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Sony Taking Down PSP Titles In Response To Vita Hackers 293

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the we-control-the-vertical dept.
Carlos Rodriguez writes "The hacker community has found a way to make the Vita run unsigned code by exploiting weaknesses in PSP games available for download in the PSN store. In response, Sony has made the affected games unavailable for download for all platforms — PSP and Vita both — even if you had already paid for it and hadn't had the chance to download it yet. In the case of 'Everybody's Tennis', the game was removed from the PSN worldwide after the modder community bragged about the game being exploitable but before any exploit was released for it. Is Sony being too overzealous in its fight against piracy?"
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Sony Taking Down PSP Titles In Response To Vita Hackers

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  • And yet again (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pi1grim (1956208) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:01AM (#39496059)

    Way to go Sony, that ought to teach those pesky customers of yours!

    Actually, I think Stallman should thank Sony for reenacting every scary story he is telling when explaining horrors of verdor lock-ins and proprietary format traps. This ought to stick it to those, who kept saying that no company would be suicidal enough to treat their customers this way.

  • Re:This is Sony (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dhalka226 (559740) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:02AM (#39496065)

    Not that I am defending their actions, but I do wonder if there is something cultural going on. Is there something in particular about Japanese culture that encourages that degree of control (or perhaps "order")?

    The extents to which they are willing to go seem extreme, even compared to other companies who are charter members aboard the DRM bandwagon. Is there something more to it than just "Sony = teh sux?"

  • Re:This is Sony (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jythie (914043) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:11AM (#39496177)
    Money is just tokenized power, control is another. Powerful people seek, well, power, and being able to control how people use what you sell gives just as much of a high has making lots of money off of it. That power then translates to respect within your community, which results in promotions and options at other companies.

    In other words, once you realize that the motivations are not corporate profit but instead individual advancement and status, such behavior seems a lot less insane. This is also the core of the MPAA/RIAA's behavior, both are industries where careers are made or broken by reputation, so control/power are more important to the individual then group profit.
  • Too overzealous? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:12AM (#39496191)

    "Is Sony being too overzealous in its fight against piracy?

    I don't know, really. Have we seen a decrease in attacks in the waters off of Somalia?

  • Re:Oh boy... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:26AM (#39496347)

    Guys, they're a company out to make profit, and they're going to put the game back up in time.

    Kind of like how Apple still has all those pornography apps in its app store? Sometimes companies think that can realize greater profits by basically screwing their customers, and there is every reason to think that Sony is such a company.

    I'm not discounting that Sony does a lot of scummy stuff, but is not one of them in my eyes.

    So just hearing a rumor that a particular game might have a bug that could be exploited is now enough to pull the game? Interesting definition of "not scummy..."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:27AM (#39496361)

    Piracy destroyed the PSP software market.

    Crap hardware, the usual Sony bullshit with weird Sony proprietary formats (UMDs? Really?) and lack of decent software killed the PSP. It wasn't very good. People were not interested. They did not buy a PSP. QED.

  • Re:This is Sony (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:50AM (#39496641)

    Note, however, that Nintendo is from a different region of Japan (Kyoto), with a significantly different culture.

    Think of the difference between a New York City company, and a Boston company, or perhaps a New Orleans company. It's... something like that.

    From what I can tell, Kyoto is much more conservative and traditional, but also more rural and more... relaxed, I suppose. They have a different accent (kansai-ben), which loosely corresponds to either a southern accent, or a boston accent, at least culturally.

    There's also the fact that Nintendo is now effectively run by the game developers - Miyamoto is still a Senior Managing Director, and Iwata (the President) worked on Earthbound and Kirby as a programmer. Sony, meanwhile, is run by businessmen, for business.

  • by gorzek (647352) <gorzek&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @11:25AM (#39496997) Homepage Journal

    To explore this a little bit, consider that Nintendo is a gaming company. Everything they do is centered around producing video game consoles and games to play on them. As long as the devices they sell can do that, I imagine most people don't care that they are locked down. Plus, it's not like you can do homebrew/hacking any more easily on the Sony or Microsoft systems.

    Apple, on the other hand, sells more general "lifestyle" devices. The iPhone isn't just a phone--it's a media device, it's a portable game console, it's a web client, etc. etc. And given that it is advertised to have those capabilities, I think it's fair for some to cry foul at the fact that even though the device can do a lot of things (and is advertised thusly by Apple), it can only do them Apple's way, for no good reason except that Apple wants to maintain strict control over the platform.

    Granted, most people don't care how hackable and open a particular device is, and I just avoid this whole issue by not purchasing Apple products. But I don't think the comparison to Nintendo is valid, because Nintendo sells devices for very specific purposes, and Apple's control of the iPhone is criticized because it is a more general-purpose device, intentionally crippled to serve Apple's interests.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @11:39AM (#39497135) Journal

    I'm still using a Sony amp from the 80s. Goes to show you what a decade or two of corporate greed can do.

  • Re:This is Sony (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor f . n et> on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @12:57PM (#39498077)

    The OtherOS is actually a perfect example.

    In this community we heard about it non-stop for what feels like years. Outside this community, no one really cared. Yes Sony lost some business, but even if everyone who could explain in a sentence what the OtherOS thing was about stopped buying Sony, it would probably be a tiny blip on the profit statement.

    Same with the geohotz thing. Huge deal to us, non-issue for most. The rootkit thing is the closest Sony ever came to doing something that actually pissed of a large chunk of their users with an issue (outside the PSN thing, but again, people were upset for the wrong reason).. and even that most people wern't mad enough to swear of Sony products forever.. it was more of an amused "well that was naughty of them" response from the vast majority of people.

    OtherOS was perfect. Microsoft learned with their Xbox what happens when hackers and pirates share a common goal - one inevitably helps the other. In that case, the Xbox-Linux folks found vulnerabilities that they told Microsoft about, in exchange for a legit way of running Linux. Microsoft rebuffed them, and Xbox Linux released their installation tools. The pirates siezed upon that and Xbox piracy was born.

    OtherOS was the same - those who wanted homebrew had a perfect outlet for it, and busy playing there meant the pirates really didn't have much they could do since homebrew in OtherOS was restricted.

    But remove OtherOS and all of a sudden those hackers had to break into GameOS to run Linux... and now that GameOS was broken, pirates could come in with ISO loaders. And then researchers came in and studied the hacks and realized what else they could do until ti cascaded to the point where the keys were discovered.

    The Xbox360 has suffered piracy attacks, but also has a homebrew avenue (XNA studio). The interesting thing is while there's piracy on the Xbox, the integrity of the system hasn't been compromised - you cannot plug a modded Xbox into Xbox Live because the dashboard is signed and reports back to Microsoft, and unsigned dashboards don't really run.

    PSN though is another story - with the master keys available, the whole "trust the client" part of PSN doesn't exist anymore, and you can get CFW's for PS3 that let you play ISOs AND get on PSN.

    And all of it happened within a year of Sony removing OtherOS. Hell, the PSN hack was just over a year later (April 1, 2010 - OtherOS was removed. Aprile 2011 - PSN hacked).

    You know, if Sony continually does this, one could make the Vita's PSN ability worthless if games keep getting removed.

    I understand Sony's reluctance about piracy, given it helped speed the demise of the PSP, but perhaps if Sony wasn't so greedy on the PSP on the first place. Like how UMD videos could get full 60fps video decode, while memory stick videos could only do 30fps (later fixed). Or how an "install to memory stick" feature wasn't implemented to allow loading UMD games off faster memory stick. (Sony could use MagicGate to lock the UMD image to one PSP and require the UMD to be present to play the game, negating piracy fears a la the Xbox 360). But they didn't, and CFW made the whole PSP experience far better - the benefits of loading games from memory stick meant less loading screens to wait through, full res full framerate videos, etc.

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