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Hacker Will Try To Restore Linux Support On PS3

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the gauntlet-thrown dept.

Operating Systems 468

Many readers have been sending in news of the impending PS3 firmware update that will remove the ability to install other operating systems on the console. (We discussed it here on Sunday.) Over the past few days, legions of PS3 owners have been voicing their anger at Sony's decision, upset that they'll be forced to either lose their custom install or forgo use of the PlayStation Network and be unable to play certain games and movies. Now, hacker George Hotz, known for his iPhone jailbreaks and his PS3 hack earlier this year, has vowed to fight back and restore Linux support on the PS3. He said, "The PlayStation 3 is the only product I know that loses features throughout its lifecycle. Software PS2 emulation, SACD playback, and OtherOS support are all just software switches you can flip. It's unbelievable you would go and flip one, not just on new boxes you are shipping, but on tens of millions already in the field."

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468 comments

First DUH!! (1, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678736)

Well, no duh!

Re:First DUH!! (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678974)

Well, no duh!

Not really -- about five years ago Sony donated five PS2s running Linux to my university. Something's obviously changed their mind.

(There are papers and projects and stuff [google.co.uk] , some of them probably wouldn't have happened otherwise.)

And Sony will respond by... (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678744)

And Sony will respond by banning these people from PSN for hacking the PS3. Or does this person really think that Sony won't be checking such a thing when you connect to PSN?

Re:And Sony will respond by... (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678834)

Exactly. Theres no way Sony will allow this after they've banned it. As much as I hate their action (it really sucks), and how American Sony representative just an month ago said they would keep continue supporting OtherOS feature (someone can probably dig the link to that mailing list from the older discussion), they must have a good reason to do this against their previous words and I don't see them not fightings against any circumvents. After all it's quite easy to do and there would be several ways (including the plain and simple partition on your connected HDD) to detect such hack in place.

Besides, this person hasn't released any worthwhile hack. Yes, he did get the system to overpower itself by burning the hardware jolts and causing kernel panic. Other than that, theres no anything actual.

Re:And Sony will respond by... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31678924)

Precisely. This just becomes a cat-and-mouse with Sony, and unless someone puts in a LOT of effort (hint: likely not geohot), Sony has the winning hand. Users still lose bigtime, compared to an officially supported Other OS mode.

Plus I don't even trust geohot to come up with a halfway decent solution. So far he's just stumbled through a hard to reproduce, glitchy, relatively useless hack. My guess is at BEST he'll figure out a way to chainload modified firmware, but you'll need to perform his hardware glitch attack to break into the hypervisor in the first place (every boot), which is only practical for a few people and extremely annoying to boot (pun intended).

Make no mistake people, existing Linux users are still getting screwed by this whole episode, one way or another. The only winners are geohot (media coverage, which he loves) and the pirates (if someone, geohot or not, starts releasing modified firmware, get ready to count down the days until someone else comes up with patches to enable warez).

Re:And Sony will respond by... (4, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679076)

And people still ask why I refuse to buy a console... I just will not buy hardware I am not allowed to own.

Re:And Sony will respond by... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679184)

I hope you do not own an iPhone either.

Re:And Sony will respond by... (1)

garlicbready (846542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679362)

Personally I've always intended to use Linux on the PS3 not for the usability aspect
but simply because it has around 7-8 cores (if you include the PPU) running at around 3.2Ghz (most have limited memory)
the sort of thing ideal for running simulations / cracking codes
(personal interest was more geared towards the use of FEM or Finite-Element-Analysis to simulate different types of stress's within CAD)
if your clever enough to code for it, effectively your own mini super computer

I'd be fairly impressed if he does manage to pull off running custom firmware on the PS3
From what I understand there's been some hardware around for a while (similar to a mod chip)
that allows you to read or write directly to the firmware bios chip

but the main issue has always been that the firmware code needed to be digitally signed before it would run on the metal
which meant you were pretty much limited to just switching between different official versions of the Sony bios
up until now the use of such a mod was fairly limited / useless as you couldn't run any custom code without getting around the digital signature issue

given recent developments, such a mod may become more popular if it allows users to say switch temporarily to an older official bios for Linux
then back to the new one for the PSN

if the new hack that's recently been discovered could somehow lead to a workaround on the digital signature
(if custom firmware's could be run on the box in some way)
that pretty much opens the flood gates for pirate software, as all your missing then is a custom loader
from what I understand of the loaders so far most of them have relied on bugs patched in new firmwares
and even then the closest I think anyone ever got to running pirate games was booting them off the HD

If the firmware itself with the digital signature is hacked then Sony's going to be in for a whole world of hurt
even if they tried to block users on the PSN I don't think it would take much to simply generate a new random number and pass this onto the PSN to re-register if you've gotten as far as accessing the box at the firmware level

Heh (2, Interesting)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678748)

In the interest of openness, I've decided to release the exploit. Hopefully, this will ignite the PS3 scene [...]

Looks like the fires need a little more than that to get lit, but there's a lot of pissed off users now with torches just aching to start a blaze.

Sony had to see this coming, now we just have to see if they'll try to litigate their way out of it or own up.

Re:Heh (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678772)

but there's a lot of pissed off users now with torches just aching to start a blaze.

Which amount to what? 1% or less of the total PS3 owners?

Re:Heh (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678882)

Which amount to what? 1% or less of the total PS3 owners?

1% of 1,000,000 is still 1,000. That's a lot of people to deal with.

Re:Heh (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678906)

Wait, no, 10,000. That's even better!

Re:Heh (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678914)

1% of 1,000,000 is still 1,000. That's a lot of people to deal with.

No, it'll quite easy for them to deal with those people. SCE will just ignore them.

Re:Heh (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678916)

but there's a lot of pissed off users now with torches just aching to start a blaze.

Which amount to what? 1% or less of the total PS3 owners?

I would say even less. Maybe 0.01%. I would really like this feature but it wont turn me off from PS3 - it's media streaming is superb compared to 360 and generally I feel nicer to play games on it. I didn't buy PS3 to run a Linux - I bought it to play games. If i wanted to run Linux or such, I would had just build such box (like I have).

Re:Heh (2, Interesting)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679136)

but there's a lot of pissed off users now with torches just aching to start a blaze.

Which amount to what? 1% or less of the total PS3 owners?

I would say even less. Maybe 0.01%. I would really like this feature but it wont turn me off from PS3 - it's media streaming is superb compared to 360 and generally I feel nicer to play games on it. I didn't buy PS3 to run a Linux - I bought it to play games. If i wanted to run Linux or such, I would had just build such box (like I have).

I bought a PS3 for the same reason, but how long might it be until they retract a feature you are concerned about?

Re:Heh (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679210)

Don't try to slippery slope argue support into existence. Yeah, they came for the OtherOS and I said nothing because I didn't care. That isn't likely to have any effect on my ability to play God of War 3 any time soon. If they come for the God of War 3 players, I hereby grant you license to mock me. If they don't... well, yeah. They won't.

Re:Heh (4, Insightful)

Princeofcups (150855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678904)

In the interest of openness, I've decided to release the exploit. Hopefully, this will ignite the PS3 scene [...]

Looks like the fires need a little more than that to get lit, but there's a lot of pissed off users now with torches just aching to start a blaze.

Sony had to see this coming, now we just have to see if they'll try to litigate their way out of it or own up.

I love the way that slashdot geeks think that they are the average user. The number of linux installs on PS3 is so small that there's no reason for Sony to continue to support it, basically a few high computing centers and a few hackers, as opposed to the millions of gamers who have no idea it's even there. And yes there is a reason to turn it off. To remove it from the list of features that need to be supported going forward.

I'm really surprised that it lasted this long.

Re:Heh (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678968)

And yes there is a reason to turn it off. To remove it from the list of features that need to be supported going forward.

I'm really surprised that it lasted this long.

There's even a bigger reason than that - the guy mentioned in this summary too exploited the OtherOS feature (with burning the PS3 hardware to cause kernel panic and subsequent escalate to PS3 code) and it would possibly allow piracy on PS3. It's obvious that now Sony will disable that feature from the few geeks to keep the system secure. You can thank this guy for ruining it for everyone.

Re:Heh (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679274)

Don't forget that Sony is actually the one knee-jerk blocking everything.

It's rather like China cock-blocking Google after they migrated to Hong Kong to get around censorship laws.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679024)

In the interest of openness, I've decided to release the exploit. Hopefully, this will ignite the PS3 scene [...]

Looks like the fires need a little more than that to get lit, but there's a lot of pissed off users now with torches just aching to start a blaze.

Sony had to see this coming, now we just have to see if they'll try to litigate their way out of it or own up.

I love the way that slashdot geeks think that they are the average user. The number of linux installs on PS3 is so small that there's no reason for Sony to continue to support it, basically a few high computing centers and a few hackers, as opposed to the millions of gamers who have no idea it's even there. And yes there is a reason to turn it off. To remove it from the list of features that need to be supported going forward.

I'm really surprised that it lasted this long.

No one uses it because it's crippled.

Re:Heh (3, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679124)

I love the way that slashdot geeks think that they are the average user. The number of linux installs on PS3 is so small that there's no reason for Sony to continue to support it...

There is a difference between not supporting it, and forbidding it. And while the people doing it, are a minority, they are a vocal minority of early adopters. Ya know... The folks that made it popular in the first place.

Re:Heh (-1, Flamebait)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679188)

There is a difference between not supporting it, and forbidding it.

Then don't download the update and keep running Linux.

And while the people doing it, are a minority, they are a vocal minority of early adopters.

I'd be willing to bet that almost no one is listening to them. Go to a Gamestop or Best Buy and ask the people in the PS3 section about running Linux on their PS3 and how this update disables it on older models. You will get blank stares.

Ya know... The folks that made it popular in the first place.

Do you have any actual evidence that the people running Linux on their PS3 are the people who were responsible for any of the popularity of the PS3?

Re:Heh (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679174)

True, slasdoters tend to way over estimate the collective moral outrage that exists out there in the world beyond this website. There needs to be some acceptance of reality that its very unlikely you are going to make $COMPANY pay!

Still I totally understand the frustration. There are lots of comments to the effect here to of: I did not buy a $PRODUCT to do $TASK, where task is something other then the most common application. Still if you bought something that advertised $FEATURE its not at all unreasonable to expect to be able to use it for that, and its a little unfair for the vendor to come along after and say "well no you can't do that anymore."

Its not like you can just not apply the new firmwares either, because if you don't you can't run the latest games. Lots of people probably did buy a PS3 expecting that they could run Linux AND native PS3 software. If Sony wants to be a responsible vendor (and they have proved time and time again, at virtually every opportunity they are not) they would support the full feature set for the life cycle of the product.

What people have to start doing is being personally responsible enough to assess the past behavior of vendors and decide if that and the merits of the product make the purchase worth while. I have been burned by Sony enough times that I WILL NOT BUY their products even when they are light years ahead of the competition because I know I will end the end be treated badly by them.

You can sell me awful hardware if your customer service is good enough. If I feel like you care about my problems and you're solving them quickly and painlessly when they happen, I will put up with a lot of problems. If you pull Sony type BS all the time than forget it, I don't want to do business with you becuase I know when I do have a problem its going be misery, even if there will be few problems.

Re:Heh (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679080)

Sony has forgotten something important. One of the ways that piracy hacks come to be is people hacking the hardware to install Linux or some other random thing. Now that Sony doesn't support it, it's like throwing down the glove and daring them to hack it. Once the hacks exist, it's just a matter of time until they're used for piracy.

This is really a tremendously bonehead move.

And Legions of other PS3 users... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31678752)

express their total disinterest and get back to playing God of War whatever.

Thanks for coming.

Sony is the new Apple. (4, Interesting)

amnesiacopera (1748256) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678784)

While I love the products of both companies, they are becoming ridiculous control freaks. I'm not sure that I'll be buying any more products from either Apple or Sony.

Re:Sony is the new Apple. (-1, Offtopic)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678878)

While Apple does suck in many ways (like telling you which apps you are and aren't allowed to put on your iPhone), I don't remember them ever intentionally installing rootkits on their customers' computers.

What's to love about Sony anyway? Apple arguably changed the smartphone completely with the iPhone, and certainly took the music player market by storm with the iPod. Sony just sells incredibly overpriced TVs and stereos which aren't any better than their competition, and of course music CDs with rootkits.

Want a nice TV? Buy a Samsung. Want a nice stereo? Buy an Onkyo (or a Denon, etc.). Want a game console? Buy a Nintendo.

Re:Sony is the new Apple. (3, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678946)

took the music player market by storm with the iPod

iPod, meet Walkman and Discman. Just sayin'.

Re:Sony is the new Apple. (0, Offtopic)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679074)

iPod = ~10 years ago.

Walkman = ~30 years ago. Back then, people were still using computers that said "IBM" on them (plus, computers that said "Commodore", "Atari", etc.). Now, IBM isn't in the PC business. Things have changed a lot since then (a lot more so than just 10 years ago, at any rate).

Just like IBM isn't the same company it was in the 80s (and doesn't even resemble it), neither is Sony. Apple, OTOH, hasn't changed much since the iPod. They're still making Macs, and Jobs is still running it.

Re:Sony is the new Apple. (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679302)

1970s: Sony develops a new media format called Betamax and tries to get everyone on board.
1970s: Sony develops a new media format called Compact Disk and tries to get everyone on board.
1980s: Sony develops a new media format called 3.5" micro diskettes and tries to get everyone on board.
1980s: Sony develops a new media format called DAT and tries to get everyone on board.
1990s: Sony develops a new media format called MiniDisc and tries to get everyone on board.
1990s: Sony develops a new media format called Memory Stick and tries to get everyone on board.
2000s: Sony develops a new media format called BluRay and tries to get everyone on board.
2000s: Sony develops a new media format called UMD and tries to get everyone on board.

How has Sony changed in the last 30 years, exactly? All they've been doing this whole time is pushing out products that utilize the technologies they develop.

Re:Sony is the new Apple. (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679180)

What's to love about Sony anyway?

Well, they make some nice projectors. Which I recently didn't buy because of Sony's behaviour. There are competitors and they don't leave quite the bad taste in the mouth that Sony does these days.

Exactly. (2, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678918)

I don't believe in walled gardens. Right now the most open environment is Linux or one of the BSD's, Windows comes in next. Apple I wouldn't be surprised if they brought the App Store to OS X and then finished closing everyone else out behind the approving gate. I'm not going to beg permission to run an app, if that means I have to pay with compatibility creep then so be it: the open systems refresh every once in a while as a response to that.

Re:Sony is the new Apple. (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679114)

Are becoming? Are you new to the scene or have you been ignoring the past twenty years of Sony tech? Sony and Nintendo walk hand in hand to the prom as the King and Queen of Overbearing Control Freaks who punish their customers left and right for committing the sins of daring to use their products in an unauthorized manner.

Remember the Memory Stick? The DAT? The MiniDisc? BetaMax? ATRAC? UMD?

Anyone buying a PS3 thinking they were entering into a relationship with a company that was open and responsive to it's customers needs over it's own desire to control the 'experience' was either born yesterday or operating on blind faith.

Re:Sony is the new Apple. (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679208)

While I love the products of both companies, they are becoming ridiculous control freaks.

Becoming? Uh... Have you just recently discovered this "Internet" thing?

Still sucks for users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31678786)

Legitimate PS3 Linux users will now have to void their warranty by installing unauthorized software, not to mention it'll become a cat-and-mouse game with Sony, and people who do update will likely be screwed. This is not a solution.

As much as geohot can try to make up for his massive fuckup, the only solution is for Sony to backtrack on their update. And geohot needs to stop playing world savior and issue a massive public apology for triggering Sony's action while so far offering nothing at all of value to current PS3 owners. Even if he does manage to release a modified firmware, it's still a huge step back for existing PS3 owners who use Other OS.

Re:Still sucks for users (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679066)

I'm not really up to speed on this ... would you care to elaborate on what geohot's "massive fuckup" was? Is it that he cracked the ps3 via the Other OS feature, and that prompted them to patch it away?

Re:Still sucks for users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679352)

His massive fuckup was openly attempting to crack GameOS (via OtherOS, see his latest XMB mod showoff), without helping OtherOS users in the least (he hasn't even shown the slightest bit of interest in, say, enabling GPU access in Linux), pissing off Sony in the process, and prompting this response. The big deal is that users just lose, as he has nothing to offer so far. He would at least have an excuse if he'd bothered to do something useful with his exploit, but it appears that he just wanted to become known as the person who hacked the PS3.

If an ethical hacker and OtherOS user were to hack the hypervisor to get GPU access, the situation would've been very different. The hypervisor has already been exploited to use the GPU under Linux once; this was known among the Linux community, Sony eventually patched it up, and the world moved on. No massive media coverage, no feature removal, no problem.

Instead, geohot (who loves attention d will do anything to get media coverage) stumbled through breaking into the PS3, while openly posting about it (sans useful details, until later), without caring to actually do something useful with his exploit. Furthermore, he openly attacked OtherOS, which is what Sony deeply cares about; this is no doubt half of the reason for Sony's aggravation. Finally, he has also openly stated (look through his blog comments) that he does not discourage piracy; while he may not be making piracy tools himself, he knows full well that someone else will make piracy tools after a GameOS hack is published.

Sony doesn't care about hacks by Linux geeks; what they care about are widely publicised hacks that attack their GameOS and which are even remotely likely to result in piracy. This is one of the latter, and geohot knows it.

Re:Still sucks for users (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679072)

As much as geohot can try to make up for his massive fuckup,

Oh please. For years the question was "so when is the PS3 going to be hacked?" You people cheered him on when he came out with his hack. Now you guys are mad at *him* because *Sony* is taking one of its toys away. Shouldn't you be directing your anger at Sony?

You know what? I think geohot should not even bother trying to fix it. No good deed goes unpunished. No, I'm not related to him. I don't even own a gaming console. But this name calling and blame-gaming is annoying.

--
BMO

Its not just sony (3, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678792)

>> The PlayStation 3 is the only product I know that loses features throughout its lifecycle.

Presuming youre talking about artificial limitations, Microsoft have been doing it for years.
For example, I can watch Blu-ray under XP. No such luck with Vista or Windows 7 thanks to the extra DRM and my non-hdcp monitor.

Re:Its not just sony (3, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678836)

No such luck with Vista or Windows 7 thanks to the extra DRM and my non-hdcp monitor.

That's funny. I watch Blu-Rays just fine on both my Vista and Windows 7 machines which only connect to my monitor via DVI. Or are you one of those idiots who actually uses crappy playback software like PowerDVD to play Blu-Rays?

Re:Its not just sony (0)

siDDis (961791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678920)

Your monitor, graphics card support hdcp through dvi.

Try using a really old lcd monitor.

Re:Its not just sony (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678944)

Your monitor, graphics card support hdcp through dvi.

That would be kind of hard since my monitor predates HDCP.

Re:Its not just sony (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678952)

Your monitor, graphics card support hdcp through dvi.

Try using a really old lcd monitor.

Yeah, DVI can be HDCP compliant as long as you don't try to use a DVI to VGA connector.

Re:Its not just sony (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679010)

Bzzt wrong.
My DVI monitor is way older than HDCP.

Re:Its not just sony (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679028)

See that's just dumb. The analog hole. In carefully controlled lighting conditions, say at home in your computer room, you can just point a good video camera at the screen and get a really nice copy with none of these inane restrictions. Does nothing to stop piracy yet everyone is forced to pay a "Hollywood tax" because they have to update their hardware all the time if they want to stay legal. I guess the lesson to learn is don't stay legal until Hollywood stops shifting their costs to you.

Re:Its not just sony (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679116)

Dude the "home video of the TV screen" thing blows massive chunks in terms of picture quality compared to the original HD mage, no matter how good your equipment is or how carefully you control the lighting.

I guess you're the sort of person that thinks highly compressed MP3 sounds indistinguishable from a live band too.

Re:Its not just sony (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679258)

It's good enough to stream around the house on the network ;)

Re:Its not just sony (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679054)

In that case your monitor must either support HDCP, or your not running at full 1080p, or you've got something like AnyDVD HD installed.

Re:Its not just sony (2, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679090)

n that case your monitor must either support HDCP,

Nope.

or your not running at full 1080p

Nope.

or you've got something like AnyDVD HD installed.

Yep.

Re:Its not just sony (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31678948)

>> The PlayStation 3 is the only product I know that loses features throughout its lifecycle.

Presuming youre talking about artificial limitations, Microsoft have been doing it for years.
For example, I can watch Blu-ray under XP. No such luck with Vista or Windows 7 thanks to the extra DRM and my non-hdcp monitor.

(emphasis mine)

Those are separate products.

Re:Its not just sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679374)

Good work at failing to meet system requirements.

April 1st release... c'mon guys (4, Funny)

Umuri (897961) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678808)

I'm hoping i can point this out early enough, but the slated released date for this patch is april 1st.
Talk about one of the most successful trolls on the internet today, sony generated a TON of nerd rage on this stunt, it's rather hilarious.

I'll also say that many news stories about this pointed out the obvious fact that it conflicts with a recent statement that sony supports this feature and will continue to preserve it, it seems a fairly obvious april fools joke.

Just saying.

Re:April 1st release... c'mon guys (2, Insightful)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678940)

Sadly, major corporations don't typically play jokes like that, regardless of the date.

I guess its still theoretically possible. Would be nice.

Re:April 1st release... c'mon guys (1)

Umuri (897961) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679106)

Well, if it's not a joke, than someone is about to get fired for making sony come under a bunch of lawsuits for breach of contract.

Major coporations might not typically play joke, but they also typically avoid anything legally questionable, and even the most basic armchair lawyers are on slashdot are aware that this is taking away an advertised feature of a product.
Either you can play games and patch (advertised feature) or use linux and don't patch (advertised feature).
Either way you're losing an advertised feature.

So yeah my bet is on joke.

Re:April 1st release... c'mon guys (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679322)

If you're big enough to squash everyone who would want to take you to court, being legally questionable is entirely legitimate.

Re:April 1st release... c'mon guys (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679094)

I had a Video Game that I produced announced by Sony last year on April 1st.
Corporations don't care what this means other than money and quarterly dates.
Took a while for it to filter through that our game wasn't actually a joke. But Sony doesn't care about that.

Re:April 1st release... c'mon guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679166)

Why not take the opportunity this April 1st to piss off some of your customers? ...profit?

Re:April 1st release... c'mon guys (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679348)

Pushing an update out on April 1st might be a good way to hold off suspicion long enough to let the update come sneaking down on everyone, so that by the time they realize it's serious their machines have already been pwned.

Who cares? (0, Flamebait)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678816)

What kind of idiot would buy a product from Sony, of all companies, and not expect something like this happen? This is like expecting excellent customer service or an easy return at Best Buy, or expecting Microsoft to not bias its Bing search results when you search for "open office" or "linux". You're expecting good treatment from the company that put rootkits on its CDs?

If you want a nice media center PC, buy or build yourself an ITX system. If you buy something from Sony, then don't be surprised when they tell you how you're allowed to use it.

Re:Who cares? (1, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678900)

You're expecting good treatment from the company that put rootkits on its CDs?

Since when did SCE put rootkits on CDs? Oh, you're talking about Sony Music which is a completely separate and distinct subsidiary which has absolutely zero ties to SCE.

Re:Who cares? (2, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679014)

It's all Sony. If it's a "subsidiary", then there's no such thing as a "separate and distinct"; they're all under the same CEO.

One of the main reasons Sony was so reluctant to support MP3s in its portable electronics was because its music division saw it as supporting piracy.

Re:Who cares? (2, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679070)

It's all Sony. If it's a "subsidiary", then there's no such thing as a "separate and distinct"; they're all under the same CEO.

No, actually SCE has it's own CEO, Kazuo Hirai. Sony Music has it's own chairman and there is another chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation. You also seem to be profoundly ignorant about how conglomerates are run. They are basically made up of mostly autonomous units.

Re:Who cares? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679034)

I can't play Metal Gear Solid 4, Super SF 4, or Valkyria Chronicles on a PC built with ITX parts

Re:Who cares? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679118)

Oh no! How horrible!

You want to buy into a closed system so you can play certain games? Go ahead. But don't complain when the people controlling that closed system do things you don't like. If you don't like it, you shouldn't have bought it.

This is like buying an iPhone and then complaining that Apple doesn't allow some apps in their App Store. WTF did you expect?

PS2 emulation wasn't just software (2, Informative)

Bleek II (878455) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678848)

The first Gen PS3s had PS2 hardware in them so that wasn't just a software switch. Though la

Re:PS2 emulation wasn't just software (1)

amnesiacopera (1748256) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678868)

PS2 emulation provided through software emulation without and extra hardware on the second gen PS3s. This could easily be added to any PS3 currently released if Sony wanted to.

Re:PS2 emulation wasn't just software (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678984)

Second gen PS3s still had the PS2 GPU hardware, so no they couldn't easily add it to any PS3 currently released.

Re:PS2 emulation wasn't just software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31678998)

My understanding is that even the second gen ps3's still had the graphics processor from the ps2. That wasn't a complete software solution either. I wonder if they couldn't build an emulation layer of some sort... but there's no reason to believe they have one already, for graphics.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ps3
specifically their cited source for Partially software-based PS2 emulation,[110]: http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/news/index.cfm?NewsID=7335

Re:PS2 emulation wasn't just software (3, Informative)

Endymion (12816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679056)

The so-called "software emulation" was only for the Emotion Engine chip (ps2's CPU). It still required the Graphics Synthesizer chip (video), which was never software-emulated, and is missing in newer PS3s.

Re:PS2 emulation wasn't just software (1)

Bleek II (878455) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678870)

Opps. cut myself off. I was about to say: Though later models were just software with limited compatibility.

Re:PS2 emulation wasn't just software (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679048)

I don't think there was ever a version that was pure software emulation. The earliest models had more or less a hardware PS2 inside of them. The 2nd-gen models ditched the hardware Emotion Engine (basically the PS2's CPU) and emulated that in software, but kept a hardware GS (basically the GPU).

Re:PS2 emulation wasn't just software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679004)

The first Gen PS3s had PS2 hardware in them so that wasn't just a software switch. Though la

Not according to Geohot he has said in his blog that the PS2 emulation is in the software and that he was gonna prove it. Given his creditability I tend to believe him.

Legions, sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31678866)

Isn't 'legions of ps3 users' an oximoron to start with. The 1% of those legion that use linux must be millions :p

Emulation disabled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31678872)

From the summary:

The PlayStation 3 is the only product I know that loses features throughout its lifecycle. Software PS2 emulation, SACD playback, and OtherOS support are all just software switches you can flip.

Did Sony actually disable PS2 emulation on existing PS3 units? I know they started leaving it out of later models, but did they actually kill it for people who already had it?

Re:Emulation disabled? (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679160)

I have one of the PS3s with the PS2 software emulation and it still works even with the current patch installed.

Re:Emulation disabled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679382)

Did you even read TFA?.. He was making the point that features keep being removed from later models, but he can't believe that this time they're actually removing the feature from a model that *did* have it.

PS2 emulation was not purely software (2, Insightful)

grahamwest (30174) | more than 4 years ago | (#31678874)

The PS2 backwards compatibility always used a hardware GS (the GPU). They emulated the EE and the VU1s, but not the GS. I'm not sure the cost reduction was really worthwhile, but it's not something they can just flip back on, on machines that don't have it.

Instead of Hacking.... (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679006)

dont buy it, if you dont like it. You can also sell it as used. Thats the biggest Hack. (If you hack for the purely academic reason of demonstrating that it can be hacked - thats fine and beatiful. But dont pay money to a company to pay people to fight you). Yes, sometime you dont get the shiniest most beatiful HW. When the iphone came out there was no direct competitor (if you where interested in touch). Now there are many. When the PS3 came out, it was probably better and faster than the current PCs. no probably not (i dont know, not seriously interested).

Re:Instead of Hacking.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679228)

Sony sold the PS3 with linux support, and advertised it as such too. It almost came with linux pre-installed using YDL, but they changed their minds at the last minute. But they did work extensively with Yellow Dog to create a PS3 distro (it's PPC based). Now this downgrade farce, which is required if you wish to download game updates, demos, access your PSN media et al, will destroy your linux partition.

So it's not a case of "don't buy it", it's a case of we've had it since Nov 07 and now they're saying "games console or linux, not both which you've had for 2.5 years. Oh, and those adverts we did and that linux printed on the packaging, please don't show them to a lawyer."

Re:Instead of Hacking.... (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679244)

The point here is that people bought the PS3 when it still had that feature, and then it gets disabled remotely after the fact. There's no way you can "not buy" the device due to a missing feature, if it's already sitting in your home.

Re:Instead of Hacking.... (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679260)

dont buy it, if you dont like it. You can also sell it as used. Thats the biggest Hack. (If you hack for the purely academic reason of demonstrating that it can be hacked - thats fine and beatiful. But dont pay money to a company to pay people to fight you).

Yes, sometime you dont get the shiniest most beatiful HW. When the iphone came out there was no direct competitor (if you where interested in touch). Now there are many. When the PS3 came out, it was probably better and faster than the current PCs. no probably not (i dont know, not seriously interested).

Boycott isn't the only way to fight a corporation doing something you don't like. There's other ways, such as voicing your opinions and giving the corporation financial incentive to appease the crowd.

Re:Instead of Hacking.... (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679298)

I am interested in your Time Machine technology. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to arrange a demonstration.

Well duh (3, Interesting)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679032)

First of all, duh. Of course hackers were going to try and circumvent the restriction. And, like all other types of silly restrictions, it's inevitable that they will succeed.

What I'm more interested in is the lawsuit that should be on its way over this. It was an advertised feature of the PS3, and a not-insignificant number of people bought a PS3 because they could run Linux on it. Hell, a lot of people only bought one to run Linux on it.

If my car used to have a CD changer, and it gets disabled when I bring it in for service, I'd sue. Contracts, EULA be damned - I chose a product because it had a feature, and it got removed after the fact. That's not legal.

Re:Well duh (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679086)

You had the choice not to upgrade the firmware.

Firmware release notes clearly show, "OtherOS is going bye bye."

Re:Well duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679156)

You don't have a choice to keep things the way they are. You're forced to choose between ditching PSN and newer games, or ditching Linux. Therefore, you're forced to give up either one feature or another. That's not legal. Personally, I'm contacting a couple lawyers about this and intend to file a lawsuit if necessary.

Re:Well duh (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679196)

So I still have my car. The dealer has told me that if I bring it in, they'll disable the CD changer. But let's say I need an oil change, and the car's under warranty so it needs to go to the dealer.

I suppose I should just suck it up? Neither option is acceptable, and it's the company's doing. Therefore, they should be liable in a suit.

Re:Well duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679236)

It also notes that by not updating the firmware, future Bluray and video games will not work - nor will any DLC, do you still consider that a choice? If its a choice, its between disabling the OtherOS or disabling the Bluray player and video game capabilities

Re:Well duh (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679282)

You had the choice not to upgrade the firmware.

Firmware release notes clearly show, "OtherOS is going bye bye."

You will lose features in any case.
If you upgrade, you lose "OtherOS" support.
If you don't, you lose online gaming capability and newer BluRay discs may not play.

Re:Well duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679312)

That’s like having my car fixed and then been told: If you don’t change the mirror you can’t go above 60 MPH

damn Sony (0, Flamebait)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679128)

as a hardware appliance matures it would only seem normal that as it matures the firmware & software running it would get better, not lose capabilities & features, hey Sony you suck.

"Tethered" PS3 Crack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679162)

I wonder if this PS3 crack of his will involve connecting your PS3 to a PC, and rerunning the crack, every time you reboot it.

Removing (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679190)

I'd be seriously pissed off if I owned a PS3 and actually used Linux. Sony thinks "Oh, it'll blow over and people will forget." The truth is a lot of people will, I won't. I've already been burned with Sony's proprietary stance with my MP3 player when I moved to Linux and tried to use it there, this - not removing Linux, rather not acting in the interests of their customer - has solidified that negative attitude. I simply won't buy Sony products in the future, which means I'll get to see if someone else burns me ;) As an aside, buying a Xbox 360 was the best thing I ever did: all the DRM and related crap bundled into a separate box from my computer for entertainment which freed up my desktop to run Linux as it's only operating system. Best of both worlds.

Tech users motivated this move (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679192)

Despite shipping with the ability to install Linux, the ability to use any SATA drive to expand room, and the ability to use standard USB cables and external USB drives - despite this Sony got nothing but flack from technical users from the PS3 since launch.

Well what did you expect showing no gratitude whatsoever? That Sony would continue to expend money pleasing those who continued to deride them at every turn? Instead of encouraging shipping Linux support on a major console like the delicate flower it was, technical people from all over stomped on that flower, spit on it, and then set fire to the remains.

Well, Karma is here. And what Karma is saying is that you lost the ability to install your own OS on any shipping console for a generation or more. Thanks assholes, you killed a feature I liked and admired and made life a little worse here on planet Earth. Think about that a little the next time you can only think of product negatives.

Re:Tech users motivated this move (2, Insightful)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679240)

[...] despite this Sony got nothing but flack from technical users from the PS3 since launch.

They do not speak for all of us. I had great respect for Sony's relative generosity with a gaming console.

I'm not usually one to defend Sony, but... (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679214)

The PS2 emulation was not a bit flipped in software.

The first PS3 models had both of the PS2's main chips (I think in the single-combined-package form they'd switched to) physically present.
Later PS3 models had only one of them, using Cell to emulate the other.
Still later PS3 models (the first US "40 gig") have neither.

There was never any PS2 emulation for that last hardware revision, and last I heard, the first two still have PS2 emulation, although the second one has sorta crappy PS2 emulation. (Yes, you can get a splash screen on nearly everything, but dont' assume that all your games can be played through without glitches.)

That said, the rest of this is crap. I guess I now have a $600 paperweight. On the other hand, it paid for itself in articles I wrote about Cell development.

Re:I'm not usually one to defend Sony, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679398)

I guess I now have a $600 paperweight.

Hardly. Sony can't force anyone to apply the new firmware. If Linux is all you do on the PS3, then just ignore the update.

Smart move Sony (0, Redundant)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679270)

I moved years ago off of the PS platform, and onto the Xbox platform. Lately I've been glancing at the PS3, and I've had thoughts about purchasing one. I'm sick of paying for XBL, and many of the PS3's features were exciting to me. The ability to install Linux on a PS3 on a partition while still maintaining the other capabilities of the PS3 (the PSN for starters) was one of the most attractive features to me. Sure, I might not be your typical user. But I'm a gamer who still has decades of playing time left, and Sony will likely never see any dollars from those decades. I dislike Microsoft and Sony, but the former seems better than the latter.

Live Boot Disk (1)

jamesyouwish (1738816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679306)

I have yet to try but I do not see why not just run Linux on a live boot disk when you need it.

Why restore linux on ps3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31679328)

He doesn't want to restore linux. It's all about enabling "homebrew". Which means "backing up my games". Which means "pirating games".

PS3 linux is shit. Most people haven't tried it, including most people here. But god help you if Sony stops supporting the least useful portion of the PS3, which also happened to be a security hole.

Why wasn't there this much nerd rage when they announced there was no "other OS" on the slim?

it's about disabling support, not software (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31679330)

It's unbelievable you would go and flip one, not just on new boxes you are shipping, but on tens of millions already in the field.

they aren't flipping the switch on the boxes in the field... they are flipping the switch internally on the support... disabling the software in the field is an unfortunate side effect.

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