[Image credit: Air Force]

It seems we'll all have to be a little more careful before we mock PS3 owners that have voiced concern over Sony's decision to remove the "Install Other OS" option from the console (via a recent firmware update). "What nerdlinger would be so bent out of shape about that?" you might wonder aloud. As we've just learned from Ars Technica, that nerdlinger happens to be the United States Air Force.

The military branch uses a network of around 2,000 PlayStation 3 units running Linux for research, a structure which proved to be more affordable thanks to Sony's hardware subsidy. The setup isn't in any immediate trouble, as the consoles aren't hooked up to PSN and don't need to be updated, but when the units die out it will be difficult -- if not impossible -- to replace them. Considering they just constructed the rig a few months ago, the Air Force has expressed disappointment. And as you'll read in the Ars story, Uncle Sam isn't alone in his frustration.

Oh, and sorry about the lack of Top Gun references in this post, but that's actually a movie about the Navy. We know, we were disappointed too.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.