Sony has announced that it is going to remove the PlayStation 3's "OtherOS" feature in the console's next firmware update on 1st April. Anyone wanting to keep OtherOS can opt not to install the update but will lose access to PSN and therefore, online gaming.
In an official blog post, the company cited "security concerns" and confirmed that all models of PS3 will no longer be able to run Linux. This contradicts a previous statement, following news that the PS3 Slim would ship without the feature, that OtherOS would not be removed from so called "fat" PS3's via a future update.
Although opting not to install the update will still allow people to play offline, Eurogamer reports that some newer PlayStation titles will require installation of the update prior to playing the game.
Not installing the update will also prevent the playback of copyright-protected videos streamed from a media server.
Those who have Linux installed on their console, but want to upgrade anyway, have been warned by Sony that they should first remove any valuable data from the OtherOS partition, as it will be impossible to access the data once the update is installed. It is unknown whether the hard disk space occupied by OtherOS will be reclaimed.
It is understood that the "security concerns" are an exploit that uses a hardware memory glitch via OtherOS to give access to all areas of the console's RAM, with the hacker responsible posting that he has been making progress in breaching the PS3's game security - a move which could have made pirated games playable on the console.