Sony settles with PS3 owners over Linux lawsuit

A long-running class-action lawsuit from PlayStation 3 owners angry over losing the ability to run Linux on the console may finally be over. When the PS3 launched in 2006, it featured support for "OtherOS," which let owners install Linux on the console's hard drive. Only a few short years later, Sony disabled the feature in a software update, claiming it was necessary to fight piracy. After years of court battles, Sony has now agreed to a settlement worth millions of dollars.

If you happen to be a PS3 owner, don't get your hopes up about some of that cash heading your way. At best you can receive a whopping $55, but it requires you to prove that you owned a PS3 with the OtherOS feature — this means the original, so-called "Fat" PS3 (seen above), and not the PS3 "Slim" that was released in 2009 — and that you actually made use of it by installing Linux or some other OS.

It's estimated that Sony sold as many as 10 million of these PS3 models, which is what accounts for most of settlement amount. If you happen to be among those users who simply owned a Fat PS3 and were aware of the OtherOS feature, you will be entitled to $9. Don't spend it all in one place.

As for the lawyers who handled the lawsuit, they'll be pocketing a nice $2.25 million. And they don't even need to know what Linux is.

The settlement still needs to be approved by a federal judge next month, but once that's done Sony will need to start notifying affected PS3 owners. At least you can run Linux on a PS4 if you want, as long as you can actually hack the machine.

SOURCE Ars Technica