back to article Unhackable PS3 finally jailbroken, video claims

An Australian seller of videogame modchips claims Sony's PlayStation 3 console has been jailbroken by a hack that allows users to run backup and home-brewed copies of games — not to mention titles that have been pirated. OzModChips.com posted three videos on YouTube that purport to show a fully current version of the console …

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  2. Apophys
    Thumb Up

    Here's hoping

    they finally cracked the damn thing! I hated Sony ever since they removed Linux support.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      @Apophys

      I still haven't forgiven them for the rootkit incident. Or for that matter, killing the excellent minidisc format through greedy attempts to keep it totally proprietary. As the most backwards member of the RIAA and MPAA they also earn some hatred in my books for holding digital distribution business models back about three decades.

      The PS3 thing wasn't even a blip on my radar as I had long since decided "no Sony ever."

      1. Lottie
        Heart

        +1

        for the Minidisc love

  3. Daniel B.
    FAIL

    SONY FAIL

    This is what happens when you piss off the "not-so-small" tech-savvy consumer population. It is worth mentioning that this happened about 4 months after Sony killed off OtherOS support. I'd bet that the modhackers suddenly got an influx of hackers joining them because of the whole OtherOS blockage; Sony's idiocy in fact enabled the hackers to start caring about hacking the firmware. Way to go Sony!

  4. Scottie Taylor
    Alert

    A title is not required, dagnabbit!

    Sony wont ever come out and flatly admit if the hack is real or not. But we'll have a sure way to tell. Look for one of the next firmware 'updates' on the PS3 to include disabling of third-party USB devices on the system. They'll say it's to balance gameplay or something.

  5. Highlander
    FAIL

    Counting chickens before they hatch? I think so.

    I gather that the only way this device can in anyway work is if it is an unauthorized copy of a maintenance device that Sony may use to put units in to a service mode when they are being serviced.

    That's not so much a jail break as an act of theft since such service keys (assuming they exist) are certainly closely guarded and protected by quite a few contracts, copyrights and probably a patent or two. Now, whether this thing actually works or not, I'd bet that the very next firmware update makes a change that prevents it from working in future.

    Not only that but I would be really unsurprised to find Sony very carefully looking at the service keys and who has them and who might have leaked on to the outside world. At which point the full force of the law will come crashing down on anyone foolish enough to sell a device that contains the proprietary and copyrighted code required to put a PS3 into service mode.

    At the end of the day, even if this product exists and works, it can only work in one way, and that way leads straight to court. The jokers behind this apparently believe that since it's 'OK' to 'jailbreak' the iPhone in some places, that it's similarly OK to do the same thing to the PS3. The trouble is if they use copyrighted code, to do it, they are in deep trouble, and it's quite decided NOT OK.

    Never mind the whole fact that these devices are only ever used for one thing - theft. Oh, I know about all the 'legitimate uses' that people claim, which it total and complete non-sense. These devices enable the use of pirated (AKA stolen) games. As such, they are nothing more than theft enablement devices. I wonder whether the makers might be charged with inciting their customers to steal by enabling them to do so? Or perhaps they could be charged with conspiracy on the grounds that their device is designed specifically to enable theft?

    Ah well, who knows, since this device hasn't yet surfaced and all we've seen is a PS3 (that may or may not be a debug unit) running Infamous of the HDD, which considering it's available for download isn't exactly a major feat. Oh, but if you want 1000s of suckers to drop $150 with you, by all means fake a video and claim your claim and collect your money.

    Personally I think the odds of seeing this device ever on the market are slim to none, even if it does actually exist, the only way in which it can work requires the user and maker to break copyright, and computer tampering laws.

    1. Neoc

      Not just theft

      Actually, quite a few years ago Sony tried to sue an Australian company for PS2 mod-chips. Sony lost the battle as the Judge ruled that while, yes, it was possible to play illegal copies of games on a chipped-console, the primary purpose of the chip was to remove region locking.

      Since then, it's been just about impossible to find a region-locked DVD player in Oz. ^_^ Even Sony gave up on that one. Hasn't stopped the companies from trying it again with the PS3, BluRay players, etc...

    2. Antidisestablishmentarianist
      Stop

      Now now....

      You'll upset all those fragile freetards out there with your talk of theft.

      If you keep on they'll just start up their tired illogical diatribes of sticking-it-to-the-man etc etc

      Yawn

    3. Alastair 7

      Not quite.

      I don't doubt the huge potential for playing pirated games on jailbroken consoles, and I think it's a shame. However, that isn't the only reason.

      Google a program called XBMC. It's a media player that was made for the original XBOX. Played MPG, DIVX, AVI, whatever you wanted to throw at it, all wrapped up in a fantastic UI. When I bought a Wii I did something similar- cracked into the system to install a media player.

      Just because you can play pirated games doesn't mean everyone does.

      1. Highlander
        Flame

        Alistair

        Um, let me see, how can I put this gently? Oh yes. Total crap (see polite - sort of).

        Look, I've heard every justification in he book that claims legitimate use, and that's just a bunch of self service bullsh*t. You and I and everyone else knows that should a mod chip for the PS3 ever be made it will be used 95% of the time to play stolen games.

        There is no region locking on the PS3, the PS3 covers the majority of the common sound and video codecs, and BluRay's rarely scratch, few have the ability to image the disc to back it up, and even if they have that physical capability it requires software to remove copy protection which is more or less illegal in most countries. So the supposed legitimate uses are infinitesimal compared to the illegal use the device will promote.

        Then of course there is the simple fact that if Sony detects that your PS3 ha been backed your PSN ID, and your PS3 will be instantly perma-banned, without hope of appeal.

        However all that follows the *huge* IF, as in IF this thing even exists.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Much of which you could have said about DVDs

          When DVDs first came out very few people had the wherewithall to copy them and remove the protection. Now pretty much any laptop you can get £300 at Currys can do it, and, while its illegal I've never heard anyone being done for it. Ditto CDs and MP3s (although I assume all your music is downloaded and paid for - even those tracks you already own on CD...)

          I have an XBOX, and its hacked, and I've never used it for pirate games. I hacked it to install XBMC. At some point I will need to replace it as it cannot handle HD. Whatever I replace it with will run the media centre that *I* chose, not what Sony, Microsoft or even one of the many nettop makers think I should use.

        2. Greg J Preece

          @Highlander

          Do me a favour and just hush up. I want the Hypervisor back, nothing else. I guess I must be a thief, and that 100% legit games collection of mine is a figment of my imagination.

          Tit.

        3. Thomas 4

          @Highlander

          I respectfully disagree with your comments. Recently, I've been trying very hard to find a way to mod my PS2, via the use of disks, usb, whatever (can't solder for the life of me) *specifically* to play games that were never released in this country - Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Parasite Eve. I have no interest in pirate games - I can easily afford to buy the games I want without batting an eyelid.

          If Chrono Cross was released in the UK, along with its ilk, I'd have zero interest in mod-chips, disks, whatever. Don't assume everyone is a pirate.

        4. Alastair 7

          @Highlander

          How, exactly, is what I said total crap? I assure you, I really did install XBMC. I also really did do the same to my Wii.

          I didn't disagree that these methods are often used for playing pirated games. I said that there *are* legitimate uses for running your own code on a console. Just because 95% of people use it for bad doesn't mean that 5% of people should be locked up for using it legitimately.

      2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Hear, Hear!

        <3 XBMC. Only use I ever had for an XBox.

      3. g e

        XBMC is brilliant

        I have two chipped XBOX1's running XBMC specifically as media players. Works a treat, better than many commercial mediaplayer apps including the XBOX360 and PS3 players in most cases.

        Can't be arsed to even consider pirated console games. Ebay ensures a steady supply of cheap used games in great condition, some even with promo codes unused, too.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sigh.

      As nobody else has said it, I'll draw the fire from the antitards,

      It's not theft, it's copyright infringement. Yada yada, intent to permanently deprive, yada, nothing like stealing a handbag, yada yada.

      There, I said it. Well, vaguely, but it's been said hundreds of times before on these pages alone.

      1. Highlander

        *sigh* yourself. What else do you call taking something without paying for it?

        Sounds like theft to me, though I may be a bit simple, you know.

        1. A J Stiles
          Thumb Down

          Definition of theft

          Theft is dishonestly taking something that belongs to somebody else with intent to permanently deprive (sic) them of it.

          For the second time today, please explain *who* has been permanently deprived of *what* by the act of making a copy of a piece of software.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            got some serious stupid here

            If you purchased the game legitimately then 'they' would have a little of your money, so it is they're LOSS if you install a pirated copy.

            Not that I give a damn

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Stop

              @I'm with stupid here

              No, it's not their "loss" - it's their lack of gain. Fundamentally. Different. Yours is the same argument that the RIAA use to claim that piracy "costs" them $XX Billion every year. This assumes that every copied album is one that would have been bought had it not been pirated.

              I have approximately 1600 albums on my hard drive, probably <5% of which I have paid for (hence AC). I accept that this is wrong, and I do not defend it. However, if I had had to pay for all that music, then I simply would not have bought most of it. Yes, I probably would have spent significantly more money on music were it not so simple and consequence-free (for me) to pirate, maybe purchasing another 5% of those albums. So, take your $XX billion estimate, and divide it by twenty.

              So, it is fundamentally not theft, as many people have already said. That does not make it right, but by my (back of the envelope, highly specific to me) calculation, physically stealing an album "costs" about 20 times what pirating one does.

          2. scarshapedstar
            WTF?

            Okay, fine

            "Theft is dishonestly taking something that belongs to somebody else with intent to permanently deprive (sic) them of it."

            If you take some stranger's bike in the middle of the night without asking, even if you fully intend to bring it back before they wake up, you're riding a stolen bike.

            "For the second time today, please explain *who* has been permanently deprived of *what* by the act of making a copy of a piece of software."

            You could make the same argument that nobody is deprived of anything if you sneak into a nightclub without paying the cover. Ditto for a water park - after all, they pump water all day long no matter who comes. Hell, you could even start borrowing books from the bookstore, as long as you bring 'em back in good condition. Same goes for glasses and cutlery, tools from the hardware store... sure, why not?

            Ultimately, though, the rest of us who aren't sociopaths think you're simply an asshole who justifies his own selfishness with really lame sophistry.

        2. Daniel B.
          Flame

          Modchip/CFW != piracy != theft

          There is a good reason why copying games is called 'piracy' and not 'theft'. That is because Theft involves depriving someone from something while you are gaining that something for yourself. If I copy your DVD collection, I will be hit by some of the copyright infringement lawsuits, but this will be a lengthy dick-wavering trial that will eventually lead to some kind of settlement. If I *steal* the aforementioned DVD collection, I'm pretty sure the plods will be knocking my door and I'll be in jail real quick.

          That said, this hack must be really fueled by the hordes of those "nonexistant" PS3 owners who play games on their PS3s and also ran Linux on them, that is until Sony killed OtherOS support. Ever noticed how nobody had been able to crack the PS3 until now? Even GeoHot's "hack" involved a stroke of sheer luck, and that one wasn't able to run pirated games. AND HE DIDN'T WANT TO DO THAT, EITHER. Before OtherOS was slaughtered, there was no real reason to hack the PS3.

          Thanks to Sony's idiocy, I'm stuck with 3.15 on my fat PS3, as I can't let go of my Linux install. Sadly for Sony, I haven't been able to buy online games, and I'm pretty much screwed because the new games will definitely need the newer firmware versions to run. So no new games, either. Ironically, I'm not really interested in this jailbreak, as the thing I want isn't offered here: the OtherOS Hypervisor.

    5. A J Stiles
      Stop

      Theft, eh?

      Please name the thing that someone used to have before I made a copy of a game, that they don't have afterwards.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wrong

      Actually the biggest reason these sorts of devices exist is for homebrew, not piracy. If it were left to the pirates no console jailbreak would ever get off the ground. Ever. It's the people who want to run Linux or some game they wrote themselves on the console that they paid for. Only after they accomplish thier own goals do you see piracy show up on the consoles. I've had two jailbroken consoles and didn't play a single pirated game on either of them. One was an XBox hacked into a Linux media center and the other was a Wii that I played a lot of homebrew games and a port of Doom on. The procession of hacks is always the same: proof of concept bootloader, Linux kernel (usually with nothing else at this point), homebrew apps, usable Linux, and finally, after the Linux geeks have done all the hard work, pirated games.

      Which of course means you're probably right about this being a hoax since we haven't even seen a PoC bootloader yet. But you're dead wrong about it being just for piracy.

  6. David Webb

    Oh well

    On the bright side, Sony are now going to sell a billion PS3's so the price will come down. I think mines on it's last legs as the fan's whir like crazy these days so a price drop would be nice!

    Piracy though sucks donkey.

  7. Annihilator
    Unhappy

    Yeah, but, no, but

    Presumably it'll lock you out of the PSN though, which would be a huge setback for the average gamer.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    No wins here

    The one other reason people want to jailbreak a console is because they want it fully region free. Fair enough, all PS3 titles are somewhat region free (or rather, pressed region free. They could slap a Blu-Ray region onto a game disc and it will lock, as another PS3 hacker found out), the goal now is to completely neutralize that mechanism, and for region-free Blu-Ray, DVD and PS1 playback (and perhaps re-implement Other OS and region-free PS2 playback).

    Make a dongle that bypass region-checking for PS1, DVD and Blu-Ray discs (and re-implement PS2 in region-free mode and also Other OS), and I'll be impressed.

    And I agree with Annihilator: most likely that by using the dongle you'll end up locking yourself out of the PSN (or even worse, trigger a remote kill switch).

    Yes, I could import one for each region, but I need the space for my Wii and 360 as well. Plus, I'm only interested in US games.

    The one with the PS3 manual rolled up in the pocket, thanks. I bought mine from the US just so I can play R1 DVDs and US PSOne games. Sorry Sony, but I don't speak Japanese. Or Mandarin. Or Cantonese.

    Taxi!

    1. Highlander

      Since PS3 games are region free and there are only three regions for BluRay...

      Why bother risking having your PS3 bricked or banned?

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Sir

        @Highlander

        Whilst you're probably right about the most prevalent use of this tech would be, you seem to have completely failed to recognise that there has been a long tradition of hacking devices to make them do something cleverer than what the original maker envisaged.

        Perhaps you could step down off your (very high) puritanical horse and at least acknowledge that some people do not have base motivations. If you don't you reveal yourself to be a complete Mary (Whitehouse).

        1. Highlander

          Puritanical horse? HA! Legitimate uses? More like total BS.

          Oh, I'm sorry, did a bolt of reality momentarily illuminate the bankruptcy of your arguments that there are legitimate uses for theft enablement devices.

          And before anyone else barges in and says it's not theft, it's copyright infringement. I'll put it this way, if you went to a store and stole the game of a shelf, it would be theft. The intrinsic value of the disc and case are perhaps $2, the value of what is stolen is the game on the disc. What is the difference if you instead download a copy of the game and burn it to your own disc (or lodge it on an HDD)? You are still playing a game you did not pay for, and you have in fact deprived the publisher of their rightful revenue. That is theft. And just let's be clear, now that you can download games from sources like PSN, the act of downloading a game without paying for it is now analogous to stealing from a physical store because.

          However I am certain that freetards everywhere will commence downvoting my comment into oblivion, which is great since for me, it simply confirms how close to the knuckle my remarks are. People hate being shown their own mis-conduct and typically react angrily towards those exposing the truth. Flame away.

          1. Daniel B.
            Troll

            Still trolling, Highlander?

            Work for one of the *AAs?

            Depriving a publisher of revenue is bad, but it still isn't theft. Stealing the physical disc from a store *is* theft, as the store will actually lose that unit, which it had paid for. It will need to buy a replacement for that stolen thingy. Also, that cost trickles down other paths; the DVD might have cost chump change, but the transportation, marketing, and full production costs are higher.

            There is a reason for copyright infringement laws, and why it is treated differently than theft. There is a fixed cost of production associated to a certain product, which Marx explains in his well-known "Capital" book. In the case of software development, this goes a little blurry; and in the case of the gaming industry, the formula changes drastically. Afer a huge cost of initial development, marketing campaigns and such, the finished product is simply either copied into masses of BluRays (physical game purchase) or downloaded by the end-user by means of digital download sales. The cost of MFG is fixed, the cost of digital distribution would be also pegged to the server upkeep + internet pipes. It will soon reach a point where the game will have given the publisher a 100% ROI, and every single game they sell after that will be pure profits. And given that the "production" costs involved are just the copying in physical or digital download formats, the surplus products will be self-sustaining as well. So once the publisher has reached this point, the copyright infringement will not affect them as much as piracy during the initial sales phase.

            An illegal copy will deprive them of revenue, but it won't cost them the MFG costs (low as they might be) either. Therefore, it isn't theft.

            And all of this, again, is a moot point as you're basing your trolling upon the fact that piracy is the only motivator for using CFW. OtherOS is one reason, PS2 emulation another one, region unlocking is another one. Though PS3 games aren't region-locked; but PS2 and PS1 are still regionlocked.

            1. Highlander

              You're using Marx in a discussion about intellectual property rights and theft?!?

              Irony meter explodes.

  9. edwardecl
    Thumb Up

    At long last...

    Finally a way to run homebrew and backups. Will wait for the mod to get cheaper though.

    Sony deserved this one, I have been stuck with no PSN and no online when they decided to remove otheros. I am glad this bit them on their arse as it pretty much makes my FAT ps3 a paperweight when it comes to new ps3 media.

    Waiting for the otheros (linux) reintegration and... a port of doom because that's always the second thing people port...

    1. Highlander

      Well, you could always...

      ...grow up, but a cheap PC to run Linux, update your PS3 and stop crying over spilt milk like a little spoiled child who's favorite toy got put into time out. Linux isn't coming back to the PS3. And before you flame me, consider that if the little ego-maniac, glory seeking, man-child hadn't announced his tiny exploit with such a blaze of publicity, you'd probably still be running Linux.

      The lesson here is that one bad apple can spoil the barrel.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
        Dead Vulture

        @Highlander

        Them's some harsh words there, friend. I can't speak for anyone else, but the otheros thing angered me and I don't even own a PS3. The issue isn't one of "just go buy more crap." Where would I put said crap? Why should I have to pay for the extra power/cooling/etc. of another piece of equipment when the only reason for it is the inadequacy issues of some Sony executive?

        We should be moving away from this bullshit "locked device" proprietary game and towards a Steam-like "buy once, play/watch/run on whatever you want" licence.

        I agree with the need for DRM in some form; people shouldn’t have a “right’ to pirate intellectual property. Still, it is companies like Sony who are holding useful, easy and CONSUMER FRIENDLY methods of doing so from actually hitting the market. Sony put out a piece of hardware called a PS3. Grand. Bully for them. That piece of hardware doesn’t belong to Sony, it belongs to the user. The user should be able to run whatever they want on it.

        You want to be able to ensure that official PS3 software/games/media/whatever don’t get pirated? Make them require you to be logged in order to play. Don’t give me any crap about “what if I am away from the net.” There are plenty oh ways around it. A great example is Cities XL, which I have to fire up only once a month to retain it’s activation. Now if ALL my games/media/etc. were bound to an account somewhere that could be verified similarly, then I could use that content on whatever system I chose.

        The hardware then could be free to be mine to do with as I please.

        Ideally there would need to be some legislation in place to deal with what happens if a company changes authentication methodology or goes titsup.com, but THE NUMBER ONE COMPANY HOLDING US BACK FROM THIS IS SONY. They are the asswads who are throwing up roadblock after roadblock to solving this problem from every angle and bringing content consumption into the twenty first century.

        So don’t get all over some dude’s ass because he actually wanted to run Linux on his PS3. It doesn’t make him a pirate, and it doesn’t make him a cheapskate. It probably just means he’s an enthusiast, or a dude living in a shoebox apartment without air conditioning who doesn’t want to run 15 bloody compute appliances just to satisfy some billionaire somewhere.

        </ragequit>

        I apologise for the harsh tone of my rant, but the whole attitude that anyone who wants to actually own their devices and/or doesn’t want to play the stupid “be a dumb consumer that throws everything away every 18 months” is automatically a freetard.

        I use a 386 laptop with Wordperfect 5.1 and Lotus 123 and I’m proud of it. I’d like to see any modern compute gear last that long and give as satisfactory a service life. Do thoughts like that make me a freetard too? Should I just “bah” like a sheep and sedately consume whatever I am told to?

        </ragequit again>

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @ Trevor_Pott

          "I use a 386 laptop"

          Nice One!

          What OS?

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            @AC

            Dos 6.22

            And yes, I still schlep my files off with floppies. I will use it until it dies such that it can't be revived any more. It was my first >personal< computer. Not the family computer...mine. I owe my livelihood to that machine.

            Now don’t get me wrong; I certainly have more modern gear…but this is the system that sits on my nightstand and awaits my various ponderings which amazingly, you folks actually read.

            Boggles the mind.

        2. irish donkey
          Thumb Up

          Go Trevor..............

          Who are all these people? I presume they must work for SONY or someone like that. But spewing out SONY/RIAA rhetoric like its Gods gospel. Brainwashed is all I can say

          I was going to comment something but you neatly summed up everything I had to say.

          Oh and before they start on me I don't own any SONY product. My choice but I guess that makes me a bad guy/terrorist/insurgent as well because I don't wanna play with Sony.

          1. Highlander

            Nope, never worked for Sony inmy life.

            and probably never will.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          What a lovely flawed arguement....

          ...you see Linux was NOT removed by your mcahine. It was removed by Sony when connected to THEIR systems. You see, if you had not connected YOUR device to THEIR netowrk, you'd still have Linux.

          I have no problem with people hacking their devices, just don't expect to use else's services if THEY deem you can't.

          And once again your arguement is flawed with product activation. You want to hack about with your machine but then connect to someone elses network to keep it running? And how long for? Youproudly state you have a 386 and Word perfect. So you'd expect them to keep supporting activation of your machine for a decade? Two decades, Three?? Willing to pay for that are we? No thought not.

          So feel free to hack at your machine, just don't expect anyone else to support it.

          We allow people to connect their shiney phones to our network. But in doing so they will get it encrypted and locked down tighter than a gimp in a dungeon. You want your shit on our network, you play by our rules.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            RE: What a lovely flawed arguement....

            What an apt title for your post.

            I have simply this to say.

            Advertised feature removal.

            It's bad form.

          2. Highlander

            Actually the removal of Linux is selected by the user.

            It's even better than you say, in fact.

            If you download the firmware update it will not install without the user selecting to upgrade and confirming the removal of Linux. This is necessary to continue using PSN, but in fact Sony doesn't remove the Linux partition, the user does, because it is the user that runs the software and confirms it's removal.

            1. Daniel B.
              Troll

              Highlander doesn't know computer thingys

              Do you know what the Cell BE processor is?

              Do you know what RISC is? Or what it means?

              Do you know the difference between PPE, SPE, little-endian and big-endian, RISC and CISC, 32 and 64 bit? Or anything about architectures?

              If you knew that, you wouldn't be trolling with retarded comments like "stop whining and use a PC". You would know why the USAF bought a boatload of PS3s to use as a supercomputer.

              Removal of features is a no-no, which is why there's actually a class-action lawsuit being made against Sony for this exact reason (if you are a real Reg reader, you should know this already) because if I can't use the PSN, I can't use my PS3 as intended. But this also applies to use of OtherOS.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Troll

              RE: Actually the removal of Linux is selected by the user

              That may be so, but it's completley besides the point. what you refer to is simply the way that Sony make a legal front for the removal of the Other OS feature.

              You refuse to see the valid point that everyone else taking the time to reply to you is making. In other words, you're a TROLL.

              Now go away you waste of time.

        4. Highlander

          Trevor, Harsh? Only to those stealing games.

          I have some sympathy with the OtherOS thing. I wish that it hadn't been removed, and I would honestly have preferred it is that little egomanic GeoHot had left is alone. Sony went the extra mile to allow Homebrew development with Linux on their PS3, but that wasn't good enough for some. Considering that the PS3 is a closed architecture with security to provide assurance of secure online transactions, it was no surprise (and should not have been to anyone) that when the security is threatened, Sony takes action. I don't like it, I think it is extremely unfortunate, but rather than blame Sony for it, I'll point the finger of blame at the community that is hell bent on hacking the thing.

          I probably was a little harsh in suggesting that people get over it, but in reality Sony isn't going to restore it, and people do need to move their Linux work to something else and just let their PS3 be a games console.

          The trouble I have is that a lot of the folks I have run across who had a linux partition are the very same ones looking for the ability to run copied games. So to me, in my experience, there is a high correlation between the desire to run games that haven't been paid for, and the desire to run Linux. I'll freely admit that not everyone running Linux on the PS3 is like that, but in my experience the majority are.

          All that aside, the PS3 was a horrible environment for running Linux, you didn't have access to the RSX, you only have 256MB of memory which made it all about as useful as a chocolate tea pot.

          However no matter how useful anyone claims Linux to be on the PS3, Sony being forced to take action and remove Linux does not justify the 'stick it to the man' attitude that has people cheering on this possible device. Two wrongs don't make a right.

          Lastly, this argument that Sony just put out the hardware and one you buy it you can do what you want is fine, but you also have to recognize that the PS3 is a combination of hardware, software firmware, and something else. The actual hardware design and construction of the system is by design, intended only to run Sony's software. That is a departure from previous hardware that people have bought. the PS3 is not a PC, it's not intended to be used without it's system software. If you as a user elect to use the machine in a way that Sony doesn't approve of, that is your decision, and Sony isn't taking that choice from you. What they are doing is saying that if you decide to operate the system in a way that deviates from the intended use of the system, you are deemed to have broken the warranty. They can put whatever terms of use they want on their network, and if those terms of use require up to date firmware, then it's your choice whether you update or not. Not updating simply means you lose access to new software and features. but that is your choice to make. Sony is under no obligation to continue supporting you or your PS3 is you decide to use custom software or hardware on it.

          I really can't see what people have a problem with here. If you decide that running Linux is important to you, you stick with FW 3.15, if you decide that playing new games and stuff is important, you find another way to do Linux and update. Sony is not forcing you to do anything. They are simply mandating that for your PS3 to be supported you must use the current firmware. Just as if this mod-chip exists and works, Sony is under no obligation to support users who use it on their PS3. It's the users' choice, But they should not be surprised if they are excluded from the future updates and content. That is the consequence of their choice.

          In fact the obligation that Sony is in fact under, is a financial duty to it's PSN customers. Sony has a duty of care to protect the integrity of the PSN, and since the PS3 is an integral part of the PSN transaction experience, they have to protect the integrity of the PS3 also. Failing to do so puts customer transaction information, including credit card numbers and persona information, at risk. How would you react if PSN was hacked through a jailbroken PS3 and your credit and personal information was compromised? That is the burden of care that Sony has, and it takes precedence over the choice of individuals to run unauthorized software or hardware on their PS3 system

          I'm certain I'll get down voted to oblivion again, which is fine, I would expect no less.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Hardly "proof"

    If he wanted to be more convincing he would have placed both TV and PS3 on a table (preferably glass) in the middle of the room so he could pan around and underneath to show nothing else was connected to the TV.

    The fact that he didn't makes me very sceptical.

    1. Annihilator
      Go

      Glass table

      You should go and see a magician's show. If a glass table showing nothing underneath it is your only requirement of proof that there is no funny business going on, you're in for a real treat! :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        @Annihilator

        "You should go and see a magician's show"

        I just think the video doesn't even come close to the level of proof claimed and suggested a way of improving it.

        But if your going to dismiss that point by pretending he's some sort of amateur David Copperfield then there's no point trying to convince you otherwise.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Simpler proof.

      Show the actual hooking up to the TV at the start of the recording, before turning TV and PS3 on.

  11. John Nicholson
    Stop

    It'll never work

    Since this device needs to be plugged into the USB port it will be patched out very quickly. I'm sure the DEV machines out there don't work in this way and even if they are Sony will release new hardware to replace the DEV kits - that will be way cheaper than the cost of piracy. The OS just has to check the USB device - if it detects one of these devices it will not allow it to function.

    However buys this will be stuck on a firmware and will have no access to PSN. As soon as they go online the PS3 will force a firmware update.

  12. alan lovedog

    probably fake

    no evidence so far that it's any more than a fake - and who would pay $150 to play copies anyway?

    until it's up for me to download onto a memory stick of my own i call bullshit.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    THEFT! HIGHLANDER WAS MUGGED

    For every game disc he bought without a CADDY. these things where invented to safeguard your precious copyright software . they removed them, then removed your right to copy and play backups.

    AND THEN THEY PUT THE LASER LESS THAN HALF A MILLIMETER FROM THE DISC

    IF you scratch your game disc you throw your money out the window. Even tho you are only sold a licence which you did not scratch, MPA, console makers, etc would rather burn their mothers than replace scratched disks.

    when you can rebuff this with so much sarcasm, i'll be glad.

    and YES before you even go there, your CONSOLE (car radio,dvdplayer etc)CAN damage disks itself. (yeah i know you where thinking it, eejit)

    <NERD because he won't understand it.

    1. Highlander

      Child, please.

      I've probably been working in technology longer than you've been able to eat solid food.

      with respect to scratched game discs, you can get replacement discs from publishers, you need to contact them directly. They will want a proof of purchase and the scratched disc.

      However unless someone has really tried to damage a BluRay, I've yet to see any BluRay with 'incidental' scratches like you see on CDs and DVDs. However YMMV.

      As for the rest of your little rant, I really do think you need to seek help for your condition.

      1. Daniel B.
        Troll

        O RLY?

        "I've probably been working in technology longer than you've been able to eat solid food."

        And yet, you can't distinguish the CellBE hardware from a plain craptel x86 or amd64 architecture. You're on an IT-related publication. You can't bullshit the people over here, and you've probably been rebuffed by someone who has been working in technology longer than *you* have been able to eat solid food.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Reg Title Fail

    Jailbroken? Pfffft

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Moan moan moan

    If you can't get the PS3 to work as a media player as it is then perhaps the problem isn't with the device its with your own knowledge base as mine seems to play music, stream videos and display photos just fine.

    As with the iPhone, if a device doesn't do what you want it to... don't buy it. Simples.

    And as for running linux.. dual boot your pcs/macs or run it from a usb pen and stop being such moaning little geeks, its hardly the end of the world.

    1. AndyS
      FAIL

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

      If a device doesn't do what you want it to... don't buy it.

      And what about if it does do what you want it to do, and you buy it, and then it magically stops doing what you want it to?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      @AC who think people moan moan moan

      To tell the truth the PS3 doesn't even play FLAC files locally. People have been begging for FLAC support for years but Sony has other priorities, like putting your PS3 trophies on your facebook account or such type of crap. Calling a box that doesn't support FLAC a media player should be considered false advertising in 2010.

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      @moan moan moan

      I you bought a car and they upgraded the software so you couldn't drive down certain roads you'd be happy? Or if they upgraded your cd player so you couldn't play your Justin Berbier cd;s?

      A lot of people bought the PS3 partly because you could run Linux on it. Sony have taken that RIGHT away. Personally I'd have taken it back to the shop and demanded a full refund and compensation for all the games I'd bough to run on it because I don't believe companies have a right to take money from me dishonestly.

      1. Highlander

        What RIGHT did they take away?

        Sony gave you a choice, which gave you the RIGHT to decide whether you wanted to continue using your PS3 as a pretty severely gimped Linux workstation, or as a video game console. It's your decision.

        Why did they remove Linux? well, there are lots of tinfoil hat reasons, but the simplest explanation is that they felt that there was a potential security risk. Perhaps that security risk would have panned out to nothing, perhaps it would have panned out into a full hack. Sony doesn't and can't know. So they protect the PS3 architecture and PSN by blocking further use of Linux on PSN connected PS3s. Who's to blame for that? Kinda seems like it's the folks trying to break the security, not Sony. However Sony did leave Linux users with a choice. You can decide not to update your firmware until you choose to. But if you decide in future to update, you can do so and you have lost nothing on PSN or your PS3. So you have time to transition your Linux work off to another system before updating since you can choose your own timescale to update.

        What RIGHT was it they took again? Where was that RIGHT enshrined? Which bill of rights or constitution protects it? Oh yeah, that's right, they didn't take any rights away from you and the imaginary rights you think were taken are not defined anywhere except your own expectations.

        1. AlnilamE
          Linux

          Sony offered us a product with a number of features.

          We went and paid the asking price (I bought my FAT PS3 after the Slims came out because I wanted to have the Linux option, and Sony said at the time that the FATs would be able to keep it).

          Then Sony turns around and says we have to choose between two of the features that enticed us to buy a PS3: Running Linux or Playing all PS3 games/using PSN.

          I don't think that is fair.

  16. envmod

    fully current?

    thought you said it was a fully current version of the ps3? looks like the old model to me.

    1. Highlander

      Definitely a Phat not a slim.

      The chrome PlayStation on the case gives that away...as does the shape of the case.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Already debunked

    The unit in the video is s dev unit, that allows running of unsigned code.

    EPIC FAIL.

    1. Apophys
      WTF?

      Link

      Link or it didn't happen.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    even if real Sony will not make you play online

    At the very least Sony will take measures to stop the hacked consoles from playing online. That part is easy to fix.

    Many games lose a great part of their appeal today if you can't play online. Hacking a PS1 or a PS2 or a PSP would give you a full experience with most pirated games. Hacking a PS3 to play only offline will only give you half a game in most cases today.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Wel..

    Whilst I agree that this is likely to get patched out very quickly, and those who hold out from patching to maintain functionality will be locked out of PSN, I have one small point.

    Piracy is not Theft. It is Copyright Infringement, which is not theft. It is so in the same way as most car 'thefts' are only done as TWOC (Taking With Out Consent). The defininition of theft includes permanently depriving the rightful owner of the property. Many joyriding scrotes were claiming that since they were planning on returning the car (usually by abandonment) they were not permanently denying the vehicle to the owner, so they got got on the lesser charge of TWOC. Similarly with copyright infringement - since nothing is taken away (only copied) it does not classify as theft. Simple as.

    And before someone says "But by copying you're permanently denying the owner [Sony] of the revenue they would have got had you bought it instead" - since I never bought it, they never had the revenue to be relieved of in the first place.

    I am sick to death of people in the pay of the "Entertainment Industry" spouting hyperbole about "theivery". You bought the system. And you still lose. Rather than crying about how people are not giving you the money you seem to think is a god-given right, try thinking about how you could change your strategy to monetise this large section of the market you are clearly not serving (if you met their needs, they'd pay you) instead of demonising them. Everyone would be happier and you'd make more money. The fact that people are so willing to do this merely highlights how the company is failing that segment of the market.

    I don't own a PS3, although I have many other consoles. All of my consoles are not chipped. Just FYI.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Pirate blurays & DVDs?

    The PS3 plays then quite happily.

    (And without delays while the DRM loads and the unskippable content plays).

    A bit stupid really that pirated blurays are a better product than legit ones.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    so if I buy one..

    And the next firmware patch blocks that USB vendor ID and bans my PSN account, can I get a refund.

    Of course this is all assuming it actually works, which considering the video demonstrates it on a PS3 Devkit, sounds highly unlikley it won't....

    1. Highlander

      Wait a second, you're justifying theft....

      You said... "And before someone says "But by copying you're permanently denying the owner [Sony] of the revenue they would have got had you bought it instead" - since I never bought it, they never had the revenue to be relieved of in the first place."

      No, Sony (or whatever publisher) never had the revenue, so you didn't steal the cash from them directly. However, if you walked into a store and took the physical game disc without paying, you would agree that was theft, correct? So, if you go online and download the game without paying for it, how is that somehow different conceptually? Games are frequently available for download through the PSN. I see no conceptual difference between the physical theft of the disc, and the digital theft of a download. Since you knowingly download the game without paying, you have intent. So we have someone who in a pre-meditated manner, knowingly downloads a game without paying for it and then uses said game. That sounds a lot like stealing to me. The fact that it's digital rather than physical doesn't alter the concepts. That is one area where culture, society and the law have yet to catch up.

      Flame away kiddies. One day when you are (assuming you're smart enough) developing games and people are copying your games for free, you will revisit this topic, and you will consider their actions theft.

  22. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    Possible

    If Sony responds threatening a lawsuit then the guy is telling the truth and has Jailbroke a PS3.

    On the other hand if they laugh it off or dont seem bothered, hes probably lying

    1. Highlander

      Not really,

      if the video is faked and he's using a debug unit, then Sony will still want to sue him to a) set an example, and b) actively protect their service keys.

  23. sabroni Silver badge
    Joke

    I want my games console to be a media player...

    .. I'd also like to wash clothes in my toaster and bake bread in my fridge. Why do these fascist manufacturers keep making me use their products for the purpose they were designed for!! Bastards!

    1. Lu

      what you actually mean is

      I've found a clever way to make my device do MORE stuff than it was intended to do. MY device, which I paid for. Which I OWN.

      Why do these fascist etc. keep trying to stop me form getting more utility out of MY stuff.

      (and incidentally, also adding functionality to their product, making it more desirable - see eg. Xbox 1, only sold cos it could be a media player too)

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Happy

        No, that's not what I meant!

        The hilarious joke I posted was what I meant. I haven't actually found a way to wash clothes in my toaster, silly!

        1. A J Stiles

          Maybe not

          But if you *did* find a way to wash clothes in your toaster, would you appreciate someone standing over you with a big stick, telling you that the toaster was only to be used for toasting certain approved brands of store-bought sliced bread, not home-baked, and not crumpets, bagels &c., and definitely not for washing clothes? For that matter, how would it be anyone's business but yours what you did with your toaster?

          1. sabroni Silver badge
            Happy

            jeez nobby...

            Yes, yes I would definitely appreciate someone standing over me with a big stick while I washed clothes in my toaster. We could use it to stir the clothes!

  24. MJI Silver badge

    Games - often worth the money

    I have found that most games we have bought have been worth the money, £37 for over 200 hours of entertainment just for me is not to be sniffed at.

    And this devices costs more than a few games together.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Sony has unleashed the moderators on their PS3 forums

    Any references to articles discussing this news have been removed. Simply quoting the BBC article about the hack will have the thread deleted.

    This makes me think that:

    - Sony will never change; they cannot cope with reality unless reality is what they want

    - this threat might be real

    1. Highlander

      Not really

      Sony has a long standing policy that bans discussion of software hacks of their hardware. This one is no different, so I'm not sure why you think it's so unusual that they are deleting such topics, they always have.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moment of truth

    I know someone who only hacked their Xbox 360 when they found out replacement discs cost £20, take a few months, require serial number , credit card, credit card address match, not all games are covered and the machine itself may eat the replacements.

    Instead of buyinug new ones they downloaded a free firmware DVD hack and copies of the games then played them as normal. If replacements took a week and cost £2 each they would have left it as standard.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Bit of a difference.

      1/ Xbox360 (even the Slim) scratches discs for a pasttime.

      2/ Blu-Ray has a scratchproof coating that makes it REALLY hard, nigh on impossible to scratch.

      PS3 owners simply don't suffer disc problems because of the Blu-Ray coating on games and movies.

      Anyone pretending that they want a PS3 hack to allow legal backups is full of crap, and nothing more than a lame freetard. They are far better off in Freetard Xbox land.

  27. Highlander
    Dead Vulture

    Daniel B. et al.

    If I wanted to have a discussion about architecture I would hardly pick a comment section on an article like this, would I? I'm quite well versed in the CellBe architecture and x86 architectures. I didn't equate the two architectures, however there is no point in discussing that in this thread. Nor do I wish to discuss it with you, yours is not a game I wish to play.

    As for the many other commenters who wish to defend game piracy. Keep it up kids, stick it to the man. But you all still know that you are getting something without paying for it. No matter the semantics involved, when someone knowingly obtains something without paying and without the consent of the owner, an act of theft has occurred. But hey, if you're all fine with that, then good for you. Go be thieves. Justify your stealing with whatever crap you can think of. At the end of the day, you still know what you've done, and you know that it's not right, whether the law catches up with you or not.

    I see that the days when maturity and honesty, and for that matter morality, were aspects of debate are long gone here at the Register.

    That's actually kind of sad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Grenade

      Still not theft.

      That's all.

  28. Skyraker

    I'd buy one if I could run homebrew.

    I don't have a PS3 or any other console.....

    .... My day to day PC is an average (albeit slightly overclocked) dual core with last years 4850... Maybe i'm too old, but since Half Life I haven't had the patience to see a game through to the end.

    I do love emulators & homebrew shit though, and i'd buy a ps3 on the strength of this (coupled with home ent etc)... If the ps3 can run bedroom code then i'm sold... otherwise , nah.

  29. Citizen Kaned

    hmmmmmm

    to be honest i love my ps3. its been brilliant value for money over the time.

    just a few of my views on some of the subjects touched in this thread:

    FLAC, while being liked by a few its still nowhere near mainstream yet. i would like it to be honest as i can definitely hear the difference between mp3 and cd/truehd.

    the reason that linux was withdrawn was because some idiot proved you could hack the hypervisor. now, i know this is unfair to the very few people that use linux on this box (i mean why would you?) but surely you can see that they have to protect themselves. sony make money from licensing games to run on the ps3. its not like M$ who make money from the OS. if some idiot hadnt hacked the hypervisor linux would still be available.

    in regards to homebrew etc: you didnt buy a PC. you bought a console. i doubt if 0.001% of people who hack consoles are interested in homebrew, the vast majority just want free games. surely you can at least see why a company wants to lock down certain aspects to reduce piracy?

    while i am no sony fanboy (ive had enough of their gear go tits up on me to think its all overpriced equipment - i much prefer pioneer and denon for all my AV kit) i think they did a good job with the ps3. its still got lots that need doing in the OS imo to improve it but as a game player and general media machine its great value at £250!

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