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First Mod Chip For GameCube

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the it-took-long-enough dept.

GameCube (Games) 312

Cuber writes "The first modification chip for Nintendo's GameCube console has been announced. It will allow users to boot homebrew applications, loaders and BIOS'. Until now hackers where using an exploit in the game Phantasy Star Online and a broadband adapter to be able to load homebrew software like GC-Linux over a network connection but now they'll be able to run code directly from flash memory. The mod chip will require to solder only 4 wires and while the device comes empty it's not impossible to think 3rd party loaders will come that allow you to boot copied games."

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first nizzle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915270)

eat.

I think... (5, Funny)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915280)

it's not impossible to think 3rd party loaders will come that allow you to boot copied games."

I believe that you meant "impossible not to think."

Re:I think... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915427)

Troll? I woulda given you a +3 funny, anyway.

Re:I think... (1)

Omega697 (586982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915656)

Yeah, I would have modded you up too. Some people just don't understand subtle humor.

what took so long? (4, Interesting)

npfscayle (671641) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915282)

why did it take so long to get one of these to market?
I mean....there a shitpile of mod chips for X-Box, PS-2, etc......
Just my 2c

Re:what took so long? (-1, Flamebait)

comwiz56 (447651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915316)

Easy: Hacker types aren't into the GameCube, its targeted at kids. Also, Nintendo uses non-standard formats, whereas Sony/Microsoft, use standard DVDs, and the XBOX even runs a fat file system w/ controllers connected as USB devices. Not too hard to "hack" that.

Re:what took so long? (4, Insightful)

FLAGGR (800770) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915550)

Easy: Hacker types aren't into the GameCube, its targeted at kids.

There's nothing kiddy about the CPU and RAM. Unless your talking about people making modchips to pirate games, then the target audience (which you got mostly wrong) doesnt make a shitting differnce.

My guess? Well the PS2 came out first, so thats an obvious, then the xbox is basically a PC, so that was easy, but also a fun challenge to get past MS's protections. Also, as you said, Nintendo uses proprietary formats.

Re:what took so long? (1)

comwiz56 (447651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915603)

A) Modchips are mainly used to pirate games.
B) Look around at some of the gamecubes marketing

Re:what took so long? (5, Insightful)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915325)

there a shitpile of mod chips for X-Box, PS-2, etc.....

Because xbox was extremely easy to hack being based on x86. Playstation 2 hacking came quick because of demand (look at sales of PS2 vs. GC)

I cannot wait until the next gen of consoles to see who gets the homebrew hay-day.

Re:what took so long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915352)

It didn't, its really a worldwide Ninitendo conspiracy. You see the 'Big N' has been employing Columbian death squads throughout the last decade, wiping out any who seek to subvert their cause.

But of course thats Just my 2c

Re:what took so long? (1, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915441)

Actually ... not that far from the truth, so long as you substitute attorney for death squad.

Re:what took so long? (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915492)

What about attorney squads of death?

Re:what took so long? (5, Insightful)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915358)

Because Gamecube uses their own disc format, no one can copy the games because consumer level burners aren't available.

Therefore if no one can copy the games there is no real market to have them. Having said that shouldn't the price of games be going down due to lack of piracy?

Re:what took so long? (5, Insightful)

the angry liberal (825035) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915568)

I think there is wisdom in your comedy..

The Xbox, Dreamcast and PS2 have had all their games traded on P2P, usenet, and through other channels. The guys in chinese towns who sell pirated DVDs can't do anything with GC discs, so they aren't able to go to the PC and make copies.

The Gamecube has not suffered from any of these problems, and since the SPA says piracy costs companies/consumers billions every year, then why has the lack of piracy on the GC not caused them to sell their products for less?

PS2 mod chips (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915424)


> there a shitpile of mod chips for X-Box, PS-2

Yes, there is.

A friend asked me about the possiblility of running games encoded for a different region on his PS2. I told him that a mod chip could take care of it but that was about the extent of my knowledge on the subject.

Later, I did some googling and found a dozen or so mod chips. Some only work with specific versions of the console (there are 12, including the new slim console), some are flashable, etc.

Unfortunately, I didn't find any site that would compare these chips and expand on their relatives strenghts and weaknesses. Nor did I find a forum where the "residents" are knowledgeable enough to answer such questions yet patient enough with people asking them.

Can you suggest good places to look?

Re:PS2 mod chips (1)

the angry liberal (825035) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915627)

Can you suggest good places to look?

Not really. I have bought several mod chips for stuff around the house (I don't give specifics, I have been sued before).

The most effective thing I have found to do is keep at the Googling until you've found a few different shops selling chips of various types. Then take a note of each chip's model number, price and features; then, hit google again with the specific model numbers and look for forum posts with complaints/praises from the owners themselves.

Never go soley based on information you've gotten from one review site, lest you leave your fates in their hands.

Also, be very careful about using credit cards for these purchases. If Sony or M$ ever decides mod chips are illegal under the DCMA, then the seller can be raided, records collected, and you'll get a certified letter in the mail a few weeks later after they find your credit card number in their database.

Re:what took so long? (1)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915645)

It probably took so long because there isn't much of a market. Until someone figures out how to copy a GC game to a media format the GC itself can read, I don't see a shitload (using your measurment system) these chips being sold.

First Typo (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915283)

First Typo:
Until now hackers where using an exploit in the game Phantasy Star Online and a broadband adapter to be able to load homebrew software like GC-Linux over a network connection but now they'll be able to run code directly from flash memory.

I believe you mean "were".

Thanks... (5, Funny)

SpiffyMarc (590301) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915285)

Well, we could've just quietly assumed that it would be capable of running copied games, and celebrated it for its ability to run homebrewed software and Linux... but no, we had to go and give it that aire of illegitimacy.

Thanks, poster!

Not so funny ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915318)

3 weeks after the release of this mod chip, Chinese factories will churn out millions of copies of the mod chip [tibet.org] . I hope that the inventor of the mod chip has, at least, patented it at the US Patent Trade Office. The inventor will have no hope of patenting the chip in China; Beijing simply does not respect inventions developed by non-Chinese.

The Chinese have outright pirated numerous designs of products: golf clubs, batteries, cars, drugs, etc.

My GameCube already boots copied games (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915416)

I have a Game Boy Player accessory on my GameCube console. I can use it to boot original Game Boy Advance Game Paks, or I can use it to boot homebrew GBA games that I've developed [pineight.com] on my flash card, or I can (rarely) use it to boot copied GBA games on my flash card. So my GameCube already boots copied games, albeit not copied GameCube-native games.

Re:Thanks... (1)

Punboy (737239) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915454)

And not to mention associating a linux project with that illegitimacy! Double thanks :-p

Awfully late... (3, Interesting)

eeg3 (785382) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915288)

But a great tool, nonetheless. Especially with the low prices and great capabilities of the gamecube.

I'm looking forward to getting the chip for myself. The old method was annoying, and lacked the potential this has.

Phantasy Star Online (4, Informative)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915290)

Check thebroken.org [thebroken.org] for a video explaining how to load software onto the GC using the optional ethernet port. It's Episode III.

Re:Phantasy Star Online (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915378)

It's Episode III.

Phfffft! I only like the orginal series.

Re: Your sig (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915613)

Support the First Amendment. Read at -1

I'm not an amerikkkan and couldn't give a rats arse about this so called "first amendment". Should I still read at -1? And if I already read at -1, but I couldn't give a fuck about the first amendment, should I read at 0?

Please - inquiring minds need to know.

But is it worth it? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915296)

it's a gamecube. It's not like your defying a big bloated company like microsoft when you mod your XBOX. Don't pick on nintendo. Nintendo was there (Atari before them though) in the days of the good RPGs and other awesome 8bit games. Never bite the hand that created you

Anatomy lesson (4, Funny)

alexo (9335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915309)


> Never bite the hand that created you

I don't know about you, but most of us were created by a different body part.

Re:Anatomy lesson (2, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915417)

Unless, of course, you were an IVF conception, in which case hand is entirely appropriate.

Re:Anatomy lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915588)

His biological father certainly had a "hand" in it.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915353)

uh.... what? People mod stuff for fun. Who cares what company it is? A company is a company. Microsoft is a company, Nintendo is a company, Applie is a company. They all have people like you and me working for them.

I never understood people who seem to think a corporation has some uber-personality of its own. I guess people just have too much free time, or not enough to worry about.

Re:But is it worth it? (0, Troll)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915633)

Yeah, Nintendo isn't a big bloated company that engages in acts such as price fixing. Oh wait, they are. [techspot.com] My bad.

Interesting... (3, Insightful)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915302)

People who buy came consoles suddenly feel an irrational need to put new bits of hardware in and install 3rd party software.

Per.. perso... personal computer?

Just buy your local PC store's Family Friendly Box with Free Internet and achieve the same effect.

Re:Interesting... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915357)

One point is that consoles have TV-out and cheap PCs don't. Another is that consoles tend to run more quietly than cheap PCs; the various Xbox streaming media players take advantage of this.

Re:Interesting... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915429)

Here's an idea for ya.

| |
| |
w |
a[#] entertainment
l[#] cabinet
l[#] that /o/
|[#] is |
| /\ bigger / \
| \ |
| \ | me
via box |

In case you can't tell that's a via box against the wall behind an entertainment unit and that's me like 12 feet away. From that distance you can only hear the box when the tv is off. If the tv is off I don't care if it makes noise.

via box has tv+audio out which means I can use it for videos [e.g. rentals I ripped] as well as audio [e.g. shoutcast]. The picture is great and the sound is good enough for the purposes.

anti-anti-filter jibberish [sorry]
lfdhgkdhgkjwdhrtoweuroweuofpisdufoshvksjh woeur32o
iu420irfwdjfhskojfhsdkjfhsdkfjhsdkjfsddf lgjkfdhgf
efgkleht309348509uiterlkgdjklgdsfgeriuy h5ih5wrthw
uywei34egoierh34o5h430tuhweothrewiterg re9g8egfsgsd
sfgljehtytreothreogher0ut9ruwspsdogh sdgo9hsdgosh

Tom

Re:Interesting... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915455)

via box has tv+audio out which means I can use it for videos [e.g. rentals I ripped] as well as audio [e.g. shoutcast]. The picture is great and the sound is good enough for the purposes.

How much did the Via box cost you?

Re:Interesting... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915493)

Free. I got it from a friend. He got it from a Via representative he met at OLS. See the question you should have asked is "how much do you use it?"

The answer is "about as often as I watch movies anyways". I don't like sitting still watching a tv for long periods of time without getting up and moving around.

Mostly for me the selling point was I got to write the shell and perl scripts that make up the apache hosted interface [it has a point and click web based interface to mplayer I wrote] ... ;-)

Tom

Re:Interesting... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915630)

Free. I got it from a friend. He got it from a Via representative

OK, so perhaps the Via box is for people with connections to Via representatives, and the modded console is for everyone else. How much would such a Via box cost at retail?

I don't like sitting still watching a tv for long periods of time without getting up and moving around.

Which is why you mod a console, so that you can run a Dance Dance Revolution clone [stepmania.com] on it. With StepMania you can get up and move [jk0.org] .

Re:Interesting... (1)

Garak (100517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915421)

People mod the xbox and ps2 console to play games without buying them. Running 3rd party software is just an extra.

Re:Interesting... (2)

damiam (409504) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915432)

A tiny cube-shaped PC with TV-out for $99? Where do you live that your local PC store sells such a machine?

Re:Interesting... (1)

meanfriend (704312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915453)

Just buy your local PC store's Family Friendly Box with Free Internet and achieve the same effect.

A gamecube is $99. People who mod thier consoles into media centres do so either 1) 'cuz it's fun, or 2) it's much cheaper and smaller than getting a typical low-end PC and doesnt look butt-ugly sitting next to the TV.

Re:Interesting... (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915528)

This has got to be the singlemost funny thing I have read all day...

With the possible exception of Always Sparkle 17.

Copied games? (3, Insightful)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915304)


I have seen Iso's floating around out there, but how can you burn them to a mini DVD, when as far as I know they use a proprietary media for GameCube games? I know thus far they have been running them over the ethernet port (as mentioned in the post) but with the mod chip the theory is that you could run them right in the console...so how would you burn them? Is hardware modification required to boot from a regular DVD, or does the factory hardware read from regular discs once the mod chip is installed?

Re:Copied games? (1)

bob65 (590395) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915323)

I don't think a regular DVD would even fit in there - correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:Copied games? (4, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915384)

Apparently (I haven't taken mine apart) if you take off the top part, the sled that the laser travels on is full length, and it's been speculated that there could be a case mod that would allow you to use full sized discs.

It's a regular DVD assembly, just a funny shaped case.

And the discs do not spin backwards, that I know. How they're written to the disc would be irrelevant if a BIOS hack allowed you to read regular UDF filesystems.

getting it backwards (4, Interesting)

n3k5 (606163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915652)

And the discs do not spin backwards, that I know.
I haven't got a GC myself so I can't verify this, but many sources claim that the spiral of pits and lands on the discs is indeed backwards. It isn't read by spinning the disc backwards, as can be easily verified by opening the lid while it's spinning, but the laser moves from the outer rim inwards. I don't know for sure, but I think this is true; I think this is how that huge "spins backwards" myth was started. I wonder if this could be compensated for with a driver, or if a regular DVD burner could be hacked to write apropriate media with a firmware flash.

Re:Copied games? (1)

42forty-two42 (532340) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915665)

They don't spin backwards, but I've heard they use a different laser, which is much harder to circumvent.

Re:Copied games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915369)

If I recall correctly, I believe the drive in the Gamecube spins the opposite way of other drives.

Additionally, what you could do is take a regular DVD disc, and just limit how far you write to compensate for the normally smaller disc. I believe that's been done.

Re:Copied games? (1)

entrigant (233266) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915374)

RTFA.... why take up someones time here to ask a question that's covered already?

With that out of the way, I will now waste some of my time. The chip has flash memory on it, and it will run code on that flash memory. It includes software to upload data to it. I am not sure how large the flash memory is, but I doubt it's large enough to fit a gamecube iso on it. I don't think you'll be running burned games on the gamecube just yet.

Re:Copied games? (1)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915608)


Yes, we all know you will not be running the games from the flash. Running "on the gamecube" I guess was just meant to imply that you would be running the game from disk, in the gamecube. Thus it is on the gamecube and not on the PC.

But anyway, thanks for the input...or was it mostly meant to insult us for wasting you time?

Re:Copied games? (1, Interesting)

Donkey5555 (720467) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915394)

As of now there is no way to put any disc into the gamecube that wasn't made by Nintendo. All the images you can download can only be run over the ethernet card served from your computer. They run ok except for poor sound quality (the GC's nic currently only runs at 10mb/s using Phantasy Star).

Re:Copied games? (1)

Firehawke (50498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915537)

I'm hearing rumors of a new Starcube loader that'll push the network adaptor into 100mbit mode. It won't be a full 100mbit since the bus on the bottom of the GC is supposedly rated at 27mbit, but that's still 2.7x the speed, which should cut back on the stuttering a lot.

Yes But (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915305)

Does the mod chip run Linsux?

How long.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915308)

do you figger it will take Nintendo to begin trying to shut down anyone and their dog that offers to sell these things?

Re:How long.... (2, Insightful)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915351)

Seeing as how there are still people at my local mall selling pirated NES games, it may take them a while.

Re:How long.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915359)

Notice, I did say _trying_...

Yuo 74il it!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915331)

Join GNNA (GAY best. Individuals bring your own feel obligated to on my Pentium Pro

DMCA (2, Informative)

comwiz56 (447651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915332)

How long till Nintendo DMCA's the crap out of this?

Market (2, Interesting)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915341)

Why did it took so long for a modchip on the Gamecube? Is it because the targeted market isn't hacker friendly? Was there a market for the Gamecube at all, facing Xbox and PS2 competition? Not enough incentive (demand) to create / sell a chip, not enough potential 'customers'?

It doesn't seem related to poor marketshare, as GameCube seem to hold its fair share of the pie [google.ca] .

Re:Market (-1, Redundant)

comwiz56 (447651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915380)

Easy: Hacker types aren't into the GameCube, its targeted at kids, and didn't sell nearly as well as its competition. Also, Nintendo uses non-standard formats, whereas Sony/Microsoft, use standard DVDs, and the XBOX even runs a fat file system w/ controllers connected as USB devices. Not too hard to "hack" that.

Dupe. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915442)

Re:Dupe. (1)

comwiz56 (447651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915470)

Just because I say it again doesn't mean its not correct. If anything, the parent should be modded redundant for reasking a question.

Re:Dupe. (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915547)

I thought I was having a deja vu when I read the question, and I was convinced when I read the GP (the answer). That doesn't make the answer redundant and the question interesting.

Re:Market (4, Insightful)

Garak (100517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915381)

The main problem is usefullness. The Gamecube dosn't have a harddrive or DVD/CD-ROM drive. So there isn't really a simple way to download games and play them on it.

Face it, no one is modding an xbox or ps2 to run linux, 99% of mod chips are being used to play games without buying them. Running linux is just an extra feature.

Re:Market (1)

MadChicken (36468) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915623)

Well, I would never mod my PS2, but I sure would mod an XBox *just* to run Linux. XBMC, MythTV, all that goodness... ...games? That's what my PS2 is for.

I don't have an interest in copying games at all. I get them a reasonably cheap prices pre-played, and it takes me a long time to finish them anyway. I get a lot of value out of a few bucks for a PS2 game.

If I were to get a GC, it would also be just for the games.

Re:Market (1)

Donkey5555 (720467) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915443)

I think the main reason is that Nintendo did such a good job blocking all this stuff. Sega making a mistake in Phantasy Star was the only way we got to run any code at all. Now that there is code out there written for the GC, I guess theres more of an incentive to find a better way to run it.

Because there's hardly any games for it? (-1, Troll)

xswl0931 (562013) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915450)

Let's face it, the Gamecube is (comparatively) a failure. There's hardly any games for it and most of the ones available on it are better on the XBox. The ones from Nintendo are the better games and they are just remakes of their old games, nothing original (except maybe Pikman, which I'm not a fan of). After Nintendo fails in the next console wars, they will probably only compete in the portable market and produce software for the next gen PS3.

Re:Because there's hardly any games for it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915466)

What a sad little xbox fanboy.

Let me guess you actually still believe the GameCube isn't in 2nd place...

Re:Because there's hardly any games for it? (2, Interesting)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915501)

Yet the gamecube constantly outsells the Xbox... which is the failure here?

This just goes to show (5, Funny)

Punboy (737239) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915389)

How much more disappointed XBox users were in their console than Gamecube users. Obviously Gamecube owners, until now, were satisfied with they got, whereas XBox users almost immediately started trying to tinker with it and make mods. :-D

Re:This just goes to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915409)

...How is that comment being a troll, just out of curiosity...

Re:This just goes to show (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915463)

Because large, scaly, heavily-muscled humanoids with glowing red eyes are amusing to the mods, that's why.

Re:This just goes to show (1)

Punboy (737239) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915488)

...if i'm not mistaken, they would be reptilian, not humanoid (because of the scales, mind u). However, they could be bipeds :-p

Re:This just goes to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915444)

I don't think it has anything to do with being disappointed in a console. XBox is Microsoft. Everyone loves to hate Microsoft. Modding an XBox console, a loss leader for Microsoft, is sticking it to Bill Gates. Plus the XBox is made with PC equipment making it easily accessible.
The Gamecube is a game system and doesn't present itself as anything else. Nintendo has done nothing but endear itself to the hacker/modder community and engender a feeling of "why fuck with perfection".

Mods: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915557)

You were looking for the "+1 Funny".
That's the one that doesn't fuck with his karma.

Not a big deal... (0)

LukeTurner (803739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915391)

So it's a bios replacement chip that does nothing more then load code from onboard flash (attatched to a parrallel port) ... yay. There is already a product out there that will load shit off the memory card (no soldering required). The only way this allows you to run pirated games is to use it to load a loader program which wil grab an ISO over network...

Burn baby burn (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915436)

The only way this allows you to run pirated games is to use it to load a loader program which wil grab an ISO over network

Unless the loader program loads a driver that can read UDF formatted mini-DVD-R discs (or full-size DVD-R discs with a case mod) instead of proprietary DOL media.

Phantasy Star (1)

rgarcia (319304) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915406)

What is it about this game that is so conducive to hacking? If I remember correctly, this game was also used to hack the Sega Dreamcast.

Re:Phantasy Star (1)

comwiz56 (447651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915449)

You can attach it to your computer and send any code to it to be run, and it does no checking whatsoever on the code, allowing full games to be sent and executed.

PSO exploits (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915484)

Phantasy Star Online downloads a piece of executable code from Sega's server every time you run it. The PSOLoad program pretends to be Sega's server. I'll take an educated guess that the bug was that PSO didn't check any sort of digital signature on the code.

Re:PSO exploits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915576)

Phantasy Star Online downloads a piece of executable code from Sega's server every time you run it. The PSOLoad program pretends to be Sega's server. I'll take an educated guess that the bug was that PSO didn't check any sort of digital signature on the code.

Bug? hell no.. thats a feature...

Re:Phantasy Star (1)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915520)

The update process is insecure.

Re:Phantasy Star (2, Informative)

barc0001 (173002) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915538)

You don't need to do jack to hack the Dreamcast. It doesn't have any anti-copy protection that prevents it from booting off CDs. Instead it used a special disc format for the games called GD Rom that stores about 1.2 GB. So in theory, it was not possible to copy them. In reality, it turned out that there were a few groups able to extract the contents of the discs anyway and make them fit on 700 MB CDs, sometimes with ripping out movies and so on, sometimes not. Sadly, that's one of the reasons the Dreamcast tanked as hard as it did. Rampant piracy. Only a few of the release groups could make the discs because of the hardware hacking involved, but once they got made, they got passed around all over. It got so bad, there was even the rumor [cdfreaks.com] that Sega Japan approached the most egregious group with a bribe to stop doing it, which they allegedly took. But, nature and release groups abhor a vacuum, so when one group took a bow, others came in to fill the gap.

But the upside is if you want to run, say, MAME on it, just burn a CD with a bit of help [dcemulation.com] and off you go. No hardware modding required.

I'd like to know (-1, Troll)

Highpriest (758004) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915407)

Who wants to run linux on their gamecube? Really. This isn't the xbox hacking challenge... P.S.: Who owns a gamecube anyways? Besides the slashdotters with children?

Re:I'd like to know (5, Insightful)

ptlis (772434) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915473)

I do, and alot of people I know do; There are many excellent titles available for the GC and it's classification in certain circles as a console for kiddies is unwarrented and frankly incorrect. The majority of people I know who own Gamecubes are 20somethings, partly because as an agegroup we remember the haydays of Sega and Nintendo and partly because we're not drawn to the perception of having a console for 'mature' gamers with 'mature' games; we realise the marketing as such is infact aimed at 13-16 year old boys primerilly. Violence does not make a mature game, silly amounts of needless gore does not make a mature game...

Re:I'd like to know (0, Redundant)

Highpriest (758004) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915507)

The percentage of mature games vs. childish games is what i'm referring to. Obviously every system trys to touch on all audiences. The gamecubes main audience is children. Its the preteen system.

Re:I'd like to know (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915586)

For the nth time, Super Smash Bros. Melee is not childish.

Re:I'd like to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915485)

UNIX for the GBA is much cooler.

Even if you have to emu a PD-11.

I have a computer. (1, Insightful)

Highpriest (758004) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915428)

We own personal computers. I don't want to take apart a gamecube and haul out my solder gun. Again. We own personal computers.

I'd like to see. (1)

ananegg (772033) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915499)

I'd like to see a poll on how many GC owners will actually take the time to do this?

For the sake of everything good. (0, Redundant)

the angry liberal (825035) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915532)

The mod chip will require to solder only 4 wires and while the device comes empty it's not impossible to think 3rd party loaders will come that allow you to boot copied games.

How about saying "backups" instead? Saying "copied games" sounds rather warezish for a headline. /PR nazi

Re:For the sake of everything good. (1)

ananegg (772033) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915592)

Copied games?! I don't have any "copied games"....... *hides*

Let the GC Scene Be! (4, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915533)

Normally if I saw something like this, I'd say let the lawsuits begin! Nintendo is infamous for its fierce protection of its properties. [slashdot.org] But in this case I don't expect to see that anytime soon. Why? Because of the funky mini dvd format the GC uses, practically speaking, only homebrew software is going to take advantage of the mod chip. So Nintendo will be hard pressed to argue that the mod chip was created to facilitate piracy. By the time anyone comes up with a way to make pirate game GC disks cheap and easy, the GC 2 will be out and no one will care any more.

That said, I'm sure there's some factory in China pumping out pirate copies of GC games like crazy. But that certainly is not in response to the release of this mod chip.

Re:Let the GC Scene Be! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915664)

By the time anyone comes up with a way to make pirate game GC disks cheap and easy, the GC 2 will be out and no one will care any more.

False. Nintendo still goes after people who pirate NES games.

For those who don't read the article. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915570)

Actually, the device just loads code, from a parallel port, into flash memory, so the GC boots from this instead of its own bios.

Still, after this, maybe it won't be long before some idiot manages to make the GC read from a mini dvd or something, and screw up nintendo.

Hey, those hackers should go find something constructive to do, instead of helping piracy. Face it, that is what they do.

GC discs spin backwards, right? (2, Interesting)

maniac/dev/null (170211) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915573)

I thought GC discs spun backwards? If you wanted to create pirate games with your DVD burner, wouldn't need to modify your burner to burn backwards?

Would you be able to just reverse the polarity to the motor...? /me breaks out the soldering iron and the ol' 4x CD burner... it's hackin' time.

Nothing new... (3, Informative)

Shakey_Jake33 (670826) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915579)

This really isn't as revolutionary as it sounds.

What this mod essentially does. is allow you to store DOL files on the modchip itself. DOL files are Gamecube executable files, so it allows you to send small apps across. Not bioses.

Do you guys remember the old PSO Exploit, where you could send small apps across to your GameCube using a bug in the network connection? From here, you could send across little 'loaders' that could stream the games from your PC...
This mod really doesn't provide anything that the previous method could not... it just saves you from having to boot up PSO.

This is a rather cool little mod if you would like your apps to automatically boot up when you turn in your GameCube... GC-Linux anyone? And you can send across the afrorementioned 'loaders' you boot yer Iso's... but this isn't going to help you play games from disc, nor is it going to help you use a hacked bios replacement. Sorry guys.

The main reason a 'proper' modchip for the GameCube does not exist yet is because it uses proprietory discs, not mini-DVD's as people seem to believe.
I gather it's theorietically possible to boot a DVDR on the Gamecube... but it would require hacking of the drive controller, as opposed to merely hacking the bios.

Proprietary format combats home copiers. (4, Informative)

lordperditor (648289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915601)

My understanding is the Gamecube uses a 3" disc which is a proprietary mini DVD format that holds 1.5GB. It cannot be read by the CD or DVD player in your PC meaning you have to invest in some slightly more serious hardware to try and copy these discs, pushing it out of the reach of the average user. A great approach by Nintendo to copy protection, I have heard rumour that the XBox 2 is gonna follow suit and have a proprietary disc format to help combat copying.

Re: Market (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10915610)

There is no need to mod a gamecube to do these things since it can all be done in software:

Freeloader [codejunkies.com] , MAXDrive Pro [codejunkies.com] , etc.

Plus the fact that there was already a mod for the Panasonic Q, which includes gamecube hardware (and works 100% with the above software), but also played DVDs and could read standard CD/DVD media.

Also, Nintendo's got nothing on Sony for (trying to) shut down mod/emu vendors/users, and even Sega was more proactive about stopping rom pirates. Nintendo's been rattling its sabre over Gameboy roms, but there's not really all to much to be gained from the GC side of things since the losses to piracy are realtively small. Well, have been so far, anyway...

And lastly, PSO is commonly used for console hacking because it loads executable data from a network source; once the handshaking was worked out, the most complex task left was running a name server so that it thought that your PC was Sega's server.

real professoinal (2, Funny)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 9 years ago | (#10915671)

a nice personal touch making the press photo's of circuitry on someone's bedspread.

Just like Intel :-D
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