back to article Sony threatens to ban PS3 jailbreakers from network

Sony has threatened to permanently banish all PlayStation 3 users from the its online game network if they use jailbroken consoles. Customers who don't want to lose access to the PlayStation Network “must immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices,” Sony Social Media Manager Jeff Rubenstein blogged on Wednesday …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. zanto


    "we are protecting our business and preserving the honest gameplay experiences that you expect and deserve"

    the first part could be true, the second is pure hogwash.

    you lost sony, now stop acting like a spoilt child.

    1. The BigYin

      It's Sony's network

      They can set whatever rules they like and change them whenever they like.

      This is why it is moronic to invest in a proprietary system.

      If people had demanded a PS3 that could play on the open interwebs (like some PC games do, with people/companies hosting their own servers [mileage may vary etc etc]) then they would not have given Sony such total control over the hardware.

      Perhaps companies that want Sony's level of control should not sell consoles, instead go for a rental model? "Get a PS3, only £50 a year! [5 years minimum contract, you must buy 2 full-price games a year]".

    2. CD001

      Not necessarily

      > the first part could be true, the second is pure hogwash.

      The ability to run "home-grown" apps on the PS3 could potentially lead to joyous things like wall-hacks, aimbots and all the other "fun" things you occasionally encounter online gaming on the PC.

      Valve didn't develop VAC without reason.

      Sony are playing the part of the heavy-handed playground bully and they could certainly deal with the matter differently BUT if you spend any time gaming online you'll see there is a need to "ban the cheaters".

    3. g e


      It's fine for Microsoft/XBOX then, I guess.

      SONY's network, SONY's software, they set the rules. It's that simple, don't whine about it.

    4. DrXym Silver badge


      "the first part could be true, the second is pure hogwash."

      No it isn't. If you have modded firmware you might use it to:

      1. Hack save files, player profiles or other things that you are not intended to modify

      2. Hack trophies

      3. Obtain an unfair advantage in a multiplayer game, e.g. aimbots

      4. Hack game servers to DDOS other players, ping flood or otherwise disrupt service

      5. Turn a PS3 into a spambot

      6. Obtain / unlock content which are not entitled to

      7. Spoof other PSN users, or the store

      8. Generally disrupt PSN in ways it was not intended to cope with

      All of which ruin the experience for honest legitimate players. But you think modders should be able leech off PSN and be able to do all of this and more, for why exactly?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    I think they make a valid point here

    When it comes to Sony removing the "Install other OS" option I think they had it coming. Now; I love my PS3 for what it does and never bothered with this option myself, but I can sure see others who do like to fiddle around some more. So yes, people will circumvent it, do what they want with their OWN hardware and within that context I too say "screw you, you had it coming".

    But this is another thing IMO. Breaking open your PS3 to install Linux ? sure! But then I do think its fair that Sony draws a line by not allowing these devices onto the PSN. If you want to break open the PS3 to install Linux and then use your box as a router or whatever; go ahead. I haven't read anything about Sony hunting down the websites which present all the info to do this yet.

    But if you're trying to take such a machine online while there is a certain risk that it could be tampered with in such ways that it might affect online gameplay I think its only fair that Sony denies access. They got to draw the line somewhere.. When it comes to cheating I too think there should be much more codes and such available for the PS3 (I liked using those from time to time on the PC too) but ONLY as long as those will never affect online gameplay. I don't mind "cheating" or code usage, as long as you don't annoy or hinder people who don't like to play that way.

    SO yes; in this case I say go Sony!

    1. asdf

      keep believing the hype

      Yeah keep believing they do it to protect their customers. Kind of like when they protected their beloved customers (thieves the whole lot in their mind) with illegal rootkits and used their R&D to invent DRM so draconian that it pushed honest paying customers to pirate the game just to avoid the inconvenience (Spore, etc DRM) when its only purpose was to squeeze retailers from resale. Sony's customer first approach is probably they have sold 100 million less PS3 than PS2 and taken a bath on profits lately.

    2. thecakeis(not)alie


      Sony, please go!

      Straight to hell.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      I honestly don't understand the furore here.

      You buy the PS2/3 whatever Hardware. You buy a license to use the firm/software supplied. The SLA imposes limitations on what you can do. If you don't like them don't buy the product... If you do buy the product and make changes that do not comply with the SLA or warranty terms then too bad, you lose. Sony spent a lot of time and money - 'cos they are big enough to do it (and you made them that way!!!) - in developing this product and are protecting their investment

      If you are competent to make changes and they are at the edge then have a good lawyer and pots of money.

      Clearly, you will see, I neither own nor use a PS2/3 so am a talking arse.

      if folks want to experiment then that is great and Sony should be looking at what you do to see if it can help in their development program and Sony would be daft to try and stifle creativity in these areas - IMHO. If you are modding your machine to enable you to cheat others either for prestige or profit then I hope Sony burn you badly as I can't abide a cheat. That being said, I'd like to see Sony burnt badly for what they illegally did to peoples computers when the sneaked in root kits. But that is history and legislators aren't interested. What's the phrase - 'If you don't learn form history your are condemned to repeat it', Welcome to your Groundhog day.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Not quite

      You shouldn't have to "break open your PS3 to install Linux" as it was sold with Linux as a feature (there's a 20gb partition on my PS3 drive unused now, but I'll be damned before I delete it).

      As for the argument of affecting online play, it's irrelevant. Cheaters have been able to manipulate save files and use other snekay triks to do this for the last few years, nothing to do with the current cracks.

      So with both of those points dismissed: Go to hell Sony?

      1. CD001

        Manipulating save files

        Manipulating save files and the like might unlock achievements or items BUT it's not quite wall-hacking, aimbotting, god-mode or whatever - really Sony only have 2 options when it comes to preventing this kind of behaviour when gaming on the PSN.

        1: Block anyone who's "modded" their console (despite the fact that it was initially sold with that feature).

        2: Develop something like Valve's VAC - it's not perfect but it's a damned good compromise.

        Sony seems to have picked the lazy option and killed "bedroom development" on the PS3 - I'm sure they had a dev box (Yr Rose?) sort-of available for the PS1 - the next "Super Meatboy" ain't gonna be developed for the PS3 I'd guess.

    5. DrXym Silver badge

      Sony's perspective

      It is blazingly obvious here that Sony is trying stop / deter piracy here. They're not going after some guy who has rooted their PS3 to turn it into an XBMC server or run Linux exclusively. By defintion such people have excluded themselves from PSN and piracy.

      What they care about are people running modified XMB firmware in the main to play pirated games. Sony obviously lose money if that were the case. That's the main commercial reason but there are also fairness / user experience reasons too. Anyone who has ever played a multiplayer game with cheats / griefers knows what a pointless and shitty experience it is. Allowing modded boxes onto PSN would allow cheats & griefers free rein and it would ruin the service for everyone else.

      So it makes complete sense they're banned from PSN for users and for Sony. As for modders who are completely innocent and buy all their original titles - tough shit really. Don't mod your box, or if you do accept you're never going to get PSN.

  3. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    Boycott Sony/Related products.

    I know I've said this before.

    While this may be hard since they are quite ubiquitous, let's try and make a conscious effort to show Sony the finger.

    Regarding Sony media, I wonder if this kind of behaviour by Sony would well turn certain people who would otherwise do the 'right' thing to do the 'wrong' thing. Not advocating this, just saying.

    So Sony, you're already pissed a lot of people off. You would do well to recant.

    (I think I've finally found a company I dislike more than Apple lol!)

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      What planet are you from

      Every online service has terms & conditions. If you abuse those conditions you'll get the boot. Sony are doing nothing more than ensuring only legitimate users get access to PSN. Just as Microsoft do with theirs.

      Yet we're all supposed to be up in arms about it why? Because a bunch of pirates can't leech service or cheat / grief legit users? Boo hoo. They made their bed and they can lie in it.

  4. Mark 65

    I remember the days

    When Sony used to be known as a company that made decent gear.

    1. asdf


      I would even settle for the Sony back before they decided DRM was a moral obligation. That seemed to start about the time they decided hiring a Welsh/American media executive as CEO was a good idea. Strange coincidence that.

      1. CD001


        DRM is hardly a Sony only phenomenon; I'm looking at you Ubisoft!

        Though Sony crossed the line with their ever-so-lovely rootkit.

        1. asdf

          about ubisoft drm

          I am pretty sure it was developed by Sony originally. Most CD/DVD media DRM schemes have come out of Sony's R&D.

  5. XMAN

    Must ban modded consoles to stop cheaters

    I'm not quite sure why everyone continues to lick Geohots arse. He knew how Sony would react if he were to go too far but went ahead anyway to boost his own reputation. So great, he's managed to give more power over the console to a minute percentage of hackers but ended up forcing Sonys hand and loosing the Other OS feature for a much larger percentage. Yeah nice.

    Sony have no choice but to ban users who mod their consoles. Look at XBOX live for example. When the mod chips and firmware hacks first came along, many non-modded users stopped playing on XBOX live and/or stopped paying the XBOX live subscription because of modded users cheats. This means there's less players, less interaction for other users. It's a tumbling effect that can kill an online gaming service very quickly.

    If people are going to use an online gaming platform, especially if they're going to pay for it, they must believe that it's fair and cheat proof.

    The only FAIL here is geohot and his followers for fucking it up for the rest of us.

    Should Sony have removed Other OS? No.

    Should Sony ban modified consoles? Unfortunately, to save online gaming from cheats, Yes.

    1. David Neil

      Check your timeline

      "So great, he's managed to give more power over the console to a minute percentage of hackers but ended up forcing Sonys hand and loosing the Other OS feature for a much larger percentage. Yeah nice."

      Other OS was pulled a long time before fail0verflow did their thing, and GeoHot filled in the blanks and published it.

    2. The BigYin

      Whilst I don't blame Geo et al...

      ...they just made a hack after all. It is the arse-wipes who use the hack to cheat get my ire.

      And it's Sony's network, so they can ban who they like when they like for any reason they like.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Unnecessary arse licking

      You've got it a bit backwards there. Sony removed the Other OS feature, which was the catalyst for many hackers to begin circumventing. The have all said there wasn't much interest in putting so much time into cracking the PS3 as the security was pretty good, but once Sony decided to screw people over they retaliated.

      Again: The cheats have been at this way before GeoHotz, fail0verflow and the rest released the codes, not what this is about.

      Should Sony ban cheats: Yes.

      Should Sony ban people using their console as was advertised when they bought it: It's sad we're debating this.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      I agree*

      * apart from the fact that you seem to endorse big companies doing whatever they want without regard to anyone else.

      I paid a lot of money with the promise that I could A) Play on-line and B) install my own OS.

      Sony Unilaterally removed one of those options (depending on whether you changed your firmware) and this then leads to the possibility that legitimate software won't run until you choose to lose the "install other OS" option.

      I agree that Sony need to consider pirates and cheats, and to protect revenue streams, but selling their hardware with the promise of functionality that they then remove is fraud. There is no way of dressing that up. And people who feel defrauded lose the incentive to follow Sony's rules.

      So while your argument holds some water, it misses the point by a wide margin. Not to mention the fact that Geohot's changes don't automatically open up the console to anyone who wants to play pirated games. Others have had a bigger effect than him.

      For the record, I have no longer any interest in filling Sony's pockets any further. I will never again purchase a Sony product. I don't want to play copied games as I don't game very much at all, but when I spend £300 on a device with a list of functions that can be pared down without me being able to do anything about it, I feel defrauded. I won't ever buy a kindle because of the George Orwell debacle for the same reason (and I don't even want to read the books they deleted).

    5. Baudwalk

      Wasn't the cart at the other end of the horse?

      >So great, he's managed to give more power over the console to a minute percentage of hackers but ended up forcing Sonys hand and loosing the Other OS feature for a much larger percentage.<

      Not being a PS3 owner, I've only read the odd mention of this case here on the Reg, but wasn't the Other OS feature removed well before this hack was published?

      If so, might it not be the loss of this option that spurred the sufficiently nerdy hackers into action?

      Just askin'.

      1. Daren Nestor

        yes and no

        fail0verflow's hack was after OtherOS was removed, but it was geohotz's publishing that he had managed to compromise the system in a limited way that led to the removal of OtherOS.

  6. drengur

    Spoilt Children running Sony?

    Another case of Sony being childish - seems the company is run using schoolyard politics.

    "If you don't play how I want you can't be my friend any more!"

    I've not even thought about hacking my ps3 but this just rubs me the wrong way - in fact I'm tempted to hack it, use the bloody thing as a router/media server and forget about buying any more games.

    Never thought I'd say it but I'll be buying an Xbox next time round. On top of this type of tantrum throwing and messing with the functionality of my PS3 I've had a heap of Sony gear die on me in the past 3 years.

    Their build quality is about as good as LG now :-S

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Spoilt Children running Sony?

      for all its worth, a modded Xbox will be banned from XBL and might be bricked by a Microsoft update.

    2. Gav

      More schoolyard bullying

      I was disqualified from school athletics yesterday for using a quad-bike. Seems that it only counts if you play how they want you to play! Schoolyard bullies is all they are. If that's their attitude, I'm just going to go drive the wrong way around someone else's track!

      After school, I wanted to play Scrabble, but was upset that my pals didn't appreciate my innovative mod of "make-up-any-word-you-like". They said I couldn't play and wouldn't be my friend any more. Talk about childish! And I had a dead-cert triple word score for "Uzurqtkb" on my first go!

      Apparently I'm free to do whatever I like, but as soon as I want to join in games with the other boys and girls I have to follow "rules". It's not fair!

  7. asdf

    Writing on the wall

    When Sony bought a movie studio you just knew their hardware was going to go to dog shit. Funny how media companies have a vested interest in controlling their customers who they consider thieves with draconian DRM. Funny also how customers tend to pick the hardware from the disruptive upstarts that don't play by the rules. Kind of how Sony was 30 years ago.

  8. P Zero

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    While they're banning people who make legitimate copies of their games just to play off of an internal drive, or just want Linux or want extra functionality that Sony denies (How long has it been since a REAL cheat device?), that's people not buying off of their overpriced online store, purveying original and rehashed content. I can understand getting cheaters from online games and people playing stolen content (DLCs, etc.), but banning everyone effectively forces them to go purely illegal. They already lost, they can't stop the tides, the least they can do is accept it, let the PS3 be a gaming, home entertainment AND hobbyist console and just do a better job next time.

    1. Trygve Henriksen
      Thumb Down

      Next time?

      The PS3 is sold at a loss because Sony expect to earn it back by seling games.

      Most of those who claim they unlock the console to play 'backups of their games' are in reality using pirated copies. That's how it has always been.

      For Sony stopping anyone from using 'backups' is critical for their ability to earn back the cost of the PS3.

      Ask yourself this:

      If Sony can't make money on their consoles, why should they bother to continue developing new ones?

      Yeah, it sucks when a game stops working bacuse the CD/DVD/Whatever is scratched, but it's not exactly the end of the world.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Guilty until proven innocent

        None of this debate is about piracy, it's about "jailbreaking" PS3s. Piracy may be possible from this but it is not the only reason people will do it.

        Your claim that "most are in reality using pirated copies" is quite a big one, and I'd like to see the research which shows this. But again, not the point, should people be allowed to jailbreak their PS3? Straightforward question. Nothing to do with piracy.

        The removal of OtherOS was a massive mistake by Sony, as now people who may want to pirate have a perfectly valid and IMHO legal (still unsure how US law differentiates iPhone jailbreaking from PS3, anyone got a logical reason?) excuse now, to restore functionality legally purchased and subsequently removed.

        And it does suck when discs get scratched, but thanks to the digital era it isn't the end of the world, we can make backups. Yay!

        Seem to be repeating the same stuff over and over here.

        (and if Sony sell hardware at a loss that's their problem, not ours)

        END RANT

      2. CD001

        I don't think


        The PS3 is sold at a loss because Sony expect to earn it back by seling games.


        I don't think that's true any more - it certainly was when the hardware came out BUT the tech is a few years old now and I'm sure I read somewhere that Sony actually makes a modest profit on every PS3 sold now.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't get this attitude...

    There's nothing worse when playing an on-line game to find it ruined by some pathetic loser who needs to I don't see what the problem is here, as a previous poster said, Sony's hand was forced to act.... after all they didn't need to offer the Install Other OS option in the first place (I don't see XBOX with this option), Sony started out with good intentions, it was 'look how f*cking clever I am' hackers that started this battle.... what option do Sony have, who wants to play online if every game is over run with cheats, or stupid mods.

    I stopped playing 1942 on PC when every other game was ruined with stupid zero-gravity mods, or idiots that could race around the game 50 times faster than everyone else.

    1. Wommit
      Thumb Down

      Re : AC - 20110217 1045

      "after all they didn't need to offer the Install Other OS option in the first place"

      But they did include the 'Other OS', and nobody forced them to do that either.

      And then, without warning they removed that feature from existing owned boxes. Not I believe that could easily be against the law in the UK / EU. Did they offer a refund after limiting the functionality of hardware that people have paid for?

      So if you have a feature which, maybe, is only used by the top 10% of technically skilled owners, then you really should expect big problems if you remove this feature, especially FROM EXISTING OWNED BOXES.

      And, no, I don't own any form of games machine. However I did once buy a Nintendo DS for my granddaughter.

    2. MarthaFarqhar

      RE: I don't get this attitude...

      They did have to include it in order to secure a tax break by declaring it to be a computer rather than a games console. So they did it not for the benefit of the enduser, but out of greed.

      1. Charles 9

        Point is, it WAS DECLARED.

        This may not be true in America, but I'm pretty sure that, in Europe, once you advertise a feature, you must DELIVER on that feature or you're plainly-and-simply engaged in False Advertising, which is a CRIMINAL offense. So How will Sony respond if European courts start levying charges of False Advertising on them--or worse, demanding back taxes because, without OtherOS, the PS3 can no longer be considered a personal computer--and therefore ineligible for the tax break (might this form of chicanery also be prosecuted criminally as a form of tax evasion)?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Agreed - Ban them from the PSN

    The ONLY reason for running custom IOS/code on PS/3 is to play cracked games. All this talk of 'it's my hardware' and 'I want Linux' is bollocks.

    Crackers have ruined Modern Warfare 2 for those of us who bought it and have not cracked their hardware. Freetards should be punished for their behaviour by getting their PS/3 permanantly banned from the PSN - that way they can play all the Linux / cracked games they like - ON THEIR OWN!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, sure!

      Please tell this to the US Air Force who bought PS3 expressly for running Linux.

  11. lIsRT

    letters and/or digits

    All I can say is: I'm glad the last console I bought was an N64.

  12. SDoradus

    PSN is not the only way to update

    "The PlayStation Network is the sole source of bug fixes and firmware updates for the consoles."

    That indeed was Sony's contention during hearings. But it is not the case, as a lawyer for the defendant (Hotz) observed; there were many other ways to get firmware updates, including by direct download from a Sony website, without logging in to PSN.

  13. Daniel 43
    Paris Hilton

    fook them!

    I have never modded my PS3 in anyway. I recently updated to 3.56 or whatever the latest update was, and since then my PS3 does not recognise any USB data drives connected to it! Considence - maybe. Will Sont recognise their update caused this - no. Pain in the a$$ - Most definitely!

    Paris coz she definitely puts out

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very easy to understand Sony's behaviour.

    It's payback for Betamax - pure and simple.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Can they hunt me down?

    Forgotten I'd done this first time around.

    Wonder if they will get the shop pulled.

  16. [Yamthief]

    I could be wrong...

    ...but i thought that after the recent leak of the digital signature Sony use over twitter, you no longer need a "modified" console, you could simply re-sign the software yourself?

    1. David Hicks

      It never got quite that easy

      You still needed a way to install it, that's not provided by the default firmware and needed to be unlocked.

      And that wasn't quite all, don't know the specifics, but there were still one or two keys to be found when the lawsuit kicked off, and all has gone relatively quiet since then.

  17. Shonko Kid

    If it's just to stop people cheating on the online games...

    Then surely the simplest thing to do is mark their avatars/gamertags as being run on a modded console, then if they are cheating, those playing against them will simply walk away. Let the users do the hard work! No lawsuits. No bad PR.

    Unless... THAT isn't why they're doing it?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm not really a gamer, but I would have expected any network for consoles to band modded consoles. Why wouldn't they? The only surprise in this story for me is that it's a story at all.

  19. MrPatrick

    Hang on a sec...

    They aren't going to brick the console, you can still play your pirated games and watch your pirated movies and frankly do what the hell you want with it.

    You just can't get online and fuck it up for the rest of us who prefer playing within the defined rules of that game.

    Someone I work with was saying how he was playing Black Ops and joined a game that had infinite ammo, rapid file grenade launchers. If that was a game I was playing and every other lobby I joined had stuff like that going on I'd be sorely disappointed. I've heard that CoD4 and MW2 are both unplayable these days. I would imagine that other new, big releases are going to go the same way.

    Hack your console, fine, I thoroughly believe in being able to do what you want to hardware that you've bought.

    PSN is a service that Sony run as an ongoing concern, its theirs and they let you use it (for free I might add). You haven't bought it, you don't own it. You have no 'right' to it. And I thoroughly believe in their right to protect that and maintain a reliable service for the legitimate users. If it gets a reputation for every new game's multiplayer being overrun with idiots cheating then no-one will want to play.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    "turn over all code and computers used to develop his hack."

    ...and the chunk of his brain where he memorized and deducted the code too? Bollocks.

    Take the bible off a priest, he will still be a priest, specially important in unholy lands where the Bible would be a book stored on the "to burn" pile.

    Perhaps he should turn the entirety of his brain in a silver platter over, that will suffice then.

    I say they create a rogue PSN designed specifically to be run on jailbroken PS3s, and block AT&T access to your hardware entirely. If you own a legal PS3, you pay a small subscription fee for the jailbroken network too, while jailbroken consoles are free subscription.

    On a side note, if it could run Linux, would it run Windows 7? That would be charming to play PC games that cost 1/4 of the same PS3 game.

    Did I say AT&T back there? Oops.

    1. Charles 9

      Windows 7? Nah...

      Windows 7 IIRC only runs on x86. The PS3 runs on a POWER-based CPU. Linux works because you can compile Linux for POWER.

    2. Ty Cobb

      You are still restrained

      You are still restrained by the 256MB of memory and limited access to the graphics, even if it were possible to recompile Win7 for the Cell processor.

  21. David Karla

    fair enough but

    I could understand them wanting to kick people playing pirate games, and I wish they'd put as much effort into stopping people who are running hacks as they have in attacking the hackers ...

    sony don't seem to have the slightest interest in stopping cheats. i'm a noob on consoles, but I've played enough on friends consoles to see that something like 1/4 or more of players on games like COD and MW are running hacks and fucking things up for regular players. a lot of these hacks are detectable, but not console mods (eg lagging or hexedits).

    grenade for spam!

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. P Zero
      Thumb Down

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      I'm sitting on 3.55 unmodified myself, I have a small collection of games (10 or so) and have purchased 4 from the online store, including 3 I had on my old PSX years back. I'm sticking on 3.55 because then I can jailbreak if I want more options with how I use my console. While I'm on 3.55 I will not be able to purchase anything and if I jailbreak, I may not be able to run anything legit released from this time onwards. Sony's losing here because they want to lock everything up and have made a good start on it on 3.56. I get banning cheaters and hackers from online gaming, but they can not stop the homebrew community who have their keys. And besides, what hurts them if someone's running some obscure emulator, or messing with XBMC or whatever alongside their legitimate purchases?

      From my point of view (and not necessarily yours, I get that), it's lose-lose. It certainly doesn't make me want to invest in Sony gear in future.

  23. GrumpyJoe

    I've already given up

    I'm slowly trading my games in for credit, the PS3 is becoming nothing more than a Blu-Ray player (a very good one, mind you).

    I've not even done the update yet - PSN be damned - if they don't want my money that's fine, I can spend it on other things. I was a lot more chilled about these measures until recently - PSN blocks for modded consoles DO make sense, but it's the slapdash way Sony is implementing it that rubs me up the wrong way.

    They make most of their money out of games - and I'm not buying any more games - sucks to be them.

    1. Rob Beard


      Only problem is when a Bluray disc comes out that requires the latest PS3 firmware...

      Saying that Bluray players are getting much cheaper now, I'm tempted to get one to just not have to put up with the noisy PS3 when I'm watching movies.

      Flames for the toasty PS3 that I have.


  24. dave 81
    Black Helicopters


    Sony are the new evil empire.

    And I am right there with the move to boycott Sony.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually I agree....

    ..why not.

    Yes I have a problem with them downgrading the kit, but at the same time it THEIR network.

    Here's away to look at it, it's your machine, you do what you want with it. It's their servers, their netowork, their infrastructure. They can do what they want with it.

    What happens if a modded machine takes out 20,000 other connected to the network? Sure you lot would have something to say>.."Ooo Sony, they should fo done something to stop this...Waaahhhh".

    No different to our work network. sure bring in you personal kit. Don't blame us when it gets encrypted, programmes removed and settings locked down.

    Let the down votes roll in, maybe I can set a record.

  26. JBH
    Thumb Up

    This is fine by me.

    I can see no benefit whatsoever to being part of PSN.

    If I want to play games online, the Xbox does it much better.

  27. Shaun 2
    Thumb Up

    About time......

    If I want to play with Linux, I'll do it on a PC - You can pick one up for a lot less than the cost of a PS3.

    If I want to play online games in a hack free environment, then the PS3 was pretty much the only option. I stopped playing CoD back in November - Not because of the press about aimbots etc, but because GT5 was released. Now I've almost got to platinum on that, I'm glad that Sony has finally had the balls to take the only sensible action.

    I can however, see this getting a lot messier before it gets finally resolved.......................

    1. Charles 9

      How about playing with Linux... perform media encoding? Or raytracing? Or some other high-performance computing application where it can spank even quad-core x86 processors?

      There's a reason the US Air Force chose a PS3 cluster for its work: cheap high-performance computing.

      And don't mention GPUs because they have their limitations (Why can't you encode high-quality H.264 yet using GPUs? Because motion estimation is space-divergent--bad for GPUs).

    2. Daniel B.

      Arch FAIL

      The PS3 has a CellBE PPC processor, the PC does not. That's the reason anyone computer literate enough wants to use the PS3, especially now that IBM has wound down the CellBE servers. It would probably be a moot point if we actually had the chance to buy CellBE-powered PCs, but sadly the x86 crapware is still king in the PC market.

  28. Confuciousmobil

    Light it up

    Geohot's rap video on YouTube sums up what he thinks of Sony.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    banning modded consoles isn't new

    Xbox 360 have been doing it for years, infact, if my memory serve me correctly, the XBL update would brick your console if it was found to be modded, PSN doesn't seem to be going that far.

    any way, as I wrote before, if homebrew is really that important to you, you should buy a 2nd console. One for homebrew and experimenting, the other for PSN.

    P.S. no one told you that you can't do what you want with your hardware, just don't use PSN or use official updates after you jailbreak the hardware.

  30. XMAN

    Multiple personality disorders

    It's funny how there's a flood of new posters (no history on el Reg) suddenly joining el Reg to bad mouth Sony. Funny how they sound the same too ;)

    1. Daniel B.

      Same for Sony defenders

      These Sony PS3-related articles seem to have attracted a good bunch of "defenders" ever since Sony decided to kill OtherOS. Any self-respecting CompSci professional would never be caught saying such bullshit as "buy a PC you retard!" or equating Linux with Piracy, especially given how the OtherOS hypervisor worked.

      1. Highlander

        Sorry, Danny B, you fail.

        20+ years as a professional in IT, graduated with honours in Computer Science given by a very well respected Computer Science department, and a gamer since before most commenters here were born. And I'll just point out that the only feature removed from the firmware was the OtherOS ability. PS2 compatibility was a hardware feature and when it was removed, it was removed as part of a price reduction in the hardware. So people had a choice with regard to the only significant feature removal from the hardware. With regard to the removal of OtherOS, people had/have a choice as well, the continued existence and function of various PS3 super computing clusters proves that. No one (except you) is equating Linus with piracy. All I see is a lot of people very reasonably pointing out that the vast majority of people who hack their games console to play 'backups' obtain those backups either via torrent, or by copying a friends disk and then starting the game using a donor disk of their choosing.

        All the moral outrage on behalf of the Linux community is somewhat forced since Linux isn't an issue with game piracy. Hacking a console to do more than enable a boot loader for Linux *is* an issue for piracy. Any reasonable Homebrew enthusiast acknowledges that the hacks that enable them to produce custom applications are primarily used to play unpurchased (aka stolen) copies of games.

        As for the part about buying a PC to run Linux, I agree whole heartedly with that sentiment, the PS3 is a fairly poor Linux platform thanks to the comparatively tiny system memory and inability to access the hardware directly. I get that some people (a relatively *tiny* number are interested in PowerPC anf Linux, but there are better platforms from that point of view as well. OK, if you're desperate to program the CellBE, it's the only realistic choice, but the number of people wanting Linux on a PS3 so that they can code specifically for the CellBE is almost as small as the collected staff of the computer departments running PS3 super computing clusters.

        Most of the faux outrage being developed here is coming from pirates who are not happy, slightly anarchistic hackers who seem to believe that once a piece of software leaves a developers finger tips it's their toy to screw with and people who still believe that Sony invented DRM, or that Sony invented and developed the DRM that BMG used on their CDs.

        First of all, The majority of people that are affected by this are game pirates and people who want to cheat online, so who honestly gives a crap about thieves and cheaters? Secondly, commercial software can only exist as a viable product because of licensing agreements, and that includes the license agreements governing console firmware and games. It may offend the libertarian souls of the more anarchistic minds out there, but without license agreements and all the other elements of software licensing, no one would get paid for their software, and no one would write anything new. Finally, the usual bogey-man that people raise against Sony, the infamous DRM rootkit affair. In fact, the DRM software wasn't developed by Sony at all. In fact, it was a 3rd party solution, already developed. That was offered to and selected by BMG, but let's not let the truth get in the way of anything shall we?

        I'm not sure it's defending Sony to point out that if you broke your user agreement with PSN, you have your service terminated. It's all laid out in the Terms of service you agree to every time you go online. It's not defending Sony to point out that game (and movie/music) 'piracy' is in fact theft. It's not defending Sony to point out that cheaters are scum and disrupt games and service for everyone. It's not defending Sony to point out that this is no more than Microsoft has already done, and was completely inevitable ever since the first major hack of the PS3 was published. How is it defending Sony to point out that in fact the removal of OtherOS was preceded by GeoHot cracking the Hypervisor on the PS3? How is it defending Sony to point out the simple fact that hacking of the PS3 did not (I repeat NOT) only start after the removal of OtherOS. In fact hacking began almost immediately it was launched. The biggest 'break' for the hackers was the PS3 Jailbreak, and *that* was accomplished with a stolen USM service key that was cloned and disassembled. That led to the fail0verflow guys breaking the chain of trust and reversing the old private signing key. The methods and techniques used by Fail0verflow were then co-opted by ego-manchild GeoHot to deduce the metldr key. There are probably a few additonal highlights I've missed, but the point is that OtherOS was removed after a significant hacking achievement on the PS3, as a response to that. The hacking of the PS3 was ongoing already, and the PS3Jailbreak was not done by a high minded 'security researcher' it was a money grubbing individual who wanted to make a quick buck selling the USB keys.

        You know, having principles and paying attention to fact doesn't make you a Sony defender, that is a label applied by people who find the truth inconvenient.

  31. Gary Holcombe

    Good, hurry up Sony!

    Good! Ive not turned on my PS3 for a month now given the inability to play on-line games such as MW2 without cheaters and hackers affecting gameplay. Sony should adopt the same line as Microsoft and disconnect any hacked consoles immediately.

    As for people saying go to hell Sony, and how much they disagree with Sony, the only reason you would disagree with what they are doing has got nothing to do with wanting to install Linux on the thing, its because you want to play pirated games on the console.

    I see nothing wrong with Sony protecting not only its product but also the customers who bought the product, and rightly so, who want to have a honest online gaming experience.

  32. squilookle

    Fair enough

    I don't agree with the way Sony have dealt with the whole episode, far too heavy handed, but this is fair enough.

    As others have said, they are not bricking the consoles, PSN is a service whoch you don't own, and there is nothing worse (as far as online gaming goes) than running into cheaters who proceed to ruin the game.

    Sony: Drop the legal action, consult with the hackers on how to improve security, restore OtherOS (and promise not to remove other advertised features again) work with the homebrew community allow them to do what they want (while removing the pirate's excuses for hacking the consoles in the first place), and otherwise carry on.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Well I for one.. all for this. Online play on the Wii because a joke after that was successfully hacked.

  34. Pahhh

    @Agreed - Ban them from the PSN #


    Not only am I not upset that Sony are going to block users that have hacked their PS3 going on PSN, I'm overjoyed.

    A big amount of the nay-sayers dont even have a PS3 , they just enjoy a bit of Sony bashing. They can shut the heck up, "this isnt the console you are looking for".

    For those of you that have a PS3 and really think the Other OS thing has affected your life, I think you telling lies. Without access to the graphic system, the Other OS option was lame. If you want to run linux, install it on something else where you can have more control and have a sensible amount of memory.

    1. Daniel B.

      I have been hit by this

      I'm stuck at 3.15, and I haven't been able to play Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare because it requires the 3.21 FW. I didn't give a flying fudge about RSX, the grunt power of the PS3 is the CellBE processor. Even with the low amount of memory, I could do interesting stuff with the CellBE ... and still can, but at the price of being locked out of PSN and being unable to play any game released after May 1, 2010.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      " Without access to the graphic system, the Other OS option was lame. If you want to run linux, install it on something else where you can have more control and have a sensible amount of memory."


      Bingo- Precisely why I didn't buy the PS3 for that feature, that and my general loathing of Sony. My loathing goes way back to memory sticks, something no other manufacturer wanted to support. After that, you can tack on all the other Sony related complaints.

      BTW - we can bash anybody for anything, preferably with actual comlaints.

  35. codemonkey


    "More recently, Sony has expanded its legal offensive to other PS3 hackers by requesting subpoenas that, among other things, would force Google to identify people who viewed videos posted to GeoHot's private YouTube channel."

    Really? So "knowing stuff" now is a crime. Well, we saw that with that dude that downloaded that terrorist training manual...I wonder what would have happened to all those readers of the (g)olly R0dgers C00k book back in the day? Rip your brains out now in case you have ever seen or learned anything that you've never put into practice which may or may not be deemed or not deemed "illegal" and against the profits of company x,y,z or the!


  36. Chika

    Protectionism... alive and well.

  37. ShaggyDoggy

    Am I alone

    in that I am totally fucked off with items I HAVE BOUGHT being still under the control of the manufacturer. No I did not enter into a EULA* it is MY PROPERTY you are messing with.

    I'll reeat for you Sony, you have had the money, now let me use what I paid for. k thx

    * clicking 'yes' or 'I agree' does not constitute a legal arrangement, look it up

    1. CD001


      You've bought the PS3, you CAN do whatever you like with it - unless you're in a country with a law akin to the DMCA of course. Sony aren't going to stop you painting it orange, smashing it with a sledgehammer or turning it into a novelty toilet roll holder (with the paper being dispensed through the disk slot) - they might try to prosecute you if you break some bizarre draconian copyright law though and mod the machine to _enable_ it to circumvent anti-piracy measures.

      However, Sony own the PSN and by your own argument, they can do whatever they hell they like with that surely? Including banning people who're using modified PS3s?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I alone

      did you pay for PSN?

      Sony is only saying that they will block your access to PSN should they discover that you have modded your console. You are still free to use your console as you wish. Just don't download future update and don't use the _free_of_charge_ PSN.

      Note: Sony did give a warning before releasing their 3.31 update that they _WILL_ remove the Other OS option. Infact, while applying the update it tells you that this will happen and ask you if you want to continue. Only those who agreed that they will lose this functionality continued with the installation.

      1. Red Bren

        RE: Note

        Sony didn't give a warning, they issued an ultimatum - upgrade and lose the OtherOS option or don't upgrade and lose PSN. I am not free to use my console as I wish which is to do both. I bought the PS3 so I could play solo and online games, play blu-ray movies and run linux from time to time. Sony are forcing me to stop doing something I already paid for. What is to stop Sony from doing this again, maybe issuing an update that forces customers to choose between gaming and watching movies?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And this gets screwed over too...

    "That indeed was Sony's contention during hearings. But it is not the case, as a lawyer for the defendant (Hotz) observed; there were many other ways to get firmware updates, including by direct download from a Sony website, without logging in to PSN."

    And you know why? Because if you're in the process of replacing your HD (which can be done without even losing warranty to the device; unbelievable from such an evil company huh?) and forgot to prepare a USB stick to boot the device with you don't want to have to bother with "what was my password again?" you want to start with the re-install NOW. I don't like it one bit that such services are suddenly also getting tested in court; in the end it might limit my options as a regular PS3 owner horribly. And why? Because some minority wants to run Linux on their PS3s. I don't mind that, but I do get annoyed when I see how their efforts start to affect my experiences in a negative way.

    But to get back a little to the topic: sure he could have downloaded the firmware from the website. But he also had to sign / agree to a user license. So "I could download it from the website for free" defense doesn't fully apply here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And this gets screwed over too...

      as someone who _ONLY_ update his console from the website (my home internet connection is slow), I'll say that you are given the EULA agreement at the installation time, and you also given a short bulletin style list of all the changes in the update.

    2. King Jack


      Firmwares are available to download from non official sites, every heard of torrents?

      1. Highlander

        Sony isn't responsible for torrents...

        Sony does not publish those, and any distribution via Torrent violates their license and copyrights.

  39. Lars Silver badge


    I think it was such a clever idea to allow Linux on the hardware. Double value for the hardware for no additional cost.

    Such a pity.

  40. jezza 1

    wow at the comments

    I'm amazed, seems their are more screaming idiots here than on sony's own forums.

    you do understand that you can still use your CFW console to play with linux or watch pirated movies or play 15 year old pirated roms or whatever you want to do with it right? (apart from the 3 people that actually have an interest in linux on a ps3 the rest of you are still breaking the law)

    all sony are saying is they dont want you on their network shitting up online gaming for everyone legit

    sick to death of the pathetic entitlement ranting that everyone is doing. grow the fuck up please. if you were stupid enough to mod your console and think you should still be able to get on PSN then i'd advise extreme care when crossing the road, or tying your shoelaces

  41. This post has been deleted by its author

  42. Grubby


    People who play coppied or downloaded games are usually scum bag thieves who spend all day (except signing on day) sitting in their shitty house playing their stolen games while their 12 bastard kids scream all day because mum's not back from robbing at iceland yet with their dinner.

  43. Keith Doyle

    Consoles have been using anti-user business models for decades...

    I don't know why anyone would want to play "over the network" anyhow-- it was just an excuse for game programmers to get lazy, and rather than implement a challenging AI, resort to faceless dweebs over the net instead. I have no interest in playing ANY console games that have to be connected to the network, period. Consequently, I haven't bought a console in years. I do buy PC games, to play in a non-networked box, and that suits me fine...

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Aand this week's challenge is:-

    Write a virus that reflashes the PS3 to custom firmware then locks the flash chip permanently so that Sony can't reverse the mod.

    Oh, and include code that spreads the "Re-enable OtherOS permanently" onto every other PS3 in wifi range :-)

    AC, because this IS very very illegal, in the UK at least!

  45. Tron Silver badge

    This is a mess.

    Sony could and should have developed a working authentication system to block cheats from the PSN a long time ago. That is do-able.

    Once the cheats and hacks started appearing, they could have set up a second alt-PSN, with no checks, that allowed those running cheats to play against each other. Happy Sony, happy users.

    Killing the Other OS option was taking something away from people that they had paid for and invested time in, and was out of order.

    The masterkey hack only took place in response to Sony pulling the Other OS option.

    Their legal response smacks of extreme control-freakery and bullying. It won't work and it stinks that they use the legal system in that way. The genie is out of the bottle. Ruining lives because you're rich and pissed off is not an acceptable response. It just makes people hate you, and in business, that is really dumb, however rich you are.

    Sony should have the balls to offer a partition hack, allowing users to flip between an up-to-date, clean PS3 and whatever modding they've done. Again, the clean boot will allow access to the PSN, the modded one can only be used on the alt-PSN.

    In many markets, selling below cost is illegal. This should be enforced in the printer and console markets. It is a bad business plan and encourages dirty little fixes and shameful lock-ins.

    Sony, your users are not your enemies, they aren't simply an unthinking revenue stream and they matter. They pay your wages. Start behaving like intelligent people who want to make money in a tech-savvy environment, not like politicians.

    1. Highlander

      Whast incentive would they have...

      Why would Sony spend additional time and resources building an alternate PSN for cheaters? What is in it for them? Not a lot really,

      Sorry, I have no sympathy at all for cheaters or thieves or morons like GeoHots.

  46. Levente Szileszky

    Is everybody high @Sony? Since when watching a video warrants breaching my privacy?


    "More recently, Sony has expanded its legal offensive to other PS3 hackers by requesting subpoenas that, among other things, would force Google to identify people who viewed videos posted to GeoHot's private YouTube channel."

    IS EVERYBODY HIGH @Sony from the mountains of leftover dope Kutaragi used to headbang into every time before he stepped into the lights to say something exorbitantly stupid and hilarious about the upcoming PS3?

    Newsflash for Sony: ain't your effin' business what, when people watch - I thought Japan protects privacy even stronger than the US...?

    WTF because it's really WTF?

  47. Davin S. George

    So Long Sony

    Ah so Sony goes after its customers because they have the right to purchase the system but not to use it for what they purchased it for. I guess thats why I'm glad I sold my Sony PS3 and will never buy a Sony Device again. The television we're buying later this year will be an LG or a Philips, Sony won't even be considered!

    So long and no thanks Sony!

  48. David Hicks

    Why so many rabid folks?

    It's Sony's right to ban whoever they want from their servers. Absolutely true.

    Doesn't mean they aren't arseholes for doing it.

    Remember kids, just because something is within the law doesn't make it good, nice or proper. A lot of people feel that they own the ps3, that linux and the network were advertised features, and that, hell, if they want to run non-approved software on it then whose business is that. Same as with the iPhone, same as anything else.

    As for the cheating - PC game services somehow survive and prosper with in an open system, why not the PS3?

    1. Highlander

      um...just a small point that utterly demolishes your rant...

      ...but, Sony doesn't brick the console, they are simply refusing compromised consoles the ability to access PSN. The Terms of service for PSN are completely clear, and have been since it's inception. If you break those terms you and your console can be banned from PSN. None of that prevents you from playing your games off-line. none of it prevents you from running whatever unapproved software you decide to attempt to brick your console with. The point here is that if you have a console that does not conform to the network minimum requirements you will not get on PSN and may in act be banned from PSN - as per the terms of service for PSN that you have agreed to, multiple times.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Thank you Sony

    Thank you for reminding me what a scumbag company you really are.

    I don't make threats, but I will make a promise to never purchase another Sony product again.

    Sony A200 DSLR for sale cheap, barely used. My very last item made by Sony.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like