Lawsuits against Sony for remotely deactivating a small but, to some, important feature of the PS3 have been combined and granted class-action status, allowing everyone with a "fat" PS3 model to join the litigation action.
One of the defining features of the PS3 when it first launched was that it was a very open platform. It was so open, in fact, that users could even legitimately install another operating system on it. Users could partition the PS3 hard drive to run Linux and basically use the console as a powerful computer.
It's not difficult to believe, then, that PS3 owners got upset when Sony decided to remove that functionality altogether through a firmware update earlier this year. It's kind of like selling a convertible to someone and then sneaking into their garage later and welding the top of the car shut.
Above: Users who have connected their PS3s to the internet since March of this year will no longer see this option
Sony hasn't released any official statements about the lawsuit and appears to just be waiting until it has to hand over a settlement to the millions of PS3 owners affected.
The rationale behind disabling the feature in the first place was that piracy was becoming an issue for those with Linux installed on their PS3. But so what? Piracy is always going to be an issue.
An initial court date is set for September. Around that time, gamers should expect to hear details on how to get involved and reap some sort of reward. Anyone with only a PS3 Slim will not be eligible, as the "Install Other OS" feature was removed from the redesigned version of the console from day one. You can see a PDF of the official forms here.
Source: Ars Technica
Jul 23, 2010
10 great Japan-only PSN games and how to download them
Be a real otaku and play the best PSN exclusives Japan has to offer
The obscure Street Fighter game guide
Find out about the rare gems you missed