Looks like the latest PS3 firmware update has borked a bunch of controllers, possibly only knock-off ones. What’s funny about this situation is that Apple does stuff like this all the time. In fact, it specifically upgrades its systems in order to lock out other hardware and software. People seem okay with that (at least, they continue to buy Apple stuff), but I get the feeling if this turns out to be Sony shenanigans, heads will roll.
Whether either practice is really justifiable, or beneficial to consumers, is a serious question, and one that I am not paid enough to answer. So I’ll leave it to the fanboys.
I guess if I had to put my two cents in, I’d say it’s a little deliberate and a little accidental. My guess would be that they were upgrading the controller code for their own (probably evil) purposes, and although they knew what they were doing would probably break some third-party controllers that weren’t up to spec, that wasn’t seen as a good reason to stop. After all, the worst thing that can happen is people have to go buy more actual Sony-branded hardware. They won’t like Sony for it, but Sony doesn’t need to be liked.