These contracts specifically provide PS3 purchasers with a license, not an ownership interest, in the software and in the use of the PSN, and provide that SCEA has the right to disable or alter software features or terminate or limit access to the PSN, including by issuing firmware updates."

As the judge who presided over the case says (paraphrased) it was a dick move, but still within their legal rights.

There was no such legal documentation presented to me before purchase. And even if that sort of shrink wrap license "agreement" is legally valid, I never accepted a version that had such language.



What really irks me about the whole situation is that people don't just quietly accept these "dick moves", but actually defend them. When someone does that it validates this sort of Darth Vader-like* business practice.

* "I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby sardia » Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:33 pm UTC

The courts have been very lenient and broad with respect to contract law. Like if you make a contract in a game before you install that says you can't sue them for causing seizures or reporting your data. I say Google a related court case for a precedent.

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LaserGuy
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:29 pm UTC

sardia wrote:The courts have been very lenient and broad with respect to contract law. Like if you make a contract in a game before you install that says you can't sue them for causing seizures or reporting your data. I say Google a related court case for a precedent.


As an aside, does anyone have any sense of how jurisdictions outside the United States handle EULA or boilerplate contract issues? I can only find a very few cases (eg. one in Europe a few years ago ruling that you can resell a game license even if it is explicitly forbidden in the EULA) that seem to address these issues.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Derek » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:25 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
sardia wrote:The courts have been very lenient and broad with respect to contract law. Like if you make a contract in a game before you install that says you can't sue them for causing seizures or reporting your data. I say Google a related court case for a precedent.


As an aside, does anyone have any sense of how jurisdictions outside the United States handle EULA or boilerplate contract issues? I can only find a very few cases (eg. one in Europe a few years ago ruling that you can resell a game license even if it is explicitly forbidden in the EULA) that seem to address these issues.

As long as you can reasonably read the EULA before making a purchase (or could at least return it for a full refund after reading the EULA), they are generally considered valid and binding in the US. "Too long; didn't read" is not considered a valid defense.

Like any contract, there are some things that are not legal even if both parties agree. In that European case for example the judge ruled that consumers cannot forfeit their right of first sale (which is a common part of EULAs for digital products). This is similar to how you cannot sell yourself into slavery even if you want to (obviously much less extreme). In other jurisdictions forfeiting your right of first sale is perfectly legal (which I personally support, I believe it's one of the reasons Steam games are so cheap).

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slinches
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby slinches » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:54 pm UTC

Derek wrote:As long as you can reasonably read the EULA before making a purchase (or could at least return it for a full refund after reading the EULA), they are generally considered valid and binding in the US. "Too long; didn't read" is not considered a valid defense.

Agree, but if the language of the contract is not available on the outside of the box or presented as part of the transaction, I think, it's unreasonable to claim that the purchaser willingly and knowingly agreed to the terms.

Then there's the problem of EULAs stipulating that the contract can be unilaterally changed by only one party (namely the corporation who wrote it) and the complete lack of ability to negotiate the terms.

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Adam H
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby Adam H » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:04 pm UTC

Just spitballing here: what if a government issued patent/trademark/copyright required more stringent ethical standards to be upheld while profiting from the patent/trademark/copyright? E.g. businesses can pull crappy stunts with their goods and services only if the customers can take their business elsewhere.
-Adam

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slinches
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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby slinches » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:12 pm UTC

So, in other words, treat them as if they've been granted a monopoly over their product and hold them accountable when they abuse the implicit public trust that goes along with it? Crazy idea. I like it!

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:46 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
sardia wrote:The courts have been very lenient and broad with respect to contract law. Like if you make a contract in a game before you install that says you can't sue them for causing seizures or reporting your data. I say Google a related court case for a precedent.


As an aside, does anyone have any sense of how jurisdictions outside the United States handle EULA or boilerplate contract issues? I can only find a very few cases (eg. one in Europe a few years ago ruling that you can resell a game license even if it is explicitly forbidden in the EULA) that seem to address these issues.


As long as you can reasonably read the EULA before making a purchase (or could at least return it for a full refund after reading the EULA), they are generally considered valid and binding in the US. "Too long; didn't read" is not considered a valid defense.


Yes, that's why my question was about enforcement EULAs outside the US. Many other jurisdictions are much more consumer-friendly than the United States.

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Re: Sony to disable PlayStation 3 operating system feature

Postby cphite » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:57 pm UTC

slinches wrote:
cphite wrote:They certainly could have handled it better; but it's really not all that surprising. No company is going to spend resources on something that gets them nothing in return; and the truth is there is really nothing they get in terms of revenue from the system running Linux. Maybe a teeny tiny number of people buy the machine for that reason, but in the grand scheme of things, it ended up being a net loser for them. So they cut their losses.


And doing so in the way they did cost me a substantial portion of the value of the product I purchased. Which, I argue, Sony should be liable for.


As far as the law is concerned, they sold you a gaming machine that still works as a gaming machine. The ability to support Linux was a bonus. And, while it was arguably a dick move on their part to remove that functionality, it doesn't violate the terms of the agreement.

cphite wrote:They care because they're a business, and that's how business works. The whole point is to make money; and part of that is cutting costs, especially for things that return no value. Very, very few companies are going to hang on to something that gives them no return just because it's the nice thing to do. And supporting hypervisor turned out to be a loss for them.


I asked why I should care.


I suppose you don't have to care; but you do have to accept the reality of the situation.

cphite wrote:In all seriousness, even if folks don't want to hear it, it's not like a bunch of Sony executives were sitting in a smoke filled conference room thinking up ways to f*** their customers. It's far more likely that someone said "Hey, why are we paying for this?" and when nobody could come up with a legitimate answer, the decision was made to kill it. I have no idea what the actual overall costs were; and I can't imagine they were all that high - but someone decided that it was worth the PR shit-storm, and that's generally not something that's taken lightly.


I never claimed there was any malicious intent. Intent is irrelevant, it was their actions that caused harm.


What actual harm have they caused? According to the EULA their only obligation is that they allow you to play games on the machine. They make it perfectly clear - the EULA is long but not overly difficult to understand - that they have the right to update the system in any way that they choose. The ability to support Linux was something they touted early on that turned out to be (from their perspective) a bad idea, so they dropped it. But that doesn't impact the intended functionality of the device.

cphite wrote:Well, actually no... the EULA includes this: "These contracts specifically provide PS3 purchasers with a license, not an ownership interest, in the software and in the use of the PSN, and provide that SCEA has the right to disable or alter software features or terminate or limit access to the PSN, including by issuing firmware updates."

As the judge who presided over the case says (paraphrased) it was a dick move, but still within their legal rights.


There was no such legal documentation presented to me before purchase. And even if that sort of shrink wrap license "agreement" is legally valid, I never accepted a version that had such language.


Sorry, but acceptance of the EULA is implied when you use the system. That you haven't read it or do not agree with it is, as far as the law is concerned, completely irrelevant.

What really irks me about the whole situation is that people don't just quietly accept these "dick moves", but actually defend them. When someone does that it validates this sort of Darth Vader-like* business practice.


I'm not defending them; I think they were stupid to allow the feature in the first place (from both a technical and legal perspective) and that they were stupid again for brute-force disabling it (from a marketing and "not being dicks" perspective) - my point was simply that, legally, most of the complaints are baseless.

* "I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."


The key difference is that, unlike Lando, you can simply choose not to do business anymore.


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