Remember back in the early day of the PS3 when you could install a full Linux distribution on your console? Other OS, as this feature would be called, brought something new to consoles that had been mostly unexplored or under implemented (as it was in the PS2), a fully functional desktop environment. Users who installed Linux using the Other OS feature could transform their PS3 systems into a basic home computer complete with web browsing, mouse, keyboard and printer support. In fact I knew a few people for whom this was technically their first computer! In my own experience I used Other OS as a rudimentary file server and stream box as this was the early days of Netflix streaming. Unfortunately, Other OS was never meant for more than productivity tasks as Sony had locked the RSX from being used, which meant there was no hardware acceleration available to run games.
Fast forward a couple of years to 2009. Sony has just announced the redesign of their then less than stellar performing PS3. One feature of note missing from this redesigned model was Other OS. Further bad news fell upon users of Other OS when Sony decided to patch the feature out in firmware 3.21 in April 2010 as a response to the hacking efforts of George Hotz, notable for his work on the Apple iPhone jailbreak. Sony would go on to sue Hotz and other members of the hacking group “fail0verflow” for their efforts to break the encryption of the PS3. Soon after, Sony found themselves the target of a class action lawsuit over the removal of Other OS because that had been an advertised feature of the PS3.
This class action suit was initially dismissed in 2011 due to lack of legal evidence to hold Sony accountable. In 2014, this ruling was overturned and the case landed back in court. In 2016, Sony finally agreed to settle the case… well, for American users at least. Anyone who bought a PS3 during the time frame of 2006-2009 was entitled to the settlement of $55 for users who actively used Other OS and $9 for those who bought the system due to this feature being included. This settlement was rejected in the beginning of 2017 and Sony returned with an offer of up to $65 for those affected instead. What happened after this is unknown, but checks for the settlement have begun to arrive in the amount of $10.07. Eight and a half years after its removal, the tale of Other OS finally comes to a close.