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Sony Tosses PlayStation|3 Upgrade Claims Aside

(CN) - A federal judge has dismissed the remaining claim by class who said Sony reneged on its promise to let PlayStation 3 video game consoles function as computers.

Sony said the console was designed so users could "play games, watch movies, view videos, listen to music and run a full-featured Linux operating system that transforms your PS3 into a home computer," according to the class complaint filed in April 2010.

Lead plaintiff Anthony Ventura says he bought a Playstation 3 instead of the Microsoft Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii because Sony's system offered this Linux feature, even though "the PS3 was substantially more expensive."

In March 2010, Sony announced on its website that its latest software update for the PS3 would no longer support Linux. PS3 owners who wanted to sign onto the PS3 Network to play games online or use their PS3 to play Blu-ray discs would have to download the software update, the class claimed. But the update would disable their Linux capability, forcing them to choose between using Linux or the PS3's other features.

To the frustration of many PS3 owners, the class said Sony disabled PS3's much-hyped OtherOS operating system installer after a hacker "jailbroke" a PS3.

The "jailbreak" prodded Sony to swiftly release a software update disabling OtherOS and frustrating PS3 owners, the complaint said.

In February, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg dismissed most of the class claims with leave to amend, finding the plaintiffs failed to state a claim.

"While it cannot be concluded as a matter of law at this juncture that Sony could, without legal consequence, force its customers to choose either to forego installing the software update or to lose access to the other OS feature, the present allegations of the complaint largely fail to state a claim," Seeborg wrote in February. "Accordingly, with the exception of one count, the motion to dismiss will be granted, with leave to amend."

Seeborg granted Sony's motion to dismiss the remaining claim Thursday under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Seeborg found the plaintiffs could not prove that they had a right to expect the OS feature beyond Sony's warranty period or continued access to the Playstation Network (PSN).

"The dismay and frustration at least some PS3 owners likely experienced when Sony made the decision to limit access to the PSN service to those who were willing to disable the Other OS feature on their machines was no doubt genuine and understandable. As a matter of providing customer satisfaction and building loyalty, it may have been questionable," Seeborg wrote.

"As a legal matter, however, plaintiffs have failed to allege facts or articulate a theory on which Sony may be held liable," he continued.

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