Posted by John on December 13, 2011

Lawsuit over PS3 ‘Other OS’ removal dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed a class action lawsuit brought against Sony over the removal of PlayStation 3’s ‘Other OS’ functionality last year.

The feature, which allowed users to install other operating systems on their PS3, was disabled by April 2010’s PS3 firmware 3.21 update. While it apologised to disappointed PS3 owners at the time, Sony said the move would “protect the integrity of the console” and “would be in the best interests of the majority of users”.

However, disgruntled PS3 owners sued Sony over the move, claiming that the platform holder had been motivated by saving money rather than tackling security concerns.

The class action suit included eight different claims against Sony, including allegations of breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment, and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Sony had argued in response: “These contracts specifically provide PS3 purchasers with a license, not an ownership interest, in the software and in the use of the PSN, and provide that SCEA has the right to disable or alter software features or terminate or limit access to the PSN, including by issuing firmware updates.”

According to Gamasutra, US district judge Richard Seeborg has now dismissed the allegations brought against Sony.

He said: “[Almost] all of the counts are based on plaintiffs’ fundamental contention that it was wrongful for Sony to disable the Other OS feature, or, more precisely, to [force PS3 owners to decide between] permitting the Other OS feature to be disabled or forgoing their access to the PSN and any other benefits available through installing [the firmware].

“The flaw in plaintiffs’ [argument] is that they are claiming rights not only with respect to the features of the PS3 product, but also to have ongoing access to an internet service offered by Sony, the PSN.”

The judge pointed out that Other OS continues to work unless users choose to disable it with the firmware upgrade. PS3s also remain fully-functioning devices that can play games - although not online - without installing the update.

“As a matter of providing customer satisfaction and building loyalty, it may have been questionable,” he said. “As a legal matter, however, plaintiffs have failed to allege facts or to articulate a theory on which Sony may be held liable.”

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