Michael Trebilcock wants Sony to pay $800 after PlayStation 3 software change
- By Fiona McWhirter
- From: Sunday Mail (SA)
- June 20, 2010 6:23PM
Michael Trebilcock who is seeking $800 from Sony. Picture: Nigel Parsons Source: AdelaideNow
- Gamer complains of software change
- Wants to claim $800 from Sony
- Sony cites security concerns
ADELAIDE student Michael Trebilcock is suing multinational electronics company Sony for $800.
The 25-year-old from Modbury, who is on a disability pension, says his PlayStation 3 no longer works as advertised following a software upgrade.
The software change on the console has affected consumers throughout the world and despite class actions worth millions of dollars in the US, Mr Trebilcock's claim is thought to be the first in Australia, Adelaide Now reports.
Mr Trebilcock's complaint is with the "Install Other OS" feature included in the PlayStation 3 he bought in March 2007.
The feature allowed PlayStation users to replace the standard PS3 operating system with a different one, such as Linux - a popular free alternative to Windows available for download on the internet - allowing them to use the device as a personal computer as well as a video games console.
However, an "optional upgrade" introduced by Sony on April 1 deleted the feature - rendering useless any other programs already downloaded to the console.
Mr Trebilcock has lodged a claim at Holden Hill Magistrates Court where he is seeking $800 from Sony - a figure he said was reached by calculating how much it would cost to rent a laptop for each day the component has been removed - plus $116 in fees.
He said the function had been "praised by Sony as the most powerful feature of the PS3" ahead of the machine's launch, and was the main reason for his purchase.
"One of the reasons I bought (the PS3) was for this feature - it allowed you to use the PS3 as a computer, not just a games console," Mr Trebilcock said.
"You could attach printers to it and print documents, you could use Messenger and Firefox web browsing.
"But (Sony) decided that particular part of the system, which they had marketed as one of the reasons for buying it, was posing a security risk, and removed it."
Sony Computer Entertainment Australia said the feature was removed because of security issues, and said it had been part of an "optional" software update.
"Whilst we are mindful of the impact that this decision may have on affected users, we nevertheless felt compelled to (remove the function) due to security concerns," Sony wrote in a letter to PlayStation 3 buyers after the change, a copy of which has been lodged with the court.
"Given the very small number of users taking advantage of this option, we feel that it is a prudent safeguard for the ongoing development of the product which will ultimately benefit all PlayStation 3 users."
The letter points to a warning on the PS3 packaging which states "design and specifications are subject to change without notice".
Sony has rejected an offer to settle for a total of $850 at a directions hearing and a trial has been set for later this month.