The PlayStation 3 isn’t the same console that it was when it first released back in November of 2006. Through firmware updates, new features are constantly being added, ensuring that the console lives up to Sony’s claim that the PS3 is “future proof”. Almost every firmware update adds at least one new feature; some minor, and some as significant as firmware 2.40’s trophy support. However, Sony has announced the latest firmware for the PS3 and it’s not adding anything, in fact it’s removing a feature completely.
Patrick Seybold has announced via the PlayStation Blog that the next system software update for the PlayStation 3 system will be released on April 1, 2010 (JST). Firmware 3.21 will disable the “Install Other OS” feature that was previously available on the PS3 systems prior to the current slimmer models, launched in September 2009.
The feature of allowing owners to install another OS was undoubtedly a unique and bold feature. It allowed PlayStation 3 owners to allot 10GB of HDD space to install one of the many Linux operating systems, essentially turning their PS3 into a PC. However, due to security concerns, Sony will be removing the functionality through the 3.21 system software update.
The decision by Sony is most likely a response to the iPhone second generation hacker, George Hotz, having reportedly hacked the system.
You can choose not to update your PS3, but you won’t be able to sign into the PlayStation Network, play games online, or use the PlayStation Store.