Geohot Responds to Sony\'s Decision to Remove OtherOS Support

by VGChartz Staff, posted on 31 March 2010 / 6,052 Views

Two days ago, Sony came out in a statement saying that they will abolish OtherOS support come April 1st with their latest 3.21 firmware update, which is, of course, mandatory (and unlike all the rubbish that comes with April fools, real). The news are something that many PS3 users aren't very happy with, as the OtherOS on the PS3 - Linux for most people, is used for a great variety of things - from Internet browsing to programming.

Naturally, this whole story couldn't properly unfold without the man responsible for the rather sudden update, George Hotz, better known as geohot, responding to the issue somehow - I'll remind you that he's the one to first crack open the Apple iPhone and now, the PS3, using Linux and provoking Sony's "security-over-features" response.

Summarizing his blog post in as few words as possible, he has said that the ones interested in his OtherOS exploit should not update to Sony's official 3,21 firmware and should simply wait for him to figure out how to both update to 3.21 and retain OtherOS support - through custom firmware, perhaps.

Check out his original blog post here.


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61 Comments

almcchesney (on 03 April 2010)

either way i still dont blame sony, they are just protecting themselves from billions in losses.


nandakoryaaa (on 02 April 2010)

moondeep says: > I agree with SolidPumar: Sony is completely open to a class-action > lawsuit now for those owners who can show that they bought a PS3 fat > with the intention of using it for the OtherOS feature. This needs to be formulated differently: If someone bought PS3 for OtherOS feature, Sony doesn't take it away. It says, "just don't upgrade and continue to use OtherOS". So it won't help. One should say that he bought PS3 as a hardware and software complex that includes both GameOS (games, music, bluray, PSN etc.) AND OtherOS (linux) and he uses them all. The update doesn't allow to continue to use either of them.


nandakoryaaa (on 02 April 2010)

gerbintosh says: > Are you seriously trying to make this argument? Oh no, Sony removed > Other OS support to stop pirates. That's the last straw. Let's really > pirate!!! :eye roll: > The last straw that will actually lead to piracy is people like Geohot > that claim they want to open the system, and do it, for friendly > purposes. Then act ignorant when people start pirating and don't > take responsibility. He knows what this will lead to but I believe his > ego impairs his judgment. Now re-read your own words and see that I wrote exacly the same. It is simple fact that now, as OtherOS is gone, much more people will want to hack the PS3. Not necessarily to pirate - just hack open. But piracy will surely be a natural outcome. More people = more possibilities. SIMPAL MATH! Sony did a preventive move, disabling the possibility to hack while there was no real threat yet. What geohot did is light years far from a suitable hack, but Sony overreacted in a hysterical and violating way, even throwing part of its loyal (and I would say, most loyal) users out. In a global (business) sense this could be good for Sony, but also could be much more bad, and they'll regret it. At least their reputaion is already spotted. It's not a very thought-out move, it's rather a mindless animal reflex. We'll see.


gerbintosh (on 02 April 2010)

Nandakoryaa Says: "However this may be the last straw that will lead to actual piracy after so many years. And Sony will have to blame themselves." Are you seriously trying to make this argument? Oh no, Sony removed Other OS support to stop pirates. That's the last straw. Let's really pirate!!! :eye roll: The last straw that will actually lead to piracy is people like Geohot that claim they want to open the system, and do it, for friendly purposes. Then act ignorant when people start pirating and don't take responsibility. He knows what this will lead to but I believe his ego impairs his judgment.


divwilson50 (on 01 April 2010)

when xbox released the hd drive, then discontinued it. what about all the peopel who bought it + hd dvds? i didnt see a law suit there. that was purely to do with money. removing linux is to do with safety of the console.


divwilson50 (on 01 April 2010)

lawsuits. lol get a grip


moondeep (on 01 April 2010)

I agree with SolidPumar: Sony is completely open to a class-action lawsuit now for those owners who can show that they bought a PS3 fat with the intention of using it for the OtherOS feature.


Geekingout (on 01 April 2010)

@kerrak I understand why you dislike CFW (I'm not going to lie and say piracy is not a problem, I'm a mod on PSP mod forum, and I can not tell you how many people ask about downloading games, despite the very clear rules posted everywhere), however homebrew coders are not all piracy advocates, there are a huge amount of apps that the PSP should have had, but Sony did not jump on (among them, universal IR remote for Fats, a faster web browser that uses ALL the ram of the PSP, a pdf/comic book viewer, and a youtube/flash video viewer application). Now none of those apps are malicious nor in any way piracy, to be honest I don't understand why Sony continues to ignore these apps as if they don't exist. Can you honestly tell me as a PSP owner you wouldn't want any of those apps (don't bring up the Official Sony comic book viewer, it only supports proprietary formats, and has a very limited library)? Open source pushes creators all the time, that's why the PSN has PS1 games for download (as well as digital versions of many PSP games), all of these were "borrowed" from CFW applications. Before you judge my choice to use CFW I own over 40 UMDs, and have had a fat PSP since its North American launch, I made the switch to CFW for more features so I would my PSP more, not for piracy. Anyway the PSP is breathing its last breaths, Sony's PSP GO is an example of their current business plan to remove features and charge more (no UMD drive, and a new memory card type requirement, just to push the sales of the new MSProDuoMini). I hate when companies require all proprietary accessories, simply put I don't know how long you had a PSP, but when they first came out memory sticks were extremely expensive, while they have gone down, for people like me with a huge amount of digital media the sizes are still too small, and expensive, for a 16gb MSProDuo I could get a SD card that's 2x the memory size. Just food for thought.


Crasher7 (on 01 April 2010)

console RAM is so low, other OS is an unnecessary feature


N.Genckel (on 01 April 2010)

Hahaha, this was posted in a DS hack thread yesterday, right before it was removed: "This website does not support hacking or modding systems. Please post your request somewhere else where they don't mind potential legal problems" And then you feature it in news? Hahaha, this is such a pos site. Get a line and some mods that actually know how to mod.


MarshmallowMan (on 31 March 2010)

Honestly I have no idea how many PS3 users use OtherOS. I don't. I suspect that there really are people and companies that use it for good reasons. BUT I suspect that the great majority of complaints are coming from people who just like the idea of a hackable system and would love to get something for free, even if it is stealing.


thismeintiel (on 31 March 2010)

I use this feature and there are a lot of cool things you can do with PS3 Linux. That's why I'm not updating and just getting a Slim later on. Having said that, I completely understand why Sony would be doing this. Also, some seem to be making this guy out to be some kind of hero. That he is "nice" and is freeing us from the evils of Sony by opening up their system. Nothing could be farther from the truth. He only did this to allow for pirated software. I know this because Sony has already had their original systems opened, to some extent, for users who wanted Linux on it. And over the months that Linux has gotten faster, wtih more programs either developed for it or ported over from other OS's. If Geohot had any kind of credibilty to his character he would have just tried to improve the existing Linux or its programs. But instead, he feels the need to hack the entire system. What purpose would there be to hack an entire system, when there is already a version of Linux (and the freedom that entails) on it? It's the same reason he said he jailbreaked the iPhone, to be able to use it on any network HE wanted and run any apps HE wants on it (which include pirated ones).


nandakoryaaa (on 31 March 2010)

Spedfrom says: > Don't be hypocrites. If it was your console business would you allow the > chance for your project to suffer serious consequences due to piracy (see > PSP) or would you block the very door into that possible situation? Let's see - X360 is hackable. So... ?


nandakoryaaa (on 31 March 2010)

Baalzamon says: > In other words, you have no argument in trying to get money from Sony saying that you paid for things and are no longer getting them, because you can just object to downloading the update. First, I never said I'm going to sue Sony or whatever. They sure have their bases covered legally, it is strange to expect otherwise, but I'll have other ways to treat them like they treated me. I can't object to download the upgrade because most games require the latest upgrades and PSN connection. So there is no actual possibility to continue to use the system without the upgrades. "If you need OtherOS, just don't upgrade" - it's not that simple, I need OtherOS but I also need the rest. Guess why? I bought it as a SYSTEM. A hardware and software complex which can do various things. And now I'm losing either one feature or all the others. This is a lose-lose situation. This is wrong and Sony knows it. But they don't care as users mostly will swallow it. However this may be the last straw that will lead to actual piracy after so many years. And Sony will have to blame themselves.


MidgetQ (on 31 March 2010)

could be a LOT worse, they could completely ban people from psn under suspicion of them modifying the console and using pirated software, and then completely bar them from their harddrive :-P


ShadowSnake (on 31 March 2010)

@ solidpumar yes, companies always make sure to protect themselves in everyway imaginable. what happens is when you do the new update (voluntarily) you need to agree to their new terms of agreement. when you do this, two things happen: 1. you will agree to allow them to remove the feature 2. it's stated in the ps3 terms of agreement that you nullify all previous agreements when you accept the newest one (of the newest update) thus removing any agreement you had with sony that gave you access to the other os feature oh and lastly they also state hat you own none of the features so there goes all ways for you to retain the feature


solidpumar (on 31 March 2010)

Is sony protected against a class action suit of Ps3 phat owners that could say they bought the Ps3 because of the advertised otherOS feature that is now being removed? One thing is to sell ps3 slim without the feature to begin with, that is ok. Other thing is to launch an update that takes away features ADVERTISED from early consumers. I would think Sony is in legal jeopardy... I have 2 phats... but the feature never interested me, unless would increase value on resale.


Vetteman94 (on 31 March 2010)

Why should we care what he says, and I hope they permanately ban everyone that has custom firmware made by this moron from the PSN.


KeptoKnight (on 31 March 2010)

"psfanboy says: With websites posting news like this... they kinda help people to pirate their ps3's" Yep. The more they try to fight it, "the community" are going to peel the console even more. This year is going to be one heck of a year lol


KeptoKnight (on 31 March 2010)

Rawnchie14 says: @ kerrak As if Linux is only used for Piracy, right. I won't even bother explaining what's wrong with your assessment of the situation." yep, let alone paying $499 on a console with a feature that will be taken off. Let the war "trully begin." For that, "the community" will go hardcore . 1 guy made through the console, imagine the whole community.


880user088 (on 31 March 2010)

for those who want pirated game for the PS3: The PS3 has gave you a gaming experience which has never been on the Wii and the 360, and think before downloading 50GB for one game...


Tridrakious (on 31 March 2010)

I don't see this as a problem. It's a feature that almost nobody uses and up until now probably never heard of.


StokedUp (on 31 March 2010)

so when does the firmware come out that removes other OS? april 1st, thats the one ill be downloading and installing.


Kratos_36 (on 31 March 2010)

Lol , some of you people really thinks that those research centers use a stock Ps3 from Amazone or something... That they say they use the ' PS3' to build super computers is probably markting for Sony. Why should the build a super computer with 200 'PS3's' with also 200 blu-ray players ? That is just useless. I think they have stripped Ps3's with custom software.


SickleSigh (on 31 March 2010)

If people actually used this I would see a problem but I highly doubt all the people commenting actually use otherOS lol. If it's for the greater good and will continue support of devs on Ps3 and not lead to piracy I am happy they're removing it.


mr_capello (on 31 March 2010)

@rawnchie14 kerrak never said that linux is only used for piracy but in that case sony abolishs the otheros support only because it could lead to priacy the achievements of people like geohot lead one way or another to piracy even if they themself have not the desire to open up the system for priacy


psfanboy (on 31 March 2010)

With websites posting news like this... they kinda help people to pirate their ps3's


Rawnchie14 (on 31 March 2010)

@ kerrak As if Linux is only used for Piracy, right. I won't even bother explaining what's wrong with your assessment of the situation.


Rawnchie14 (on 31 March 2010)

Downplay downplay... If people paid for the feature, they keep the feature. No other arguments. You don't go around too many places, and see companies slicing off a software feature from devices they sold a long time ago - for their own benefit... Stop defending Sony. If the feature is so insecure, then they should reap what they sew and work with it. No one told them they had to include the feature - but once it's there, you deal with all the caveats that come with it. This move is so weak.


kerrak (on 31 March 2010)

Geekingout, according to your logic, i suppose you let everybody to your house, even if you don't know them, and when you're stolen something you don't feel anger, cause it's for the common cause. There is no logic in the world that will make me understand why some piece of hardware should be open to everybody if it's creator doesn't want to, and paint it like the liberation of the free world. Sorry, this is simply theft. I feel pissed as a psp owner how the "scene" has stolen the shine of a nice system, put back developers, and ultimately reduced the utility of legit owners, because of lack of more investment in content. Piracy is a cancer. While it is in a more or less controlled status, the organism still lives. If it grows too much, the organism will die. How is the industry supposed to put more money on new projects if piracy shrinks the market more and more? Don't be a fool. If you are a gamer, you need people like me: legit gamers that buy everything, and not guys like geohot, who opens pandora's box.


gamesadict (on 31 March 2010)

@bobsmith: Yes, AFAIK, 3.20 with 3D support is in debug/testing stages. Or that's what it looks like. This update should be released in the next 24 hours, according to the blog post, it is to be released April 1st JST. At the time of this post, it's 2010/04/01 00:12:44 (JST), so if it's not out in that time, well...


bobsmith (on 31 March 2010)

Ok, not ot sound stupid, but i thought that the next firmware update would feature a 3D output.


SWORDF1SH (on 31 March 2010)

@geekingout. first off look at psp attach rate. its very low and its about 1.1 in europe. secondly the majority of ds users are the wrong age group that would use illegal downloads.


Alby_da_Wolf (on 31 March 2010)

Now that Sony took so kindly the burden to launch teh C3ll, IBM could start selling a Cell starter kit for $300. If the possible sales volumes for it were too low for IBM sales structure, it could just outsource it. BTW, couldn't sony just patch OtherOS instead of removing it? Next time hackers more malevolent than Geohot will exploit the first hole they'll find in a feature Sony can't remove without causing a revolt.


Geekingout (on 31 March 2010)

oh and reading a bit further I see people saying that the PSP gets no games because of piracy but the DS does, some info 1. ALL DS CAN BE HACKED (not true of PSPs ATM) BY BUYING A $10 SD CARD ADAPTER THAT THEN IMMEDIATELY ALLOWS YOU TO DOWNLOAD GAMES (since DS games average around 25MB, in the time it takes you to download 1 PSP game you could literally have download 100s of DS Games), the reason the DS has more games is very very simple, its more popular and has sold more systems (that it has a ton of crap games, typical in nintendo systems), so don't blame the good people that allow open development for developers dropping of the PSP


Baalzamon (on 31 March 2010)

Ok, so I just looked up the end user agreement for PSN, and here is a portion of it: 9. MAINTENANCE AND UPGRADES From time to time, we may want to provide you with new content, services or software to ensure that PSN or your PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system or other authorised hardware devices are functioning properly in accordance with our guidelines. Such content, services or software may be downloaded automatically and without further notice when you sign into PSN, and may include automatic updates or upgrades which may change your current operating system and could cause loss of data or content, or loss of function or utility. Such upgrades or updates may be provided for system software for your PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system unit, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system or other SCE-authorized hardware. Access to or use of any system software is subject to terms and conditions of a separate end user license agreement. Data and content may also be lost during maintenance or repair of your equipment. You must archive your personal photo, music and video content regularly to prevent such loss of data. You hereby authorise us to provide such content, services or software and agree that, to the extent permitted by applicable law, we are not liable for any loss of data, content, function or utility. It basically states you authorize Sony to provide updates to your system, even ones that may take stuff away from the user.


Geekingout (on 31 March 2010)

@sir_cool allow me to educate you real quick, even if there is CFW on PS3 a game loader would take awhile to make, additionally, CFW DOES NOT EQUAL PIRACY, some people just like features that companies still refuse to include for some reason (among them, GOOD custom themes, open app development, and the list goes on), in fact CFW has in the past benefitted the average console user (PS1 emulation for PSP, came from a homebrew coder working on a PS1 emulator, Sony stole the idea and used their resources to make a better one), and finally PS3 game piracy would be very hard to make work, Bluray Discs (single layer) hold 25gbs (imagine the download time!) and a dual layer holds 50gb! So piracy won't be an issue for the PS3 for awhile. FInally I salute Geohot for keeping all devices open to public development and letting the PEOPLE decided what features they want or don't want (also if you want to understand the reactions of some people, Sony SHOWCASED this feature, they are removing it from paranoia and they will only hurt themselves).


Xbbjf9s (on 31 March 2010)

@spedfrom- I agree with you, these people must have forgotten how the psp was raped. If they were in sony sposition they would do the same thing.


Shoestar (on 31 March 2010)

I don't think people realise how cool the other os feature on the ps3 was. You simply can't 'just' get another computer to use linux on it. The PS3 gave us access to a 128-bit cpu! The best on the market right now are the 64-bits at an affordable price.


EmpireNO (on 31 March 2010)

Don't overreact to this. Maybe 1-2 % use this feature, none of the Slims even have this posibility. Lab's that are booting from Linux will not be affected by this either, because they have no need for upgrading the PS3 FW anyway. So that leaves a very small amout of users that loose the ability to run Linux on their PS3's, though luck, not a big loss in any way.


sir_cool (on 31 March 2010)

@spynx News is News I like that we are not being censores. I for one don't think ANYONE should be supporting this guy.... 1.He is the reasons the feature is being removed 2. Sony has GREAT games because they rack in money to make said games (don't be a douchey pirate) 3. it really isn't that big of a deal for most PS3 users. 4. Sony can probably just work on a patch to ban Modded PS3s


brainiacxiii (on 31 March 2010)

Geohot is just a kid who thinks he's playing a game. He thinks he is entitled and the people who follow him think he's helping them when really he is the reason otherOS is being taken off the phats. Apparently he didn't read the end user agreement.


Baalzamon (on 31 March 2010)

@nandakoryaaa: Sorry man, but here is where your settlement will not work. Before I go on, I will mention that I know that updates are necessary in order to play on PSN. Now, nowhere on the packaging of the product or in any of the manuals does it say that updating of the system is mandatory. It may say something along the lines of, "It is highly suggestive that you update your console so that it has all of the added benefits." Not only does it not say that updating of the system is not mandatory, to the best of my knowledge, Sony never even mentions that they are required to update the system. As is the case with updates, however, it may, but I am not sure, say something along the lines of, "Sony may occasionally provide updates for the user's benefit." You may not think this update is to your benefit, but it is to the benefit of about 99.5% of PS3 owners because it is unfair to them that the console they have paid for and the games that they have paid their hard earned money for will now be played for free by some people. Basically what I am getting to is that there is nothing in existence that says you are required to update your ps3. In other words, you have no argument in trying to get money from Sony saying that you paid for things and are no longer getting them, because you can just object to downloading the update.


Toastrules (on 31 March 2010)

Good move by Sony in my opinion. When the PSP was first released, it practically supported CFW. When they patched it so that it couldn't run CFW, hackers used PREVIOUS PSPs with CFW to make the new, patched PSPs have CFW as well... practically trapping Sony in the process. If Sony removes the CFW ability on the Ps3 before people start actually doing it (~3 months reaction time... that's decent), then people can't use hacked Ps3s to hack the other, patched, Ps3s. Custom Firmware enables more custom firmware. Prevention is better than another game of cat-and-mouse.


Spedfrom (on 31 March 2010)

Don't be hypocrites. If it was your console business would you allow the chance for your project to suffer serious consequences due to piracy (see PSP) or would you block the very door into that possible situation? Most of us don't use that feature, stop complaining. Those who did, tough luck. PS3's business survival is a lot more important.


nandakoryaaa (on 31 March 2010)

Squall_Leonhart says: > They find out about a way into the programming of the console, > and as a result remove access to that aspect making the console all > but hack-proof once more... There is no way to hack the console via the OtherOS. The hardware key cannot be obtained even if hypervisor is compromised, this is done IN HARDWARE and Sony must know that. > I mean this makes sense so why is everyone crying about this? Not like many people actually used OtherOS lol This does NOT make sense. And it is not about using OtherOS. It is about having a feature you paid money for. You didn't sign a paper that you will use it or else. You just paid money for having it. The console might be cheaper from the start. Sony spent time & RD money on developing the OtherOS support therefore making the console more expensive and everyone who bought it have paid for it. Is that clear? They have the right to have it, and it doesn't fucking matter how many of them are going to use it. Now as Sony has robbed me, I will rob Sony by all available means.


sirroman (on 31 March 2010)

@Spynx: News are news. And VGChartz should let everybody know the real reason behind sony's decision. You may be right 'bout making a single news post for the "Geohot's response", but, for example, they could add this info "Geohot responded by saying that" in the end of another related news.


Baalzamon (on 31 March 2010)

Just out of curiosity, but would it be possible for Playstation Network to detect that a user has a fabricated update including OtherOS still being with it. If so, that would be hilarious...ban them all.


funkateer (on 31 March 2010)

So this geohot wants to make me his bitch with hacked unsupported firmware that's supposed to give me features I never needed in the first place? No thanks, I won't put my trust in some hacker. Nothing good can come from this, only piracy.


oldschoolfool (on 31 March 2010)

I like how people are over-reacting to this. I don't use the feature so I could care less. How about you just play your games on your ps3 and get a computer for the other stuff.


FantasySky (on 31 March 2010)

@Mirgro the thing is that when that guy hacked it that was the first time the system had EVER been hacked so its logicle to think then that the system is almost full proof so just take out the thin eh did it with. its not like microsoft taking something out of windows as the OtherOS thing is just a small thing that most pople dont use maney dont even now it even has it lol


vlad321 (on 31 March 2010)

This is a really stupid move by SONY. I sincerely they get sued to hell and back for this. If anything I am now actually supporting this geohot guy. @swordfish I know enough research centers which have connected PS3s for brute calculations to know that it has indeed made them some money so it's not a total waste. Also, as mirgro said, it will be opened again, that's just the nature of technology. The answer is never to remove a feature.


spynx (on 31 March 2010)

Why is vgchartz making new about infamy. This is a trusted and responsible site and should keep away from this news.


SWORDF1SH (on 31 March 2010)

@mirgro. The differance is that ms getting rid of IE would not be a good buisness decesion. Sony using Linux they dont get much back from it so whats the point of keeping someting thats a security risk when they dont get much back from keeping it.


EmpireNO (on 31 March 2010)

@mirgro Eh, do you even understand what you're talking about?


Vanbierk (on 31 March 2010)

All this guy wants is to be known as everyone's friend, but in reality...he opens doors that have more problems than benefits. At least, that's my opinion.


mirgro (on 31 March 2010)

SONY seems to be clueless about technology. I mean seriously, they couldn't be bigger idiots about it. System Security is always flawed, whether it's software or hardware, and removing features is not the way to secure a system. But I guess SONY missed to notice that over the past 20 years... Imagine if Microsoft removed IE or Outlook from Windows back in the day when they were riddled with holes. Sounds retarded right? SONY is doing the same thing right now. The only way they can 100% guarantee no piracy, is if they remove video and movie playback as well.


FantasySky (on 31 March 2010)

@SWORDF1SH thats completly true. if they dont stop the problem as soon as posible it will be a repeat of the PSP which gets so few games compared to like the ds as theres a massive risk of the game being distribed for free. its better for 99% of ps3 owner (the ones who dont give a damb abou the OtherOS being taken away) who will be able to continue enjoying there games for years to come


jlauro (on 31 March 2010)

I was interested in a PS3 until Sony came out with the model not supporting Other OS. Now they are going to remove a feature on previous models. Sony is asking to be sued. I was about to purchase an older model PS3 from ebay, but now even older models are not good. Linux is used for a great many things besides circumventing security.


SWORDF1SH (on 31 March 2010)

Read his full post. He's angry at Sony and attacks Sony verbally. This guy is an idiot. If sonys system is hacked then they are going to nip it at the bud. Whats the point of them patching it when they will find other ways around it and sony will have to have a stream of updates just to keep their system secure. Sonys system could be plaugued with piracy if the dont act and they are doing whats best for them and the industry.


Squall_Leonhart (on 31 March 2010)

I really fail to see the issue with Sony doing this... They find out about a way into the programming of the console, and as a result remove access to that aspect making the console all but hack-proof once more... I mean this makes sense so why is everyone crying about this? Not like many people actually used OtherOS lol