United States Air Force Shares Disappointment Over OtherOS Removal

by Mike Bendel May 12, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

The United States Air Force is feeling the pinch over Sony decision to nix OtherOS support on PS3. The USAF invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital as part of a $663,000 contract that called for building a cloud-like computational cluster of PS3 units running Linux-based operating systems, only to have Sony remove the feature via a firmware update.

That’s not to say the 1,700-plus units it ordered have been rendered useless. While existing units remain operational and are unaffected by the optional firmware update, the issue rears its ugly head when units require repairs. When refurbished units arrive back from the factory, Sony pre-installs the latest firmware, thus disabling access to OtherOS. A spokesperson from the Air Force Research Laboratory noted their concerns, speaking to Arstechnica:

We will have to continue to use the systems we already have in hand. This will make it difficult to replace systems that break or fail. The refurbished PS3s also have the problem that when they come back from Sony, they have the firmware (gameOS) and it will not allow Other OS, which seems wrong. We are aware of class-action lawsuits against Sony for taking away this option on systems that use to have it.

Given that such a significant financial investment was made, you’d think Sony would ensure that these units are given special treatment and not update them to the latest firmware.

Air Force may suffer collateral damage from PS3 firmware update [Arstechnica]

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