It’s not unusual to hear giant companies being sued left and right, by other companies or by customers via a class action suit. And it’s also not unusual to hear about those lawsuits dragging on for years. That was indeed the case with the “fat” PlayStation 3 when Sony removed its advertised “OtherOS” feature. Six years later, Sony decided to settle the lawsuit for what is basically loose change for the company. Now those who wish to claim a part of that settlement have to do so until April or else forfeit that $65 forever.
Yes, that sum is almost ridiculous if you think about how much Sony made selling the PS3. It’s even more ridiculous when you consider how much the lawyers will be getting in comparison. Then again, no lawyers, no lawsuit, and definitely no settlement.
The class action lawsuit started in 2010 when Sony pushed a firmware update that disabled the OtherOS feature from the PS3. That much-advertised and publicized feature allowed owners to install the Linux operating system side by side Sony’s proprietary PlayStation OS. That feature gave the PS3 more popular than it might have otherwise enjoyed, and Sony may have even benefited from news of the US Air Force using that very feature to create a supercomputer cluster of 1,700 PS3s.
Sony cited the usual security concerns for yanking out OtherOS. That may have some ground, since it was almost an open invitation to modders and hackers to do their stuff. It might have also been influenced by the fact that some people bought their PS3s primarily for Linux and barely playing games on it. Sony, of course, also makes a profit from sales of PS3 games.
The lawsuit was settled in 2016 for a measly $3.75 million. Back then, claimants were entitled to get $55, provided you could prove your ownership (and explain how OtherOS’ removal harmed you). That amount has now risen to $65 but you have until April 15 this year to submit a claim if you still want to cash in on that settlement.