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Why Sony sucks
Thursday, April 15, 2010, 00:58
[Das Folgende in Englisch, damit eine breitere Öffentlichkeit erreicht werden kann.]

Why Sony sucks¹

I was once a rather happy customer, consumer, of Sony products. Looking first at Sony-labelled equipment from laptops (Vaio) over CRT-TVs (4:3, 16:9) to multimedia-equipment (2 Discman, 2 DSC, 1 Digital8). But that's now history; as of now, I vow never ever to consider a device of Sony worthwile to even touch, not to mention purchasing, anymore for the time being.

Why? Well, simply because Sony, or, to be precise, SCE/PlayStation Network Europe Limited (10 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7LP, Great Britain), coerced me to give up paid-for services with my PS3. As of April, 1st, 2010 – and that's no April Fool's joke, unfortunately –, I am forbidden to access the PSN (PlayStation Network), therefore not a single of the games I bought for myPS3 can be used in online and/or in multiplayer mode anymore. Oh, yeah, right, it is "my choice", as Sony hypocritically states:
Notice for customers who want to continue using another operating system

Do not update the system software if you want to keep using the [Install Other OS] and [Default System] features. If you choose to continue using another operating system, the following features will no longer be available:

* The ability to sign in to PlayStation®Network
* The ability to use online features that require you to sign in to PlayStation®Network, such as chat.
* The ability to use the online features of PlayStation®3 format software
* Playback of PlayStation®3 format software or Blu-ray Disc videos that require PS3™ system software version 3.21 or later
* Playback of copyright-protected videos that are stored on a media server (when DTCP-IP is enabled under (Settings) > (System Settings) > [Enable DTCP-IP])
* Use of new features and improvements that are available on PS3™ system software 3.21 or later

So, Sony/SCE/PSNE Ltd. gives me two choices:
  1. Give up the Open Platform, i. e. the possibility to use an "Other OS", e. g. Linux, on my (two) PS3; a feature of the product that was officially supported and promoted by Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. at the time of purchase of both my PS3:
    There is more to the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system than you may have assumed. In addition to playing games, watching movies, listening to music, and viewing photos, you can use the PS3™ system to run the Linux operating system.

    By installing the Linux operating system, you can use the PS3™ system not only as an entry-level personal computer with hundreds of familiar applications for home and office use, but also as a complete development environment for the Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell/B.E.).

  2. Give up the ability to use the online features of PlayStation®3 titles, to sign in to PlayStation®Network (e. g. for text- or video-chat, exchaning messages with friend or family) and possibly even to use the PS3 as a Blu-Ray-player.
Both options bear harsch consequences; any option chosen would cripple my usage of my legally paid-for PS3 systems, take it back to a level far below what was available as I decided to purchase a PS3 instead of an Xbox360 (the other HighDef console at the time).

By taking any online usage hostage to force the customer, me, to sign-off the update – and therefore voiding any claims against Sony, as, according to their terms and conditions, as I bear all risks regarding new firmware which even may disable features –, I am feeling blackmailed by Sony.

Whether or not Sony's actions are illiegal within the European Union, I don't know; IANAL. But from my point of view it is immoral to punish thousands of loyal customers – customers not being caught doing anything illegal nor proven to be involved in piracy – because someone finally did find a way, a rather complicated way involving specialised hardware, to snoop into PS3 internal data, obviously pissing of Sony.

Sony states the removal of the "Other OS" option being a counter-piracy measure; weill, I could actually bomb Sony headquarters, claiming anti-terrorist reasons, with the same priviledge. Both claims, as of now, are void; Sony hasn't even tried to prove that "Other OS" actually is a thread to PlayStation's system security … Which basically means they are simply trying to retaliate for the so-called "hacking" of the still unhackable console.

Furthermore, no-one in a sane state of mind who tries to crack PS3 system security would ever even consider installíng this downgrading firmware version; he who want's to use Linux to break Sony's or PS3's neck already utilized "Other OS" to do so and, therefore, stays unharmed. And by removing the "Other OS" feature, Sony basically alledges me of conspiracy/trying to prepare illegal actions. Must be a Japanese way of saying "we value you, our customer" …

Conclusion: Dear reader, please consider well before supporting a company that, from my point of view as a Sony customer, kicks you in the face and mocks you like this. Thanks.

¹ in my humble opinion; your mileage may vary, no liability assumed