Sony has made a mandatory update to the PS3’s firmware, defeating all current hacks.
The hack to allow PS3 piracy (“jailbreaking” or “homebrew” as piracy advocates spin their activities), originally released by an Australian pirate outfit who soon found their efforts to profit from their discovery scotched by Sony’s lawyers, was soon duplicated in open source form, and subsequently ported to a variety of other devices, meaning a special USB dongle was no longer required.
So enthusiastic did the rumour-mill surrounding PS3 hacking become that soon tales of upcoming PS2 emulation functionality through hacking began circulating.
However, at the same time technical measures to thwart the hack were being rumoured to be nearing release by Sony – it appears these rumours were correct.
The new 3.42 firmware, a “minor update” including “additional security features” according to Sony, reportedly breaks all known PS3 hacks.
As it is a mandatory update, PS3 users will be forced to update if they wish to access the PlayStation Network at all – this coupled with the need to update to play upcoming games is likely to hamper the use of any hack unless a workaround is developed.
With Sony on the ball with its PS3 anti-piracy measures – as opposed to the apparently tolerant attitude of Nintendo and Microsoft – it remains to be seen whether the usual pirate versus publisher arms race will develop, or whether the PS3 will instead return to its no-piracy status quo.