Monday, March 29, 2010
There was always a reason Garfield hated Mondays. Many owners of older PlayStation 3's will wake to the news of a late Sunday post over at the PlayStation blog announcing the "Install Other OS" option will be removed from the system in the upcoming firmware update. The reason cited includes being able to "continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system." (Emphasis added.) Users can continue to keep this feature by declining to upgrade, at the expense of the PSN, "future" Blu-ray titles, media servers with DRM, and future PS3 features. (*cough* bullshit *cough*)
Bad form Sony, bad form. The "Install Other OS" option was a touted feature at console launch, and despite this particular option falling into obscurity, it sets a nasty precedent for the future of "fat" PS3s. We fully expect Sony to make some sort of statement, be it official or otherwise, reassuring gamers backwards compatibility or other features will not be removed from older consoles. Problem is, Sony has gone on record stating they don't intend to "bring back" backwards compatibility, and it's reasonable to assume this potentially means not supporting existing BC as well - an argument further supported by the gradual phase out over the console's lifespan. In addition to this, there's the factor of the cost of supporting multiple firmware options on the same basic system - Sony stands to save a lot by standardizing the features offered across all PS3s.
Are we saying BC or other features are going away? No, but Sony has most certainly planted some very sinister seeds of doubt in the minds of many and unfortunately the Japanese giant seems to have a way of causing seeds to bear fruit.