PS3, OtherOS and Linux
Sony has announced that the next ps3 firmware update - 3.21 - will no longer support the ability to install and run linux on your ps3's. You can read the full announcement here : http://blog.us.playstation.com/2010/03/28/ps3-firmware-v3-21-update/
This does, ofcourse, only impact the older ps3 units. The newer slimline ps3 units never had support for linux. Keep in mind that this whole idea of new and old is a bit relative. Since its been possible to get the 'older' units at retail outlets all this while - ok, at a much higher prices ( £349 for a 120GB 'fat' ps3 as opposed to the £240 for a 250GB 'slim' ps3 ). But it has been possible to get these machines, and its been possible to use them as Linux hosts.
For a long time I believed these models were still being churned out, in much lower numbers and only retailed through specific vendors. But it seems there has been no 'fat' style ps3 units manufactured by SCE in 2010. Attempts to get info from Sony about this situation have been futile. I just get generic replies that they will get back in touch etc, and that I should get in touch with my local SCE vendor.
How much does this haveto do with IBM's recentish news that they are no longer interested in the Cell platform ( http://www.hpcwire.com/features/Will-Roadrunner-Be-the-Cells-Last-Hurrah-66707892.html ) ? Unless they plan on replacing the platform completely, surely it cant be much work keeping the linux / otheros option open. And I dont buy the argument that its cutting into their sales - if there was a market that large, Sony could just have an alternative box that they would put into the retail stores or even via a specialised vendor.
So where does this leave people who bought and run the ps3's only for the otheros support ? I guess they would need to not upgrade their firmwares for one!