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Thread: PSP piracy threat looms as hackers break protection

                  
   
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    Won Hung Lo wraggster's Avatar
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    Default PSP piracy threat looms as hackers break protection

    News from <a href="http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=9916" target="_blank" >GI Biz</a>

    <BLOCKQUOTE>Hackers have succeeded in making the PlayStation Portable play pirated copies of four commercial games from the Memory Stick slot, in a worrying development that could lead to widespread piracy on the platform.

    Amateur programming teams working on the PSP had already succeeded in making the machine run unauthorised code, and a large number of "homebrew" games and emulators for older systems are being circulated on the Internet.

    It's only in recent days, though, that hackers have managed to make the PSP boot pirate copies of games - and now four titles, namely Mercury, Lumines, Coded Arms and Puzzle Bobble - can be downloaded from pirate sites and played off Memory Stick.

    The exploit, which uses a bug in certain versions of the software that ships with the PSP to circumvent the machine's protection system, has already been addressed by Sony in more recent versions of the system software, and will almost certainly not work on European models when they arrive in September.

    Indeed, a SCEE spokesperson this morning dismissed the suggestion that the exploit is "seriously bad news", saying that it is "more another string to the bow for arguing against grey imports."

    Original Japanese consoles, which shipped with the 1.0 firmware, and later Japanese and early American consoles, which shipped with version 1.5, are susceptible to the exploit, which requires no modification to the hardware and is easy enough for even users who aren't particularly technically competent to use.

    However, anyone who has upgraded their firmware over the Internet won't be able to use it - and Sony is planning to ship automatic firmware upgrades on future game titles, which should also lock out the exploit on many consoles.

    The fear now, however, is that rather than simply locking down the PSP with the upgrades, this scenario could turn into a war of attrition similar to Microsoft's attempts to lock down on Xbox mod chip users with updates to the Dashboard software - efforts which have largely proved futile.

    It's not just game piracy that is a concern on the PSP, however. Freely available software has also been created which can rip DVDs into formats that can be played back from Memory Stick, raising the prospect of widespread movie piracy on the device as well.</BLOCKQUOTE>

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    Well, I think we're in trouble here. Before, when we were just playing with our homebrew and emulators, it wasn't so bad. But now that hackers are messing with Sony's ability to sell PSP games, I think they're going to be much more aggressive torwards placing protections and lockouts. I hate to think that I won't be able to enjoy games on my PSP without possibly giving up the ability to run homebrew on the system.

    Before the Lumines loader, I was totally against Sony putting protections in it's firmware. But now, it's becomming unfortunately nessecary to do so, to protect Sony from being undermined itself. If games won't sell on the system because of piracy, then this great piece of hardware will go the way of the Dreamcast, whose potential still wasn't totally fulfilled.

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    Who cares piracy always improves the scene. Hackers are the ones who come up with real exploits to systems anyways. They has never been a system that hasnt been hacked to play pirated materials.

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    I think an important question is how common is piracy? What does it take to pirate a game? How much time, effort, and money?

    Piracy will always be an issue, but I don't know that it is really as big of an issue as it's made out to be.

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    Won Hung Lo wraggster's Avatar
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    Piracy and the press killed the dreamcast as a commercial product

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    I disagree with that. I think Sega killed the Dreamcast. It is never about the best hardware or software, rather, it the best marketed and hyped devices.
    Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo were just better able to market and promote systems than companies like Sega, 3DO, and NEC.
    The Turbo-Graphix 16 handheld was superior (in 1993) to where Nintendo was last year with the GBA. Yet people would rather play Pokemon card flipping games in black and white? Hmmmm.
    I do not disagree that piracy is bad & will hurt the homebrwe & emulation scene, and this is very unfortunate. But let's be realistic, the PSP is NOT going the way of the dreamcast. It is too powerful, flexable and has to much Sony and money behind it.
    I hope the movie and game industry do not become like the music companies, blaming Napster & piracy for all it's ills. Movies sales are down this summer, not because of piracy, but because all the movies are bad film, sequels, and remakes.
    It has been shown over and over that if you make good quality products (or just popular, well marketed products), people will buy it and the product and companies thrive.

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    DCEmu Regular slayer2psp's Avatar
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    the ps2 selles just fine so does the xbox and those systems have been hacked to death the avg user wont do this stuff because they just dont care or just dont have the time to mess with it. the whole movie thing is dumb ive been converting dvds that i own to the psp and my ngage for some time i will never buy the same movie twice if sony was smart they would sale the umd movies for 10 bucks thats a fair price but 25 dollars for a movie i already own is a ripp off .also 39.99 to 49.99 for hand held games is way too much they should be 29.99 to 39.99 like on the ds. i for one could not be happier that the psp has been hacked. but in the end this wont hurt sony that bad i work at a game store the avg person has no clue about the homebrew thing. and if the avg person hasnt already started to play boot leg stuff they probley never will. i cant believe games still sale as well as they do look at the gba you can get any game you want for it rather easily but it it still sales. im just shocked at how clueless the avg game player is to the whole mod scene.

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    Default PSP hacks

    I bought a PSP for the sole reason that it could easily be connected to my PC (bought it a week ago.) I saw MAME was on the thing and couldn't wait to have one. I watched a few groups and knew it would only be a matter of time before an ISO loader would be released. Will I continue buying games? Depends on if I'm forced to lose my MAME brew with a forced update (MOSTLY THE Nameco one, as Galaga still rules!) If I could keep my pbrew, I'd buy a few (I'd be a big liar if I said I'd buy em' all.)

    The PC wouldn't be nearly as big as it is now if Windows 95 wasn't so easy to copy.

    This type of thing draws attention, creates interest, and is generally a positive thing. Sony will release a few updates, claim victory, and in the end time will prove that no matter how clever you think you are, someone will always find a way around.

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    DCEmu Regular slayer2psp's Avatar
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    breaking news iso loader will be out very soon you wont have to do anything but rename the iso in the root of the memory card and launch it just like any home brew game now sony might have a problem becuse this works with all the games and does not require you to have a game in the umd drive

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    Good grief. I got the PSP for the games. They were just better than my DS, and seemed to be pumping out more games as well. I also got it because I figured it would be able to emulate very well...as we all know now it can. Its great to have games that I grew up playing...now in the palm of my hand. Sure, you can call it piracy...not sure if I agree with it...because its games from dirt old systems that the big game companies don't even push anymore. Its like that old green couch they keep in the basement. They don't use it anymore...because its old..but don't want anyone else to have it. Heck, most of the games I have for the emus are games I have purchased along the way anyway. So this sort of news sucks. On one hand, piracy often times helps in figuring out how a system works. But its sad that most times, its just to get things for free. Now I am against umd being pirated, and I do feel Sony should do something...but also I think they should use the homebrew activity to their advantage. Heck, I didn't even hear about a gp32 until I saw one on ebay...then I checked it out and found it could emulate very well...then I bought one. Maybe sony should leave the psp alone for a while with the firmware updates and let emu hungry ppl buy them up. I personally think the homebrew stuff is actually helping the psp popularity.

    It is sad though that homebrew isn't enough for some...that some people actually want to cheat the system and get their games for free. I'm not talking about snes games and all that stuff that has been out, done it's time, and retired...but games like for xbox, ps2, psp, etc. I'm sorry, but its just wrong, no matter how much it hurts to fork over money for a game.

    I guess it just sucks that it might come down to whether or not u want to play psp games, or homebrew....when it could have been both, had it not been for people trying hard to get psp games to play from the mem cards

    I guess there will always be those type of people.

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