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Hackers Jailbreak PlayStation 3 to Play Pirated and Homemade Games

The last game console to be hacked has finally succumbed–to a dongle.

PlayStation 3

PlayStation 3 users may like to know that a bunch of hackers have created a dongle to make their machine play pirated and homemade games. The group, called PSJailbreak, says that their USB stick, which will be available in a couple of weeks, contains software that turns any PS3 from a consumer device into a “dev unit,” or hardware used to test code for the machine.

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The video above shows a walk-through of how the dongle will work–in a nutshell, it overrides the PlayStation and allows you to play non-official games via your own HDD. Clever. However, there’s a catch. The dongle, which is being manufactured in Malaysia, costs $119. Is anyone going to shell out over a ton for something that Sony, in a month, could override with a software update?

Until now, the PS3 was the only game console that was hack-resistant. Sony, obviously proud of its record in the arena, has declined to comment on the issue, but when a hacker responsible for unlocking the iPhone, George Hotz, claimed he’d hacked the PS3, Sony released an update that disabled the function that allowed Hotz’s hack.

The dongle is already available to order in both France and Australia, but it’s unclear whether gamers will rush for it. Bedroom developers will cheer, for obvious reasons, but the piracy issues surrounding the modchip, as it is called, could drive game prices up, and affect the gaming industry as a whole.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.

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