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Walfisz: PS3 piracy could become more rampant than PSP piracy

Thursday, 13th January 2011 15:39 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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Massive Entertainment co-founder Martin Walfisz has said now that PS3 has been properly hacked, Sony will be unable combat piracy effectively on the system and it could prove to be a piracy situation worse than the one currently facing handhelds.

Speaking with GI.biz, Walfisz, who no longer works at the Ubisoft-owned studio, said now that a mod-chip is no longer needed to play illegal copies of PS3 games, it will be hard for Sony to determine which consoles are running pirated material.

“If that hack works as reported, I don’t believe that Sony can regain any control,” said Walfisz. “They could try to employ a similar system to Xbox Live, so that people running hacked systems won’t have access to PSN. But Sony won’t be able to stop people from running pirated game copies as long as the machines are not hooked up online.

“And given that it seems that users won’t even need a hardware mod-chip to play pirated games, I don’t believe that Sony can even detect which users to lock out from PSN.

“They way the PS3 seems to have been hacked, it is now completely open. The hackers can create pirated copies that completely mimic the official Sony digital signature, making it extremely easy to use pirated copies of games, without the need for any hardware chip modifications. I would assume that pirated copies can be stored on the HDD as well, making it so easy to use that PS3 piracy, given time, might even surpass the handhelds.”

Walfisz believes the only way to combat the issue is for Sony to release new hardware, but considering how much such a move would cost the company, it’s unlikely to happen.

“I don’t think that they can do much. Once a console is hacked this completely, the hardware manufacturer can’t really do anything,” he said. “They could maybe update their hardware for new console sales, which would be a long and expensive process, but that won’t stop users from running pirated copies on the current hardware. And updating the hardware needs to be done in a way that doesn’t prevent users from running already-released games. I doubt that can be done.”

A NeoGAF poster has claimed Sony can ban a hacked PS3 even without the system being logged into PSN due to the console connecting with the company’s servers when it is booted up.

Digital Foundry suggested the same thing earlier in the week.

Sony has also filed a complaint with the Northern Californian District Court against hackers George Hots (a.k.a. GeoHot), Hector Martin Cantero and Sven Peter (fail0verflow), and 100 other unnamed defendants. The firm has requested a temporary restraining order and an order of impoundment from the court.

Walfisz believes the only way to keep hackers at bay and to keep matters from escalating to this degree, is to make future consoles “always online”, like Ubisoft’s PC DRM.

“I believe that future-generation consoles will require a constant online connection,” he said. “If they have that in place, they can run a much more powerful DRM scheme, where parts of the game logic will only be executed on secure servers – in effect partially mimicking a client-server scheme such as MMO’s use.

“Then it doesn’t matter if the console is hacked, since users won’t be able to play the games without being online with a valid and unique registration key.”

To get caught up on all that has happened since the first hack was announced, you might want to read over our feature on the matter.

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7 Comments

  1. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    So it really can’t be fixed by a Sony firmware update? wow

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    @1, in theory no. Console is wide open. It is hacked at the hardware level.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. OrbitMonkey

    Somewhere the evil genius behind ubisofts drm is cackling with glee about bringing it to the ps3 D=

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Razor

    Can’t PS3 developers just bloat PS3 games to make the game size 40gb? Chuck in HD video extras to get the size up.

    Sure, hardcore pirates won’t be detered, but if every PS3 game was 40gb in size, I bet a significant number would quickly get fed up downloading, an indeed they’d probably keep running out of space.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. theevilaires

    Yup that will most likely happen Razor. People forget they have Blu-ray to add annoying non extra needed things. And lets be real only 2% of the PS3 population will attempt to be hardcore for that stuff. I’m sure mainly it will be the die hard xbots who will try the most too.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. NeoSquall

    in b4 “Ubisoft announces new DRM for PS3 games. It will require constant connection to the Internet, 30Gb mandatory installation and a new device plugged in each user’s mouth in order to play”.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    Oh, hm. An intelligent post in one of these threads.

    Well done that man. *points at Razor.*

    The number of people inclined toward piracy is low to begin with, and the number of people with the ability to download a BluRay sized rip is even less.

    So the upshot of that is that PS3 users get better cutscenes than 360 users (and possibly even us poor PC-using sods).

    A cause for celebration by PS3-owning consumers?

    #7 4 years ago

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