Ubisoft: Sony will not be able to stop PS3 pirates

By on January 13, 2011, 1:15 PM
Ubisoft believes that Sony will not be able to combat piracy on the PlayStation 3, which was recently hacked. Martin Walfisz, former CEO of Ubisoft subsidiary Ubisoft Massive, was a key player in developing Ubisoft's new DRM technologies. Since playing pirated games doesn't require a modchip, his argument is that Sony won't be able to easily detect hacked consoles.

"If that hack works as reported, I don't believe that Sony can regain any control," Walfisz told GamesIndustry. "And given that it seems that users won't even need a hardware mod-chip to play pirated games, I don't believe that Sony can even detect which users to lock out from PSN. They could try to employ a similar system to Xbox Live, so that people running hacked systems won't have access to PSN. But Sony won't be able to stop people from running pirated game copies as long as the machines are not hooked up online. I would assume that pirated copies can be stored on the HDD as well, making it so easy to use that PS3 piracy, given time, might even surpass the handhelds."

Sony's only possible solution is to revise the PS3 hardware itself, which would be a very costly process. Changing the hardware could possibly work for new console sales, though there would be the problem of backwards compatibility with the already-released games. Furthermore, current users would still be able to run pirated copies on current hardware.

Last week, hackers publicly posted the PlayStation 3 root key, which is used for code signing games. The root key lets the PS3 know that a piece of software is legitimate, meaning other hackers can use it to make custom software or use pirated games. So far, Sony's only response has been to file a legal complaint against the hackers.


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