Nestled deep in the menus on your PS3 console is a little option to install a new operating system. While 99% of gamers likely never took advantage of this option, there were a fair few who used the feature to run open-source operating systems on the console. However, April 1 will bring a new firmware update for the PS3, and when it comes around, the “Install Other OS” option will go away forever.
Kotaku attributes this change to “security concerns,” and they quote SCEA Senior Director of Corporate Communications & Social Media Patrick Seybold as saying that the feature removal 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.
So, what if you want to keep Linux (or another operating system) running on your PS3? Well, you can turn down the firmware upgrade. This, however, will take away your ability to sign into the PSN and play games online. It will also prevent you from playing games in the future that require firmware version 3.21 or higher. That will likely rule out Playstation Move games.
This feature was never included on the Slim, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to a lot of people that Sony would do this. Still, I can’t help but wonder if some people will be losing their primary computer with this change… I mean, there have to be a handful out there, right?
Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time Sony has dealt with this issue. Kotaku points out this post from earlier in the month, when Sony promised the feature would never be removed.