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PlayStation (Games) Games

PlayStation 3 Hack Released Online 164

Posted by Soulskill
from the let-the-games-begin dept.
itwbennett writes "On Friday, George Hotz, best known for cracking Apple's iPhone, said he had managed to hack the PlayStation 3 after five weeks of work with 'very simple hardware cleverly applied, and some not so simple software.' Days later, he has now released the exploit, saying in a blog post that he wanted to see what others could do with it. 'Hopefully, this will ignite the PS3 scene, and you will organize and figure out how to use this to do practical things, like the iPhone when jailbreaks were first released,' he wrote. 'I have a life to get back to and can't keep working on this all day and night.'" Reader MBCook points out an article written by Nate Lawson "explaining how the hack bypasses the hypervisor to gain unrestricted access to memory. It seems the trick is to use a pulse to glitch the hypervisor while it's unmapping memory, leaving a favorable page table entry."
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PlayStation 3 Hack Released Online

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:22PM (#30918696)

    Indeed, the 7th SPU is in isolated mode at this point, and cannot be accessed even by the hypervisor. But it may be possible to reflash the system and take over the isolated setup code.

  • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewkNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:23PM (#30918722)

    If by "hackability", you mean Halo...

    I think the GP isn't suggesting that this will make the PS3 fair better to any significant degree in the market at large, but rather make it more popular with nerd types you might find on places like slashdot.

    Who knows though, it probably wouldn't be too out of line to claim that iphone unlocking made those more desirable, plenty of my non-nerd friends have unlocked iphones.

  • by RoFLKOPTr (1294290) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:39PM (#30918954)

    Will I be able to install Linux on it now? If so, I will buy one.

    Don't buy a PS3 simply for the sake of installing Linux on it. The PS3 only has 256MB of system RAM and Linux does not run well at all on it (I know this from personal experience with a PS3-specific Linux flavor). Just build a computer for $500.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:52PM (#30919156)

    I can vouch for this. We had an xbox lying around from the first batch to be released (I think my brothers and I got one on preorder one christmas).

    I played it a bit, (Halo, as mentioned...) but only really used it alot once I decided to put a mod chip in. The whole project was actually really enjoyable. I researched for weeks, and opened the case up several times to poke around, detach and reattach, etc.

    Once the chip arrived in the post and I flashed a new BIOS, I had even more fun playing around with different homebrew, apps, and "operating systems". A little later I discovered XBMC, installed a new hard drive, and started running games off the drive as well as FTP'ing movies and TV to it.

    I don't know how many people bought an Xbox as a result of the mod chip capabilities, but im certain there are plenty. Some sites even offered pre-chipped console bundles.

    It was definitely a key activity in my eventual career choice of computer engineering.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:52PM (#30919158)

    I did the linux thing on a ps3. You are right it is horrible. If you were into hacking yeah it might be fun. But just to mess around with. Painful.

    I bought a netbook put linux on it and am having a blast.

    I could use my ps3 for linux but to run it solid 24/7 would cost me a fortune. Can do the same with my netbook for 1/10th the cost.

    It was one of those things where someone could have done something interesting with it but sony locked out the interesting bits except cell.

    It could have been a very capable media center type thing. But Sony killed that quick for some reason.

  • by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <sorceror171@gmai l . c om> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @02:04PM (#30920238) Homepage

    Don't buy a PS3 simply for the sake of installing Linux on it.

    I would certainly agree with that. As you say, there are much better deals, price/performance-wise.

    The PS3 only has 256MB of system RAM and Linux does not run well at all on it...

    ...but this is a little overstated. Clever people figured out how to use the video ram as ultra-fast swap [psubuntu.com], which brings the effective RAM up to around 512MB. Still not awesome, but it makes Linux quite a bit more usable on the PS3.

  • by Narishma (822073) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:53PM (#30922934)

    Except people could already access the GPU from Linux before (See http://wiki.ps2dev.org/ps3:rsx [ps2dev.org]). It's not useful because nobody bothered to write a driver for it as far as I know. This new "hack" won't change anything about the situation.

  • by pnewhook (788591) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:44PM (#30924138)

    Yes, yes, and I use mine as a bluray/DVD player, media console and webbrowser.

    Regardless it is NOT a PC, and I fail to see any benefit of installing Linux on it other than saying 'hey look what I can do!' Interesting academic exercise, but practically pointless.

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