Monday, 29 March 2010

It only DID everything...

The PS3 hasn't had the easiest ride in the history of consoles, the E3 presentation at which it was announced was pretty embarassing, the inital high price point did it no favours, neither did the removal of PS2 backwards compatibility after the first few batches. These cons were far outweighed by the pros of the console, but a lot of negative opinion had spread throughout the public and sales were effected by this. Even now I still know some die hard fanboys who refuse to buy one, and reel off the same list of negatives every chance they get. Haters everywhere have another item to add to the list; Linux support is being removed.

Late adopters who bought a slim PS3 won't know what all the fuss is about, this feature wasn't included at all on their consoles. I'd wager that a great deal of PS3 'fat' owners probably weren't aware of the feature either, ignoring the 'install other OS' option in the system settings. As a Linux enthusiast I am disapointed to see this feature removed, but not entirely surprised. Installing an operating system on a games console isn't something that most people think to do, and Linux is still looked at as something reserved for nerds only. There are some benefits to having a fully fledged Linux OS on your PS3 though, with a little work you can play emulators, use a full web browser, watch media not supported by the console and generally enjoy a pc experience from the comfort of your sofa.

...Or play pirated PS3 games, this isn't confirmed at all but it seems pretty likely given that the official reason given for the funtions removal is "potential security risks" which any PSP owner will know means "it poses a piracy risk". Rumours are also circulating it may have something to do with a PS3 virus, but this seems unlikely given Linux's near resistance to all things virusy. Regardless of the reason, the PS3 is losing another cool feature that set it out from the crowd, and while Linux support may not be the same system seller that backwards compatibiltiy was it's still a shame to see it go. Just not a shock.

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