Global Game Industry News Blog

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hackers and Homebrewers ARE NOT Pirates

So this is a common conflation in the video game industry. Anyone who wants to run something you don't want them to = PIRATE.

Sorry Dave, but you just totally stuffed your fist in your mouth.

This actually fuels my opinion that the focus on emulators by people in the homebrew world actually hurts prospects of having more open homebrew worlds for game consoles. Can we not worry about running NES ROMs (EVEN IF THEY ARE LEGAL) on our PSP's? Like just long enough to convince Sony and Nintendo that it is worthwhile to support hobbyists and homebrewers?

The conflation of homebrew and piracy is half the fault of those involved. Because in many cases piracy though perhaps not the end that was desired is an indirect consequence. We have to differentiate hacking our devices to supporting piracy.

Just because I want to run Linux on a device doesn't mean I'm going to then do dumps of UMD's to files so that I can transfer them around. Unfortunately that seems to frequently be the second thing that happens.

The world of homebrew needs more attention. Emulation and piracy needs less attention. I don't care if I can run old games on my DS. What I really want are some new cool games for my DS. - Sony threatens to pursue legal action against PS3 hackers
"Unfortunately, hackers will try to exploit any hardware system software," SCEA spokesperson Dave Karraker told
Booting games and playing them are two different things, however; so far, hackers have not been able to get any of the copied games to run, nor have they been able to run homebrew software.

Every hardware launch brings with it a race for hackers to defeat the system's protections, whether for the technological challenge, to run copied software, or to allow for homebrew games.

Despite Sony's attempts to prevent its emergence, the PSP has a strong homebrew community - and hackers are doubtless hoping to establish a similar base for PS3.

If legal consequences are not a deterrent, there are other risks involved. Like Microsoft, which has banned some modded Xbox 360 consoles from Xbox LIVE, Sony could easily stop PS3 units from accessing the PlayStation network. Hackers also risk bricking their consoles.

"Naturally, any use of an exploit on the system software does void the warranty on the PS3 system... Which could be a costly mistake to see if you can run an old SEGA CD game on it," said Karraker.

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