The ethics of game console hacking

The ethics of game console hacking.

[newsimage][/newsimage]It was recently announced that it is now possible to <a href="" target="_self">hack the PS3 via a USB exploit</a> that will allow you to play "homebrew" games and backup your existing games to the hard drive so that they can be played without using the physical game disc.  With this being a bit of a hot topic, I thought now would be a good time to discuss the ethics around console hacking.

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I don’t believe any game console maker would be stupid enough to bring a court case against anyone who owns a game and backs it up for his own use. This is in my opinion fair use, no matter how the copy is made.

XBOX does not require breaking encryption to hack/mod it. All it requires is exploiting a buffer overflow vulnerability in one of several games or hotswapping the hard drive. Nice thing about the XBOX is it’s pretty much a PC (to the extent that Windows 98 can run on it as well as Linux). Too bad it’s not powerful enough for high def. They’re going for about $30 locally. Swap in a bigger HDD and you’ve got a cheap media center device.

I hadn’t heard that you could hack the original Xbox without a hardware mod. I was looking at one as a frontend for MythTV for awhile, but decided it wasn’t worth the trouble because the device couldn’t handle live tv streams or HD output.