The next firmware update for PS3, which will be released on April 1st, will remove the ability to install a third party operating system onto the console.
The move is designed to dampen the ongoing efforts of pirates to hack into the currently secure machine.
It's thought that the decision is a response to the claims of famous hacker George Hotz, who in January claimed to have made serious advances in his efforts to crack Sony's console.
This feature enabled users to install an operating system,” SCEA's senior director of corporate communications Patrick Seybold stated. But due to security concerns, Sony Computer Entertainment will remove the functionality through the 3.21 system software update.”
In an attempt not to appear too heavy-handed, Seybold adds that consumers and organizations that currently use the ‘Other OS' feature can choose not to upgrade their PS3 systems”, though nonchalantly adds that they will have to pay a hefty price – chiefly, they will no longer be able to sign into PSN.
In addition, failure to update the console will also remove chat functionality, the ability to watch the latest Blu-ray movies and playback of copyright-protected videos from a media server.