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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sony's Bad Month

Sony's attempts at stopping their piracy problem has hit a snag: The new firmware they released to stop piracy also stops people from upgrading their hard drives.

They're already fixing the issue, but this has just been a bad month for them. The PSP is totally compromised and the PS3 is compromised. The NGP looks cool, but, to quote Penny Arcade, if it was going to be $249 or less they would have been crowing about it already and screaming "In your FACE, Nintendo!" from the mountaintops.

The sad thing is Sony was really getting momentum gathered. Think about it: If their systems wouldn't have been compromised, they would be sitting on a solid PS3, a PSP that was going to soon be replaced by the really awesome-looking NGP, and they'd be ready to go.

Instead, they have their two flagship systems in tatters, they have to divert funds from R&D over to patching up the screwed-up systems and try and rush both the NGP and possibly the PS4 to market if they want to slow the bleeding.

However, they do have another option. They tried tons of firmware upgrades to the PSP, and it did nothing. They tried releasing PSP revisions, and it did nothing. They wasted valuable company resources on ideas that didn't work and ended up possibly kneecapping the PS3. I mean, think about it: One standard encryption key for EVERYTHING on the PS3? Doesn't that sound like a rush job to you?

I suggest that they take this approach: Put up a bit of a fight. Right now, when  everyone is talking about PS3 hacking, make it a little difficult to hack with these annoying firmware updates. Then, once the furor has died down, stop fighting it and refocus your efforts.

Also, remember that some people are just plain going to try and steal your crap. There's nothing you can do to stop all of them, so just stop the people who are using the most obvious exploits.

To give you an example, I installed the Wii Homebrew Channel a while ago just because there was an easy way to do it using the BannerBomb exploit. Then they upgraded the firmware, which nuked the exploit for the time being. I haven't tried since. It's just not worth the effort. I suppose I could do it again, but why?

At this point, that's really all Sony can do. Just scare away the people who want to steal things come hell or high water. Don't worry about everyone, since you won't stop everyone. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Then cross your fingers and pray like crazy.