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Sony opened a legal can of worms last April when it chose to withdraw support for PS3’s “Other OS” feature with the introduction of firmware version 3.21, citing concerns about the system’s security. But the company soon found itself at the receiving end of a flurry of class action lawsuits from console owners feeling shortchanged by the removal of a feature that once figured prominently in marketing campaigns. The feature allowed other operating systems to be installed on non-slim PS3s.
Now, Sony’s legal troubles are proving themselves to be pretty good travelers, having followed the company to Scandinavia. The Consumer Council of Norway has decided to file a complaint to the company’s Consumer Ombudsman over the arbitrary removal of the Other OS feature. The autonomous government agency has been receiving complaints ever since firmware 3.21 became available.
"Sony claims a universal right to change or remove functionality from the gaming console. The Consumer Council strongly believes there needs to be a limit to what constitutes a reasonable change to products we buy—and that terms of service that grant the manufacturer full access to literally downgrade the product or limit the functionality are unreasonable and in clear violation of the Marketing Control Act," Øyvind H. Kaldestad of the Consumer Council told ArsTechnica.
"When a company use [sic] terms like 'updates' or 'upgrades,' it is reasonable to expect a significant improvement of the product and not the risk of being stuck with a lesser product."
The Consumer council also lambasted consumer electronics companies like Sony for abusing after-sale access to connected devices “to do almost whatever he or she wants” under the pretext of enhancing these devices through software updates.