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Why Sony Cannot Stop PS3 Pirates

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the of-pots-and-kettles dept.

Encryption 378

Sam writes "A former Ubisoft exec believes that Sony will not be able to combat piracy on the PlayStation 3, which was recently hacked. Martin Walfisz, former CEO of Ubisoft subsidiary Ubisoft Massive, was a key player in developing Ubisoft's new DRM technologies. Since playing pirated games doesn't require a modchip, his argument is that Sony won't be able to easily detect hacked consoles. Sony's only possible solution is to revise the PS3 hardware itself, which would be a very costly process. Changing the hardware could possibly work for new console sales, though there would be the problem of backwards compatibility with the already-released games. Furthermore, current users would still be able to run pirated copies on current hardware." An anonymous reader adds commentary from PS3 hacker Mathieu Hervais about Sony's legal posturing.

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Evil commenting on evil (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875740)

I must say, it does feel like having an Ubisoft exec comment on the chances of Sony being successful in combating piracy feels a bit like having Sauron publish an article on Voldemort's chances of taking over the world.

He's probably right, of course. A software-only hack is very bad news indeed for Sony. It's worse news than such a hack would be for Microsoft. Why? As TFA notes, Sony probably will be able to catch and ban people with custom firmware who connect to the Playstation Network, just as MS can with users on Xbox Live. However, as an owner of both consoles (who has no strong overall preference for either), I can fairly confidently say that Xbox Live is a much more central part of the whole "360 experience" than the PSN is to the PS3. It's not that Sony haven't put a lot of time and effort into improving the PSN - it is certainly far better than it used to be - but it still feels like something that sits off to the side a bit from the PS3's main functionality, while a 360 without Xbox Live feels fundamentally incomplete.

As for a new PS3 hardware iteration to solve this - I just don't see how, short of sending some kind of self-destruct signal to every existing PS3 out there (and I don't think even Sony would go that far) they could plausibly make that one work.

If Sony has one sliver of hope left, it's that the extremely large size of many of the big-name PS3 games (and hence the time and bandwidth needed to download them), combined with the relatively high price of writable blu-ray media, will still act as something of a deterrent. Of course, lots of big-name cross-platform releases like the Call of Duty games are basically identical to the 360 versions and could probably fit on a DVD.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (5, Informative)

mprinkey (1434) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875756)

Large downloads are a potential impediment to piracy, but with the ability to run unsigned code, it can likely run backup manager with an ftp server that can be used to move games directly onto the PS3 hard drive and run from there, not unlike the current situation with JTAG 360 systems now. Therefore, bluray blank prices aren't going to be an issue.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (2, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875784)

Yes, true, I hadn't thought of that. Though in that case, hard disk space may well emerge as the alternative constraint.

Still, for a pirate who downloads a couple of games a month, plays through them and then discards them (you almost certainly won't be doing online play on pirated games) this is not going to prove a huge barrier.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875860)

... hard disk space may well emerge as the alternative constraint.

Except it costs about $120 to upgrade the HDD to 1tb [newegg.com] (the $100 drive doesn't quite fit)

I would think a lot of people knowledgable enough to implement the software hack are knowledgable enough to upgrade the Hard Drive as well.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (2)

bryansj (89051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876414)

The games would be on external drives and copied to whatever internal drive you currently have. Once you start filling up the internal drive you start deleting ones you don't play as often, but they still reside on the external drive. External drive space is cheaper.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875888)

you almost certainly won't be doing online play on pirated games

From the summary: "Sony won't be able to easily detect hacked consoles".

To prevent online play Sony will need to determine if the console is compromised. This isn't entirely trivial. MS manages somehow but I believe it takes about month or so before they catch you.

Note that if you hack a Xbox 360 to play pirated games, and then play a legal game online, you'll still be blocked/banned if discovered.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876004)

I read somewhere that when playing online on the 360, the console sends some sort of CD Key unique to that cd, if the cd is used on too many consoles (or more than one at a time) the copy is assumed to be pirated and the console playing the game, modded.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876336)

Unlikely

having a unique CD key for each CD means that you can't mass produce them, which would massively increase the costs
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Compact_Disc_manufacturing [wikimedia.org]

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876024)

I have some questions here, and Correct me if I am wrong. But isn't the Xbox hacks so far are hardware ? Isn't this easier to detect than the compromised key of PS3 ? I mean you are not changing anything with the console itself, you just know the specific key that allows you to run your homebrew/pirated code. I can think of some ways to detect pirated games, but i think it would be far fetched. And do they have any legal stand that forbids you from running homebrew ?

Re:Evil commenting on evil (2)

anss123 (985305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876250)

Isn't this easier to detect than the compromised key of PS3 ?

The compromised key is not enough to play pirated games. You will also need modified firmware, and while modified firmware can hide that it's modified, it’s not entirely trivial. Sony will probably be looking into ways of detecting modified firmware.

And do they have any legal stand that forbids you from running homebrew ?

I do not think they can legally disable your console, but they can legally ban you from PSN (whenever you mod your console or not).

I can think of some ways to detect pirated games, but i think it would be far fetched.

Blue-ray disk may have unique serials, if so they can detect if multiple consoles use the same serial.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

Obyron (615547) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876266)

The vast majority of 360 hacks are firmware hacks. It's essentially a change to the dvd drive firmware to tell it not to check if the disc is signed or not.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (2)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876310)

The current PS3 hack consists of being able to sign software to appear legitimate to the PS3, and a small firmware hack that enables a dev console option to allow installing signed code to the HDD from USB media.

This can only be used for piracy in a manner similar to PC game rips -- you have to rip the game to HDD then crack it's executable. It would be easy to detect the use of a pirate game for online play, at least for new games -- require some hash of the executable be sent ot the game server.

Technically they could detect the hacked firmware by doing the same with the FW itself, but since all the hacked FW does is enable the option to install packages and has nothing to do with actually running them once installed, all one would have to do is upgrade to the jailbroken firmware, install whatever you want to install, then go to the recovery menu and reinstall the official firmware. Homebrew/pirated games still run under OFW, they only require the hack to be installed in the first place (and then only because the "install properly signed program from USB device" device is disabled on retail consoles).

Really, I don't think this will lead to as rampant piracy as everyone thinks -- the jailbreak dongle allows easy piracy, the 3.55 FW hack requires actually cracking the game executable to remove disc checks and redirect IO from /dev_bdvd to /dev_hdd0 (which frankly any multiplayer game should do a hash check on it's executables anyways, which would catch that).

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

bryansj (89051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876454)

Really, I don't think this will lead to as rampant piracy as everyone thinks -- the jailbreak dongle allows easy piracy, the 3.55 FW hack requires actually cracking the game executable to remove disc checks and redirect IO from /dev_bdvd to /dev_hdd0 (which frankly any multiplayer game should do a hash check on it's executables anyways, which would catch that).

That just means the 3.55+ game downloads/torrents will already be cracked. Not everyone will have actual disc in hand trying to make a "backup".

Difficulty of detecting a compromised machine (2)

just fiddling around (636818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876436)

The thing is, with the security architecture of the PS3, it is plainly impossible for a game (runlevel 2+) or application to test directly the characteristics of runlevel 0.

You could compare the situation to using VMware: the OS inside a virtual machine comprises runlevel 1+, but the real OS running VMware is runlevel 0. VMware isolates anything inside a virtual machine from the rest of the machine, and from any other running virtual machine. In fact, the client OS is like a brain in a jar: it is prevented from even knowing it is not running directly on hardware.

For more details, see this excellent article on Ars Technica [arstechnica.com]

Re:Difficulty of detecting a compromised machine (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876622)

I disagree, PSN requires a certain firmware version. All sonly has to do is create a new firmware version (firmware can contain level 0 code) that does the the check and require that firmware.

Blacklisting the most common hacks will be enough to discourage coming online with a jailbroken PS3.

In theory you can create a hypervisor that is completely hidden like the blue pill hypervirsor [wikipedia.org] , But creating a completely undetecable rootkit is not trivial, especially on the PS3 where you can detect such beast vai timing attacks since the difference in available hardware is small

Note that the hypervirsor currently does not do security checks, those checks are done by the loaders, not the hypervirsor.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876154)

With the release of the metldr key, every single piece of code that runs on the PS3 CELL CPU (with the exception of a few really low level bits) can be changed in any way you want. This includes every single piece of code that talks to PSN.
No matter what Sony does, it will be possible to make the PS3 answer with the right answers.

This is why the PS3 hacks is far more difficult to detect than the XBOX JTAG hack (on the XBOX, large chunks of the OS and kernel aren't under hacker control AFAIK)

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876218)

Note that if you hack a Xbox 360 to play pirated games, and then play a legal game online, you'll still be blocked/banned if discovered.

Which may not be legal everywhere. I mean, I doubt they can detect that you hacked your xbox for playing pirated games. They can detect you hacked it, but by itself this is not necessarily a problem.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

anomaly256 (1243020) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875810)

I'm pretty sure everyone who is pirating ps3 games are putting them on hard drives. The cost of dual layer blue ray burners is itself prohibitive to the types of people who are too tight to shell out a reasonable $80 for a good game.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875814)

A software-only hack is very bad news indeed for Sony. It's worse news than such a hack would be for Microsoft. Why? As TFA notes, Sony probably will be able to catch and ban people with custom firmware who connect to the Playstation Network, just as MS can with users on Xbox Live. However, as an owner of both consoles (who has no strong overall preference for either), I can fairly confidently say that Xbox Live is a much more central part of the whole "360 experience" than the PSN is to the PS3.

I'm sure they're making a note of that for the next console and future PS3 games (as much as PSN allows).

It shall be a sad day when I see console owners having to input serial numbers to play games.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875914)

It shall be a sad day when I see console owners having to input serial numbers to play games.

Just get rid of the discs and tie all games to an account, Steam style. That gets rid of a lot of the issues. Steam is even more convenient than using discs, while at the same time probably being even more "secure". We're already halfway there, as you can download games tied to your account (and actually can have your account on up to 5 PS3s, so I put my account on my little brother's PS3 so he can share my games) but obviously not everyone has internet, and HDD costs/sizes are still not quite there for being able to store every single game+updates on your console yet, but I hope with the next generation that they'll have a lot more games available for download rather than on disc.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876258)

Right now, the full 360 games available for download from xbox live are all about 2 to 3 times the price it is for a used copy on a disc from just about anywhere (UK) . And if you download the game you can't resell it once you're not playing it anymore. And if you're xbox dies (yeh when does that ever happen? /sarcasm ) and you get a new console, they're tied to the one that downloaded it so will only work while you are online.

does my head in if my internet goes down, all my xbox live arcade games stop working.

yes i could phone up support and get this changed, no i can't be bothered to sit on hold, no you can't fix it online.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876574)

That's an example of a bad way of doing things.

With Steam, you can choose for certain games to run in "offline mode". I haven't used Steam for a few years so I don't know if this has changed recently.

On the PS3 and Wii, you can play all your downloaded games while offline.

I recently bought an Xbox too, though I've only bought one Arcade game so far, and thankfully my net connection is fairly reliable. I wasn't aware they wouldn't work without a net connection, it's definitely a situation where cracking games starts to become morally acceptable. For example on PC I used to buy my games legally but then download the NoCD crack so that I didn't need to have the disc in the drive despite all the content already being on the HDD.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876606)

Ahh, good point, I picked up Portal from steam recently and that does indeed work offline, which is awesome. Never bought anything on my wii or ps3 so I didn't realize the games would still work offline.

The 360 downloads will work if they're on the same console you downloaded the games on.
I have been through a number of xboxes (RROD) and eventually got an elite so had to transfer my content from old drive to new one in elite. This means it isn't the same console that downloaded the games, and therefore needs to be online to play them. Its fair enough and completely understandable, but the failure rate means it's still very annoying.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876430)

No. Many people, including myself, like to own what we buy.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

Tomun (144651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876354)

It shall be a sad day when I see console owners having to input serial numbers to play games.

That day is already here. I had to type in a serial number when I installed Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit on PS3.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

jools33 (252092) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875846)

I think Sony will only use this as a learning exercise for the PS4, which cannot be so very far away now - any kind of hardware fix to the PS3 will screw the vast majority of PS3 owners - and would be commercial stupidity.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

bryansj (89051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876278)

You are forgetting that Sony has said from the beginning that they have a 10 year plan for the PS3...

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

Raxxon (6291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875856)

Hump the large downloads. Here's how it will go down:

Rent or borrow game.
Go home, load game to external HD via a Backup Manager (see existing Jailbreak configs)
Take external HD to PC, use tools available to modify the backup into a "PSN Download" style software package.
Take external HD back to PS3, install game package to system.

External 1tb+ drives are somewhat cheap, getting 500gb drives for the system itself isn't that hard... When you don't want to play the game anymore nuke it from the Console, but you can still "reinstall" it from the external HD.

Things of course will get really nasty when they work some magic with the custom firmware aspects and actually get it to access CIFS shares. Just dump the images out to network after they're created and install across the wire whenever you need to do a reinstall...

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

bryansj (89051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876320)

Most of the downloads aren't even huge. Most cross console ports are on par with the 360 games, about 8 GB. I saw a download for GT4 and it was only 23 GB. Still, they would most likely be stored on HDD and not Blu-ray discs. It is just that the download size isn't going to be much of an issue with a decent internet connection.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

Raxxon (6291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876468)

Until you get to nasty little gems like FF13, where basically half of the disc is high rez video. Yeah, they dropped from 1080 to 720 to make the 360 version and then further compressed it (which is why it was 3 DVDs instead of more) but "if it's out there, people will use it". That and Sony is wanting to hump HARD for 3d gaming and movies. That's going to double the video density by itself when they start shipping.

Also, not everyone is "blessed" enough to have unmetered access for the 'net. Add on top of that ISP's suddenly seeing a OMGWTF upswing in a few specific users data volume to grab these 8+gb monsters...

Enough with the "Evil" hyperbole (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875956)

Real evil is children being massacred in tribal wars, real evil is people being tortured in prison cells. Real evil is NOT a company trying to protect its profits no matter how much you dislike it.

A PS3 is hardly a critical item to 21st century life. If you didn't like the way SOny played ball you shouldn't have bought one - vote with your wallet. I get tired of kids whining about how unfair it is that they can't do [some hacker thing] with [insert name of expensive consumer kit here]. Life is unfair - deal. That doesn't make it evil.

Re:Enough with the "Evil" hyperbole (2, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876194)

This is a very insignificant battle in the war against culture.

But that war is more important IMO than a war against mere lives. Having peace won't get you free dissemination of ideas, free dissemination of ideas is a doom to oppressive rulers.

Re:Enough with the "Evil" hyperbole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876340)

Not fearing for own life is a key element in having intellectual freedom.

You can't have intellectual freedom if you live in constant danger of being harassed/raped/harassed/killed by some known or unknown entity.

Re:Enough with the "Evil" hyperbole (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876406)

I completely agree with your statement; there are far more important things going on here. OTOH, to kids growing up in Suburbia and only being exposed to those world-atrocities if they decide to turn on the tele and watch, this Sony article is a pretty important thing. It's all a matter of perspective, really. The fact that kids don't have a great understanding of all things worldly means, I think, that America is still working the way is has been since WWII. Anyone can choose to block out what's happening in country because it doesn't direcftly affect them.

Yet

Re:Evil commenting on evil (5, Informative)

kyz (225372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875974)

Sony could potentially stuff the genie back in the bottle.

The first step is a new firmware update, and make it mandatory to be allowed on the PSN. This will force the hand of most actual gamers. Perhaps there's even an option for Sony to force a firmware upgrade without user acceptance - we'll find out soon enough.

The firmware update will start verifying against a new Sony public key, and will only allow the old key for a whitelist of known past titles. So homebrewers can sign anything they like, but this new firmware won't run it.

Sony will start signing new titles with random numbers as well as the private key, so the private key remains private.

There goes softmodding.

"Ah", you say. "What about hardmodding? Because Sony can't update metldr with a firmware update, we can just rewrite the firmware on the flash chip, and metldr will accept our key, so we can change any stage of loading after bootldr/metldr."

But, you neglect that Sony could update metldr. The fail0verflow people said they couldn't, because they reasoned that as metldr is encrypted with a random key that's burned into the console at the factory, Sony couldn't update it en-masse. However, all Sony need to do is to pull their database of "what key was burned into each PS3 at the factory", and add code to their firmware that gets the PS3's serial number, sends it to Sony, and in return gets a firmware update already encrypted for that console.

metldr is only use to load firmware, which Sony never allows downgrades on, so it only needs to accept the new signature on firmware, not the old one. Now homebrewers and pirates are SOL, there's not even a hardhack that'll work.... unless you avoid Sony's network like the plague from this moment on, until modders come up with a fake update that convinces Sony you've upgraded, but you haven't really.

Meanwhile, in the factory, they keep on making PS3s but they change the firmware signing key. That's all that's needed.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876082)

allow the old key for a whitelist of known past titles

Depending on how the whitelist was done, couldn't a softmodder just have his code say, "oh, yeah, I'm [some whitelisted game]. So use the old key for me"?

all Sony need to do is to pull their database...

That assumes that such a database exists, which isn't necessarily true. And if Sony is sending that data over the Internet, it's just a matter of poking around the updating code and listening to the netwiork traffic, and then the hackers could have Sony kindly supply them with the factory key of any system they have an identifyer for.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (3, Interesting)

kyz (225372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876302)

allow the old key for a whitelist of known past titles

Depending on how the whitelist was done, couldn't a softmodder just have his code say, "oh, yeah, I'm [some whitelisted game]. So use the old key for me"?

No. The signature verification stars by SHA-1 hash of the executable itself. This is what is "signed".

The whitelist would be a list of SHA-1 hashes.

SHA-1 is still secure, in that it's not possible in any reasonable time to work out which few bytes you would add to the end of your homebrew that would transform your homebrew's SHA-1 hash into one of the hashes on the list.

all Sony need to do is to pull their database...

That assumes that such a database exists, which isn't necessarily true. And if Sony is sending that data over the Internet, it's just a matter of poking around the updating code and listening to the netwiork traffic, and then the hackers could have Sony kindly supply them with the factory key of any system they have an identifyer for.

Not quite. This is what's called a collusion attack, and we don't know if it's possible with the encryption algorithm Sony used, because we don't know what algorithm they used (yet) - we haven't seen bootldr.

It would be nice to have a plaintext of metldr, but we don't have that - only George Hotz does, and even then I suspect he only has some of it, not all of it.

If Sony pre-encrypt all metldrs handed out, and all console-specific keys were random (i.e. not generated based on the serial number), there's no way to map serial number to console-specific key without Sony's database (presuming it exists).

If we can't work out the encryption used on metldr, and we can't get a plaintext of the updated metldr Sony hands out, then we can't reverse their encryption mechanism and therefore work out the console-specific key for any given console.

So, our only hope is to find out where the console specific key is stored, and to become able to extract it in future. Once we have that, we can encrypt our own metldr, which is easily accessible on the flash chip.

Furthermore, if we try and work out the encryption based on large numbers of requests to Sony's update servers, they potentially could detect us and start serving us phony updates, which would scupper our attempts (and would also entirely brick a PS3 if they mistook a genuine PS3 updating)

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876380)

Sorry, ignore me: not enough coffee this morning. Somehow read your first comment to be saying that Sony would be sending keys, not pre-encrypted metldr's. Which, of course, would be really stupid for Sony.

Still, it assumes that the factory-key database exists; it's possible that those unique keys were never meant to be refreshed or recovered, in which case having the database would be a waste. I guess we'll find out, if Sony decides it's worth it to try and fix this that way.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

Raxxon (6291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876098)

It would destroy my use of my PS3 as I don't have it connected to the internet. Currently it's sitting at a friend's house because he's addicted to GT5 and doesn't have internet to be addicted to WoW like I am.

It would **WRECK** the use of the consoles in a "game room" environment, such as found at a large number of conventions around the world. Console rooms don't "need" internet access for most of them to hold tournaments and such. Force the issue there and you're going to lose fans across the board.

Metldr is signed with one key. It's a universal. If they 'invalidate' that key it keeps the system from running Metldr which means no firmware loads at all. If no firmware loads at all because of something Sony did I see something really nasty happening... They just destroyed my $300+ game console. Given that the system isn't booted far enough to have network access (or probably even the network hardware initialized) it's pretty well impossible to force a Metldr key change like you suggested for the Software key.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (4, Insightful)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876126)

I don't think it's really ethical to force a firmware update on someone without giving them the chance to accept it or not. For whatever reasons there are, you should always allow the user to avoid a potential brick by letting them choose when to update.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (2)

kyz (225372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876192)

This is Sony we're talking about. They don't know the meaning [wikipedia.org] of the word "ethical".

Re:Evil commenting on evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876208)

The first step is a new firmware update, and make it mandatory to be allowed on the PSN.

You mean the new firmware that hackers can take apart fix and sign at their leisure, the one that need to be signed with known root keys ?

Re:Evil commenting on evil (2)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876086)

From what I've heard on forums, every time you turn on the PS3 it tries to connect to PSN and let it know what game IDs have been run.
So if you run some homebrew code they will see an unknown code and from there banning your MAC address on PSN is trivial. If they did remote destructs that would be the end of Sony as a company.

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

bryansj (89051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876298)

IIt's not that Sony haven't put a lot of time and effort into improving the PSN - it is certainly far better than it used to be - but it still feels like something that sits off to the side a bit from the PS3's main functionality, while a 360 without Xbox Live feels fundamentally incomplete.

You mean you don't fire up the PS3 and go straight to PS Home? (Does that even still exist?)

Re:Evil commenting on evil (1)

quintin3265 (1552941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876532)

This whole situation could work out in the best way possible. If Sony is going to release a new hardware update, it will probably cost close to what it would cost to simply move up the Playstation 4. Releasing a Playstation 4 with backwards compatibility and a new DRM scheme both moves Sony ahead of the competition, and eliminates this piracy problem in the long term. The opportunity cost of reassigning all the engineers who are surely investigating the next generation right now into attempting to fix this problem could be devastating, and hiring new engineers unfamiliar with a system that needs to be fixed immediately is unlikely to succeed.

probably not (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875804)

this metldr Key :

erk: C0 CE FE 84 C2 27 F7 5B D0 7A 7E B8 46 50 9F 93 B2 38 E7 70 DA CB 9F F4 A3 88 F8 12 48 2B E2 1B
riv: 47 EE 74 54 E4 77 4C C9 B8 96 0C 7B 59 F4 C1 4D
pub: C2 D4 AA F3 19 35 50 19 AF 99 D4 4E 2B 58 CA 29 25 2C 89 12 3D 11 D6 21 8F 40 B1 38 CA B2 9B 71 01 F3 AE B7 2A 97 50 19
    R: 80 6E 07 8F A1 52 97 90 CE 1A AE 02 BA DD 6F AA A6 AF 74 17
    n: E1 3A 7E BC 3A CC EB 1C B5 6C C8 60 FC AB DB 6A 04 8C 55 E1
    K: BA 90 55 91 68 61 B9 77 ED CB ED 92 00 50 92 F6 6C 7A 3D 8D
  Da: C5 B2 BF A1 A4 13 DD 16 F2 6D 31 C0 F2 ED 47 20 DC FB 06 70

is static and it is not revocable and even if they change everything that is revocable, someone can start using this key to get the ones after and so on.

Re:probably not (1)

kyz (225372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876362)

Re:probably not (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876538)

probably not

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2011/01/ps3_root_key_found_-_is_the_sony_ps.html

Re:probably not (2, Funny)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876428)

Dear user,

Please do not post that Key again

Sincerely, Sony

eFUSE (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875808)

Sony's only possible solution is to revise the PS3 hardware itself, which would be a very costly process.

Maybe. Cell has IBM's eFUSE [wikipedia.org] system. It may be possible for Sony to issue a system update which changes the behaviour of all existing PS3s in some way to detect pirated games.

OtherOS (2)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875824)

I want my OtherOS back. I made a point of not formatting the drive when applying the update that originally killed it, so it *should* still be there.
I've just been biding my time, waiting for someone smarter than me to make it possible.

The homebrew jailbreak is so easy to install anyone can do it. But I still haven't run into an OtherOS bootloader. Are they out there yet?

Re:OtherOS (1)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875850)

i just want some decent homebrew audio player, the one in GameOS is pure example how blasphemy can still look good. and maybe homebrew video player which actually supports other codecs and subtitles

Re:OtherOS (0)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875998)

and maybe homebrew video player which actually supports other codecs and subtitles

for your pirated mkv anime? Tell the original pirates to use MPEG4 or MTS containers as the gods intended.

Re:OtherOS (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876492)

It's called XBMC. If you are lucky someone will port it to the ps3

Re:OtherOS (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876008)

I was also waiting for a announcement that someone ported ubuntu (ubuntu news makes headlines!) to the PS3 and created a signed bootable disk for a disk3, that has full hardware access.

Re:OtherOS (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876140)

fail0verflow has AsbestOS in the works, but that will just function as a bootloader as far as I know.

A signed LiveBoot Ubuntu would be slick.

Re:OtherOS (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876284)

Why do you want the ability to run Linux on your PS3? I don't get it. Why not just buy a secondhand PC off ebay and run Linux on that? Or use some other PC that you've already got? Why on the PS3? Just because you can? Or, should I say, could?

I don't quite understand the draw.

Re:OtherOS (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876448)

Because I am interested in Cell programming. You know, there are these things called different hardware architectures. X86 is just ugly.

Re:OtherOS (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876472)

It may have something to do with the Cell processor, which for some tasks significantly outperforms x86. True, you can find other Cell processor machines...at ten times the cost.

Even if there were no technical reason, why shouldn't people be able to use their computers the way they want to? Why should Sony get to decide how a system that I purchased gets used?

Why stop pirates? (3, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875838)

Platforms like the PC, Amiga, C64 and others thrived because of piracy... People (mostly kids) would trade games with their friends and keep copies, most of the people i knew bought as many games as they could afford and then pirated others. Without piracy, those people would just have had less games, they simply didn't have the money to buy more. I still have a stack of original games from publishers who i would never have heard about had i not pirated their games from friends.

All DRM schemes, including those on consoles do is hurt legitimate consumers...

Lost/damaged media (especially when kids are involved)
Inconvenience of having to have the media instead of playing a game from HD
False positives from DRM schemes preventing paying customers from playing

Actual organised pirates don't care about any of this, they actually have a superior product for a cheaper price..

So what they should do is tollerate casual piracy (eg kids sharing games with friends), stop wasting their time/money/public image on implementing draconian drm schemes and ensure that legitimate customers actually get a better product than the pirates do.

Re:Why stop pirates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875916)

On Xbox and PS3 you can exchange games with your friends, no issues at all. On PC, you get crap like Ubisoft's DRM and the latest Starcraft 2 thing, one account per person.

I have a PS3, and I liked it because unlike the PC or Xbox, nobody can cheat, and you get the full experience because of it. Now, I'm going to start watching the news about my favourite games, to know what the latest cheats are, and when they do come up, start single player again.

People think that Sony is defeated, the new consoles will be the same etc. Bullshit. They won, for four years they maintained their console secured, if anything the next generation will be even tougher to break. Backwards compatibility? Ha, you can't run PS2 games on PS3, no reason why you should run PS3 games on PS3+=1

Re:Why stop pirates? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876580)

Exchange yes, not keep copies...
Back in the days one of a group would buy a game, everyone else copied it off them and we would play the games networked.

Re:Why stop pirates? (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875984)

You must be old here. Yes there was a time when an OS vendor was proud that its MS-DOS was the most pirated software in the world. Times have changed. The companies grew up, saw that "everybody" was dependent on them, and suddenly yelled that piracy was bad. Off course you are right that the easy copying made them big. That is why the worse programs on the PC survived. Not because the programs were good, but because they were easily copied.

The next step was even more brilliant: making copying even more easy (e.g., pre-instaled on a new PC; you now have to go through trouble not wanting a copy) while still making it illegal to use it.

Re:Why stop pirates? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876594)

Indeed...
The best thing that could happen to Linux right now, is for MS to come down hard on pirates.

Re:Why stop pirates? (1)

TheoGB (786170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876102)

Isn't the difference here that in the days of 8-bit and then 16-bit home computers, the machines weren't a loss-leader for the games? I understood that the PS3 and the xbox are sold at either no profit or a loss but this is because the games manufacturers have to pay a huge amount back to the manufacturer in licence fees for being able to make their games run on those machines. A friend used to work for Eidos and she could get PC games at a huge discount but no PS/Xbox because of this mandatory cost back to Sony/Microsoft. So, the pirates making the machine would only work if the machines were profitable enough for Sony/Microsoft that buying them alone covered their costs.

Re:Why stop pirates? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876526)

I understood that the PS3 and the xbox are sold at either no profit or a loss

Which has always been a precarious business model, propped up by laws like the DMCA.

Re:Why stop pirates? (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876268)

Sony make a loss on each PS3 sold. They make their money back in game sales. They can't rely on piracy bringing more sales of the hardware because that wouldn't earn them money, it would cost them money.

You might argue that this is Sony's problem and that they should have thought about this before they made the PS3 and developed it so that they could sell it at a profit. However if they had done this then it would most likely be either a less powerful machine, a more expensive one or both.

I don't disagree with you in principle - it would be great if they did do this - but there are reasons why they can't do this at this stage.

Re:Why stop pirates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876604)

No, they used to make a loss. Then they started ripping out functions while production costs fell, and the current models are sold at a profit. Their best source of income is the PSN sales, however, which they disabled back in April to coerce us to accept the removal of functinality in already sold machines too.

Re:Why stop pirates? (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876342)

What?! Piracy killed the Amiga!

Lots of people want to claim that piracy is killing the PC, but I'm not so sure that I buy that. It's certainly getting to the point where most kids today pirate, rather than buy, their games, but kids aren't the entire audience for games. Until DRM gets even more invasive and powerful on consoles, it's obvious that consoles aren't going to be the answer to that little problem, anyways.

Sony's answer has to be the PS4. Nothing else will really do more than put a bandage on a wound that requires a tourniquet. Sony has some smart people working there, and I'm sure they know this. So, I'd look for an announcement and advertising blitz very soon.

The best way to fight piracy on consoles is a relatively short life for each iteration. Who cares about piracy on the PS1 or PS2? The vast majority of pirates want to play current games on current consoles, though the nostalgia-based "retro-gaming" will always have some draw, of course. I don't care how many of your friends are currently playing Super Mario Bros 3 on some emulator. It's not representative.

Re:Why stop pirates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876410)

Microsoft too, Office especially, thrived because of piracy.

Foolish Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875854)

regardless of how deep you shove that stick in the sand, the tide will eventually wash it away.

Online (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875882)

But Sony won't be able to stop people from running pirated game copies as long as the machines are not hooked up online.

Isn't that a problem for the 360 and (to a slightly lesser extent) the PC too?

From what I currently gather, most of the install hacks require changing the hex string in the game to make it run from /dev/hdd0 instead of /dev/brd0*, so what's to stop a developer simply encrypting this string?

Personally I'll continue to buy my games. Granted, most of them I'll get from trade-ins, which, sadly, will be the next thing to go. I see that Mass Effect 2 will be available for download from the PSN meaning that once you've bought it you're stuck with it. And this trend will only continue.

* I'm guessing at the device names

Re:Online (1)

wamatt (782485) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875934)

That won't work because the game would carry the encrypted/obfuscated hex string PLUS the code to execute the decryption/obfuscation of the string.

Hence it becomes the similar scenario as PC software DRM schemes. And we all know how secure that is :D

Re:Online (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875962)

Isn't that a problem for the 360 and (to a slightly lesser extent) the PC too?

Yes, but it affects Sony more. Most PCs are connected to the internet. It's not an unreasonable requirement for most people. Those that object are such a tiny segment of the market that the loss of sales won't be noticed.

It's currently seen as not all that reasonable for consoles. But Microsoft's online offering is considerably better than Sony's. It's actually a valid reason to buy the console. An XBox 360 is still quite usable without the online connection, otherwise modchips wouldn't sell, but its utility is reduced.

Lots of things they can do to stop pirates (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875932)

Of course there are things they can do. The 360 is cracked and MS engages in waves of mass bannings, usually to coincide with it's firmware updates. I expect the same will happen with the PS3 too.

So the most obvious thing would be for Sony to seed firmware and games with audits (some obvious, some not so obvious) and then ban the shit out of anyone stupid enough to sign onto PSN with modded firmware. That in itself would be a huge deterrent because it would shut the door on all multiplayer, DLC, patches etc.

There are other things they could do such as padding out game data on disk to bloat out the size of downloads, causing games to bug out midway through if they fail checks, cease & desist notices etc. Maybe nothing that would stop ALL piracy, but stuff that would scare most people to avoid it, keep the problem manageable and minimize the impact as much as possible on legit revenues.

Re:Lots of things they can do to stop pirates (4, Interesting)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876064)

causing games to bug out midway through if they fail checks

They've done that before:

http://www.webcitation.org/5vN0X2AgG [webcitation.org]

Re:Lots of things they can do to stop pirates (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876326)

That's a great article and more or less elucidates what I've been saying in the last few days in various places. Basically you want to fuck with the crackers as much as possible, inlining mutually dependent checks all over the place. Perhaps EVENTUALLY they'll crack the thing (no doubt premium games are worth the effort) but the time required gives a great window of opportunity for legit sales. It also annoys and confuses the hell out of consumers of the pirate game especially if they've just wasted 10-50Gb bandwidth trying to download the damned game to discover it's broken.

Re:Lots of things they can do to stop pirates (2)

Xelios (822510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876394)

The only problem with this approach is it tends to generate a lot of bad publicity for the game too. Suddenly the internet is full of first hand accounts of how buggy and unstable your game is, which might well cause other people to decide not to buy it. You could end up losing more sales than you gain.

I suppose you could have the game throw up some kind of anti-piracy notice before crashing out, so people at least know it's related to the fact that they pirated it. But this might also make it easier for crackers to disable the checks, since they now have a common point from which to backtrack through the program to find the triggers.

not exactly correct... (1)

rob13572468 (788682) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875942)

walfisz is not entirely correct about sony's abilities to combat piracy... Technically speaking if a console user chooses to *only* use their PS3 offline and not access PSN or any online content then yes it will be difficult to impossible for sony to employ countermeasuers. The problem is that most users *do* use PSN and do use their console online and this opens up some avenues for sony. The most likely countermeasure will be to run code snippets that detect changes to memory in the console. This will be done in conjunction to PSN access (e.g. to be authenticated for access to the PSN network, your console must run a piece of code that calculates an authenticfication hash of your consoles serial number and contents of memory.) if any memory is changed then the code will return an incorrect result and you will not be permitted to access the network or worse they will ban you from PSN. hackers will then introduce code that will "cloak" the changed areas to reflect proper results from an unmodified console and sony will then attempt to detect those changes as well. In the end it becomes a cat-and-mouse game that goes on and on which is exactly what happened for years in the SAT tv industry. The big difference is that sony will eventually be forced to start banning users from PSN simply for having hacked consoles and this will make console modification undesirable for many users. As far as the lawsuit being baseless these guys need to read up on the DMCA... its a lousy law that was poorly written but it *is* on the books and unfortunately liability is determined based on whether there is substantial non-infringing uses... since the reality is that most people have been and will be modding their consoles to play copied games, they will find anyone involved liable... The only realy question is whether sony is going to detect and go after end users with the $2-5K demand letters/lawsuits as the RIIAA/MPAA have done...

Re:not exactly correct... (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875992)

"The problem is that most users *do* use PSN "

Do they? I've got a PS3 and I've got a couple of friends who have them - we all agree that PSN is a waste of time and money and don't use it. I'd make a guestimate that the number of PS3 owners who use PSN - especially on any regular basis - is a small minority.

Re:not exactly correct... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876128)

"time and money"

Referring to the game purchase system possibly? signing in to PSN is required for multiplayer of all games (not insinuating that you didnt know this). Single player limits the replay value of games so multiplayer is a big factor to the average ps3 owner especially if they play games that are focused to online use. They could even take a page from Ubisofts book and put "internet connection required" on there games.

Re:not exactly correct... (1)

bryansj (89051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876382)

Referring to the game purchase system possibly? signing in to PSN is required for multiplayer of all games (not insinuating that you didnt know this). Single player limits the replay value of games so multiplayer is a big factor to the average ps3 owner especially if they play games that are focused to online use. They could even take a page from Ubisofts book and put "internet connection required" on there games.

Replay value is irrelevant when it involves free/pirated games. If they start banning from PSN and you really must play online you would either: risk it and play on your modded PS3, get the 360 version, or get another PS3 for online play and buy the game. Those with banned 360s typically have another clean system for Live and buy the multiplayer game of the day (COD or Halo). It doesn't take many pirated games to save enough money to buy a new system (~5 @ $60).

Re:not exactly correct... (1)

PsychoSid (683168) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876184)

Isn't PSN free as opposed to XBL Gold which costs $$$ ?

Re:not exactly correct... (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876550)

"The problem is that most users *do* use PSN "

Do they?

Yes, they do.

Everyone that I know who owns a PS3 uses PSN. Anecdotes are meaningless so lets do some figures.

According to Wikipedia 41.6 millions PS3s sold (as of Sept 30th 2010).
There are 60 million PSN accounts.

The tricky bit is figuring out how many of those are active accounts. I'd say it's between 1/3 and 1/2 of that figure: 20-30 million...48-72% of users. I'd say it's a majority.

Also, I don't get how it's a waste of money when you don't have to pay for it. Maybe you don't like the selection of games on there but it's only a waste if you buy one and don't like it. Plus you can get demos from it which helps stop you from downloading games that suck. And you can download games rather than going out to buy them which, unless you live close to the shops, will save you time if anything.

Are you sure you're not talking about Playstation Home?

Re:not exactly correct... (1)

JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876136)

liability is determined based on whether there is substantial non-infringing uses

I think there's a strong case here for re-enabling functionality that was available at the time of purchase. That's ostensibly why they were doing this in the first place, and it's hard to argue that it's infringing to do so.

release cycle change? (1)

kennethmci (1472923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875990)

just a thought - we were supposed to be seeing a very long period of time for this generation of consoles.... im wondering if this might push sony ( and therefore microsoft ) to bring forward the release of the next generation of consoles? i mean, so far sales havent been stellar for the PS move?

Piracy..? (4, Insightful)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876030)

What's all this talk about piracy? As far as I understood it, people were cracking the PS3 so that they could install Linux and run homebrew...

Re:Piracy..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876162)

The original jailbreakers were for piracy, the only software was "backup" managers. The masses can't install Linux (yet), homebrew requires multiple hoops to get through and it's all garbage my_first_program stuff. Most forums are full of people prattling on about giving it to sony and copied games.

Re:Piracy..? (5, Interesting)

geschild (43455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876312)

I'm not really interested in fairness and 'politcal correctness' towards Sony anymore. As far as I'm concerned Sony 'altered the deal' and is muttering that we should pray it alters it no further.

Unfortunately for Sony, as soon as you change one end of the bargain unilaterally, I feel no obligation to uphold any the deal from my end and so I feel no obligation towards Sony. None. Whatsoever.

(The fact that buying a PS3 was my first Sony purchase after the DRM fiasco and making me feel like a sucker now for slowly starting to trust them again has nothing to do with it. No. Really. ;p )

Re:Piracy..? (2)

marcop (205587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876418)

Yup, I could really care less about the games. I hope they get XBMC on it. I will then buy it for use as a great media player and excellent Blu-ray player. If this turns into a piracy only hack then forget it.

Re:Piracy..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876438)

I want my ps3 cracked so that I can use those 'non standard' ps2 to ps3 converters. I have 3 of them... but sony feels it's wrong of me to use them.

Creative use of language (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876038)

From TFA:

the fact that maybe some hackers got code running ages ago but didn’t want to publish their work.

"the fact that maybe" something happened?
Wow.
That proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the person who wrote that is in fact maybe an utter retard.

Just give use Linux back already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876048)

I bet most of the effort to hack the PS3 would go away if users were able to run Linux again on the device.

The people cracking security are not the same as people running copied game on the console. The one who want to play with copied games rely on hackers to break the security model.

Wait a second (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876178)

Considering ubisofts DRM was cracked 24 hours after it was released, they shouldn't be giving anybody DRM advice.

Enabling online cheating on PSN (1)

Xian97 (714198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876274)

The biggest problem I see is that people could patch games to enable cheating on PSN which can be a huge problem on any online gaming platform. I believe that is one of the main reasons Microsoft bans modified consoles from Live, because once a platform become riddled with cheaters then people will avoid it. That would hurt more than lost game sales due to piracy.

There will be people that pirate games, but I believe that the majority of people are honest and will purchase what they play. If that wasn't the case, then how did iTunes just sell their 10 BILLIONTH song last year? Most of what is on their store would be available for free if you were so inclined to search for it. The average user will continue to buy games, while the more tech savvy ones may get them through other means. Look at the Nintendo DS, cracked wide open for years yet I saw games for it flying off the shelf last holiday season. Ditto the Wii, which can be softmodded.

Let me translate that for the judge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876282)

"I've just read Sony's legal document, it's full of crap and the guy who wrote that doesn't know shit about how the PS3 works. Any judge acknowledging those court documents is a moron."
"Btw apparently you can violate the PSN user agreement without having a PSN account or agreeing to those in the first place... At least that's according to the crap SCE lawyers wrote in their legal paperwork. I think they fail just as much as their security team."

Defendant denies the allegations of paragraph 53.

"Until a few days ago, the efforts of these hackers were largely thwarted by the TPMs that secure the various levels of the PS3 System." < == yeah right, they seem to forget about the memory glitch, the libusb bug, or the fact that maybe some hackers got code running ages ago but didn't want to publish their work..."

Defendant denies the allegations of paragraphs 31-36.

"Why does no one speak of how Sony is violating a large number of anti-trust laws worldwide while preventing their consoles interoperability? Perhaps if they led us run our code on consoles we purchased, those would never have been hacked. They should just suck it up, face the truth and tell their licensees how they screwed up their console's security implementation. Oh! And they should hire decent security engineers (like hackers) rather than suing them, at least that'd have some form of effectiveness."

So are you filing a counter-claim under the anti-trust act?

Piracy: bad? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876374)

After all the crap Ubisoft and others have pulled with DRM, and after all the evil doings of RIAA and MPAA, I have a very hard time feeling negative connotations about piracy. I am almost not even conflicted, my moral compass is swinging in the direction of "pirates=good guys". This doesn't refer to high seas pirates which are, of course, murderers and thieves. But in this context, pirates are... good or bad? I don't feel anymore they're really the bad guys. I'm trying to feel that way, but Ubisoft et al. just killed it.

The Solution (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876470)

Sony/MS/Nintendo should just give the games away for free but charge a higher amount for online play, some of which they give to the developers, since that's the only thing they can truly control. Until then, this will keep happening because there will ALWAYS be a way to crack the DRM.

I despair at Sony (1)

frap (1806452) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876484)

Ever the idiots, Sony have again dropped the ball with this. All they need to do is hold their hands up, congratulate the hackers on their work and release some sort of API allowing software to be loaded on GameOS. Allow Other OS to be reinstalled as well and 80% of the people interested in this will run away and make proper homebrew software rather than concentrate on piracy.

OK, this isn't going to work because (1)

r3verse (1202031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876498)

the mass unwashed just don't care [joystiq.com]

I know that graph doesn't show owners under 18, but i'm sure it's still climbing. With each generation of console we move away from being able to pay $50 to some dude in his momma's basement to solder a few wires for us. They've (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo) made it hard enough, and it'll get harder. And the 14 year olds who need their fix'll JUST BUY THE GAME.
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