Original PlayStation 3 Owners Could Be Entitled To A $65 Check From Sony

When Sony released its PlayStation 3 way back in 2006, it came with a large and very impressive feature list. While Sega introduced the internet to consoles with its Dreamcast in 1999, Sony brought none other than Linux to consoles with its PS3. At the time, the capability felt exciting, and in many ways, completely unexpected. Sadly, what was also completely unexpected was Sony’s decision to pull the feature in 2010.

Linux on PlayStation 3

The overall capabilities of what a Linux distro on PS3 could provide were pretty modest compared to what we’d expect today, but the ability to install another entire OS was fun, even if it was mostly used as a learning tool or fun project for many. Once enterprising users figured out how to exploit Sony’s gift of Linux to increase the likelihood of piracy, the feature was unceremoniously pulled

Clearly, there were far more than just a handful of people interested in Linux, because a class-action lawsuit was filed swiftly, and today, if you can prove you owned one of the “fat” PS3s, and you live in the United States, you’re entitled for up to $65. If you no longer own one of these PS3s, but you happen to have the serial number – it looks like you’d be saved.

PlayStation 3 Linux
Flickr: chukitta

Interestingly, the claim instructions explicitly mention the “fat” PS3, which to our knowledge is slang, not official verbage. But, you will know if you have one of these units as they are rather large compared to the later models (see examples above). Unfortunately, these models didn’t only have Linux, but also PlayStation 2 backwards-compatibility – another feature pulled from later models.

When the PS3 launched, most people didn’t have a bunch of PCs lying around that they could use for DIY projects – like for learning Linux. Nowadays, though, a feature like this on a console isn’t really as important as it once was. You can build a fully-functional Linux box with the RPi, for example, which draws very little power, and is extremely well-supported. Fortunately, the choices are endless for this today. Sony still deserves kudos for even bothering to introduce Linux on the PS3 back in the day, but it’s still unfortunate that it had to die off like it did.

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