Other OS Removed
Remember that option in the XMB titled “Other OS”? The one that allowed you to install Linux on your PS3 and had been around since the PS2? Probably not, because most people didn’t use it. But the few that did had legitimate use for it, and they were understandably upset when Sony removed the feature from all PS3s through a mandatory firmware update last March.
What followed was a string of lawsuits against Sony seeking to either restore the feature or some other form of compensation. Nothing really came of the lawsuits — some, such as the infamous GeoHot, were sued right the hell back — and one guy managed to get a partial refund from Amazon UK.
After the dust settled, it was treated like Linux running on any other machine: it was forgotten, and people moved on. Oh, well.
Computers are capable of remarkable feats, but apparently keeping track of calendar anomalies isn’t amongst them. “Fat” model PS3s everywhere were freaking out over the extra day afforded by 2010 being a leap year, and suddenly no one could play any game that was multiplayer- or trophy-enabled, including the recently released Heavy Rain.
I was “lucky” enough to have my launch PS3 meltdown a couple of months before, forcing me to buy a slim model, which were for the most part unaffected. After a frantic 24-or-so hours of wondering if their trophy data would survive the kerfuffle, PS3s everywhere were back online.
Truly, that was the worst thing that could ever happen on PSN, right?
Hackers Blow the Doors off PSN
No, of course not. Just over a year later after the famed ApocalyPS3, there was a bigger and far more serious issue with the PlayStation Network. While the leap year thing was dumb, it was ultimately forgivable. The month-long PSN outage was the result of equally negligent and incompetent security measures, compromising the personal information of millions of users.
When people were first unable to connect to the network, they thought that they had just experienced a small hiccup. But what was supposed to be a short downtime soon turned to a couple of days. Then we found out that Sony had learned of an “external intrusion” on the network a couple of days before the outage. Soon after that, we were pretty much just told to be patient while they worked on getting PSN back up.
The days turned into weeks, and we would learn that about 77 million accounts were compromised, including addresses, passwords, and credit card information. The U.S. House of Representatives got involved, compensation packages were announced, and we grew bored without our PlayStations. PSN came back eventually, and we were just relieved that it was over. Bitter as all hell, but very relieved.
Stay tuned for Part Two on Thursday, the proper 5th anniversary of the console, where we’ll celebrate our five favorite moments!