Sony’s decision to remove the “Install Other OS” feature from its PlayStation 3 via an April 1 firmware update has resulted in a class action suit filed against the electronics giant.
Anthony Ventura filed the complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on April 27. The complaint labels the disablement of the feature. "... not only a breach of the sales contract between Sony and its customers and a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, but it is also an unfair and deceptive business practice perpetrated on millions of unsuspecting consumers.”
The suit is brought on behalf of all consumers who purchased a PS3 between November 17, 2006 and March 27, 2010. Ventura bought his PS3 “in or around” July 2007 for $499.00 and claimed that he did so because of the now removed feature.
The complaint alleges that Sony promoted the “Install Other OS” feature as a selling point of the console, which helped to “distinguish the PS3 from other gaming consoles.” It was also pointed out that the PS3, with a retail price of $599.00, was “the most expensive gaming console available… in part because it is capable of far more than merely playing games at home.”
Also featured in the complaint are a variety of quotes from Sony executives touting the PS3 as more than a console, including one from the “Father of the PlayStation 3” himself, Ken Kutaragi, who said about the PS3, “It is clearly a computer.”
The complaint notes that users are technically not forced to install the firmware update that disables the “Install Other OS” feature, but that not doing so effectively cripples the console, eliminating the ability to play games online to access the PlayStation Network or to play new Blu-Ray discs.
Ventura has chosen not to update his PS3.
The plaintiff seeks “appropriate remedies” for all class members, including “restitution and disgorgement of all profits unjustly retained by Sony.
Grab the full complaint here (PDF).