This weekend SKFU shared news of a research project that himself, iQD and a few others have began work on with the PS3 Blu-ray drive in order to, among other goals, run PlayStation 3 game backups from the PS3 HDD.
Getting Sony's PlayStation 3 entertainment system to function without a BDD was not a difficult challenge for them, however, many may recall previous attempts by MysticHades among others to examine PS3 hacks which allow running game backups from the hard disk drive.
Earlier this year, knightsolidus detailed the Blu-ray drive PS3 CXD4302GB Chip Test Points, and Spanish site Elotrolado reported on a PS3 exploit found to run PlayStation 3 backups along with a leaked Sony Disc Boot Game Patch Programming Guide.
Prior to that, PS3 developers examined several PS3 Blu-ray Flash Dumps and utilized http://home.comcast.net/~plavarre/plscsi/ via PS3 Linux to command the PlayStation 3 drives to return their respective Firmware revisions for comparison.
Finally, pictured below is a PS3 Test (DECH) unit with a PlayStation 3 HDD connected to USB port 4 (which actually registers as USB0) in order to utilize the PS3 Debug BD Emulator with Final Fantasy XIII on the screen. More details will be posted as they become available, and to quote from SKFU:
"The project started as one to let PS3 work without the BDD. That's easy by ripping the drive hardware but the firmware board. This was just a fun project.
While I sniffed all ports used by the BDD I started thinking about an emulation of the drive. At the moment iQD, me and a few more friends collect the correct hardware which is needed to realize a decent analyze of the Blu-Ray drive. We'll keep you updated "
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