Sony might owe you $55 for pulling Linux support from PS3

Up to 10 million PS3 owners might be in for a small payday if a class-action lawsuit goes through.


Way back in the misty days of 2006, PlayStation 3 launched with an option called Other OS. The idea was that you could install another operating system, namely a flavor of Linux, to override Sony's system and transform your console into a PC able to play media.

Sony removed the Other OS option in 2010, and consumer Anthony Ventura accused the manufacturer of breach of sales contract. Now, a lawsuit filed that same year may pay as much as $55 to 10 million PS3 users as disgruntled over the change in infrastructure as Ventura.

Don't expect Sony to fork over money in exchange for your sworn vow that you lived and died by PS3's Other OS capability. According to ArsTechnica (via GameSpot), consumers must "attest under oath to their purchase of the product and installation of Linux, provide proof of their purchase or serial number and PlayStation Network Sign-in ID, and submit some proof of their use of the Other OS functionality."

Alternatively, you might be entitled to around nine bucks if you file a claim stating that you "knew about the Other OS, relied upon the Other OS functionality, and intended to use the Other OS functionality" if you bought your PS3 before the feature was scrubbed, between November 1, 2006 and April 1, 2010.

The settlement hasn't gone through, but it has merit. Ventura claimed that removing Other OS violated "the covenant of good faith and fair dealing" by scrubbing a feature that Sony had marketed, and that might have compelled consumers to purchase a PS3 over competing products such as Xbox 360.

The lawsuit also points out that the Other OS was valuable to consumers: through it, consumers could use their PS3 as a PC, saving them the cost of additional devices and software able to do everything Linux can do for free.

Losing Other OS might not have stung if not for how Sony went about eliminating it. The update that removed it from the PS3's menu was optional, but you were unable to access PSN features until you downloaded and applied it.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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