back to article Sony threatens to ban PS3 jailbreakers from network

Sony has threatened to permanently banish all PlayStation 3 users from the its online game network if they use jailbroken consoles. Customers who don't want to lose access to the PlayStation Network “must immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices,” Sony Social Media Manager Jeff Rubenstein blogged on Wednesday …

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waaa!

"we are protecting our business and preserving the honest gameplay experiences that you expect and deserve"

the first part could be true, the second is pure hogwash.

you lost sony, now stop acting like a spoilt child.

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It's Sony's network

They can set whatever rules they like and change them whenever they like.

This is why it is moronic to invest in a proprietary system.

If people had demanded a PS3 that could play on the open interwebs (like some PC games do, with people/companies hosting their own servers [mileage may vary etc etc]) then they would not have given Sony such total control over the hardware.

Perhaps companies that want Sony's level of control should not sell consoles, instead go for a rental model? "Get a PS3, only £50 a year! [5 years minimum contract, you must buy 2 full-price games a year]".

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Not necessarily

> the first part could be true, the second is pure hogwash.

The ability to run "home-grown" apps on the PS3 could potentially lead to joyous things like wall-hacks, aimbots and all the other "fun" things you occasionally encounter online gaming on the PC.

Valve didn't develop VAC without reason.

Sony are playing the part of the heavy-handed playground bully and they could certainly deal with the matter differently BUT if you spend any time gaming online you'll see there is a need to "ban the cheaters".

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But

It's fine for Microsoft/XBOX then, I guess.

SONY's network, SONY's software, they set the rules. It's that simple, don't whine about it.

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@zanto

"the first part could be true, the second is pure hogwash."

No it isn't. If you have modded firmware you might use it to:

1. Hack save files, player profiles or other things that you are not intended to modify

2. Hack trophies

3. Obtain an unfair advantage in a multiplayer game, e.g. aimbots

4. Hack game servers to DDOS other players, ping flood or otherwise disrupt service

5. Turn a PS3 into a spambot

6. Obtain / unlock content which are not entitled to

7. Spoof other PSN users, or the store

8. Generally disrupt PSN in ways it was not intended to cope with

All of which ruin the experience for honest legitimate players. But you think modders should be able leech off PSN and be able to do all of this and more, for why exactly?

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Megaphone

I think they make a valid point here

When it comes to Sony removing the "Install other OS" option I think they had it coming. Now; I love my PS3 for what it does and never bothered with this option myself, but I can sure see others who do like to fiddle around some more. So yes, people will circumvent it, do what they want with their OWN hardware and within that context I too say "screw you, you had it coming".

But this is another thing IMO. Breaking open your PS3 to install Linux ? sure! But then I do think its fair that Sony draws a line by not allowing these devices onto the PSN. If you want to break open the PS3 to install Linux and then use your box as a router or whatever; go ahead. I haven't read anything about Sony hunting down the websites which present all the info to do this yet.

But if you're trying to take such a machine online while there is a certain risk that it could be tampered with in such ways that it might affect online gameplay I think its only fair that Sony denies access. They got to draw the line somewhere.. When it comes to cheating I too think there should be much more codes and such available for the PS3 (I liked using those from time to time on the PC too) but ONLY as long as those will never affect online gameplay. I don't mind "cheating" or code usage, as long as you don't annoy or hinder people who don't like to play that way.

SO yes; in this case I say go Sony!

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FAIL

keep believing the hype

Yeah keep believing they do it to protect their customers. Kind of like when they protected their beloved customers (thieves the whole lot in their mind) with illegal rootkits and used their R&D to invent DRM so draconian that it pushed honest paying customers to pirate the game just to avoid the inconvenience (Spore, etc DRM) when its only purpose was to squeeze retailers from resale. Sony's customer first approach is probably they have sold 100 million less PS3 than PS2 and taken a bath on profits lately.

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Indeed.

Sony, please go!

Straight to hell.

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Grenade

I honestly don't understand the furore here.

You buy the PS2/3 whatever Hardware. You buy a license to use the firm/software supplied. The SLA imposes limitations on what you can do. If you don't like them don't buy the product... If you do buy the product and make changes that do not comply with the SLA or warranty terms then too bad, you lose. Sony spent a lot of time and money - 'cos they are big enough to do it (and you made them that way!!!) - in developing this product and are protecting their investment

If you are competent to make changes and they are at the edge then have a good lawyer and pots of money.

Clearly, you will see, I neither own nor use a PS2/3 so am a talking arse.

if folks want to experiment then that is great and Sony should be looking at what you do to see if it can help in their development program and Sony would be daft to try and stifle creativity in these areas - IMHO. If you are modding your machine to enable you to cheat others either for prestige or profit then I hope Sony burn you badly as I can't abide a cheat. That being said, I'd like to see Sony burnt badly for what they illegally did to peoples computers when the sneaked in root kits. But that is history and legislators aren't interested. What's the phrase - 'If you don't learn form history your are condemned to repeat it', Welcome to your Groundhog day.

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Not quite

You shouldn't have to "break open your PS3 to install Linux" as it was sold with Linux as a feature (there's a 20gb partition on my PS3 drive unused now, but I'll be damned before I delete it).

As for the argument of affecting online play, it's irrelevant. Cheaters have been able to manipulate save files and use other snekay triks to do this for the last few years, nothing to do with the current cracks.

So with both of those points dismissed: Go to hell Sony?

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Manipulating save files

Manipulating save files and the like might unlock achievements or items BUT it's not quite wall-hacking, aimbotting, god-mode or whatever - really Sony only have 2 options when it comes to preventing this kind of behaviour when gaming on the PSN.

1: Block anyone who's "modded" their console (despite the fact that it was initially sold with that feature).

2: Develop something like Valve's VAC - it's not perfect but it's a damned good compromise.

Sony seems to have picked the lazy option and killed "bedroom development" on the PS3 - I'm sure they had a dev box (Yr Rose?) sort-of available for the PS1 - the next "Super Meatboy" ain't gonna be developed for the PS3 I'd guess.

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Sony's perspective

It is blazingly obvious here that Sony is trying stop / deter piracy here. They're not going after some guy who has rooted their PS3 to turn it into an XBMC server or run Linux exclusively. By defintion such people have excluded themselves from PSN and piracy.

What they care about are people running modified XMB firmware in the main to play pirated games. Sony obviously lose money if that were the case. That's the main commercial reason but there are also fairness / user experience reasons too. Anyone who has ever played a multiplayer game with cheats / griefers knows what a pointless and shitty experience it is. Allowing modded boxes onto PSN would allow cheats & griefers free rein and it would ruin the service for everyone else.

So it makes complete sense they're banned from PSN for users and for Sony. As for modders who are completely innocent and buy all their original titles - tough shit really. Don't mod your box, or if you do accept you're never going to get PSN.

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Stop

Boycott Sony/Related products.

I know I've said this before.

While this may be hard since they are quite ubiquitous, let's try and make a conscious effort to show Sony the finger.

Regarding Sony media, I wonder if this kind of behaviour by Sony would well turn certain people who would otherwise do the 'right' thing to do the 'wrong' thing. Not advocating this, just saying.

So Sony, you're already pissed a lot of people off. You would do well to recant.

(I think I've finally found a company I dislike more than Apple lol!)

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What planet are you from

Every online service has terms & conditions. If you abuse those conditions you'll get the boot. Sony are doing nothing more than ensuring only legitimate users get access to PSN. Just as Microsoft do with theirs.

Yet we're all supposed to be up in arms about it why? Because a bunch of pirates can't leech service or cheat / grief legit users? Boo hoo. They made their bed and they can lie in it.

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I remember the days

When Sony used to be known as a company that made decent gear.

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FAIL

heck

I would even settle for the Sony back before they decided DRM was a moral obligation. That seemed to start about the time they decided hiring a Welsh/American media executive as CEO was a good idea. Strange coincidence that.

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DRM

DRM is hardly a Sony only phenomenon; I'm looking at you Ubisoft!

Though Sony crossed the line with their ever-so-lovely rootkit.

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Grenade

about ubisoft drm

I am pretty sure it was developed by Sony originally. Most CD/DVD media DRM schemes have come out of Sony's R&D.

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Must ban modded consoles to stop cheaters

I'm not quite sure why everyone continues to lick Geohots arse. He knew how Sony would react if he were to go too far but went ahead anyway to boost his own reputation. So great, he's managed to give more power over the console to a minute percentage of hackers but ended up forcing Sonys hand and loosing the Other OS feature for a much larger percentage. Yeah nice.

Sony have no choice but to ban users who mod their consoles. Look at XBOX live for example. When the mod chips and firmware hacks first came along, many non-modded users stopped playing on XBOX live and/or stopped paying the XBOX live subscription because of modded users cheats. This means there's less players, less interaction for other users. It's a tumbling effect that can kill an online gaming service very quickly.

If people are going to use an online gaming platform, especially if they're going to pay for it, they must believe that it's fair and cheat proof.

The only FAIL here is geohot and his followers for fucking it up for the rest of us.

Should Sony have removed Other OS? No.

Should Sony ban modified consoles? Unfortunately, to save online gaming from cheats, Yes.

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Check your timeline

"So great, he's managed to give more power over the console to a minute percentage of hackers but ended up forcing Sonys hand and loosing the Other OS feature for a much larger percentage. Yeah nice."

Other OS was pulled a long time before fail0verflow did their thing, and GeoHot filled in the blanks and published it.

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Whilst I don't blame Geo et al...

...they just made a hack after all. It is the arse-wipes who use the hack to cheat get my ire.

And it's Sony's network, so they can ban who they like when they like for any reason they like.

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Unnecessary arse licking

You've got it a bit backwards there. Sony removed the Other OS feature, which was the catalyst for many hackers to begin circumventing. The have all said there wasn't much interest in putting so much time into cracking the PS3 as the security was pretty good, but once Sony decided to screw people over they retaliated.

Again: The cheats have been at this way before GeoHotz, fail0verflow and the rest released the codes, not what this is about.

Should Sony ban cheats: Yes.

Should Sony ban people using their console as was advertised when they bought it: It's sad we're debating this.

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Pirate

I agree*

* apart from the fact that you seem to endorse big companies doing whatever they want without regard to anyone else.

I paid a lot of money with the promise that I could A) Play on-line and B) install my own OS.

Sony Unilaterally removed one of those options (depending on whether you changed your firmware) and this then leads to the possibility that legitimate software won't run until you choose to lose the "install other OS" option.

I agree that Sony need to consider pirates and cheats, and to protect revenue streams, but selling their hardware with the promise of functionality that they then remove is fraud. There is no way of dressing that up. And people who feel defrauded lose the incentive to follow Sony's rules.

So while your argument holds some water, it misses the point by a wide margin. Not to mention the fact that Geohot's changes don't automatically open up the console to anyone who wants to play pirated games. Others have had a bigger effect than him.

For the record, I have no longer any interest in filling Sony's pockets any further. I will never again purchase a Sony product. I don't want to play copied games as I don't game very much at all, but when I spend £300 on a device with a list of functions that can be pared down without me being able to do anything about it, I feel defrauded. I won't ever buy a kindle because of the George Orwell debacle for the same reason (and I don't even want to read the books they deleted).

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Wasn't the cart at the other end of the horse?

>So great, he's managed to give more power over the console to a minute percentage of hackers but ended up forcing Sonys hand and loosing the Other OS feature for a much larger percentage.<

Not being a PS3 owner, I've only read the odd mention of this case here on the Reg, but wasn't the Other OS feature removed well before this hack was published?

If so, might it not be the loss of this option that spurred the sufficiently nerdy hackers into action?

Just askin'.

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yes and no

fail0verflow's hack was after OtherOS was removed, but it was geohotz's publishing that he had managed to compromise the system in a limited way that led to the removal of OtherOS.

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FAIL

Spoilt Children running Sony?

Another case of Sony being childish - seems the company is run using schoolyard politics.

"If you don't play how I want you can't be my friend any more!"

I've not even thought about hacking my ps3 but this just rubs me the wrong way - in fact I'm tempted to hack it, use the bloody thing as a router/media server and forget about buying any more games.

Never thought I'd say it but I'll be buying an Xbox next time round. On top of this type of tantrum throwing and messing with the functionality of my PS3 I've had a heap of Sony gear die on me in the past 3 years.

Their build quality is about as good as LG now :-S

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Troll

Re: Spoilt Children running Sony?

for all its worth, a modded Xbox will be banned from XBL and might be bricked by a Microsoft update.

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Gav
Grenade

More schoolyard bullying

I was disqualified from school athletics yesterday for using a quad-bike. Seems that it only counts if you play how they want you to play! Schoolyard bullies is all they are. If that's their attitude, I'm just going to go drive the wrong way around someone else's track!

After school, I wanted to play Scrabble, but was upset that my pals didn't appreciate my innovative mod of "make-up-any-word-you-like". They said I couldn't play and wouldn't be my friend any more. Talk about childish! And I had a dead-cert triple word score for "Uzurqtkb" on my first go!

Apparently I'm free to do whatever I like, but as soon as I want to join in games with the other boys and girls I have to follow "rules". It's not fair!

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Flame

Writing on the wall

When Sony bought a movie studio you just knew their hardware was going to go to dog shit. Funny how media companies have a vested interest in controlling their customers who they consider thieves with draconian DRM. Funny also how customers tend to pick the hardware from the disruptive upstarts that don't play by the rules. Kind of how Sony was 30 years ago.

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FAIL

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

While they're banning people who make legitimate copies of their games just to play off of an internal drive, or just want Linux or want extra functionality that Sony denies (How long has it been since a REAL cheat device?), that's people not buying off of their overpriced online store, purveying original and rehashed content. I can understand getting cheaters from online games and people playing stolen content (DLCs, etc.), but banning everyone effectively forces them to go purely illegal. They already lost, they can't stop the tides, the least they can do is accept it, let the PS3 be a gaming, home entertainment AND hobbyist console and just do a better job next time.

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Next time?

The PS3 is sold at a loss because Sony expect to earn it back by seling games.

Most of those who claim they unlock the console to play 'backups of their games' are in reality using pirated copies. That's how it has always been.

For Sony stopping anyone from using 'backups' is critical for their ability to earn back the cost of the PS3.

Ask yourself this:

If Sony can't make money on their consoles, why should they bother to continue developing new ones?

Yeah, it sucks when a game stops working bacuse the CD/DVD/Whatever is scratched, but it's not exactly the end of the world.

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Guilty until proven innocent

None of this debate is about piracy, it's about "jailbreaking" PS3s. Piracy may be possible from this but it is not the only reason people will do it.

Your claim that "most are in reality using pirated copies" is quite a big one, and I'd like to see the research which shows this. But again, not the point, should people be allowed to jailbreak their PS3? Straightforward question. Nothing to do with piracy.

The removal of OtherOS was a massive mistake by Sony, as now people who may want to pirate have a perfectly valid and IMHO legal (still unsure how US law differentiates iPhone jailbreaking from PS3, anyone got a logical reason?) excuse now, to restore functionality legally purchased and subsequently removed.

And it does suck when discs get scratched, but thanks to the digital era it isn't the end of the world, we can make backups. Yay!

Seem to be repeating the same stuff over and over here.

(and if Sony sell hardware at a loss that's their problem, not ours)

END RANT

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I don't think

----

The PS3 is sold at a loss because Sony expect to earn it back by seling games.

----

I don't think that's true any more - it certainly was when the hardware came out BUT the tech is a few years old now and I'm sure I read somewhere that Sony actually makes a modest profit on every PS3 sold now.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't get this attitude...

There's nothing worse when playing an on-line game to find it ruined by some pathetic loser who needs to cheat....so I don't see what the problem is here, as a previous poster said, Sony's hand was forced to act.... after all they didn't need to offer the Install Other OS option in the first place (I don't see XBOX with this option), Sony started out with good intentions, it was 'look how f*cking clever I am' hackers that started this battle.... what option do Sony have, who wants to play online if every game is over run with cheats, or stupid mods.

I stopped playing 1942 on PC when every other game was ruined with stupid zero-gravity mods, or idiots that could race around the game 50 times faster than everyone else.

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Re : AC - 20110217 1045

"after all they didn't need to offer the Install Other OS option in the first place"

But they did include the 'Other OS', and nobody forced them to do that either.

And then, without warning they removed that feature from existing owned boxes. Not I believe that could easily be against the law in the UK / EU. Did they offer a refund after limiting the functionality of hardware that people have paid for?

So if you have a feature which, maybe, is only used by the top 10% of technically skilled owners, then you really should expect big problems if you remove this feature, especially FROM EXISTING OWNED BOXES.

And, no, I don't own any form of games machine. However I did once buy a Nintendo DS for my granddaughter.

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RE: I don't get this attitude...

They did have to include it in order to secure a tax break by declaring it to be a computer rather than a games console. So they did it not for the benefit of the enduser, but out of greed.

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Stop

Point is, it WAS DECLARED.

This may not be true in America, but I'm pretty sure that, in Europe, once you advertise a feature, you must DELIVER on that feature or you're plainly-and-simply engaged in False Advertising, which is a CRIMINAL offense. So How will Sony respond if European courts start levying charges of False Advertising on them--or worse, demanding back taxes because, without OtherOS, the PS3 can no longer be considered a personal computer--and therefore ineligible for the tax break (might this form of chicanery also be prosecuted criminally as a form of tax evasion)?

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Happy

letters and/or digits

All I can say is: I'm glad the last console I bought was an N64.

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Agreed - Ban them from the PSN

The ONLY reason for running custom IOS/code on PS/3 is to play cracked games. All this talk of 'it's my hardware' and 'I want Linux' is bollocks.

Crackers have ruined Modern Warfare 2 for those of us who bought it and have not cracked their hardware. Freetards should be punished for their behaviour by getting their PS/3 permanantly banned from the PSN - that way they can play all the Linux / cracked games they like - ON THEIR OWN!

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Grenade

Yeah, sure!

Please tell this to the US Air Force who bought PS3 expressly for running Linux.

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Alert

PSN is not the only way to update

"The PlayStation Network is the sole source of bug fixes and firmware updates for the consoles."

That indeed was Sony's contention during hearings. But it is not the case, as a lawyer for the defendant (Hotz) observed; there were many other ways to get firmware updates, including by direct download from a Sony website, without logging in to PSN.

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Anonymous Coward

Very easy to understand Sony's behaviour.

It's payback for Betamax - pure and simple.

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Paris Hilton

fook them!

I have never modded my PS3 in anyway. I recently updated to 3.56 or whatever the latest update was, and since then my PS3 does not recognise any USB data drives connected to it! Considence - maybe. Will Sont recognise their update caused this - no. Pain in the a$$ - Most definitely!

Paris coz she definitely puts out

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Pirate

I could be wrong...

...but i thought that after the recent leak of the digital signature Sony use over twitter, you no longer need a "modified" console, you could simply re-sign the software yourself?

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It never got quite that easy

You still needed a way to install it, that's not provided by the default firmware and needed to be unlocked.

And that wasn't quite all, don't know the specifics, but there were still one or two keys to be found when the lawsuit kicked off, and all has gone relatively quiet since then.

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Black Helicopters

Can they hunt me down?

Forgotten I'd done this first time around.

Wonder if they will get the shop pulled.

http://www.cafepress.com/stillgeeksrus

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Stop

Hang on a sec...

They aren't going to brick the console, you can still play your pirated games and watch your pirated movies and frankly do what the hell you want with it.

You just can't get online and fuck it up for the rest of us who prefer playing within the defined rules of that game.

Someone I work with was saying how he was playing Black Ops and joined a game that had infinite ammo, rapid file grenade launchers. If that was a game I was playing and every other lobby I joined had stuff like that going on I'd be sorely disappointed. I've heard that CoD4 and MW2 are both unplayable these days. I would imagine that other new, big releases are going to go the same way.

Hack your console, fine, I thoroughly believe in being able to do what you want to hardware that you've bought.

PSN is a service that Sony run as an ongoing concern, its theirs and they let you use it (for free I might add). You haven't bought it, you don't own it. You have no 'right' to it. And I thoroughly believe in their right to protect that and maintain a reliable service for the legitimate users. If it gets a reputation for every new game's multiplayer being overrun with idiots cheating then no-one will want to play.

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Linux

If it's just to stop people cheating on the online games...

Then surely the simplest thing to do is mark their avatars/gamertags as being run on a modded console, then if they are cheating, those playing against them will simply walk away. Let the users do the hard work! No lawsuits. No bad PR.

Unless... THAT isn't why they're doing it?

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Anonymous Coward

Eh?

I'm not really a gamer, but I would have expected any network for consoles to band modded consoles. Why wouldn't they? The only surprise in this story for me is that it's a story at all.

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Pirate

"turn over all code and computers used to develop his hack."

...and the chunk of his brain where he memorized and deducted the code too? Bollocks.

Take the bible off a priest, he will still be a priest, specially important in unholy lands where the Bible would be a book stored on the "to burn" pile.

Perhaps he should turn the entirety of his brain in a silver platter over, that will suffice then.

I say they create a rogue PSN designed specifically to be run on jailbroken PS3s, and block AT&T access to your hardware entirely. If you own a legal PS3, you pay a small subscription fee for the jailbroken network too, while jailbroken consoles are free subscription.

On a side note, if it could run Linux, would it run Windows 7? That would be charming to play PC games that cost 1/4 of the same PS3 game.

Did I say AT&T back there? Oops.

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