Everybody was already aware of the fact that the PS3 slim already had that feature disabled but all the old models were supposed to retain that feature indefinitely. With this new firmware that feature will be gone even if you were an early PS3 adopter. The outcry from PS3 gamers and users is huge. Sony’s old PS3 blog has already 63 pages of responses most of which are angry PS3 owners.
Personally, I do have a PS3 which does allow installing Linux (for now) but I have not done that yet [install Linux]. Nonetheless, I like the idea that if I wanted to spend the time, I could do it at any point of my ownership of the console. I was very happy when I originally read that Sony has put the ability to install third-party OSes as a manufacturer-supported feature because that meant that Linux hackers might be able to make use of the awesome PS3 hardware for other cool projects and ideas. Unfortunately, if all the news are true and Sony does release that new firmware, that won’t be possible any more.
A lot of the other responses on the Sony blog are people posting that this is an April’s Fools joke since the new firmware is supposed to be released on April 1st. I sincerely hope so because, according to Sony, not upgrading is not really a good option.