PlayStation 3 OS changes affect Air Force

Upkeep of the US Air Force's supercomputer may be a much more difficult endeavor

Late last year, we brought you a story reporting that the U.S. Air Force commissioned a $2 million purchase for thousands of PlayStation 3 consoles in order to create a supercomputer capable of running complex military programs, with the PS3's cell processor and ability to run alternative operating systems were cited as major factors in the decision. Now it seems as though Sony's recent decision to remove the PS3's ability to run other operating systems will make upkeep of the Air Force's supercomputer a much more difficult endeavor.

While an Air Force Research Laboratory member told Ars Technica "We will have to continue to use the systems we already have in hand," the official added, "this will make it difficult to replace systems that break or fail." The Air Force apparently is being given any preferential treatment by Sony in their procurement of the consoles, as the lab member recounted "The refurbished PS3s also have the problem that when they come back from Sony, they have the firmware (gameOS) and it will not allow Other OS, which seems wrong."

SOURCE: Air Force may suffer collateral damage from PS3 firmware update [Opposable Thumbs, Ars Technica]

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