The last few weeks have been a rocky one for Sony and their PS3 platform.
With the news of their coveted encryption key being exposed and released to the masses by hacker group fail0verflow and famed iPhone jailbreaker geohot, it appears the console is as wide open as an original XBOX with a modchip.
Even as Sony deployed updated firmware version 3.56, it was cracked merely 2 hours later according to a tweet by another PS3 hacker, Kakarotoks.
The rampant hacking that has been evident in popular multiplayer games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, has affected thousands of players online.
According to a local Saint John gamer, he noted that there was "something amiss" when before a single shot was fired during a multiplayer match the entire map was hit with multiple predator attacks. Watching the kill cam showed the offending hacker floating high above the skies with a laptop.
"It's made things so frustrating online that it makes you just want to not play online.", notes Jeff. "If this doesn't stop, I may end up selling my PS3 and getting a 360. At least they don't have this issue."
The hacker groups justify their actions citing that Sony's removal of the Other OS feature and backwards compatibility for PS2 games is the reason why they have hacked the PS3.
Whatever the reason, the actions of these hackers have negatively affected the experience of PSN games online. That alone should enrage the gaming community. Cheating and Trophy unlocking is currently possible with the exploits freely available online.
Sony's latest option to combat piracy is to institute a random serial number protection scheme which has been widely used on the PC platform for years. Combined with disc authentication, this might slow down would be pirates.
The main problem lies in the the encryption key which according to the hackers cannot be changed without making hardware modifications. If this is the case, it would seem that cheating and hacking cannot be stopped.