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GameCube (Games) Entertainment Games

Homebrew GameCube Coding Tools Released 36

Posted by simoniker
from the pso-and-007-go-straight-to-back-of-class dept.
EGSonikku writes "Costis has released his PSOLoad (for Win32) tool, which takes advantage of an exploit in the GameCube game Phantasy Star Online to upload and run code on a totally unmodified GameCube. A demo is included, and you can build your own GameCube binaries using Torlus' GCC build." Although it still has the potential for misuse, this could have more positive ramifications than trying to copy existing games.
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Homebrew GameCube Coding Tools Released

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  • Actually (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This has potential to be used legitimately, but will probably be used mostly to trade and download games off the internet.

    GCN discs are so small its hard to scratch them. I work in a game store, see tons of used gcn discs a day, and only a handful were scratched. Why doesn't everyone quit lying and just admit that they really want to steal games?
    • Re:Actually (Score:2, Insightful)

      by alph0ns3 (547254)
      It's not for "backup" only, you might want to run linux or emulators on your gamecube... That's what I do most of the time on my dreamcast...
    • FWIW, it appears that only programs up to approximately 2mb in size can be transfered by this method (which works by utilizing the Gamecube broadband adaptor and have the user fake being the PSO patch server?) - so it won't be possible to download and run games, which is _good_ - piracy can and will kill entire formats.
      • While I don't necessarily condone ISOs (the game image kind ... Linux ISOs are okay :), I do have to take exception with the idea that they "can and will kill entire formats." To the best of my knowledge, no legitimate contender has ever taken a dive due in significant part to pirating.

        True, the DC was clearly the most pillaged console in history, in terms of "purchase-to-pirate" ratio, but such piracy was honestly the least of Sega's concerns by that point (as anyone who owns a DC can likely attest to).
        • Sony doesn't stumble. Period.


          Oh man, you don't have the slightest clue, do you? Remarkably nimble Sony Corporation? Try reading the news lately, go check out some reports from the analysts who track them. A brand new term was recently created due to Sony's blundering: "Sony Shock."

          • I essentially misspoke here. My comments were only directed at the entertainment division, in general, and the gaming division in particular (which is pretty much an island unto itself). I won't lie. Sony the corporation does tend to shank it quite a bit on market management ... although I still stand by my "remarkably nimble" comment, as making quick market adjustments---when they want to---isn't their problem.

            My take on the gaming industry has always been this: As long as you do right by gamers, you bu
  • by bobthemonkey13 (215219) <keeganNO@SPAMxor67.org> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @07:57PM (#6228265) Homepage Journal
    This certainly seems to be the trend for defeating conole protection systems in software -- unless all code that has been signed is 100% secure from local attacks (ha!), you can simply insert code into a signed program and take control. It seems like this might be a weak point in new computer security systems like Microsoft's Palladium (in fact, it's been rumored that the Xbox's protection system is a testing version of Palladium, and that's been completely broken this way). If Palladium is being used for DRM for example, then a bug in Windows Media Player might let a user slip in code to save the decoded audio stream, thereby defeating the DRM. But it could also be used by malicious programs to defeat security measures imposed on behalf of the user (indeed, as buffer overflows are used now). I guess it comes down to this question: How will systems like Palladium guard against security holes in signed programs that could compromise the whole security model?
  • Finally! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jayoyayo (650349) <justin @ i r a q 4 u .com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @08:45PM (#6228605)
    Its about time something like this came out, It appears that someone has finally broken thru what is probably the best protection in a home console. I understand this may have "more positive ramifications than trying to copy existing games", which was stated in regards to Starcube's recent gamecube hack. However, even Starcube are also helping to jumpstart to gamecube homebrew. Go [console-news.org] read their nfo files and you'll see that furthering homebrew dev and hacking is their motivation for providing ISOs. There are no GameCube emulators and its impossible to play a burned game on a GameCube. Other consoles have mods which let you play discs from other regions as well as burned discs. (Upcoming link is PDF)--Currently, the only mod [gamecubeland.com] for Gamecube only allows playing discs from other regions. I'm sure there will be another breakthrough in the future to play pirated games on a GameCube, but until then the dev scene can (hopefully) blossom without people looking over our shoulders yelling 'Pirate!'.
    • I'm sure there will be another breakthrough in the future to play pirated games on a GameCube

      I sure hope not... the Gamecube is doing badly enough as it is. If piracy erupts, it could easily make the systems death even faster.

      I'd love to see some good emulators on it, like the ones available on the Dreamcast, but if it comes at the cost of a shorter lifetime for the platform, then it's not worth it.
      • It probably won't be too long until someone rips the NES emulator out of Animal Crossing and gets it working with other ROMs.
    • No, what I think has the potential for mis-use is Slashdot promoting piracy news. We are striving to make our tools as homebrew and non-piracy as possible. That probably includes not releasing some news tools.
  • by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @09:44PM (#6228931) Homepage
    It seems ironic to me that the program being used to backdoor into the Gamecube is a game which has a) been around for years now and should in theory be tight as a drum at this point and b) been all but ruined in its past incarnation on the Dreamcast by cheating - something Sega apparently STILL hasn't seen fit to address.
  • by Myria (562655) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:51PM (#6230023)

    The reality is that this is not exploiting a bug - it's exploiting a back door. In the Dreamcast PSO Version 2, Sega added a packet command named RcvProgramPatch. (The game had debug symbols.) This packet was added to make cheating more difficult and fix bugs. Basically, the server can send assembly code to the client to execute. But back doors work both ways. The GC version and Xbox version have the same packet, and this is the result.

    Sonic Team did encrypt the packets, as most online games do. In fact, it is with a custom algorithm that is different from the already-cracked Dreamcast encryption. This system should have been secure: Gamecube disks are basically unreadable, and you need to read the disk in order to break the encryption!

    However, Sonic Team made a fatal mistake. They used the same encryption in the Xbox version. Those disks are readable. Hackers found out, and used the Xbox encryption algorithm to break the Gamecube encryption.

    It's believed that the GC ISO copies were made using this PSO exploit, as well as the N64 ROM of Zelda Master Quest, which in fact was dumped off the Zelda bonus disk using PSO.

    I'm really wondering what Nintendo and Microsoft will do about this... Microsoft, for one, has told developers that anyone who puts a back door into a game will lose their developer's license >_<

    Melissa ^-^
    • This may not be true. I recall reading PSO forums a few months before PSO Xbox came out, and barubary (the man who did the ASM hacking for the famous homebrew translation of Final Fantasy 5 as well as the one who released the vast majority of cheats and hacks for the DC version of PSO. I often find myself blessing him and damning him at once) was discussing a recently applied server patch, analyzing the decrypted traffic between client and server. When someone asked how he had done it, he mentioned that he
    • Well, as this is the only game out there that uses this stuff, how do you know that it isn't a feature and not a back-door?
  • ...someone installs linux on it?
  • Is that people don't have to pay seven grand for the 'official' Development software for the GameCube.
    This, and other Dev Tools for this console, has the potential to allow more people to be able to develop software for this console. People will have the ability, on their own time, to learn game development on their own, at home. In addition they will not have worry or pay to go to REALLY expensive schools for this development experience.

    Dolemite
    _____________________
  • I'm elated about this news. For one, I'm a supporter of homebrew. There have been some great things come to the Dreamcast because of the dev scene. I hope that continues and will translate over to the Gamecube as well. However, everyone should be waiting anxiously for linux to be ported! The Gamecube uses an IBM Power PC G3 (if I remember correctly) and an ATI Graphics chipset which is very similar in some respects to PowerMac G3's. If Linux can be ported to it, I'm sure it could run a version of Mac

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

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