Sony says that due to security concerns, the upcoming PlayStation 3 firmware update, version 3.21, will remove the ability to run other operating systems such as Linux on the console.
Older-generation PS3s, excluding the new Slim models that launched in September 2009, had an "Install Other OS" feature. Then, hacker George Hotz recently advertised on his blog that he had created a security exploit for PS3 that uses the Other OS feature.
"In addition, disabling the 'Other OS' feature will help ensure that PS3 owners will continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system," says SCEA corporate communications director Patrick Seybold.
Users who elect not to install the firmware update so that they can continue to use their OS will no longer be able to sign into PlayStation Network or use online features. They'll also miss out on new features and updates in future firmware upgrades, Sony warns.
Sony adds that those who've been using the Other OS feature will need to back up the data stored within that hard drive partition before they update, or else they'll lose access to it.