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Emulation Arrives On the PS3

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the machine-that-goes-pong dept.

Emulation (Games) 169

YokimaSun writes "Following the recent exploit that allows you to jailbreak your PS3, the homebrew community have now breached the console with the first homebrew game, which is the classic Pong. Also released is the first emulator for the system in the shape of a SNES Emulator great for those 16-bit games. Finally drk||Raziel, the coder of the Dreamcast Emulator NullDC, has posted screenshots of his Dreamcast emulator working on the PS3 (albeit at a very early stage). The PS3 is building up to be the Dream Console for emulation."

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169 comments

Well, is this a good thing? (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33627974)

I am absolutely certain that Sony's upper management is absolutely thrilled at yet another demonstration of their brainchild's incredible versatility.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628084)

if the system wasn't setup to make money from games but from the console, I'd agree with you.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628114)

if the system wasn't setup to make money from games but from the console, I'd agree with you.

I wasn't actually being serious.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (1)

mikazo (1028930) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628132)

I wasn't actually being serious.

Should have used <sarcasm> tags for those that need them.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628142)

I wasn't actually being serious.

Should have used <sarcasm> tags for those that need them.

I suppose. I'm rarely accused of being too subtle, however,

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628482)

I never would have guessed that from your username :-)

Although if you work in the metal fastener business, I apologize for the joke.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628632)

I never would have guessed that from your username :-)

Although if you work in the metal fastener business, I apologize for the joke.

Ha ... I get that a lot, and yes I was, so don't worry about it.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628772)

Screwmaster: "I wasn't actually being serious."

We could tell by your handle.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628880)

I could tell by his spout

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (5, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628362)

Nope, I'm sure Sony's upper management is thrilled to see that homebrew is being created using their leaked SDK. This guarantees that PS3 homebrew is and always will be illegal, and therefore can never be legitimate in the grand scheme of things. Sony will be free to legally threaten any homebrew communities.

People, this is the wrong way to go. It will just end up like the Xbox1, whose homebrew scene was underground (except for linux-based stuff). Not a good plan. Instant satisfaction (using Sony's leaked tools instead of writing your own) only works in the short term. This can be fixed, but only if people care instead of going for the quick and dirty way.

We already have a perfectly good port of Linux to the PS3, capable of replacing lv2 while gaining RSX/3D funcionality thanks to the new exploits. How about we concentrate on getting that to work instead of illegally using Sony's OS and tools?

Plus, nobody really knows how Sony's software ecosystem works yet. For all we know, at one point, all users who have ever installed a homebrew pkg (even if they update later) will have their consoles permanently banned from PSN.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628624)

That's not a big surprise. Any multilayer service will ban you for using hacking tools, even if you didn't use them to gain any unfair advantage.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629070)

They can only ban you if you perform persistent modifications or connect while using invasive temporary modifications. Right now, hypothetically loading Linux from the PSJailbreak exploit will not make any permanent changes and should not affect your chances of being banned on PSN in the future (if you choose to update, or if you perform some other hack to avoid the update, assuming said hack is not detectable). Meanwhile, installing custom pkgs is basically guaranteed to make Sony notice you.

Better be safe than sorry.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (4, Insightful)

geekprime (969454) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628684)

PSN is already a moot point.
Sony mooted themselves when they decided to remove the other OS feature. I did not apply that nor I will never apply another update from them to my PS3. As you can imagine, that also means I won't be buying any more new games for it either.
Good Job Sony!

Bottom line, MY HARDWARE, I paid for it. Deal.
When the day comes that I can use all the hardware without it, I will HAPPILY remove all traces of the sony OS from my machine. With the way things are going it won't be too much longer.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628702)

"This guarantees that PS3 homebrew is and always will be illegal,"

It does no such thing!

It guarantees that current homebrew is illegal, sure. But it in no way precludes the developing of a real free SDK in the future.

"We already have a perfectly good port of Linux to the PS3, capable of replacing lv2 while gaining RSX/3D funcionality thanks to the new exploits"

Errr, well, it's not capable of replacing anything at present, unless you've heard some stuff in the last couple of days that I missed, because AFAICT there has been no progress loading linux this way.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (2, Interesting)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629042)

It does no such thing!

In practice and in my experience, it does. Examples: On the Xbox1, after the ripped SDK became the defacto homebrew platform, OpenXDK never took off. On the Wii, after libogc became the defacto homebrew platform (while its author hid the fact that most of it was decompiled from the Nintendo SDK, which came to light when it was too late), nobody cared to make a legal replacement.

Once people become accustomed to using inherently illegal but convenient software, it is extremely hard to gather support to build a legal alternative. It's just too easy to keep things as they are instead of starting over from scratch.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628732)

No, we don't have a perfectly good port of Linux on the PS3. They took that capability out, remember? If someone wants to keep their system's firmware current, they can't run Linux. So... what else is there?

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (4, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629028)

They didn't take anything out, they just disabled it. lv1 is the same under GameOS and OtherOS, except with less limitations. Theoretically, you can use the psjailbreak exploit to make a Linux bootloader that replaces lv2, and enjoy the old OtherOS Linux with little to no modifications, plus the capability to use the RSX.

We're working on it.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628738)

Wait what? The Xbox 1 homebrew scene was underground? I spent years reading up on turning the original Xbox into a movie storage/video game saving/emulator playing media system (eventually I did so myself).

It was never underground, Microsoft just came crashing down on you like a cement truck if you tried to make money off it.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628776)

Yup, similarly to the DS homebrew scene. IIRC the libdns homebrew library had parts which were ripped of the original nintendo SDK... of course people just turned a blind eye on that

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628940)

People, this is the wrong way to go. It will just end up like the Xbox1, whose homebrew scene was underground (except for linux-based stuff). Not a good plan.

I'm not sure why. It's true that being "underground" sucks, but other than that xbox homebrew was wildly successful, perhaps even the most successful console homebrew movement. It was so great people found ways to upgrade the xbox cpu in order to have it run more stuff rather than switch to another device.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628976)

Pure FUD and lies. The homebrew developers are not using Sony's SDK. Please stop spreading this myth.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629308)

Of course they are. There is no open SDK available for the GameOS APIs, nor is there likely to be one for quite a while, if at all. And as far as I know there is no .pkg file packer yet either.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629276)

"We already have a perfectly good port of Linux to the PS3, capable of replacing lv2 while gaining RSX/3D funcionality thanks to the new exploits."

Nope, RSX is still locked. We need Ring1 or Ring0 access to get there, and half of the commands haven't even been figured out.

There's only so much a direct trace signal replication can do when you don't understand the fine details of the underlying protection system.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629322)

Of course RSX is unlocked, otherwise games wouldn't be able to access it. I'm not proposing reenabling the old locked-down OtherOS support, but rather simply replacing lv2 with Linux. The underlying hypvervisor API is the same. There are few differences between OtherOS and GameOS other than what you're running as lv2 (Linux or GameOS) and what lv1 will let you do (RSX and flash and the like, or not).

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628422)

You were being sarcastic, but actually they should be.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (3, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629114)

You were being sarcastic, but actually they should be.

And similarly, the RIAA and the record labels should have been thrilled when Napster went online, and positively orgasmic when Justin Frankel released Gnutella. But they weren't, and for the same reason: they are all control freaks, and it doesn't matter if easing up a little might actually make more money. Control comes first.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (2, Insightful)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628484)

The thing is that this _is_ a great demonstration of the PS3's versatility or more specifically a hacked PS3's versatility. Just a few months ago, we would have all shrugged this off as something that they could have done under Linux far more easily, but now, it is enough to really pique one's interest. Linux on PS3 was really a great idea, give the people a fair slice of the freeom they want without exposing the platform to piracy. I think it contributed to the PS3's unhacked status for so long, since in general it gave home brew people something to do that didn't involve cracking the DRM, now Linux is gone and the PS3 is hacked.

Though to be honest, I am a little bit sad. Living for a year in China has brought me from the slashdot consensus about piracy to a more conservative position. With the absence of people spending huge amounts on a boxed game, developers must cover costs in other ways, think Farmville. Pay to Play has lead to the creation of some great games in the west and Japan with no other focus than delivering an experience worth the money. Without this system, commercial games really need to be designed around an alternative revenue stream that encourages players to spend as they play, which limits the directions a game can go in immersion and creativity. I still don't think piracy is stealing, but it is not harmless at all, it does reduce the amount of money available to be invested in good, fun games and that harms every single gamer out there.

Bringing this all back to the PS3, I am saddened because there are a few very specialised PS3 game shops in China that sell official copies. XBox360 games however are near universally pirate versions. I am saddened because the reason for this is that the PS3 was until recently uncracked. I fear this will limit the availability of official games even more.

To summarise: I have some sympathetic feelings, but damnit Sony, why did you have to get rid of Linux and give us all a good reason to crack our PS3s?

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (1)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628720)

I am absolutely certain that Sony's upper management is absolutely thrilled at yet another demonstration of their brainchild's incredible versatility.

Sony's product-level managers, maybe, but Sony's UPPER management? I'd be willing to bet many of them don't even know what a PS3 is.

Re:Well, is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33629038)

I am absolutely certain that Sony's upper management is absolutely thrilled at yet another demonstration of their brainchild's incredible versatility.

Sony's product-level managers, maybe, but Sony's UPPER management? I'd be willing to bet many of them don't even know what a PS3 is.

Well, they've probably seen the ads.

Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (1)

Mashhaster (1396287) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628016)

Sony, in their infinite wisdom, didn't create PS3's that can read PS2 game discs.

Wouldn't it be funny if, in order to play your favorite PS2 games on your PS3, you have to first rip your PS2 disks?

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628024)

Wouldn't it be funny if, in order to play your favorite PS2 games on your PS3, you have to first rip your PS2 disks?

I'd call it "poetic justice."

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628136)

What the hell are you talking about? PS3's can play ps2 games out of the box. PS3 slims cannot. If you want backwards compatibility, just get a full size ps3.

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (3, Informative)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628168)

Only an extremely small subset of PS3s actually can play PS2 games out of the box. Even fewer don't entirely depend on poor software emulation to do it.

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628344)

CECHA, CECHB, CECHC and CECHE models all have PS2 emulation, and even in the CECHE the emulation is partly hardware based. They were still selling CECHE's in summer of 2008. my CECHE has played every PS2 game I've put in it, and the number of games that have had problems on it is small.

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (2, Informative)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628910)

I don't know what all this Ceche crap is, but my full size PS3 can't even read a PS2 disc, which is a load of crap.

If I'd known that before I bought it, I wouldn't have shelled out $300. PS3's are getting to be more and more of a rip off as time goes on. It's ridiculous and indefensible.

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (1, Insightful)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629154)

You did know that the different models of PS3's have different capabilites/hardware and are identified by their model numbers? A la CECHA, CECHEB, and so forth?

For example, mine is a CECHE01 MGS4 model, which means: North American Deluxe model PS3 (with the chrome trim), built in card reader, 4 USB ports, backwards compatible with PS2 games using a combination hardware and software solution, SACD support, built in wifi, bundled with Dual Shock 3 and Metal Gear Solid 4, released on June 12 of 2008.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_3#Model_comparison [wikipedia.org]

If I'd known that before I bought it, I wouldn't have shelled out $300.

Says right on the back of the box whether it was or wasn't, can't miss it. Also it's been in all the gaming press that SCEfoo stopped making backwards compatible PS3's when the Slim PS3 became the standard model.

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (2, Informative)

Krau Ming (1620473) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628146)

"Sony, in their infinite wisdom, didn't create PS3's that can read PS2 game discs." Well they did for a short time, until they realized that people actually liked being able to play their old games and new ones on the same system. Then they stopped making them capable with PS2 games.

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628176)

"Sony, in their infinite wisdom, didn't create PS3's that can read PS2 game discs." Well they did for a short time, until they realized that people actually liked being able to play their old games and new ones on the same system. Then they stopped making them capable with PS2 games.

One reason I don't like Sony (one of many.) Unfortunately, Nintendo and Microsoft are also on my shit list, which makes it hard to make a decision.

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628180)

Actually, they found out that only a tiny fraction actually used the backwards compatibility and that a large majority wanted a cheaper system, so they cut costs in an area that made sense.

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628508)

Which is why the quietly removed support and didn't bother to actually advertise it on their boxes?

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (2, Insightful)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628212)

The first generation played PS2 disks perfectly, the second quite well and subsequent generations not at all. Though honestly, since there are now some very good PS3 titles at cheap prices, it becomes less and less relevant, this is Sony's thinking also I believe.

I have a backwards compatible PS3 and I think I last put a PS2 disk in there maybe two years ago, the scope of the current generation just allows for so much more in a game and my sense of nostalgia is not strong enough to persuade me to turn back. This may be a great place for the homebrew community to shine since frankly I think Sony's engineering efforts would be better spent elsewhere.

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (1)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628470)

the scope of the current generation just allows for so much more in a game and my sense of nostalgia is not strong enough to persuade me to turn back

Meh. I can't play the modern games, because the 3D moving thing gives me a headache. But I love retro games like Robotron, Joust, Centipede, etc. No, I wouldn't buy a console just for those, but I bought my daughter a PS3 and I'd like to be able to play all those arcade classics they've released over the years for the PS1 and PS2. My daughter has Assassin's Creed II, which looks awesome, but it's not my cup of tea. I get a headache even watching for more than 10 minutes, and anyhoo I don't really like the storyline games. So the lack of old games essentially means that I'm stuck with Tekken and... that's about it. I'm not claiming that retrogrouches represent a significant market, but we do exist.

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628872)

What's interesting about the first generation models as well is that they actually have a full PS2 inside them. When the wireless DualShock controllers came out originally, I got one from Japan 6 months early and the rumble feature worked with every PS2 game. The first gen also works with USB to PS2 adaptors(Guitar Hero and so on). The original two machines also as a result can play PS1 games. The latter software emulation PS2 models work 50% for PS1 and 75% for PS2.

It's a shame that they don't support it any more, because PS2 titles are plentiful and cheap. And often better than the PS3 in game-play.

But back to the topic. I can understand emulation, but the question is WHY. Why turn a $300+ top-end gaming console into a $20 garage-sale relic from 15 years ago?

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629180)

It's a shame that they don't support it any more, because PS2 titles are plentiful and cheap. And often better than the PS3 in game-play.

It's a shame, perhaps, but good for business. People have "x" minutes per unit time to spend playing games, and they'd rather you be playing a current release so you can get tired of it and buy the next big thing.

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (3, Informative)

manux (167900) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628214)

Sony, in their infinite wisdom, didn't create PS3's that can read PS2 game discs.

My PS3 reads and plays PS2 games quite well, actually: 60 GB PS3 [newegg.com]

The original 20 GB units would play PS2 games also.

Could be tricky (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628310)

The PS2 is a bitch to emulate because its processor and video processor are so strange. It doesn't even work all that great on high end modern PCs. Emulation incurs heavy overhead anyhow, but the more different the platforms, the harder it is. That's why PC on PC virtualization is so fast. You literally "virtualize" as in run most things natively, so you achieve high speeds.

Now maybe the Cell happens to be well designed for emulation the EE and VUs, but I kinda doubt it. If it were easy to do, I'd have thought Sony would do it to increase compatibility and keep people happy. Also the Cell's power seems to be in parallel processing and that is something that emulation doesn't do much of. I don't know that it couldn't, but it doesn't. Emulators are largely single thread, with maybe a second thread for some video rendering. PCSX2, the PS2 emulator, does use two threads well but that is it. Generally speaking, emulation coding seems to lag behind regular coding. Emulator authors seem to be good at emulation but not so good at current coding practices.

So my guess is probably not. It is just too powerful, and too odd, of a system to emulate on the PS3. You need a heavier hitting processor to do it, something like an i7.

Re:Could be tricky (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628424)

Maybe instead of writing a machine emulator, it would make much more sense to use the techniques used in UltraHLE [wikipedia.org]. It was amazing being able to run N64 games at full speed on my PII-266, at better resolution than the N64 used. It was quite interesting in that I think it was the only console that was emulated well while it was still being sold.

Re:Could be tricky (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629324)

"The PS2 is a bitch to emulate because its processor and video processor are so strange"

Not really. Emotion was pretty easy to figure out.

"It doesn't even work all that great on high end modern PCs"

That's because PCSX2 only runs on 2 cores maximum and is a CPU-heavy piece of software as you state later on. That will change as support for more threads and more cores is put in.

"Emulator authors seem to be good at emulation but not so good at current coding practices."

For speed, most of those coding practices rely upon ASM. That in itself is enough of a bitch to work with, with branch prediction and such.

"It is just too powerful, and too odd, of a system to emulate on the PS3."

No way. Just in raw possible performance, the PS3 has roughly 2TFLOPS whereas the PS2 has 6GFLOPS. The PS3 is MORE THAN CAPABLE, it's just the programmer that is the bottleneck.

Re:Sweet. Maybe we can get PS2 emulation next... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628400)

Sony, in their infinite wisdom, didn't create PS3's that can read PS2 game discs.

Sony decided that full or partial hardware support for PS2 games was inflating the cost and complexity of the PS3.

The PS2 "Slim" - which also ditched the "OtherOS" and full PS2 compatibility - is still in production and still available from American outlets like Amazon.com for around $100.

Can't wait for Wii emulation (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628042)

Can't wait to see Wii emulation.

With the PS3 power + Bluetooth support you could end up replacing the wii completely while still maintaining compatibility with wiimotes and accessories.... and with HD support!!

I'd sell my wii to get a PS3 if that was the case, but I know it will take ages until a wii emu is in such a usable state.

Re:Can't wait for Wii emulation (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628054)

I'd sell my wii to get a PS3 if that was the case, but I know it will take ages until a wii emu is in such a usable state

A "wiimu"?

Re:Can't wait for Wii emulation (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628334)

I don't know if you mean a "wiimu" wii emulator or "wiimu" the already existing software, which isn't a wii emu but just a Wii System Menu replacement.

Re:Can't wait for Wii emulation (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628690)

I don't know if you mean a "wiimu" wii emulator or "wiimu" the already existing software, which isn't a wii emu but just a Wii System Menu replacement.

Don't worry about it, I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, just stuck two words together because it sounded funny.

Re:Can't wait for Wii emulation (1)

DemonicMember (1557097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628100)

We have wii on the ps3 as of friday... it's called Playstation Move. It would also appear to be alot more accurate. I've enjoyed it so far. But I woder if it's just novelty

Re:Can't wait for Wii emulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628606)

...and you figure you can count on SONY to allow you to keep it, once you've paid for it?

Re:Can't wait for Wii emulation (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628762)

Wii emulation

You can do Wii emulation on a high end PC. I gave Mega Man 9 a whirl just for shits and giggles, but other games supposedly work too.

Problem is, of course, that the playstation isn't a high end PC. A direct port of that emulator will run dog slow, a lot like SNES emulation on the GBA I suspect. MS got Xbox games working on the 360, but likely only thanks to a crack team of coders.

Re:Can't wait for Wii emulation (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629010)

I'll be happy when someone releases a one-click make-Wiimotes-work-on-your-PC installer.

It works now, but it's a pain in the ass and requires all kinds of voodoo magic to make it work. I have to use BlueSoleil to get it going, because my native Win7 BT stack will connect and work fine but will suddenly drop the connection after 30 seconds or so. Sometimes opening a Wii emulator (that I don't even use for anything else) and having it read the Wiimote makes it work better. The lights seem to do something different every damn time I connect it, and doing anything to the lights in GlovePIE (yet another support app required to make the damn thing work) other than turning them off does work, but causes it to stop reading any input from the device.

Then, if you want two of them for, say, rail shooters, you've got to install ANOTHER application to pretend to be a joystick so GlovePIE can "move" it and "push buttons" on it when it reads input from the Wiimote.

Three apps, one of which costs about $30, to maybe get it working on your PC, which is way more open than the PS3, even post-hack. Somehow I don't think you need to be worrying about seamless PS3 connectivity to the Wiimote any time soon.

Re:Can't wait for Wii emulation (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629360)

"Can't wait to see Wii emulation."

Dolphin works just fine for the most part.

Nothing special yet... (1)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628062)

This is all nothing special yet, as everything up till now when it comes to homebrew games/emulators was already possible with OtherOS..

Best thing would be for Sony to just open up the PS3 development with something like microsoft's XNA-studio.. So just release the latest SDK and let people do what they want with it.

biggest problem though is piracy of games, if that was somehow not possible then they propably already have done it.

but then again, how many real homebrew have we already seen on other devices after the first wave when homebrew was made possible on those devices.. Not much...

Re:Nothing special yet... (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628268)

Ummm ... wiibrew.org?

There are hundreds of pieces of Wii homebrew. And not all emulators either!

Does anyone else find it interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628064)

...that Microsoft's Xbox 360 *still* has not been exploited? PS3 has had a number of exploits over the years, but Xbox 360 is still locked down tight. Too bad desktop Windows still has remote code execution vulnerabilities discovered every month...

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (1, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628104)

...that Microsoft's Xbox 360 *still* has not been exploited? PS3 has had a number of exploits over the years, but Xbox 360 is still locked down tight. Too bad desktop Windows still has remote code execution vulnerabilities discovered every month...

Probably an economic issue. Microsoft (and Sony, for that matter) doesn't make money from console hardware sales ... they need game sales to make a profit. So there's a clear incentive to make the Xbox hard to crack. Perhaps Microsoft is just better at that than Sony.

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (4, Informative)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628190)

...that Microsoft's Xbox 360 *still* has not been exploited? PS3 has had a number of exploits over the years, but Xbox 360 is still locked down tight. Too bad desktop Windows still has remote code execution vulnerabilities discovered every month...

Probably an economic issue. Microsoft (and Sony, for that matter) doesn't make money from console hardware sales ... they need game sales to make a profit. So there's a clear incentive to make the Xbox hard to crack. Perhaps Microsoft is just better at that than Sony.

Have either of you actually played a video game before? Where do you get your intel from?

The 360 was the first to have a hypervisor exploit: http://www.xbox-scene.com/xbox1data/sep/EEZkykVkkFmojzapEq.php [xbox-scene.com]
The 360 was the first to allow playing burnt games: http://digg.com/news/technology/Modded_Xbox_360_Plays_Burned_Games [digg.com]
The 360 was the first to have homebrew: http://beta.ivancover.com/wiki/index.php/Xbox_360_King_Kong_Shader_Exploit [ivancover.com]

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628240)

Where do you get your intel from?

Slashdot, of course. So why should we believe you?

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628296)

Because he provided citation links. You can of course not believe them...

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (1)

Sylak (1611137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628548)

That would be true anywhere else, but remember that nobody will RTFA ;P

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628302)

True, but those exploits don't matter if the system is secure enough to protect itself from those exploits.
As a result, exploits only work in older models and you can't update the console. i.e. it hasn't been fully compromised in that sense.

The PS3 is also supposed to be secure against those kinds of exploits but unlike with the 360 its probably a matter of time until we see "custom firmwares" or a way of upgrading to the latest system version while keeping your homebrew capabilities intact. (which is what you can do with other systems like the wii)

So you see, the xbox 360 had hypervisor exploits *years* ago but noone has really managed to let you upgrade while keeping your console exploited. Which results in a still secured system.
(Plus, you can't go to the store and run homebrew on it)

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628396)

Sony makes money on the consoles as well now... strange that the exploits suddenly appear just as they start making money on the hardware... Now people like me are buying another one, just to have one exploited, and one unexploited - just in case!

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628506)

So, all those people who have hacked their 360's to play backups and even put DLC on the drive... Don't actually exist?

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629046)

So, all those people who have hacked their 360's to play backups and even put DLC on the drive... Don't actually exist?

Of course not, Citizen. They're entirely imaginary.

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (2, Informative)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628120)

...that Microsoft's Xbox 360 *still* has not been exploited? PS3 has had a number of exploits over the years, but Xbox 360 is still locked down tight. Too bad desktop Windows still has remote code execution vulnerabilities discovered every month...

They had hypervisor privileges years ago, it's just that it was a pain to implement. http://www.securityfocus.com/archive/1/461489 [securityfocus.com]

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628220)

What are you on about, the XBox360 has been way more exploited (where it matters to MS; to run pirated games) than the PS3.

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (1)

taxevader (612422) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628488)

Nope. Total control over the machine is what matters most to MS and Sony. Piracy may even have helped sales, every year everyone that gets banned buys a new console.. but Microsoft makes billions of dollars with very little production costs with Live. If everyone's machine was JTAG'd, M$ would really be pissed.

Notice how the JTAG exploit was patched before it was released, by blowing efuses. Meanwhile every single version of the 360's optical drives has been hacked to play backups.. even the slim / s / 250. If Microsoft wanted to stop that, they could have paid $3 more for the DVD mobo's to have non-writable firmware... stopping the piracy instantly.

Control over the core system is what matters. Once that is lost, hackers can do anything they want, and that is what scares MS and Sony the most.

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628600)

Sorry, but no. The reason why they put the protection in place is to prevent piracy and the playing of unauthorized games. They really and truly don't care about total control beyond that.

Re:Does anyone else find it interesting... (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628448)

That's because the Xbox 360 is more secure than the PS3. The 360 was attacked first because the PS3 had OtherOS, but now we're finding out that the PS3's native OS is a lot less secure than previously thought.

In particular, the 360's hypervisor model is a lot better, and they have hardware memory signing and encryption for the hypervisor and executable code. The only reason the PSJailbreak works is because the PS3 doesn't implement W^X at all inside lv2 (!), and it has nothing resembling memory encryption or signing. Its only really redeeming security feature is the secure SPE, but that does nothing to prevent you from owning the rest of the system and using it as a crypto oracle.

Dare I say it? (3, Interesting)

martinux (1742570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628170)

I would think that the ability to run linux *again* might be of more interest here on /.
Having to crack a console to get functionality back sounds like a joke but I suspect few are laughing.

To get back to the topic at hand, given John Carmac's view of the PS3 architecture, it's likely that porting emulators for the more modern consoles (i.e., those that require 3D accelleration) may be a lot more trouble than it was for, say, the original Xbox.

John: I never liked the Cell architecture. You can get high peak numbers out of it, but software development time matters a lot, and not having caches and virtual memory makes development take a lot longer, especially for the majority of applications that don't fit neatly into the DMA pipeline model.

From http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ps3-playstation-3-linux-john-carmack,10035.html [tomshardware.com]

Re:Dare I say it? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628216)

I would think that the ability to run linux *again* might be of more interest here on /.

Ah yes, but ideally it should be configurable as a Beowulf Cluster, and be able to fit in a car.

Re:Dare I say it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628428)

Heh. As if anybody ever really cared about running Linux on it.

And here once again we see that "homebrew" is just a code word for "pirating software from other platforms, too".

Re:Dare I say it? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628542)

I would think that the ability to run linux *again* might be of more interest here on /.

Linux on the PS3 has become more symbol than reality - at a time when Linux seems increasingly marginalized: iOS tops Linux [netmarketshare.com]

Whatever Android and Chrome might become, their future lies with Google and not the geek.

But does it run Linux? (1)

garlicbready (846542) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628184)

I know this will sound cliché
but does it run Linux?
(I'd genuinely like to know)

there's also been some rumors that it's been cracked / adapted for 3.42
but I'm not sure if it's fake based on the youtube clips I've seen so far

Re:But does it run Linux? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628300)

AFAICT, yes, the 3.42 cracks on youtube are a fake. It would be a great thing if they were real, for me, as it would mean a crack may be possible in the upcoming 3.5 which adds 3d bluray support. At the moment my ps3 is unhacked but still on 3.41 pending a decision to be made about what I do with it.

And yes, linux is an interesting thing, there are many obstacles though.

1. this is a lvl2 (gameos) crack, which could be fixed in a variety of ways by Sony. Until lvl 0 (hypervisor) compromises are made then the homebrew folks aren't going to be able to rest easy. That or someone needs to find out how to (like the PSP) reverse engineer and customise sony firmware versions.

2. the only current SDK is a leaked and therefore illegal one. Linux types prefer to have a fully free software stack and so building bootloaders and the like might have to wait until there's been some basic platform SDK stuff done.

But theoretically, yes, it sounds like we could get linux back, and with access to all the hardware that the games have.

Re:But does it run Linux? (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628342)

That'd be interesting. OTOH, Sony would just fix it again, requiring users to update for them to log into Playstation Network. Or is there some way to continue using Playstation Network with a jailbroken PS3?

XBMC? (2, Funny)

arndawg (1468629) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628188)

I CAN HAS XBMC FOR THE PS3?

Re:XBMC? (2, Interesting)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628312)

I CAN HAS XBMC FOR THE PS3?

Your delivery was child like but the question is valid.
What I want most for PS3 is XBMC. I have a PS3, O!Play and an original XBOX.
XBox - w/ XBMC best return on investment ever. Getting long in the tooth as it won't play 1080p.
O!Play - GUI is pathetic and controls are terrible. Although it plays 1080p no problem and I haven't had a format problem yet.
PS3 - GUI is OK, BT remote is great and it supports most formats... but doesn't support CIFs. UPnP is the biggest waste of time IMO and the reason I hate PS3 as a media center.

Now that the PS3 is cracked wide open I'd like to hear technical reasons why XBMC can/cannot run on PS3. The PS3 is net 0 cost to me at this point and I won't want to upgrade the O!Play to a Zotac MAG... how long should I expect to hold out?

Re:XBMC? (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628364)

That's a very good question indeed.

Personally, I *hate* the fact that neither the xbox or the PS3 can play MKVs. I don't know why I would want a HD-compatible media center without support for HD video formats.

(Yes, I know, for streaming the video from the PC media center to the console, but IMHO that's cheating since the console isn't decoding the video and you need to put two machines "to work" just to playback some vid -- I'd really like to play things "natively")

Great! But... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33628350)

Already blocked by a new firmware update [slashdot.org].
So we're still stuck with the choice of running either PS3 games or homebrew, but not both.

Re:Great! But... (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629184)

Already blocked by a new firmware update [slashdot.org].
So we're still stuck with the choice of running either PS3 games or homebrew, but not both.

Likewise, PSP games require the latest firmware available at release time, and of course using the playstation network on a PSP always does. This poses no problem to those who run homebrew apps and the latest games on the same PSP as the newest firmware is invariably fixed by the community.

As the community's PS3 knowledge develops, we may see unfucked versions of the latest firmware so that games could be played online without any workarounds such as loaders.

Why would it be the dream console for emulation? (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628358)

There are already emulators for the 360, and have been for some time. The 360 also has the advantage of being a more computer-like architecture and thus taking less effort to make an efficient emu port.

However really, if emulation is your thing, a cheap media PC/netbook is the way to go. For anything that is, say, Playstation 1 or older, you need very little hardware to emulate it. Current PCs are plenty fast enough, even at the low end. Also, there are tons of emulators that are out and available and well developed. So to me, that seems to be the "dream system." If you have a media PC, just load up the emulators on it.

I don't see anything about the PS3 that makes it particularly suited to emulation as opposed to the 360.

When a PS2 emulator is released... LOL@SONY! (2, Informative)

taxevader (612422) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628438)

A 100% software emulator to run PS2 software on the PS3 is entirely possible. The Xbox 1 is a much more powerful system than the PS2, and the Xbox 360 (which is inferior to the PS3) can emulate it perfectly, all in software. So it's only a matter of time before a PS2 emulator appears on the PS3.

The funny thing about this is Sony has recently patented a hardware PS2 addon for the PS3.. if/when the homebrew scene releases a PS2 emulator, Sony is going to look very stupid....and greedy to almost every PS3 owner in the world!

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=264597 [computeran...ogames.com]

Re:When a PS2 emulator is released... LOL@SONY! (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628602)

The Xbox emulation on the 360 is hardly perfect. It requires a different emulator profile per game and even then it only supports a few of the popular games [wikipedia.org]. In addition, the Xbox and the 360 are very much alike in terms of architecture than the PS2 and PS3. The more different they are the more resources you need to emulate correctly.

Re:When a PS2 emulator is released... LOL@SONY! (1)

taxevader (612422) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628698)

A few of the popular games? It supports practically every single popular game ever made for the Xbox! I don't think anyone outside Japan (where the Xbox sold dismally) can list more than 5 popular Xbox titles that don't run on the 360. I looked through that list and couldn't find any at all that I played that aren't currently supported.

As for whether or not the machines are powerful enough, don't forget the PS3 is much more powerful than the 360 (though it lacks memory, but which still more than enough to emulate the PS2). If the 360 can emulate the most complex Xbox games, there's no reason the PS3 can't emulate the rather basic PS2, especially since emulators on the PC can already emulate the PS2 quite well. But as for the Xbox, all the emulators can run a grand total of TWO GAMES! Which does give us a good idea of what's possible and what isn't.

Re:When a PS2 emulator is released... LOL@SONY! (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628902)

If it only emulates the popular games I'd hardly call that perfect emulation, which is what I was responding to.

The PS2 is anything but a basic machine. It has one of the weirdest architectures ever produced, weirder still that the PS3's. Also, the PS3 is not that more powerful than the 360. It's more powerful in certain aspects but less in others. For example it's very good at parallel problems but that won't help it much in this case because emulation is hard to parallelize. PCSX2 on PC uses only 2 threads and most other emulators only one.

Re:When a PS2 emulator is released... LOL@SONY! (2, Informative)

am 2k (217885) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628760)

Hardware performance is not a linear scale. The PS2 had a lot of domain-specific specialized processors that would all have to be emulated on an SPU. Specialized processors are always faster at a task they were designed for than comparable generic processors. This is not a trivial task, and even the Windows-based emulators have some severe performance issues (at least when I tried one of them a year ago).

Additionally, since the games were coded for a fixed platform, they are very likely to rely on specific timings (like DVD loading performance), which are very hard to emulate, even when you have enough performance to do so.

Re:When a PS2 emulator is released... LOL@SONY! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33628948)

Additionally, since the games were coded for a fixed platform, they are very likely to rely on specific timings (like DVD loading performance), which are very hard to emulate, even when you have enough performance to do so.

As time goes by this is less and less likely to happen on any console. The PS2, for example, was tempting people with a hard-drive upgrade. It also wasn't unimaginable that they'd release a new PS2 with a nicer drive. It's difficult to imagine that with these in mind game developers made assumptions about just how fast the DVD was going to send data. Heck, it's difficult to picture most PS2 games running anything but smoother if you were to double the speed of the hardware components. Once you get into 3D land, you do everything by the time and not by how many frames it's chewing on.

Give Us Back Linux (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629068)

It sure looks like Sony's ripping the Linux option out of the PS3 is what finally coaxed crackers to jailbreak the resulting PS3. For years while hackers had Linux to play around with, even though it was crippled (low RAM, GPU lockout, so all processing including display on the PPC/512MB), there were no jailbreaks. Then no Linux, and a few months later a jailbreak. It really makes Sony's original "give 'em Linux" strategy look like it worked better to protect the console than any DRM or other lockout has for any other platform.

So maybe Sony can "return to Eden". Sony could reinstate Linux as an option on PS3. Probably they'd have to up the ante, unlocking either the VRAM or the entire GPU, to attract developers back to legitimate "PS3 hacking". Which could drain down the developer pool away from more cracking that actually does compete with Sony games. The current hack would be out of the bag, and it would have some momentum for a while, but Sony could throw a bone that would slow that momentum possibly to stagnation.

Meanwhile, does this HW hack let even new PS3s without the "OtherOS" option boot Linux anyway, as if it were a game, off the DVD/Blu-Ray? Does that let a bootable Linux get access to the VRAM and/or GPU? Because if it does, then even people who just want to hack Linux will be lending momentum to the same hack that enables pirating games.

Re:Give Us Back Linux (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629222)

It sure looks like Sony's ripping the Linux option out of the PS3 is what finally coaxed crackers to jailbreak the resulting PS3.

Pesonally, I'm finding it hard to believe that the number of people that want to run Linux on their game consoles would have any significant impact on game sales. This just sounds more like some typically paranoid control-freak upper management decision.

Re:Give Us Back Linux (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33629298)

I disagree with Sony that the negative effects would outweigh the positive effects. However, if any developer could write a game that could play on PS3, using Linux with full access to PPC, SPUs and RSX (all the PS3 HW), they could indeed write games that any PS3 owner could get and play. Those games would directly compete with Sony-licensed games, but without paying Sony a license, and without paying for a Sony development environment. So Sony would not get any revenue from those games, which is where all their profit comes from (the console is sold at a loss). And it would make it harder for Sony to negotiate with even big developers, like EA and movie studios like Lucas (though maybe just those a little smaller than that), to get license money for "the real thing", when they could threaten to do it the free way instead. So I see why Sony wants to lock every game into licensing.

However, that explosion in games would sell a lot more consoles. Not just to developers and hackers, but to people playing all those other games. It would drive down game prices, especially with free games competing. But cheaper games would sell many more copies. Overall I expect that the bigger share of the platform market and the overwhelming number of games ("something for everyone, no matter how lame") would mean more licensed games sold, even if a much smaller slice of a much, much bigger pie. But Sony is a company that loves "premiums", so I don't think Sony's execs see it that way. Especially since Sony is a record label and movie studio, which means it's a big part of the RIAA and MPAA crusades against openness, so its corporate culture has talked itself into the value of DRM and exclusion despite repeated lessons to the contrary.

I don't have statistical studies of anything to demonstrate that opening the platform would grow Sony's profits rather than shrink them. Sony doesn't have actual data to the contrary, either. So it's my gut feeling against Sony's, and Sony's of course wins. But it does seem to be losing lots of important battles, and overall the war. Maybe eventually some kind of desperation will get Sony to change course. Like if a really definitive crack showed openness is easier, while closedness is much harder and doesn't save that much anymore. Maybe this crack, or the next one following up on it, are the ones.

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