Sony Might Owe You Money, Here's Why
Six years later, Sony settles a class-action lawsuit related to the PlayStation 3.
The ability to install Linux was one of the reasons some users purchased the older PlayStation 3 model, so when Sony locked out support for this in 2010, not everyone was happy. A class-action lawsuit was filed against Sony that year, and now, six years later, Sony has agreed to settle the case.
Ars Technica reports that, under the terms of the settlement--which has not yet been approved--Sony has agreed to pay as much as $55 to as many as 10 million PS3 owners. To get the full $55, gamers need to "attest under oath to their purchase of the product and installation of Linux, provide proof of their purchase or serial number and PlayStation Network Sign-in ID, and submit some proof of their use of the Other OS functionality."
Console owners can also claim $9 in a process that is less involved. To do this, they must send in a claim that explains how, when they bought the system, they "knew about the Other OS, relied upon the Other OS functionality, and intended to use the Other OS functionality."
Alternatively, gamers can get the $9 if they "attest that he or she lost value and/or desired functionality or was otherwise injured as a consequence of Firmware Update 3.21 issued on April 1, 2010."
Only gamers in the US who bought a "fat" PS3 between November 1, 2006 and April 1, 2010 are eligible for the settlement offer. Additionally, there is $2.25 million provided in the settlement in attorneys' fees for the legal counsel that brought the claims against Sony.
A judge will decide in July if the settlement offer will be approved.
According to the agreement, which was filed in court last Friday, Sony will reach out to customers via the PlayStation Network email database. There will also be internet banner ads and search-related ads on sites including GameSpot and sister company CNET, the deal said. You can read the full, 30-page document here.
This case dates back to 2010, when a man claimed Sony breached its sales contract, as well as "the covenant of good faith and fair dealing," by removing the Other OS feature from the system. The person who brought the suit, Anthony Ventura, alleged that the removal of the Other OS feature was unlawful due to four main reasons. One of the claimed reasons was that Sony marketed the Other OS functionality, and many owners purchased the system over competing products because of the functionality.
The suit also claimed the Other OS feature was valuable, in that it "saves consumers money from having to…buy many additional electronic devices or applications." It further alleged that Sony reneged on its promise to support the functionality, and it did so by surreptitiously announcing the removal of Other OS only as an update on playstation.com.
The update that removed Other OS wasn't technically required, but not installing it would lock you out of PSN.
We have contacted Sony in an attempt to get more details.
This isn't the first time Sony has been caught up in a video game-related class-action lawsuit. Last year, Sony started to hand out compensation for the 2011 PSN hack, which compromised more than 70 million accounts.