The United States Air Force bought 336 PlayStation 3 consoles in 2009 as an initial purchase to create a 53 teraFlop cluster for processing data. Impressed with the power of Sony’s home console system, the Air Force decided to buy another 2200 consoles. The whole project cost the Air Force (and by proxy the U.S. tax payers) $663,000.
These PS3 systems were configured with the "Other OS" feature, allowing the Air Force to use Linux to do whatever heavy lifting the project needed, but Sony’s recent firmware update that removed that option may prove to be problematic for this work in the future.
"We will have to continue to use the systems we already have in hand," said an Air Force rep speaking with Ars Technica. "This will make it difficult to replace systems that break or fail. 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. We are aware of class-action lawsuits against Sony for taking away this option on systems that used to have it."
While the Air Force made no further comment on the Class Action Lawsuit, it would probably fair to say that it hopes Sony will not prevail and it won’t have to worry about the infamous firmware update removing the features it needs to continue its work..
Source: Ars Technica