Sony's self-induced shenanigans over the use of third-party software on its PS3 console have pushed the Japanese giant into a corner.
We might argue that it brought the sorry mess onto itself with its provision and subsequent removal of the 'other OS' functionality - a move which induced hackers to reinstate the option. For some of these tinkerers the prospect of using the console as a multi-purpose machine was a reason to buy the box in the first place.
Take thinq_ reader Hank L. for example. Hank writes that he bought the PS3 "because I was excited with the possibility that not only I would have the coolest video game console there is, but I could put Linux in it."
"The reason I wanted Linux," he adds," were the following: I wanted to have a huge "media box" and access e-mails, surf the web at my living room, using my huge HD TV. The second reason was that Sony had inside it the promising Cell processors and it was the best platform to learn parallel programming in. Not only that, I think they put firms such as YellowDog Linux out of business. How dumb can Sony get?
"Sony really hurt me as a customer when they crippled my system. I'm really angry, and me - a guy who's never wished to use pirated software in his PS3 - is considering the jailbreak alternatives, so that I can have back the functionalities that were the reason I chose the PS3 over XBox..."
And Hank's not alone. Reader atomicblue says: "Sony lost me as a customer the day they killed my ability to install Linux on my PS3."
When Sony says: "By identifying PlayStation 3 systems that breach our guidelines and terminating their ability to connect to PlayStation Network, we are protecting our business and preserving the honest gameplay experiences that you expect and deserve," you can rest assured that the former is far more important to the outfit than the latter.
As the firm goes on to note: "Rest assured, this message does not apply to the overwhelming majority of our users who enjoy the world of entertainment PlayStation 3..."
So it doesn't mind losing a few customers in order to keep the majority in check. The few in this case, however, are the techiest users it has and they'll keep Sony's engineers on their toes for the lifetime of the console, as our report on claims that the bans are already circumventable suggests.