If your PlayStation 3 console had its Linux support interrupted due to Sony’s infamous 2010 firmware update which completely removed its “Install Other OS” feature, you may be eligible for some cash. It’s been 6 years since the update was released due to Sony having strong concerns about security issues. Countless PlayStation 3 owners bought the console due to its Linux support, and to have it ripped from them left many people feeling like they got scammed. Sony and their team of lawyers has finally come to a settlement, which will need to be reviewed and finalized by a California federal judge come next month.
The offer Sony has laid out on the table will allow any PlayStation 3 owner who had a “fat” console that had the Other OS feature to receive $55 if they had Linux installed. In addition to this, any console owner who initially bought a PlayStation 3 in order to utilize the now disabled Other OS feature. The settlement specifically says "all persons in the United States who purchased a Fat PS3 model in the United States between November 1, 2006, and April 1, 2010" are the only people eligible to receive the cash. The amount of money this is going to cost Sony hasn’t been specified, but the lawyers are representing “up to 10 million console owners.” While those numbers equal up to around $640,000,000 they’re ready to shell out, it’s pretty obvious Sony wants to minimize the number of cash they have to give out, so of course they’ll have special conditions to prevent any random mopes from coming along and making false claims. It’s still unclear if gamers will be receiving a check or if Sony is going to give those who agree to the settlement an additional $55 to their PlayStation Network account.
In order for PS3 owners to land themselves the $55, the settlement states that people who were PlayStation 3 owners at the time "must attest under oath to their purchase of the product and installation of Linux, provide proof of their purchase or serial number and PlayStation Network Sign-in ID, and submit some proof of their use of the Other OS functionality." In order to be eligible to receive the additional $9 being offered, PlayStation 3 owners must submit a simple claim that "knew about the Other OS, relied upon the Other OS functionality, and intended to use the Other OS functionality." As an alternative, owners can simply “attest that he or she lost value and/or desired functionality or was otherwise injured as a consequence of Firmware Update 3.21 issued on April 1, 2010."
It seems to be far easier to get the $9 since it doesn’t seem to be a requirement that you need to be eligible for the $55 in order to attempt to claim it. There’s probably not a lot of people out there who can provide proof of purchase of a 10 year old+ console, and even fewer who are still in possession of their old PlayStation 3. Overall, this is a smart move by Sony, but the judge still has the final say. This will take place at 2pm, July 19, before US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, in Oakland, California. We’ll keep you updated on the details of the situation after the hearing.