Saturday, August 21, 2010

PS3 Hack! (and why I think it will be shortlived)

Many of you have heard that the magnificent 'unhackable' PS3 OS is hacked recently with the help of USB stick. You can see the videos here. The last 'successful' attempt to hack a PS3 was done by Geohotz, ended with Sony removing Other-OS feature, and the resignation of Geohotz. Now this USB hack seems pretty promising. Videos and explanation gives a hint that it actually works. For USD 150 (2 new games), you can buy the USB and develop PS3 Application (and buy pirated games).

But of all statement made by the hackers, none of it really explain how does the hack works(or I probably miss anything). I dont have a PS3 Hack background, bu my guess is when the eject button is pressed, PS3's system (ran under Linux) lower its security, and for whatever reason, allow injection from the USB. The videos show that it actually works, but for how long?

PS3's system ran under a (heavily modified) Yellow Dog Linux. Means they can access the source code to the lowest level. This 'feature' to lower the security when ejectin somehow pretty easy straightforward. Means that its easy to cover too. Maybe the next firmware will even remove this ability hence make the USB hack invalid.

But if Sony's unable to do that, there is one more bullet to shoot. Only enable USB for Sony's patented hard drive. Microsoft did so, and probably they will too. Its a huge money considering there are more and more good download-only games and DLC around. Honestly I wouldn't be surprise if they did so. Its a good and easy cash to bring.

So should you spend USD 150 for this USB hack? No, wait for it. Even if it is a real thing, the price will drop significantly by time. It took 1 month for Wii Hack card to drop from USD 50 to USD 5. And before you bought it, you have to remember how this will hit the game industry.

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