Linux support dropped from PS3 Firmware 3.21

It's rare for a company to announce a firmware update that removes functionality from a product, but that's exactly what Sony is doing with the upcoming release of PS3 firmware update 3.21 on April 1st. The rarely utilized, but nonetheless useful, ability to install another operating system (Linux) on the PS3 will be removed in the upcoming system software revision, a feature that was already removed in the PS3 Slim. SCEA's Patrick Seybold explains that the removal of said functionality is necessary "due to security concerns ... [and] will help ensure that PS3 owners will continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system."

This move may be a response to recent claims that the PS3 has been "hacked." The language used in Seybold's post reminds us of another Sony platform that's been plagued by rampant piracy: the PSP. While the move seems to be a preventative measure on Sony's part, the early response to the removal of Linux support has been passionately negative. Undoubtedly, there will be few that will be genuinely inconvenienced by this decision. However, the rest of us have good reason for some dread: who can look forward to the prospect of downloading and installing a firmware update that offers no added functionality?

[Thanks to everyone that sent this in!]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.