Complainants contest OtherOS claims

The ongoing litigation surrounding Sony’s removal of OtherOS functionality from PS3 consoles has taken a new twist with allegations that the move was linked to piracy prevention.

Sony has always insisted that the decision to bin the functionality, which was effected by a firmware update to the PS3, was a preventative measure due to links it alleged between OtherOS usage and PS3 piracy.

However, an amended version of the class action complaint filed against SCEA in north America disputes this, IGN reports.

"In reality, SCEI and SCEA removed this feature because it was expensive to maintain (as they previously admitted when the feature was removed from the "slim" models – but which they conveniently removed from SCEA’s website)," it claims.

"They were losing money on every PS3 unit sold (due to poor decisions in the planning and design of the Cell chip as noted above and given the PS3’s extra features).

"SCEA needed to promote and sell games to make their money back on the loss-leading PS3 consoles (and there was no profit in users utilising the computer functions of the PS3); and IBM wanted to sell its expensive servers utilising the Cell processor (users could cluster PS3s for the same purposes much less expensively)."

Furthermore, it even disputes claims that OtherOS can enable piracy.

"When the ‘Other OS’ feature is enabled, the software prevents the proper operation of the gaming feature to avoid allowing the features to interplay," it added.

"In order for a hacker to pirate a game, it is necessary to perfectly emulate the operating system for which the game is designed, including the API, which is the interface for the game OS that supports all of the features of a game.

"However, when the Other OS is in use, the API and other hardware features are blocked, including the graphics chip in the PS3, which makes it impossible to run a pirated game on the Other OS. As of January 2011, Sony had yet to identify a single instance in which someone used the Other OS to pirate protected content."

SCEA has a deadline of Monday March 28th to respond to the complaint.

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