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Encryption PlayStation (Games) Security Sony Games

PS3 Encryption Keys Leaked 284

Posted by Soulskill
from the andrei,-you've-lost-another-submarine? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "PS3 security has been compromised again. The holy grail of the PS3 security encryption keys — LV0 keys — have been found and leaked into the wild. For the homebrew community, this means deeper access into the PS3: the possibility of custom (or modified) firmware up to the most recent version, the possibility of bypassing PS3 hypervisor for installing GNU/Linux with full hardware access, dual firmware booting, homebrew advanced recovery (on the molds of Bootmii on Wii), and more. It might lead to more rampant piracy too, because the LV0 keys could facilitate the discovering of the newer games' encryption keys, ones that require newer firmware."
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PS3 Encryption Keys Leaked

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  • subject (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:05PM (#41746323)

    "In non "nerd" speak: This leak only matters if your PS3 is already hacked. If you updated your PS3 with any official update released in the past 8 months (3.60 or higher), nothing has changed. No free games for you."

    • Re:subject (Score:5, Informative)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:18PM (#41746409)

      "In non "nerd" speak: This leak only matters if your PS3 is already hacked. If you updated your PS3 with any official update released in the past 8 months (3.60 or higher), nothing has changed. No free games for you."

      Not entirely accurate: There aren't any free games for you today. But within the next few months, you can be sure firmware will be available to give you free games forever. Start downloading now, non-nerd.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Is this true? I thought the LV0 keys would be able to decrypt any firmware that will be released in the future assuming they want backward compatibility with any hardware already produced.

      • Re:subject (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:48PM (#41746599)

        LV0 keys encrypt LV0, the loader that loads all other loaders (no joking - http://www.ps3devwiki.com/wiki/Boot_Order). So, in theory (if Sony doesn't manage to create a clever new way to secure the loaders), yes, you can manage to decrypt any newer firmware they release.

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          Sony must have some seriously incompetent people working on their security to let this leak.

          Any reasonable secure platform puts the initial bootloader keys in tamper-resistant silicon with some secure hardware with onboard and/or scrambled RAM, etc to decrypt, and stores those keys on a physically isolated machine used just for encrypting the bootloader.

          But I guess it's not that surprising, Sony has already proven their incompetence with security many times over...

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            If they're asymmetric keys, like I would assume they are, this leak is even worse: It means either they have 'secure' systems on the 'insecure' network. Or they have a personnel leak at the 'highest' security level within the company.

            Because either way the LV0 signing key should be airgapped and have a short enough list of suspects to quickly root out who leaked it.

            If not then sony is just piled full of MBA pushing dumbasses now.

            • Re:subject (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @10:33PM (#41747775)

              I would not be at all surprised to find out that the leak came from Sony, and was deliberate.

              Making the PSX/PS1 easy to hack was the smartest thing that Sony ever did, intentionally or not. Chipping the PlayStation was simple for geeks, who got excited about exclusive games like Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy 7, and spread the word to their non-chipping friends.

              The original PlayStation was so overwhelmingly popular that they mortally wounded Sega, and ensured that the N64 was only a modest success.

              That set the stage for the PS2 to be the best-selling console in history, despite the efforts of the (deeply-subsidized) Xbox, which was an excellent console in its own right.

              The PS3 was not hacker-friendly or technologically superior. Worst of all, it was very expensive. The reasonable success that Sony has had with the PS3 is largely due to the momentum from the PS1 and PS2 - the PS4 will have no such advantage.

              In its last years, the PS3 is still unable to compete on price. The basic specs cannot be improved without destroying backwards compatibility. That only left Sony with one option - make the PS3 easy to hack.

          • Re:subject (Score:5, Informative)

            by marcansoft (727665) <hector@marcanso f t . c om> on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @09:04PM (#41747075) Homepage

            The first-stage bootloader is in ROM and has a per-console key which is effectively in tamper-resistant silicon. The second-stage bootloader (bootldr) is encrypted with the per-console key, but is not upgradable and is the same for all consoles (other than the encryption wrapper around it). This second-stage bootloader verifies lv0. Sony signed lv0 using the same broken process that they used for everything else, which leaks their private key. This means that the lv0 private key was doomed from the start, ever since we demonstrated the screwup at the Chaos Communication Congress two years ago.

            However, because lv0 is also encrypted, including its signature block, we need that decryption key (which is part of bootldr) before we can decrypt the signature and apply the algorithm to derive the private key. We did this for several later-stage loaders by using an exploit to dump them, and Geohot did it for metldr (the "second root" in the PS3's bizarre boot process) using a different exploit (we replicated this, although our exploit might be different). At the time, this was enough to break the security of all released firmware to date, since everything that mattered was rooted in metldr (which is bootldr's brother and is also decrypted by the per-console key). However, Sony took a last ditch effort after that hack and wrapped everything after metldr into lv0, effectively using the only security they had left (bootldr and lv0) to attempt to re-secure their platform.

            Bootldr suffers from the same exploit as metldr, so it was also doomed. However, because bootldr is designed to run from a cold boot, it cannot be loaded into a "sandboxed" SPU like metldr can from the comfort of OS-mode code execution (which we had via the USB lv2 exploit), so the exploit is harder to pull off because you don't have control over the rest of the software. For the exploit that we knew about, it would've required hardware assistance to repeatedly reboot the PS3 and some kind of flash emulator to set up the exploit with varying parameters each boot, and it probably would've taken several hours or days of automated attempts to hit the right combination (basically the exploit would work by executing random garbage as code, and hoping that it jumps to somewhere within a segment that we control - the probabilities are high enough that it would work out within a reasonable timeframe). We never bothered to do this after the whole lawsuit episode.

            Presumably, 18 months later, some other group has finally figured this out and either used our exploit and the hardware assistance, or some other equivalent trick/exploit, to dump bootldr. Once the lv0 decryption key is known, the signing private key can be computed (thanks to Sony's epic failure).

            The effect of this is essentially the same that the metldr key release had: all existing and future firmwares can be decrypted, except Sony no longer has the lv0 trick up their sleeve. What this means is that there is no way for Sony to wrap future firmware to hide it from anyone, because old PS3s must be able to use all future firmware (assuming Sony doesn't just decide to brick them all...), and those old PS3s now have no remaining seeds of security that aren't known. This means that all future firmwares and all future games are decryptable, and this time around they really can't do anything about it. By extension, this means that given the usual cat-and-mouse game of analyzing and patching firmware, every current user of vulnerable or hacked firmware should be able to maintain that state through all future updates, as all future firmwares can be decrypted and patched and resigned for old PS3s. From the homebrew side, it means that it should be possible to have hombrew/linux and current games at the same time. From the piracy side, it means that all future games can be pirated. Note that this doesn't mean that these things will be easy (Sony can obfuscate things to annoy people as much as their want), but from the fundamental security standpoint, Sony doesn't have any security leg to stand on

            • Re:subject (Score:4, Interesting)

              by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @10:09PM (#41747563)
              Playing devils advocate... For the same reason the court seemed to side with Sony about being able to remove features (e.g. Linux support), why wouldn't they also be allowed to remove other features (e.g. all of them), by bricking the whole thing, especially if it's out of warranty. It would be a total dick move to do, but it's Sony. PS3 is 6 years old. PS4 is in development. They can manufacture slim PS3s cheaply now. The games are where they make their money. Just send everyone (who bought a PS3 in the last year) a new slim PS3 with new keys, and nuke the rest. They lose maybe $100 per customer, but they get to secure their machine. and as long as they sell at least 2 new games for each free PS3 they send out, they break even. Presumably anyone who bought a PS3 within the last year, intends to buy games for it. Naive people will be glad to get a new PS3 because it's new. If I was a corporate douchebag at Sony, I know I'd be pushing to nuke the old PS3s and screw over all my customers (because I would be in character).
              • by Khyber (864651)

                "Playing devils advocate... For the same reason the court seemed to side with Sony about being able to remove features (e.g. Linux support), why wouldn't they also be allowed to remove other features (e.g. all of them), by bricking the whole thing, especially if it's out of warranty."

                Because that would be intentional destruction of property and the lawsuit would destroy Sony in every country. It would be a lawsuit very much like what I went through with EA, except criminal charges would most definitely be f

                • by mcgrew (92797) *

                  Because that would be intentional destruction of property and the lawsuit would destroy Sony in every country.

                  Ten or so years ago my then-underaged daughter, who was working at a record store, brought home a Sony-BMG CD and played it in the CD player, which at the time the only one was in the computer. Not realizing that Sony was Satan Himself and never dreaming that a big respected company like Sony would deliberately vandalize her dad's computer, she installed XCP.

                  XCP disabled all my file sharing software

              • Playing devils advocate... For the same reason the court seemed to side with Sony about being able to remove features (e.g. Linux support), why wouldn't they also be allowed to remove other features (e.g. all of them), by bricking the whole thing, especially if it's out of warranty. It would be a total dick move to do, but it's Sony. PS3 is 6 years old. PS4 is in development. They can manufacture slim PS3s cheaply now. The games are where they make their money. Just send everyone (who bought a PS3 in the last year) a new slim PS3 with new keys, and nuke the rest. They lose maybe $100 per customer, but they get to secure their machine. and as long as they sell at least 2 new games for each free PS3 they send out, they break even. Presumably anyone who bought a PS3 within the last year, intends to buy games for it. Naive people will be glad to get a new PS3 because it's new. If I was a corporate douchebag at Sony, I know I'd be pushing to nuke the old PS3s and screw over all my customers (because I would be in character).

                Here is the big distinction, Sony did not remove any features from the PS3, the updated firmware did not carry the linux support. What you lost in the ruling is your choice to keep the old firmware and play new games. Sony did not force any updates they simply offered an update with different features one of the differences was that linux was not supported another was newer games are supported. Lets not make mountains out of mole hills and equate bricking every PS3 with losing some features.

            • Thank you marcansoft for that post, reading it was time well spent for me.

              A score of 5, pfttt it's a 10.

            • Re:subject (Score:5, Interesting)

              by marcansoft (727665) <hector@marcanso f t . c om> on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @12:57AM (#41748681) Homepage

              Oh, one more thing. I'm assuming that these keys actually should be called the bootldr keys (as in the keys that bootldr uses to verify lv0), and that the name "lv0" is just a misnomer (because lv0 is, itself, signed using these keys).

              If this keyset is just what Sony introduced in lv0 after the original hack, and they are used to sign everything *under* lv0 and that is loaded *by* lv0, then this whole thing is not newsworthy and none of what I said applies. It just means that all firmwares *to date* can be decrypted. Sony will replace this keyset and update lv0 and everything will be back at step 1 again. lv0 is updatable, unlike bootldr, and is most definitely not a fixed root of trust (unlike metldr, which was, until the architecture hack/change wrapped everything in lv0). If this is the case, color me unimpressed.

          • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

            Especially after being hacked several times already. Standard response among large companies is to make new rules and clamp down everything. That should have happened two breaches ago.

          • Incompetence to such a degree, its taken hackers 5+ years to fully hack the system! Im sure Sony is super upset.

    • by cronot (530669)

      Honest question: I do have an updated PS3 (yeah slashdot, judge me). I'm not interested on pirated games, but I may be interested on homebrew stuff (emulators and stuff like that). That leak will make that possible for me?

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        This is really the kind of stuff that interests me too. I love the fact that it's possible to load games from a hard drive plugged into the USB port of my Wii. I love the fact that I never have to put another disc in the Wii. I could download games and get games for free, but personally, I only have time to play 1 or 2 new games per year, so the cost of the games isn't killing me. Being able to use my Wii to play emulated games, play video files from my windows share, and play Wii games from a USB hard dr
  • It's nice but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:09PM (#41746351) Homepage
    The PS3 is nearing the end of its life and it's taken 6 years to do it so it's served its purpose.
    • by OrangeTide (124937) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:34PM (#41746515) Homepage Journal

      Yea, the amount of time it took for this to happen is just too long for pirates to take it seriously.
      But it's nice that this has been hacked so we can repurpose discarded PS3s when a console for this upcoming generation is released.

    • Re:It's nice but... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by petsounds (593538) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @08:31PM (#41746879)

      Served its purpose? It's still a powerful machine. Would be a brilliant media center with better software. Homebrew, emulators. Sounds like a purpose is just starting to me.

      The only disappointing part is this is coming about not through Sony coming to their senses or the courts forcing them to restore Linux functionality to the PS3, but through the tenacity of hacktivists. But such is the world we live in.

      • No, I mean the security (not the ps3 itself) has served it purpose by making it take this long for them to reach this point. Had people broke the security straight away that would be bad for sony but it took them a few years to reach their first break through and 6 years to get to this point. This will help a lot of people that want to do other things with their PS3 which is a good thing. But the ps3 also won't have the rampant piracy the psx had just because of this. Everyone will be moving on within a yea
    • Re:It's nice but... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie AT hotmail DOT com> on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @09:47PM (#41747429) Homepage

      Well, I for one have been waiting for this. I've kept a modified firmware on my PS3 in order to be able to use various media players and emulators on it, and I don't like that fact that the stock firmware periodically sends a list of every single action you've taken to Sony -- including filenames, sizes, the names of the devices they were opened from and so on.

      I've found myself not playing games on the PS3 much, but it makes for a great media player. As such with the release of these LV0 keys I'm hoping to get to use Netflix on it soon.

    • In fact, it worked out great this way. Remember all the cool stuff that people used to do with their PS3s? Building clusters, and all sorts of other great things? Now they can do it in perpetuity. As people start to get rid of their old PS3s, they can be repurposed for all the great things that they were being used for before Sony fucked everyone over.

      I also took a stroll over to the wiki [wikipedia.org] and found that even the PS2 is still around. Now it's not inconceivable that the PS3 would receive EOL before the PS2, b

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:10PM (#41746357)

    Fundamentally, client-side security doesn't work. You can obscure the hell out of it and bury it deep within the system, but sooner or later, someone's gonna crack it. If they'd just let the damn homebrew people make backups of their games and install their own software, I doubt the mod community would have sprung up like this. They wanted access to the hardware, not pirated games. If they'd just locked up the portion of the system responsible for validating a game disk with some kind of TPM mechanism but left the possibility of running "unsigned" content, I doubt this breakthrough would have happened within the life of the product.

    Sony, like every other big corporation, doesn't understand how hackers think. They don't give a fuck about your games: They want to see the nifty hardware! They want to push it to its limits, make new stuff with it. These are creative people who are endlessly fascinated with how things work. They're bored engineers.

    But management got the idea in their head that the hardware is also theirs, not the person who bought it, and they're the only ones that get to say what it does, how it does it, etc. In so doing, they pissed off about a half million people who have the time, patience, resources, and will to tear the damn thing apart piece by piece until it's theirs again. Guys, why couldn't you just let them have their fucking Linux on PS3?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by darkfeline (1890882)
      IIRC, the US military was one of the biggest users of PS3 as cheap hardware for Linux "racks". How much says that they'll now resume installing Linux on PS3? Heck, how much says that it was a hacker working for the military who leaked the keys in the first place?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        GPU programming, while more difficult, offers higher performance vector computing, on common hardware, unlike the cell processor. The G80 was not released until late 2006, and CUDA took until about 2008. Until then, the Cell processor had mindshare.

      • by Anrego (830717) *

        I seem to remember sony produced a firmware just for them.. can't remember the source of this though.

      • by westlake (615356)

        he US military was one of the biggest users of PS3 as cheap hardware for Linux "racks". How much says that they'll now resume installing Linux on PS3? Heck, how much says that it was a hacker working for the military who leaked the keys in the first place?

        The HPC hack takes thousands or tens of thousands of consoles out of retail distribution channels --- expensive hardware that remains on the market only because it is subsidized globally by the sale of video games and services.

        The hack doesn't solve the problem of making HPC affordable --- it just passes the costs along to someone else, who won't be willing to foot the bill forever,

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:18PM (#41746411)

      Yeah, they want to mod it to run on a Generation 1 LCD photo frame...

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      The problem is that the hardware can't tell the difference between unsigned homebrew software and unsigned pirated games. So they lock down the hardware so that it only loads signed code. If you allow the console to easily run unsigned code, you are also allowing people to play pirated games. You could possibly encrypt the entire game disk, and therefore take make it more difficult to copy them, but you only need 1 person smart enough to copy the game, and then distribute it all over the internet. But
      • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:55PM (#41746653) Journal

        Very true. The right solution is to make signing free for homebrew creators, but either:

        • Require server-side signing where you upload the game and get back a signature. That way, they can do various checksum-style tests to see if the signed content is likely pirated before signing it.
        • Require that each homebrew game be signed using a private key that is specific to each device, and design the hardware/OS so that only factory-signed code can use that private key. Add factory-signed tools that perform those various checksum tests locally and ask the servers for permission before signing the binary. The servers could reject requests from out-of-date versions of the signing tools, so you could have the same sort of forced-updating process for the signing tools that you'd have with a server-side solution, but you wouldn't have to push the whole binary across the wire.
        • Charge a small amount of money for the ability to sign homebrew binaries.

        Either way, it's a cat-and-mouse game, but at least with those sorts of schemes, the pirates are on their own when trying to gain hardware access instead of having the homebrew folks working alongside them. Many eyes make all security holes public, and all.

        • Microsoft's solution is to run homebrew in a virtual machine and charge $99 per year for the right to run any software not signed by Microsoft in that virtual machine.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Charliemopps (1157495)
        Pirates pirate... period. If they want to play free games, they are going to. If you lock your hardware down so they can't play pirated games on it, they just use someone elses hardware. At least you could have made some cash off the console. Oh wait... You're selling the console for less than it costs to make it so you can lock in customers and then screw them with overpriced games? Well shit... I think you just figured out why people are trying to pirate your software. Get a business model that doesn't in
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kjella (173770)

          Pirates pirate... period. If they want to play free games, they are going to. (...) Piracy is such an easy problem to solve...

          What then, give away the games? Sure that'd solve piracy in a sense, just like consenting to sex will prevent you getting raped.

          Oh wait... You're selling the console for less than it costs to make it so you can lock in customers and then screw them with overpriced games? Well shit... I think you just figured out why people are trying to pirate your software.

          Nobody put a gun to their head and told them to get a console instead of a PC. It has been proven time and time again that consumers don't like up front costs, they want cheap printers and expensive ink. Or actually they don't like any costs so they want cheap hardware, free games and a pony. If any of the silly self-justification you make up was true, why is then piracy rampant on

      • Simple solution: Rearrange one or more GPU constant maps (register IDs, video modes, ?) based on the state of the trust chain, and have the firmware and OS capable of operating in either state. This should be easy to do in silicon. Any decent commercial game will end up with those values hardcoded all over the engine and would require extensive patching to correct for it. When authoring, just set a compiler flag to choose which map to use. So homebrew stays homebrew in untrusted space but with full har
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:36PM (#41746535)

      Fundamentally, client-side security doesn't work. You can obscure the hell out of it and bury it deep within the system, but sooner or later, someone's gonna crack it.

      It lasted six years. The PS3 doesn't have much life left as a flagship console. Better security would have been a waste of money.

    • If a console is capable of running unsigned content but as a rule it refuses to, then that's client side no matter how you slice it. Yet this is what you are suggesting they should have done.

      As to what they actually did, it's a financial issue not a technical one. If a console is fully functional with unsigned content, then developers will not pay to get their content signed. Since the console business works by getting license fees and the signing is what enforces this, this would mean it would be financial

      • The key to making a console isn't really making it impossible to run pirated content. It's to make sure that it is hard enough to make full functionality unsigned games that developers don't feel they can try to go without paying you to get their games signed.

        That or make the user and developer experience of signed software good enough that users won't be tempted to try the unsigned ecosystem. This is what Google has done with Android, what Amazon has done with its customized Android distribution, and what Apple is trying to do with the Mac App Store. Or a console maker might make the signed ecosystem easy enough to get into, with a full set of developer tools costing less than $1,500 for the first year, that homebrewers become tempted to join the signed ecosyst

      • by shentino (1139071) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @05:30AM (#41749859)

        It pisses me off how many Sony fanboys cheered when OtherOS was revoked, and said that the hackers using it were such a small portion of the market that they deserved to get fucked over anyway.

        Whatever happened to truth in advertising? When did it become ok to assrape one part of the market to protect another?

        The bottom line is that the people who bought the PS3 for OtherOS were retroactively mislead and someone thought so enough that Sony wound up getting sued in 5 different class action lawsuits over it.

        People actually blame hackers for piracy, when it's actually pirates being opportunistic thieves taking advantage of the hacker. Pirates "steal" effort from hackers by subverting hacker work for their own ends just like they "steal" from content creators.

        The argument that promises were broken fall on deaf ears because most people think that Sony was cool to flip the bird at OtherOS users, simply because hackers are scum that deserve to be cheated anyway.

    • by mkraft (200694)

      Not just Sony, but game developers as well. Last time the PS3 was hacked, rampant cheating occurred in many online games from developers that relied solely on client side protections so no server checks were done.

      Here's hoping those developers learned from their mistakes and that won't be a problem this time. Let's also hope Sony has learned and protected the PSN and store from client side attacks since decrypting PSN traffic will be possible. I believe they did bolster PSN security after the PSN hacking

    • > Sony, like every other big corporation, doesn't understand how hackers think.

      Exactly! The fastest way to motivate a hacker*/programmer is to Tell him/her that they can't do something!

      * Using the orriginal definition of hacker not the bastardized media version -- Hacker, noun, Someone interested in exploring places they normally couldn't access for the sake of learning & acquiring knowledge - no malicious intent intended.

      --
      Any ideology taken to an extreme is never a good idea in the long run.

    • by alvinrod (889928)
      That's great and all, but Sony doesn't care about them. If they're just in it for the hardware (which at certain points of the consoles lifecycle is subsidized) the manufacturer (Sony in this case, but it applies to all of them) doesn't want you as a customer as they really need you to buy games. Also, while it's nifty that there are some hobbyists out there who get a lot of joy out of tinkering with the technology and discovering how to bend it to their will, the vast majority of the people who would use t
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Fundamentally, client-side security doesn't work. You can obscure the hell out of it and bury it deep within the system, but sooner or later, someone's gonna crack it. If they'd just let the damn homebrew people make backups of their games and install their own software, I doubt the mod community would have sprung up like this. They wanted access to the hardware, not pirated games. If they'd just locked up the portion of the system responsible for validating a game disk with some kind of TPM mechanism but l

  • Six years later... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Say what you will about Sony, but they managed to keep the PS3 almost totally immune to hacking for the entire life of the console up til now. Six years, and only a year or so away from the next hardware iteration. That's pretty much a record for game consoles, a rather impressive achievement.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      Ironically (given Microsoft's reputation for poor security) the XBOX 360 is the least hackable of the 3 major consoles right now. (although one would hope Nintendo has learned from the Wii and improved the security in the Wii U)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Piracy on XBOX 360 is rampant. Ceva launch updates to racked dvd units firmwares every month.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:24PM (#41746459)
  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:24PM (#41746463) Homepage Journal

    It's always a little amazing to see how people cheer on the leaks and cracks when they appear in a closed system, yet continue to support these closed systems with their money and attention when open systems are available.

    It's just this very weird disconnect in consumer psychology. You don't have to crack a PC (yet) to do what you want with it. But you make a computer small and flat and suddenly you find yourself having to pay $1+ for every little program, from a collection of programs that somebody else has decided you shall have access to. You don't see the "fuck the man" attitude at the store, you only see it when a Scandinavian high schooler comes up with a crack for your game console and the manufacturer tells you you can't have it.

    I just don't get it. How many years past DeCSS are we and banging our heads against the same wall?

    • Woosh!

      They hack it because its there, not because alternatives don't exist.

    • by metamatic (202216) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @09:54PM (#41747461) Homepage Journal

      It's always a little amazing to see how people cheer on the leaks and cracks when they appear in a closed system, yet continue to support these closed systems with their money and attention when open systems are available.

      What open game console has a decent selection of games?

      • What open game console has a decent selection of games?

        Home theater PC running Windows 7.

      • A Windows PC? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @12:49AM (#41748643)

        It's not open in the OSS-speak sense but it is in the sense you can install any software you want on it, write code for it with no license to anyone and so on. You can even run other OSes along side it as a dual boot, or in it with an emulator. Has all kinds of the games.

        I do all my gaming (and I do a ton of gaming) on the PC not for any idealistic reasons, but because I like it better. There are very, very few games I don't get to have that consoles do, and a number I get to have that consoles don't. It is a very valid gaming platform, and is open if that matters to you.

        • by metamatic (202216)

          The Windows PC option has two big problems though.

          1. Windows. So it's not going to be open for long, if Microsoft have anything to do with it. (See: Windows 8.)

          2. PC. So I can't play it slumped on the couch on a big screen TV.

          There's also the cost aspect.

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @07:30PM (#41746489) Journal

    Honestly if you have any patience you just wait 3 months and the good games are 25$ a pop - that's 2 lunches for me. I'm in my 30's now and I suspect my heavy piracy days are long gone. I also feel slight guilt when I pirate games now, some of these guys bust their asses to make some really good stuff. If ever do pirate anything it's only the gargantuan huge games which are selling a tonne anyhow.

    I'm also really really happy with my PS3. I know Sony is the devil here but the exclusive games for the system, unlike the 360 - don't get ported to PC. There's some genuinely unique and fantastic games on the platform.

    If I didn't own a beast little HTPC now (HP Microserver N40L) then I would however be happy that finally XBMC might come to the PS3. (I can't deny it DID piss me off they closed the loophole the developers were considering on the PS3) They honestly coudl've sold a shitload more if the PS3 supported XBMC out of the box with a basic live boot CD / DVD or something.

    • Not everyone uses custom firmwares for piracy. I know, I know, MOST people do, but there's also plenty of us who do it for privacy reasons and to be able to mess around with homebrew. Did you know that the stock official firmware periodically reports all of your activities to Sony, including filenames, sizes, the names and addresses of the machine you opened them from, dates, times and so on? I just don't feel comfortable with that, they have no justification for spying people to such a degree.

      • What's the point of homebrew on a modern console? I can see the point for retro consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System, where the limitations of ancient hardware [nesdev.com] are part of the challenge, much like constrained writing [wikipedia.org]. But instead of homebrew on modern consoles, people could just make software for Windows or Linux, connect the PC to the HDTV through VGA or HDMI, and be done with it.
        • That depends on the kind of homebrew we are talking about. I assume you're only thinking of games, whereas homebrew can include emulators for other systems, multimedia players (PS3's own, stock multimedia features are quite poor), better browsers, replacements for the whole UI and so on. Also, one could include tools for booting and managing Linux as homebrew.

          • by tepples (727027)

            But instead of homebrew on modern consoles, people could just make software for Windows or Linux

            I assume you're only thinking of games, whereas homebrew can include emulators for other systems

            So can PC-based emulators.

            multimedia players

            VLC.

            better browsers

            Chrome and Firefox.

            replacements for the whole UI

            Windows 7 has those [wikipedia.org], and Linux for PC has at least as many choices of window manager.

            • Again, you're missing the point: if you already have a PS3 why not make it more useful? Sure, if the choice is between a PC connected to a TV versus a PlayStation 3 connected to a TV, and you don't own a PS3 before, then it might make more sense to just go with the PC. Atleast if you don't want to play any PS3-exclusive titles.

              • if you already have a PS3 why not make it more useful?

                If there were a culture of hooking a PC up to a TV, fewer people would feel the need to "already have a PS3". Here's the way I see it: There are more PC-exclusive titles than PS3-exclusive titles. There will always be more PC-exclusive titles than PS3-exclusive titles. So why not buy the PC instead of the PS3 in the first place? I seem to remember that six years ago, one could already buy a PC for five hundred ninety-nine U.S. dollars [youtube.com]. One could even get a Mac for that much, and two years later one could ge

    • If I didn't own a beast little HTPC now (HP Microserver N40L) then I would however be happy that finally XBMC might come to the PS3

      Would you be willing to buy games tuned for HTPC, with thorough USB gamepad support and possibly even same-screen multiplayer? If people actually bought HTPC games, there might not be as much need to crack consoles to run homebrew because people could just make software for HTPCs.

  • Sony can't be crushed soon enough.

  • by Kaenneth (82978) on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @08:57PM (#41747039) Homepage Journal

    They (initially) sold hardware at a loss, planning to make up the cost by selling games.

    The homebrewers are not, as stated, interested in the games. Therefore, in Sony's view they are stealing the hardware, just as much as someone downloading Sony brand music is stealing it.

    The only reason PS3s were able to make cheap clusters is because Sony subsidized the consumer hardware; otherwise it would make more sense to buy hardware designed for the purpose without the controller ports, blu-ray drives, etc. etc.

    It's a result of Sony's business decision, and they were losing too much to the people who would never buy a single game or blu-ray movie, so they cut their losses by killing homebrew capabilities, protecting the price points for their profitable target market.

  • "You can be sure that if it wouldn't have been for this leak, this key would never have seen the light of day, only the fear of our work being used by others to make money out of it has forced us to release this now"

    So they would never have published it if it had not been leaked?

    Seems unlikely, but if it's true then props to the leakers for "forcing" them to release it.

    If the discoverers were not interested in making money, why would they not share it?
  • LV0 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2012 @10:13PM (#41747595)

    LV0 [ps3devwiki.com]

    erk=CA7A24EC38BDB 45B98CCD7D363EA2A F0C326E65081E0630 CB9AB2D215865878A

    riv=F9205F46F6021697E6 70F13DFA726212

    pub=A8FD6DB24532D094EFA08 CB41C9A72287D905C6B27B 42BE4AB925AAF4AFFF 34D41EEB54DD128700D

    priv=001AD976FCDE 86F5B8FF3E63EF3A7 F94E861975BA3

    ctype=33

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