Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Jan 2010 23:34 UTC
Games "The first hacker to successfully jailbreak the iPhone says he has pulled off yet another modding marvel, this time penetrating the previously impervious PlayStation 3 gaming console. The hack by 20-year-old George Hotz, aka geohot, is significant because the PS3 was the only game console that hadn't been hacked, despite being on the market for more than three years. The feat greatly expands the functionality of the box by allowing it to run unrestricted versions of Linux and a wide range of games that are currently forbidden. The hardware and software designer told El Reg it took him five weeks to develop the hack using a combination of modifications to the console's hardware and software."
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Inevitable...
by umccullough on Mon 25th Jan 2010 23:53 UTC
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

It was going to happen sooner or later ;)

Sony pretty much threw down the gauntlet when they removed Linux support from the PS3 Slim models...

Reply Score: 6

RE: Inevitable...
by panzi on Tue 26th Jan 2010 00:12 UTC in reply to "Inevitable..."
panzi Member since:
2006-01-22

Yeah I also think that providing Linux support was what made it uninteresting to crackers. Still, 3 years is a loooong time for such a thing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Inevitable...
by umccullough on Tue 26th Jan 2010 00:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Inevitable..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Yeah I also think that providing Linux support was what made it uninteresting to crackers. Still, 3 years is a loooong time for such a thing.


Indeed... but for distributed computing purposes, it was always still a bummer using the PS3 because two of the SPE's, and the GPU were unavailable for calculation purposes...

Thus, using cracked PS3s for clustering could prove to be quite enticing. Add to that the lower power utilization and size of the PS3 slim and we may see another flurry of sales for these machines in the near future ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Inevitable...
by Beta on Tue 26th Jan 2010 01:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Inevitable..."
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Add to that the lower power utilization and size of the PS3 slim and we may see another flurry of sales for these machines in the near future ;)

Not to mention they’re a good value gaming and media system too ;)

*strokes Uncharted 1+2

Reply Score: 4

RE: Inevitable...
by bornagainenguin on Tue 26th Jan 2010 01:14 UTC in reply to "Inevitable..."
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

umccullough posted...

Sony pretty much threw down the gauntlet when they removed Linux support from the PS3 Slim models...


Yup! Just another example of why its never a good idea to piss off the community...

They might've made an attractive target for people wishing to use the PS3 for clustering, and wanting full access to the SPE's, and the GPU, but when you go out of your way to lock them out, that's when the creative types start getting mad! Angry hackers are as we all know the dangerous kind...

I can't wait to see what new uses will come of this! Now I'll have to start keeping an eye on prices and seeing how well the PS3 performs as an XBMC player...and what SONY does in response!

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Inevitable...
by Laurence on Tue 26th Jan 2010 01:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Inevitable..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Yup! Just another example of why its never a good idea to piss off the community...

They might've made an attractive target for people wishing to use the PS3 for clustering, and wanting full access to the SPE's, and the GPU, but when you go out of your way to lock them out, that's when the creative types start getting mad! Angry hackers are as we all know the dangerous kind...

--bornagainpenguin


I can't really see how Sony are losing out. If anything, they're likely to sell more consoles now.

Edited 2010-01-26 01:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Inevitable...
by umccullough on Tue 26th Jan 2010 01:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Inevitable..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I can't really see how Sony are losing out. If anything, they're likely to sell more consoles now.


Unless they're not making any profit on their hardware.

It was purported early on in the console's lifetime that Sony was intentionally losing money on every console they sold in order to gain marketshare. They would then make up for it on game licensing revenues and peripherals.

This means that anyone purchasing volumes of consoles for the sole purpose of clustering them, produces no real revenue for Sony with that pricing model.

With the lower pricing on PS3 Slim, it seems they've probably cut costs on manufacturing, but they've also removed the incentive to use them for clustering purposes, increasing the likelihood that each console sold will be used for actual gaming.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Inevitable...
by Laurence on Tue 26th Jan 2010 01:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Inevitable..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Fair point.
I'd forgotten about the subsidised pricing model.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Inevitable...
by Heard on Tue 26th Jan 2010 15:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Inevitable..."
Heard Member since:
2009-12-24

It may help Sony nontheless because officially these consoles are only used for gaming and the number of used consoles is significant to attract game developers.

The result: more consoles sold -> more games -> sony sells more consoles actually used for gaming

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Inevitable...
by Jondice on Tue 26th Jan 2010 03:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Inevitable..."
Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

I agree for the most part; too bad it is already several years old.

While this feat is amazing, I think coming up with (good) NVIDIA PPC Linux drivers would be more amazing, which is a big part of making this useful =(.

Still, I look forward to using increased memory on my PS3 Linux install (assuming I ever get around to doing it, depending on how difficult the hack is).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Inevitable...
by Elv13 on Tue 26th Jan 2010 04:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Inevitable..."
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

Sony lose money on console, they gain it back on games + PSN, now, there just going to lose money. They removed Linux support and some of the cluster capabilities to prevent abuse when it come to building a super computer.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Inevitable...
by ggeldenhuys on Tue 26th Jan 2010 12:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Inevitable..."
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

+1
I can't think that it's a bad thing either. As long as people or companies buy PS3 (no matter what they use it for), Sony still gets the money for it and in the long run it will become more popular (hopefully).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Inevitable...
by WorknMan on Tue 26th Jan 2010 09:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Inevitable..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I can't wait to see what new uses will come of this!


99.9% piracy, 0.1% things that don't involve piracy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Inevitable...
by dylansmrjones on Tue 26th Jan 2010 11:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Inevitable..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Define piracy.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Inevitable...
by ggeldenhuys on Tue 26th Jan 2010 13:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Inevitable..."
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

To get hold of a PS3, you need to buy one first. There Sony should already be smiling because they got another sale. Whatever happens to that PS3 after it was sold should not be Sony's problem. The more uses for a device, the better for the company producing that device.

I see no problem. Saying that, I also don't agree with a company telling me what I can or can not do with a device I purchase with MY hard earned cash. After I purchased it, it's mine!! :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Inevitable...
by WorknMan on Tue 26th Jan 2010 13:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Inevitable..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

To get hold of a PS3, you need to buy one first. There Sony should already be smiling because they got another sale. Whatever happens to that PS3 after it was sold should not be Sony's problem. The more uses for a device, the better for the company producing that device.


Sony makes a profit on every game sold. If people start modding their consoles and pirating games, Sony loses money.

On the other hand, is it right for a company to lock down a device to keep people from pirating content? That's the million dollar question. Some people will say that locking down devices/content does nothing to prevent piracy, but with the PS3, it managed to prevent it for 3 years now, and there's still no workable hack out in the wild.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Inevitable...
by apoclypse on Wed 27th Jan 2010 00:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Inevitable..."
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

I think its right and in-fact necessary for a company to lock down their stuff. It ensures publishers that Sony cares about pircay. It ensures the shareholders that Sony cares about not letting people hack the console and mess with their profits, its ensures the government that the consoles can't be hacked for possibly dangerous activities. What I don't agree with is them trying to sue you if you happen to know how to hack it.

Either way the so called hack (which hasn't even been released let alone confirmed) hacks the hypervisor. I thought that Sony removed the hypervisor from the slim models to save costs and that is really the main reason why Linux doesn't run on the slim? If that is the case then the hack may not work on a slim. Also the title is very misleading. The PS3 is not hacked "wide open". The hardware keys are still in place at the moment and the guy still hasn't confirmed if he has hacked those. Sony can just kill the hack with a mandatory firmware update. Also you have to commend Sony for lasting 3 years without getting hacked. Thats pretty tight security in our fast moving field. It took less than a year to hack the xbox360, e with full iso available online. I doubt someone is going to be downloading a library of 50GB isos anytime soon no matter how cheap hard drive space is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Inevitable...
by umccullough on Wed 27th Jan 2010 00:54 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Inevitable..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

its ensures the government that the consoles can't be hacked for possibly dangerous activities.


That statement is kind of amusing since the U.S. military is using PS3 clusters themselves.

Either way the so called hack (which hasn't even been released let alone confirmed) hacks the hypervisor. I thought that Sony removed the hypervisor from the slim models to save costs and that is really the main reason why Linux doesn't run on the slim? If that is the case then the hack may not work on a slim. Also the title is very misleading. The PS3 is not hacked "wide open". The hardware keys are still in place at the moment and the guy still hasn't confirmed if he has hacked those.


Indeed, it appears to use the OtherOS feature (BTW, the hack has been released, with some instructions on how to execute it:

http://geohotps3.blogspot.com/2010/01/heres-your-silver-platter.htm...

So that means the Slim version is still going to be unhackable until there is more progress.

Sony can just kill the hack with a mandatory firmware update.


I've read that all firmware updates are optional - of course they could prevent one from accessing PSN without a newer firmware I suppose ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Inevitable...
by n.l.o on Wed 27th Jan 2010 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Inevitable..."
n.l.o Member since:
2009-09-14


Either way the so called hack (which hasn't even been released let alone confirmed) hacks the hypervisor.


"In the interest of openness, I've decided to release the exploit. 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. I have a life to get back to and can't keep working on this all day and night."

http://geohotps3.blogspot.com/2010/01/heres-your-silver-platter.htm...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Inevitable...
by Drumhellar on Tue 26th Jan 2010 21:14 UTC in reply to "Inevitable..."
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Sony pretty much threw down the gauntlet when they removed Linux support from the PS3 Slim models...


The model he hacked wasn't the slim, so linux has nothing to do with this. Only piracy.
Well, probably only piracy. I'm sure there'll be a tiny homebrew element, but it's primarily piracy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Inevitable...
by umccullough on Tue 26th Jan 2010 21:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Inevitable..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

"Sony pretty much threw down the gauntlet when they removed Linux support from the PS3 Slim models...


The model he hacked wasn't the slim, so linux has nothing to do with this. Only piracy.
Well, probably only piracy. I'm sure there'll be a tiny homebrew element, but it's primarily piracy.
"

You really can't tell what his motivations were. The unit he hacked just happened to be one that was donated to him a year ago, but he only spent 5 weeks on the hacking effort (per the article), so for all you know he started the hack when he heard the Slim models would no longer support Linux.

Anyhow, he claims his motivation was simply to do it... but I suspect the challenge became even more enticing once Sony started locking down the console by removing alternative OS (Linux) support... it was bound to attract more attempts either way.

Edited 2010-01-26 21:36 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Inevitable...
by Drumhellar on Tue 26th Jan 2010 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Inevitable..."
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

I didn't mean to suggest those were his motivations.

What I meant was, since the model he hacked wasn't the slim, it benefits pirates far more than the linux or homebrew scenes.

Reply Score: 2

Purportedly
by elmimmo on Tue 26th Jan 2010 01:36 UTC
elmimmo
Member since:
2005-09-17

This should not make it as a news piece until he releases the hack, or proof at least. Until then, it is just "someone somewhere saying something". Whether his background makes his statement credible or not has nothing to do with it.

Edited 2010-01-26 01:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Useless
by Doca on Tue 26th Jan 2010 10:22 UTC
Doca
Member since:
2006-01-30

"We need a new blockbuster to build up marketing and raise sales again"
"There is this boy that's tinkering with our hardware..."
"Oh... nevermind, then. Prepare estrategy 66"
"Order 66, you said?"
"Whatever... It's 'How to counter-react furious publishers and all other people we promised the architecture won't be hacked' "
"You mean THIS, sir?" (shows a glowing book with several locks and human skin as cover)
"Yes, that one".

Reply Score: 0

Well
by Xaero_Vincent on Tue 26th Jan 2010 16:37 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

The PS3 makes a poor computer with its 256 MB of RAM. Linux does support the Cell processor and there are low-level APIs to take advantage of the SPE units. However, most of the capability isn't when running a standard Linux distro ported to the Cell because the apps themselves aren't optimized to utilize the SPEs.

So its more like running a PowerPC G5 with 256MB RAM. IIRC, the Cell also uses in-order execution, which means overall computing performance is slower than an out-of-order execution CPU because not as many instructions are processed per cycle.

I have the original 60 GB with emotion engine CPU for hardware backwards-compatibility with the PS2. So this announcement means little if you have the original systems.

The new slimline model removes so many features that I'd surely choose an Xbox 360 instead with it's better exclusive titles.

Edited 2010-01-26 16:46 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Arrrgghh! Dar be dragons out there!
by Drumhellar on Tue 26th Jan 2010 21:13 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Sony does not make a profit off of the console; the lose money. So, more consoles being sold = genuinely losing money (Not, "we lost money because we didnt' make as much". There is a real, actual loss)

Sony removing linux support in the slim has little to do with it.

They make most of the money via game licensing. However, since the main purpose of modding a console is for piracy, pure and simple. The other stuff is merely an after effect.

Modded consoles generally don't have a lot of homebrew stuff that gets used by a lot of people. The orignal xbox is an exception, but Sega did suffer greatly due to piracy of dreamcast games. The Wii wasn't modded for homebrew. There is none for the Xbox 360, and nearly none for the playstation.

The ammount of people actually running linux on the PS3 is insignificant. That is why sony removed support from the slim: It cost money to maintain, and there really wasn't much interest.

Reply Score: 2

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

The ammount of people actually running linux on the PS3 is insignificant. That is why sony removed support from the slim: It cost money to maintain, and there really wasn't much interest.


It might be insignificant, but it was clearly being used. You can find PS3 clusters being used all over the place for scientific research already - there are companies who had built cluster-building services around the PS3... so stating that there wasn't much interest seems like a short-sighted statement to me.

Reply Score: 3

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Well, there wasn't enough interest for Sony to make it profitable.

Reply Score: 2

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Well, there wasn't enough interest for Sony to make it profitable.


Well yeah, it wasn't ever profitable, it was the opposite, which is why they cut it. I certainly didn't dispute that, but it was a pretty good slap in the face for those who appreciated the feature ;)

FWIW, Sony themselves didn't need to maintain the Linux distros, that was already being done by 3rd parties.

Reply Score: 2

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

I think the majority of people who truly appreciated the Linux compatibility already own a PS3 with Linux support, so dropping Linux support in the slim doesn't truly affect them. Most of those who deride Sony for dropping support would never have actually purchased a PS3 and run Linux on it, so Sony's decision doesn't really affect them, either.

And, continued support of Linux does cost Sony money, as they do have to maintain the VM that Linux runs in. Each new firmware update requires testing (and perhaps adjustments) to the VM to ensure compatibility. Luckily, Sony is still supporting the VM on existing PS3 revisions.

Reply Score: 2

Linux no good on PS3
by makkus on Wed 27th Jan 2010 12:03 UTC
makkus
Member since:
2006-01-11

But I would like it very much to see something like AROS running on it. A nostalgic Amiga user (500,4000) till 1998 when the fun ended.

Reply Score: 1