As If On Cue, Sony Sued For Making PS3 Less Useful
from the soon-your-new-purchase-will-be-worth-nothing dept
We recently noted how Sony decided to make their Playstation 3 game console less useful by removing the ability to run alternative operating systems. Sony wanted to retain stricter control of the hardware to battle piracy, but it’s something that annoyed some hobbyists — who’d found a number of creative uses for the feature. The decision made it clear that in the broadband age, the product you thought you purchased isn’t always the product you now own — and it raised the question whether products made less useful post purchase demand a refund. One UK customer thought so, using a UK consumer protection law to force Amazon to give him a 20% rebate. At the time, we noted how a class action lawsuit seemed likely in the U.S., and right on cue — Sony’s now facing a lawsuit:
"The suit claims that the "Install Other OS" function was "extremely valuable." According to the suit, the plaintiff he has not yet installed the latest firmware update so that he can continue to use the Other OS feature. The suit also notes that PS3 owners who choose not to update their firmware cannot access the PlayStation Network, play PS3 games online, nor can they play new games or Blu-ray videos that require firmware 3.21."
So with the recent Avatar DRM flap in mind, users not only lose useful functionality, but if they refuse to update their system with the latest firmware — they also lose the ability to go online, or watch/play the latest Blu-Ray titles or games. In other words, if you refuse a hardware downgrade designed to battle piracy (which punishes paying customers), your PS3 console becomes progressively less useful. So what exactly is a Playstation 3 worth if it can’t be used to do anything?