Firmware 3.21 to eradicate "Install other OS" option

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Sony has announced that Firmware 3.21 is due for release on April 1st. The update is nothing major, as you can tell by the version number, but is still a very significent update nonetheless. The reason being that it will get rid of the option to install other Operating Systems, such as Linux, this in return will make the PlayStation 3 less vunerable to hacks and overall improve the security of the system. Although a very small percentage of users actually use this feature, its still going to annoy a lot of people. It is a strange move, and although it does make sense since it prevents hackers taking advantage of this feature, this could possibly be just an early April Fools joke from Sony. Time will tell.

Here is the officiall announcement from PlayStationBlog US:

The next system software update for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) system will be released on April 1, 2010 (JST), and will disable the “Install Other OS” feature that was available on the PS3 systems prior to the current slimmer models, launched in September 2009. This feature enabled users to install an operating system, but due to security concerns, Sony Computer Entertainment will remove the functionality through the 3.21 system software update.

In addition, disabling the “Other OS” feature will help ensure that PS3 owners will continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system.

Consumers and organizations that currently use the “Other OS” feature can choose not to upgrade their PS3 systems, although the following features will no longer be available;

  • Ability to sign in to PlayStation Network and use network features that require signing in to PlayStation Network, such as online features of PS3 games and chat
  • Playback of PS3 software titles or Blu-ray Disc videos that require PS3 system software version 3.21 or later
  • Playback of copyright-protected videos that are stored on a media server (when DTCP-IP is enabled under Settings)
  • Use of new features and improvements that are available on PS3 system software 3.21 or later

For those PS3 users who are currently using the “Other OS” feature but choose to install the system software update, to avoid data loss they first need to back-up any data stored within the hard drive partition used by the “Other OS,” as they will not be able to access that data following the update.

Additional information about PS3 firmware updates, including v3.21 (once it becomes available), can be found here:
http://us.playstation.com/support/systemupdates/ps3/index.htm

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I'm a huge fan of the PES, MGS and Uncharted series', and anything else in between. If you love a good gaming discussion or want to talk about anything else, then feel free to get in touch.

@GariClark

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