Early adopters who bought a PlayStation 3 when it first came out, only to be dismayed by the lack of support for an actual computer operating system, have had their day in court at last. The final settlement may not be a million bucks, but it’s probably enough to buy a new PlayStation 4 game.
Back when PlayStation 3 debuted, Sony marketed it as a “computer” that would run Linux as well as play games. The Air Force even bought 1,700 of them to make their own supercomputer. The Linux thing never really panned out, so Sony quietly dumped the computer OS feature with a firmware update in 2010.
A class-action lawsuit ensued, and the case has dragged on for years. In 2016, Digital Trends reported on an agreement that would pay most purchasers $9, with some people receiving payments as high as $55.
A judge rejected that agreement, saying the settlement didn’t compensate PlayStation owners enough. More legal wrangling ensued, and now a final agreement has been reached that could get you as much as $65 if you purchased an original PlayStation 3.
CNET has a detailed summary of the settlement, where Sony has agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle the lawsuit. If you bought a “fat” PS3 between November 1, 2006 and April 1, 2010, you’re eligible for your part of the claim. The purchase had to be from an actual retailer, not some guy on eBay.
You need to submit your application by April 15, 2018. You can fill out the online claim form here. If you previously submitted a claim, you’ll be automatically included in this one as well.
You’ll need at least one of the follwing: the serial number from your PS3, or your PlayStation Network Online ID (your handle), or PlayStation Network Sign-In ID (email address). The latter two must be from accounts associated with your fat PS3. You also have to complete an affidavit swearing that you knew about the Linux feature, and that your PS3 lost value when support was discontinued. You may need to include the retailer where you purchased the console as well.
The settlement only promises up to $65, as it depends on how many people submit the correct paperwork. Sony claims to have sold 10 million original PS3s, but only a fraction of them will go through the necessary steps to claim their payout.
As with most settlements of this type, by agreeing to accept payment you’re giving up your right to sue Sony in the future over this issue or negotiate your own settlement. You can find out more at the FAQ section of the settlement page.
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