Sony Might Owe You Money Over PS3 Issue, Here's How to Claim It
Don't expect to get paid soon, however.
The ability to install Linux was one of the reasons some users purchased the older PS3 model, so when Sony locked out "OtherOS" support in 2010, not everyone was happy. A class-action lawsuit was filed against Sony that year, and now, six years later, you can begin the process of potentially getting paid.
Under the terms of the settlement (via Polygon), Sony has agreed to pay as much as $55 to millions of PS3 owners. To get the full $55, users need to supply proof of purchase and proof of use of OtherOS features. Console owners can also receive $9 by submitting a claim with proof of purchase and attest that they intended to use the PS3's OtherOS functionality. These people can also get the $9 by attesting that they "lost value or desired functionality or believe they were otherwise injured" by the removal of Linux support.
Only people in the US who bought a "fat" PS3 between November 1, 2006 and April 1, 2010 are eligible for the settlement offer.
A final approval hearing for this settlement package will be held on January 24, 2017, after which there could be appeals. As such, payments may not go out for more than a year after the approval, assuming that happens. "Please be patient," reads a line from an official FAQ.
Note that if you participate in the settlement package, you will be blocked from suing Sony in the future over this case. You can exclude yourself from the settlement to retain the right to sue in the future. Go to the official settlement website to file a claim and learn more about the process.
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 OtherOS feature from the system. The person who brought the suit, Anthony Ventura, alleged that the removal of the OtherOS feature was unlawful due to four main reasons. One of these reasons was that Sony marketed the OtherOS functionality and many owners purchased the system over competing products because of the functionality.
The suit also claimed the OtherOS 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 OtherOS only as an update on playstation.com.
The update that removed OtherOS wasn't technically required, but not installing it would lock you out of PSN.
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.