Blunderingly, Sony Nukes PS3 Supercomputing

Earlier this week, Hot Hardware covered news that a California PS3 owner, Anthony Ventura, had filed a class action lawsuit against Sony, alleging that the company's decision to terminate the PS3's Linux support via firmware update constituted a false/deceptive marketing practice.

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unrealgamer582877d ago

lol look at me I made an article all by myself

happyfuntime2877d ago

Sony is such a good-natured company and sells the world a device cheaper than the actual production costs, and hopes for the buyers fairness to make up for it by buying at least a few games.
But even the fucking US Army takes advantage of Sonys generosity and makes Sony pay for their shitty research Lab. I bet even Xbox Live runs on PS3s...

jadenkorri2877d ago (Edited 2877d ago )

The government and anyone using the ps3 for whatever use have a special O/S so the Linux support wont be removed with update. But this is always conveniently left out to make the article sound like all those PS3 the government bought and whomever just wasted money. Gotta love articles posted by a mentally retarded monkey with ADD.

Sm0k3y_Bac0n2877d ago

Well look on the bright side happy. In a couple of hundred years time when America has crumbled, they'll get all the shit they've pulled thrown straight back at them.

Szarky2877d ago (Edited 2877d ago )

"The government and anyone using the ps3 for whatever use have a special O/S so the Linux support wont be removed with update."

If that's true then it's getting really boring reading these articles created by these idiots posting false information about Sony ruining supercomputer clusters every week. Even if what you said isn't true, then this whole thing can be forgotten because who the hell uses PS3's to go onto PSN if they're using it as a supercomputer cluster. No PSN = no need to update and lose linux. Am I missing something here?

geth1gh2877d ago (Edited 2877d ago )

you do realize that it took out the option for "other os" right? so yes, there is no way they could install any kind of alternate os after the update, but i wonder why don't they just not update and just install and old version of the firmware for newer models.

also, people refer to it as the option to put "linix" on the ps3 because that was really the only os worth putting on the ps3 without it just being unusable.

jadenkorri2877d ago

yes logically they wouldn't have to update, so shouldn't effect them. I def agree with why they wouldn't need access to psn in the first place. But like any PC/Mac, the ps3 gets updates, some might be useful. So there has to be away to update without removing the Linux support. Sony said themselves when announcing the removal of Linux, an O/S was made separate for government or anyone using ps3 as a supercomputer. I doubt they had psn access in the first place.

ShinMaster2877d ago (Edited 2877d ago )

Why don't people read the Terms of Service and System Software License every PS3 buyer agrees to!?
Before they start whining about no more Linux!

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Arnon2877d ago

"Sony is such a good-natured company and sells the world a device cheaper than the actual production costs"

I'm gonna go ahead and say that the majority of companies do this.

JsonHenry2877d ago

When I was sold my PS3 it clearly stated it had otherOS support. By taking that away I am sure any judge will rule in favor of a class action lawsuit that basically states they pulled a bait and switch.

Steve_02877d ago

Two things, one you have to agree to upgrade to remove the Other OS feature. Its clearly stated in the change log. Two, if you read the terms and agreements that you agreed to when you made your ps3 purchase, you'll find that it's not so simple, Sony do have a right to patch and remove features in the interest of security. Whether or not that right is exploiting customers or not is not an open n shut case. If Other OS support is truly important to you, you would simply not upgrade. Easy as that.

Persistantthug2877d ago

Steve_0 said,
"Two, if you read the terms and agreements that you agreed to when you made your ps3 purchase, you'll find that it's not so simple"

There was no TOS/T&C/ect when you purchased your PS3 at a cash register.
Did you sign one when you bought your PS3, Steve_0?

mastiffchild2877d ago

It's, I'm told, the t&cs relating to updates via PSN and if you don't want the update you can leave the PSN and still have the other OS function anyway. Seems a hell of a stink about very little. Before Sony were forced into protecting their business and the experiences for their gamers 'cos Geohot's ego got the better of him(and nobody believes that CFW and then piracy weren't the reasons behind his actions)no one cared about other OS as for single users it just wasn't that great. No one used it and some fans of other consoles laughed at it as pointless, selling nothing to anyone. Sony should have been thinking about games they said-yet when they do the knives come out anyway?

Those using PS3 as clusters for supercomputing don't need PSN so the action won't effect them and Sony has made provision for these people in any case. It's odd that people feel Sony are in the wrong when the hacker's allowed to get away with it with no reason behind his actions beyond leading to what ruined PSP's business model making devs wary of the console. Sony, altruistic? Doubtful, but one result is that they protect PS3 owners and the future quality of what we get in the form of games.

Even morally I'd say they were in the right and doubt they'd leave themselves open to losing a case like this anyway. When you sign up for PSN there's quite a lot of T&C, though, and that's where this will flounder legally-so I've been told by someone who knows more than I do! It's via otherOS that the security's at risk so they're within their rights to remove the feature if they like as there's a proven security risk. Judges in a capitalist society also tend to support companies protecting themselves from being illegally ripped off so I see no hope of anyone proving this was a bait and switch when things were altered by someone other than Sony?

zag2876d ago

This "feature" hasn't been used in marketing material though.

So I don't see how this class action will go anywhere as the law is about marketing or advertising not what some user manual has.

The only offical Sony site with anything about OtherOS is the Japanse Sony PS3 site, which can't be used as it's not in a region where the law could even apply again it's not marketing material as it's not been used in advertising.

Laws are yes/no type situations there's no in-between stuff and words matter/meaning heaps in court.

bunfighterii2876d ago


There are terms and conditions when you sign up to the PSN and when you update any firmware.

Its actually the PSN terms of use that you either accept or don't accept when you sign up to the PSN.

rexus123452876d ago

the law suite is only valid if the plaintiff had actually suffered damage, so it only applied to PS3 users that uses both the gaming OS and Linux LEGITIMATELY at the same time. Excluding those who tried to hack PS3 or plays emulated games, the resulting number is most likely less than 100.
So I don't think this law suite will get anywhere.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2876d ago
Eddie201012877d ago (Edited 2877d ago )

Not true, the PS3 phat can still be used for super computing as long as you don't install the latest firmware. Those people/organizations that are using it for super computing or the like do not need PSN Access or would not be using it anyway.

The PS3 slim never had other OS support anyway.

The EULA says they can change or remove any function of the system at any time and in order to use the system you have to agree to the EULA before you are even allowed to use the system to do anything.

Ravage272877d ago

why the f#$% would Sony want people to buy PS3s for supercomputing purposes? No one likes losing money for no reason

RedDevils2877d ago

what a retarded article

CrazedFiend2876d ago

When I made my update, I read the warning they posted and my understanding was that the update was only necessary in order to use features like PSN or to play newer games. In other words, you're not forced to make the update if you do not use those things, am I right?

If that's the case, then I really don't see any of the PS3's out there being used for supercomputing needing to be updated. The only issue would be no future PS3 clusters, right?

Not really trying to make a point, just trying to make sure I understand the situation.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 2876d ago
Zerodin2877d ago ShowReplies(3)
ChickeyCantor2877d ago ShowReplies(1)
Death2877d ago

For people that use their PS3 online anyway. This story would have been relevant when the slim released, but today it is old news. If using PS3's in a cluster is your only purpose, the biggest problem is finding replacement units since they are no longer produced. Removing any feature sucks, but the impact isn't very large. It only hurts the core users who purchased early on and actually used the feature. The PS3 has been devolving since launch. The sad part is the loudest PS3 owners stand up and applaud each "revision" and thank Sony for it. The PS3 only does everything, just less now.


CimmerianDrake2877d ago

Now there's a sad trolling post if I ever did see one. Truth is, people like you who are the pickiest people in the world make it so that Sony can do no right. Sony has B.C., you say "if I wanted to play PS2 games, I'd play on my PS2". Sony removes B.C. to lower the price, you say "where's my B.C., I was promised B.C. and I want B.C." *sigh*

Sony gave gamers everything, and you complained. They take stuff away, to again GIVE YOU A LOWER PRICE, and you complain. It's nothing but b*tch, b*tch, b*tch when it comes to Sony right? It's not like they released a console with the highest quality first party exclusives, best multimedia options, and free online. oh wait...

Death2877d ago

Sony removed backward compatability to artificially extend the life of their much more profitable PS2. The truth is Sony was losing money on every PS3 sold, but making money on every PS2 sold. It was in their best intered to remove the ability to play PS2 games on the PS3 in order to keep making money on the PS2 hardware. The EE was already removed leaving the GPU the only additional cost which at the time was literally a few bucks. With the upcoming releas of PS2 games on PSN, what makes you think there is any cost actually associated with b/c on PS3?

As for being cheap, I still play all my Playstation games on my launch 60 gig PS3. What do I care if they made the system cheaper when I already owned one? The only ones complaining about the price were the people who couldn't afford a $599 game system and those that wanted Sony to be in first place with sales.


Microsoft Xbox 3602877d ago

Researchers don't use PSN with their PS3 clusters. Supercomputing is not nuked.

ChickeyCantor2877d ago (Edited 2877d ago )

Wait how am i trolling?


The point is that many people used it with Linux.
And that basically screwed it.

Plus they paid for the feature as well.

CimmerianDrake2877d ago

Linux is a free OS and it likely cost Sony nothing to program the ability for another OS to be used AS AN OPTION. I don't remember going to my local EB Games, buying an original 60GB PS3 Phat, Motorstorm, and guarantees and going "just what i needed, now i can use Linux". Could it be that I paid for a game console?

ChickeyCantor2876d ago (Edited 2876d ago )

The price tag of 600 was for a reason, and one of them being the features it had to offer.

Work was still put in there so other OSs could work on it, without accessing some hardware.
How does this development come in free?

People paid for the feature, just because you didnt use it doesnt mean you got it for free. Dont be so ignorant.

Stop justifying it and let the consumer be the winner on this one.

CimmerianDrake2876d ago

"Stop justifying it and let the consumer be the winner on this one."

Are you serious? Sony sells the PS3 at a loss until just recently, we get the best, and for the longest time CHEAPEST, Blu-Ray player on the market with HDMI 1.3, a fully functional multimedia center, web browser, HD gaming console, with FREE online gaming, and somehow the consumer LOSES?!!

*Sigh* Anti-Sony fanboys have absolutely no concept of logic, value, and quality.

Listen, the resources Sony used for this Other OS option were likely highly negligible. The cost of setting aside some memory for another OS to mount on is nothing compared to the cost of the REAL tech in the console. Contrary to what you might think, Sony was charging for Blu-Ray and Cell, not an optional OS. And IF they charged for it, you can bet that it was a piddly amount. Probably less than people spend on coffee in a week.

The consumers lost nothing but the ability to play Homebrew games on a tv screen. WHICH THEY CAN STILL DO WITH THE PC'S THEY SURELY ALREADY HAVE!

Stop being a hater, stop whining about a feature less than 1% of the userbase used, and go back to your Wii and it's shovelware.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2876d ago
artsaber2877d ago (Edited 2877d ago )

Since Sony lost the right to classify the PS3 as a "Computer" in court, I don't see where this complaint has legs. Since it's sole marketing purpose determined BY THE COURT was that it is a gaming console. I don't see how you can turn around and sue Sony for the PS3(or a chain of PS3s) not being a Supercomputer.

If Sony won the past case, then I can see the lawsuit having some weight. But Sony could also release a developer build for the PS3 and STRIP the gaming OS away from it, just leaving it as a lightweight XMB menu with a Linux Only build, etc. Perhaps Sony could make the Linux version available by request since you can install updates via flash drives, etc.

This would probably free up PS3 resources and make PS3s even more effective @ Supercomputing cell based applications. Sony should consider this.

Also, didn't Sony WARN people using PS3s in this sort of application to simply NOT update. Any moron who updated a chain of PS3s KNOWING GOOD AND WELL the latest update stripped Linux, needs to be out of the business of Supercomputing PERIOD. This is not an automatic update, it requires a manual install - lawsuit = fail. Someone sabotages their own Supercomputing center and wants to hold Sony legally liable - ludacris at best.

Just think about that for a second, someone had to manually and individually LOGIN to each PS3 console and REQUEST the latest OS Update. So if there was a chain of twenty PS3s, that is 20 times someone logged in and clicked the YES button to force this update to their systems. That is far from an accident or the blame of Sony. As far as Supercomputing is concerned, you just bricked 20 systems... someone needs to be fired.

Dac2u2877d ago

Why write such a long post when you clearly didn't read or understand what the author was writing about?

Kira832877d ago

because unlike you artsaber sees that this lawsuit is the result of a user error an is not sonys problem.

N4g_null2877d ago

The problem is most gamers don't know how super computers work. No update no network for you.... Ummm Super computers need a network to work. Most super computers are a cluster of PC networked together to work as if they where one PC for one job.

So unless SONY makes and update to give this back then they have every right to sue. They are going to loose against the big iron users though. Jumping into this whole super computer thing really has major repercussions for SONY. Seriously this could get the government involved.

This is getting worst and as time passes it is once again the very PS3 users that will cause it to fail. While other try and keep the company afloat.

At least I hope the next PS is mostly game focused. Adults can be a pain.

Anon19742877d ago (Edited 2877d ago )

Not updating simply takes away the ability to connect to the PSN. People running clusters of PS3's aren't connecting to the PSN and the networking capabilities of their PS3 clusters would remain unaltered.

I can't see this optional upgrade causing any real ripples for Sony. When update 3.0 bricked some consoles (an easy fix too, by the way) a meaningless lawsuit was launched then as well and fell flat on it's face.

Think about it. Microsoft launched a faulty console and then lied for over a year about the severity of the problem, duping millions of consumers and so far not a single one of those cases has gone against them.

Do you really think the courts are going to rule against Sony in this case where they removed a feature, as per outlined in the user agreement, in an attempt to protect the consumer when the courts haven't even ruled against MS dumping a faulty product on the market and lying about it for over a year?

The court case is trying to claim that Sony's user agreement is unfair. Good luck with that. You should read your Windows or 360 agreement sometime. If they rule that Sony's agreement is unfair then it's open season on all User Agreements in the US. No way the court's going to open that can of worms.

Dac2u2877d ago

You too, failed to read or understand what the actual article was about. The article isn't about the lawsuit, the one mention of the lawsuit is in the first paragraph where it mentions an earlier article.

The article on THIS page is all about Sony taking out the Other OS support when switching to PS3 Slims and to a lesser degree the firmware update, and not allowing known organizations(known to Sony according to the article) to make use of these PS3 clusters. In the end, this research into cell clusters could have been a big help to Sony in the future.

Hideo_Kojima2877d ago

yeah your right...

what good is a super computer if you cant use it to log into Playstation Network to walk around in Home play Killzone 2 Online and maybe download a couple of movies, games, demos and trailers while you have your lunch break right???

They might as well through away any super computer that can't do those things it is complete garbage...


+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2877d ago
Shadow Flare2877d ago

Wow, its an optional update. If theres a company using ps3's as super computers, then don't update. And to be honest, i very much doubt they would update the hundreds of ps3s they have anyway. They aren't using them to play online

edgeofblade2877d ago

Oh it's "optional", huh. Ever written a grant proposal and budget?

Imagine having a $100,000+ super computer and the company that built the components said they wouldn't support the hardware anymore. If I spent that kind of money, paid the university's facility costs, and then found I can't get any replacement parts for the array, I would be pissed too.

Look, I see a lot of the same denialism that 360 fanboys peddled with the RROD. At least Microsoft had a backup plan. I have still paid for only one Xbox 360, even though it's been replaced 4 times... gratis. Now, Sony is getting hammered by the one sector of the market that actually uses this feature: academia.

waltercross2877d ago

MS Never had a back up plan, They had to come up with something because there was allot of p*ssed off customers, so dont act like the extended warranties were already in place, just Like sony will be forced to remedy this issue.

radphil2877d ago

Ok there's a couple of things wrong with this statement:

1) What kind of supercomputer in a company is CONNECTED TO PSN??
2) This isn't to the degree of RROD, where it had the possibility to affect EVERY system to a HARDWARE flaw, where as this only affected the first run of the system.
3) MS didn't have a backup warranty until after the issue was widespread.

4me22877d ago

Universities or companies using clusters of PS3 run some variant of LINUX. Firmware on their PS3 most likely never been updated since booting directly to Linux doesn't checks for firmware updates.
problem for them is only replacing the defective PS3 in the cluster.

I would like to point out that MS is company that was throwing lawsuits left and right against Linux which is much bigger threat all Linux user than Sony ever was.

Regarding MS having plan for RROD .... well MS had a choice to fix all RROD 360s ,which would be about 30%, or facing court order Product RECALL-> all of them 100%. (I bought my 360 March 2006, still working never had a problem)

Shadow Flare2877d ago

like radphil said, the biggest thing wrong with your statement is that if a university had a cluster of ps3's to use for their processing power, they would NOT be connected to PSN. There is no need for it. It would take forever to connect each ps3 to the PSN. They would also never need to update their ps3's firmware, because there is simply NO need. It would also take forever to update every ps3. This would just not affect people who genuinely use ps3's as supercomputers

exnihilonihilfit2877d ago

No one had to pay $100,000 plus to set up a PS3 array, and since such an array isn't connected to the playstation network, it should still work. If you have that kind of money to spend on a supercomputer, why not buy an actual super computer instead of a videogame console? Sony never marketed the PS3 as a supercomputer, it marketed the system as a gaming system, with a unique feature which turned out to be detrimental to their business plan on a number of levels. Sony never wanted PS3's to be used a super computers, they sell the system at a loss and make money back through software sales. PS3 supercomputing arrays are not used for games and so do not bring in revenue. Sony really didn't have a choice.

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artsaber2877d ago

Well I may know a little something about that. Any government contract discourages the use of off the shelf material for government sole and long-term solutions without exclusive support from the proposed vendor.

Basically, if the Government wants, they can work up an exclusive contract with Sony to have them write a XMB light OS with Linux, and Sony can provide government support through a VERY lucrative contract. Right now, the government has access to PS3 Supercomputer use @ the same price as the public, which is super cheap for them. But for the government to rely on Sony for their Supercomputing needs without an exclusive contract with Sony is a mistake and possible violation of standard government policy.

Why you may ask? Because if the government became dependent on Sony's PS3 without proper support and rights to the software, Sony has the legal authority to change it as they please... LEGALLY since they own the OS, etc. and wrote the usage and rights agreements and are privy to change those as well... which is why we have to click the AGREE button to use it.

If this was in the interest of National Security, then maybe that would be different, but it is hard to prove that this Nation's defense would depend on the usability of the PS3.

Sony = 1 Government = 0