Since the topic of "Any new PS3 Developments?" is brought up countless times a day in iRC EFNet #PS3News, today we opted to post a quick progress report of what is currently being examined/worked on by the resident PS3Dev'ers along with some related PS3 news.
For those wondering, the 'Network Hole' method in general can be used to change any file on the PS3 HDD providing you know exactly which file name to change, and the Devs have also confirmed access to directories of other installed games beyond Warhawk which is welcomed news. In examining this area, it was also discovered sceNpDrmProcessExitSpawn() is used by the EBOOT to call another file... and should you fail in attempting to replace the EBOOT.BIN you'll receive DRM (Digital Rights Management) error 80029530.
From the recently leaked $DK, the PS3 Package Maker utility "make_package_npdrm" is currently being reversed we're told... which upon completion will provide Devs the algorithm of how packages are signed and how they are packed/encrypted (the primary difference being the key).
The BRDGen folks are currently analyzing PS3 Disc Decryption from the official $CE tool. This feature is typically used to decrypt PS3 Debug encrypted EBOOT.BIN files to EBOOT.SELF files... perhaps an upcoming BRDGen feature? For those curious, the official tool also allows you to encrypt files... again, typically EBOOT.BINs, but in some PS3 titles examined (hint: SEGA games) nearly every file is encrypted this way.
In related news, a PS3 SELF Release Check Mode image was recently tested by Devs with the OtherOS Hole... unfortunately it was unsuccessful. The disc image pictured is commonly used in PS3 TEST consoles (built into the XMB) and essentially it toggles the SELF (encryption) checking on and off.
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For those who haven't seen it yet, below is a video of a retail PS3 console being downgraded successfully from v1.60 Firmware to v1.50 Firmware. We are also receiving a sample for review right here by one of the resident PS3Devs in the near future. It's important to NOTE though: each PS3 console's Firmware is unique to itself, so it's not possible to use a Firmware dump from one PS3 console to another... meaning you must back up your own prior to downgrading it- enjoy!