Have you hacked a console?

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LifeHacker asks the question, Have You Ever Hacked a Game Console?

There are all kinds of good reasons to hack a game console that don’t involve cheating at games, such as adding functionality, creating a media center, or just breathing new life into a beloved old gadget.

For me yes, I certainly have.

  • Playstation 1 (I still have that console under my TV)
  • Xbox 1 (hacked this multiple times and I think its still in my wardrobe, and the reason I found Xbox Media Player (XBMC as came to be known)
  • Nintendo Wii (added the homebrew channel but no longer owned)

The Playstation was a nightmare to hack and in the end I made a few mistakes and had to pay someone to do a proper job. The Xbox was done all by myself once I ordered the Modchip, xecuter v3. Bunny’s book I own and enjoy. I didn’t know that it was made freely available in ebook form after the death of Aaron Schwartz.

No Starch Press and I have decided to release this free ebook version of Hacking the Xbox in honor of Aaron Swartz. As you read this book, I hope that you’ll be reminded of how important freedom is to the hacking community and that you’ll be inclined to support the causes that Aaron believed in.

I agreed to release this book for free in part because Aaron’s treatment by MIT is not unfamiliar to me. In this book, you will find the story of when I was an MIT graduate student, extracting security keys from the original Microsoft Xbox. You’ll also read about the crushing disappointment of receiving a letter from MIT legal repudiating any association with my work, effectively leaving me on my own to face Microsoft.

The difference was that the faculty of my lab, the AI laboratory, were outraged by this treatment. They openly defied MIT legal and vowed to publish my work as an official “AI Lab Memo,” thereby granting me greater negotiating leverage with Microsoft. Microsoft, mindful of the potential backlash from the court of public opinion over suing a legitimate academic researcher, came to a civil understanding with me over the issue.

If you haven’t hacked or modified a games console, you owe it to yourself and others to give it a try.

Surround Video on the next Xbox?

Lots of rumours about the next Xbox currently… but the most interesting thing I’ve heard is… around the more powerful Kinect and multidisplay output.

I instantly started wondering if finally BBC R&D Surround video could work in real time on consoles? Something I was wondering if the Playstation3 could do a while ago.

I know they maybe thinking about multiscreen type applications but actually surround video is a perfect fit… imho

The Playstation 3 finally and completely hacked

Playstation 3 in dark city

Geohot has outdone himself again, not only the first person who unlocked the iPhone, but now also the Playstation3. In his own words…

I have read/write access to the entire system memory, and HV level access to the processor. In other words, I have hacked the PS3. The rest is just software. And reversing. I have a lot of reversing ahead of me, as I now have dumps of LV0 and LV1. I’ve also dumped the NAND without removing it or a modchip.

3 years, 2 months, 11 days…thats a pretty secure system

Took 5 weeks, 3 in Boston, 2 here, very simple hardware cleverly applied, and some not so simple software.

Now we really get to see how powerful the playstation 3 really is when its not being crippled in a virtual machine. I’m much more likely to buy one if I can see a whole homebrew community of stuff on it in the near future. The source code for the hack isn’t available quite yet but its just a matter of time. I wonder how long the Xbox 360 can stay closed?

Vib Ribbon, one of the weirdest games you’ve never played

Vib Ribbon case cover

Trust me this game is nuts. On Monday I went to the games you should have played event at zero one in soho. I filmed most of it and it came up with very interesting games including Vib Ribbon which I've never ever heard of till that day. Remind me to look for a decent PSX emulator for my PC or Xbox one day soon. I'm glad these emulators exist and there mature enough to run these games. Otherwise such games would sink into the sands of time forever. What I find amazing about Vib Ribbon is the load into ram feature, hence the cut back on graphics I guess

Vib-Ribbon is a rhythm video game in the style of PaRappa the Rapper and Amplitude. The game was unique in that the software loaded into RAM, letting the player use any music CD to play against — the game could generate a unique level from any track. The graphics for Vib-Ribbon are simple, consisting of straight, white vector lines forming crude, angular drawings of the level and the character, a female rabbit named Vibri

Other games worth mentioning include my favorate IQ or as I prefer Kuruchi. Then Rez for having one of the best levels in gaming history. Oh and this moroccas game which needs no real introduction.

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