Sony’s next PlayStation 3 firmware updated, scheduled for release on April 1, will remove the “Install Other OS” feature.
In a post on the PlayStation Blog announcing the new firmware (version 3.21), Patrick Seybold, Senior Director of Corporate Communication and Social Media, stated that the removal of the “Install Other OS” functionality was due to “security concerns.”
Seybold also wrote:
In addition, disabling the “Other OS” feature 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.
Sony’s firmware update could be a direct response to the work of tinkerer George Hotz, who claimed to have hacked the PS3 earlier this year, reportedly using the “Other OS” functionality as a lynch pin of his work.
For users who already have another operating system, such as Linux, running on their PS3, it was suggested that they could “choose not to upgrade their PS3 system,” which could effectively cripple the console when it comes to games that might require the new 3.21 firmware.
Sony did not include the “Other OS” feature in its refined PS3 Slim when it was released last September.