'Other OS' feature unofficially comes back to PS3

Posted by Mike Luttrell

In a twist of irony, hackers have managed to restore the 'Install Other OS' feature to the PS3.

It's ironic because the whole reason Sony took out the feature was to prevent hackers from tampering with the PS3's security. That was about one year ago, and it caused quite an uproar, even among PS3 owners who never used the functionality.

For many, it just didn't sit well with them that Sony could remotely remove a built-in PS3 feature and require anyone who wanted to use the console's online features to install the downgrade.

Sony has faced its share of legal trouble over the controversial decision to remove the feature. A class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of consumers who purchased a PS3 for that purpose. Additionally, some research and government facilities that used the 'Other OS' feature to tap into the PS3's superior power are no longer able to swap out their systems for newer models.

Sony became concerned over the feature after the infamously popular hacker George Hotz widely distributed information on how to install another operating system onto the PS3 to run illegal versions of PS3 games and software.

The removal of 'Other OS' is seen as the beginning of Sony's slippery slope as it ramped up efforts to combat hackers and any unauthorized use of the PS3. These actions likely ultimately led to the retaliatory hacking attack that Sony is currently reeling from, which has caused the entire Playstation Network service to be disabled for nearly two weeks.