PlayStation 3 Firmware Upgrade Eliminates "Other Operating System" Option

operating systems firmware

According to a posting on the PlayStation blog, Sony will release version 3.21 of the PS3 firmware this Thursday, April 1, that will disable the "install other OS" feature that allowed gamers to install Linux or other operating systems on the hardware.

The blog said Sony is removing the ability to run other operating systems "due to security concerns." "For most of you, this won't have any impact on how you use your PS3," said the blog, posted by Charlotte Panther, who is head of PR for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. The blog said players who run other operating systems on the console have the option of not upgrading to the new firmware release.

The change applies to PS3 models that came out before the Slim models that debuted last year. A Bloomberg story said the change applies to some 20 million PS3 units.

The Sony blog said users who choose not to upgrade would miss out on the firmware upgrade's new features, such as playback of copy-protected videos that are stored on a media server, the ability to sign in to PlayStation Network and use network features such as the use of online features of PS3 games and chat, and playback of PS3 software titles or Blu-ray Disc videos that require the 3.21 release.

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The blog said users who have used the "other OS" feature and plan to upgrade to 3.21 should back up any data stored within the hard drive partition used by other operating systems as they will not be able to access that data once they complete the upgrade.