“Fat” PS3 Users Could Get $65 Payout

If you bought an original ‘Fat’ model PS3, you could get up to $65 from a class action lawsuit. The damages are compensation for Sony withdrawing the ability to easily run Linux on the system.

The ‘OtherOS’ feature let users partition the hard drive and install Linux on the spare space. Sony withdrew the option in April 2010. That led to a lawsuit arguing that Sony had breached its sales contract having explicitly advertised the feature.

Although not formally admitting any wrongdoing, Sony settled the class action case with a total payment of $3.75 million. From that the lawyers will take their chunk and the five named plaintiffs who started the case will take $3,500. The rest will be split between any eligible users who sign up to the case at http://www.otherossettlement.com/poc.php by an April 15 deadline.

To be eligible you’ll need to:

  • confirm you are in the US and bought a ‘Fat’ model from an authorized retailer (rather than a private sale) before April 1st 2010;
  • prove this by providing either the serial number from the PS3, the PSN sign-in ID you used with the console, or your PSN online ID used with the console; and
  • legally state that you “(1) used the Other OS functionality; or (2) knew about the Other OS functionality; or (3) contend or believe that you lost value or desired functionality or were otherwise injured as a consequence of Firmware Update 3.21 and/or the disablement of Other OS functionality in the Fat PS3.”

The estimated payout will be capped at $65 per user. It could be lower if enough people make a claim.

As is common with class action cases, all eligible users are automatically included as plaintiffs unless they respond with an explicit request to be excluded. That means if you do nothing by the deadline you’ll get no compensation but still lose your right to take individual legal action over the issue.