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Piracy on PS3: Human Traits Explain Why it Has Not Happened

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292w ago - Piracy of computer games is something we have all come to live with over the years. It has been around nearly as long as the games themselves, even being blames for the collapse of some consoles way back in the day. The Commodore Amiga was one such console.

I was amazed when reading a really good article on video game piracy on a website to see that people who steal this stuff, or infringe copyright as they prefer to put it as they get a little squeamish about the word thief, really do think they are justified.

Some of them see themselves as some sort of a modern day Robin Hood, and claim that it is victimless crime. Ask the people who lost their jobs at Commodore Amiga when that console went under if it is victimless.

Anyway big companies such as Sony and Microsoft spend a lot of money trying to beat these thieves and for a while it seems to work, then the pirates crack the formula and it all starts again. It must be said though that the PS3 seems to have been one of the most successful consoles ever at avoiding this problem.

There seems to be some common sense reasons for this, mainly related to things we already know about how people work. Let's take a look at how Sony have used human nature to thwart the pirates.

People are cheapskates: This may seem crazy but it actually makes sense if you think about it. If you attempt to mod your PS3 and it screws it up you are deeply out of pocket, therefore, many are not prepared to take the risk.

Maybe there was method in Sony's 'madness' with their pricing, many believe that the PS3 was overpriced but if this is the result I doubt very much that Sony are crying about it.

People want what they can't have: Games on PS3 are region free. This means that the situation where people can't play a game because it is only released in Japan does not occur.

People are contrary creatures and if they are told they cannot have something many of them are bound to want to desperately, enough even to risk ruining their console to get it. Once they have modified their machine the flood gate ares open.

People have no patience: the much maligned, in some circles,blue ray also has a hand in why piracy is so far giving the PS3 such a big swerve.

The huge size of the files means that it would take someone days to download potentially, well a very long time, anyway. People cannot be bothered. Time is money after all so most folk would rather just got out and buy the game.

Sony have tapped into some vital traits of human nature to keep out the pirates on their system. If you want a top PS3 game, basically, you are going to have to buy it and that is how it should be.

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Comments 29 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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#14 - GZA1984 - 292w ago
GZA1984's Avatar
I agree that the Blu-ray format isn't the barrier.
Remember those days where SEGA came up with it's GD-ROM disc? The discs that could hold up to 1.2 GB and had a different lay-out then normal cd's or dvd's? Your CD/DVD writer couldn't read those discs (or well just a part of it).

It was meant to prevent privacy. Within a month it got hacked and you were able to run games from a normal disc.

I don't think it's a hardware related thing that the PS3 isn't hacked yet. I believe it's the OS that's preventing hackers to get the system hacked. Perhaps the only way is to come up with a bootloader that boots up a custom OS without entering the PS3 OS, but replicates it's functionality?

#13 - CJPC - 292w ago
CJPC's Avatar
Reading that gave me a laugh, like others said - apparently the system has yet to be hacked due to its cost, seriously, come on.

The article semi-infers that there is already a mod for the box, I'm assuming they are referencing the Infectus, which really isn't a mod at all, just a nice USB flash reader.

But as we all know, Sony, did a great job with the security. Sure, eventually we will pop it, its only a matter of time.

#12 - hellospaceboy - 292w ago
hellospaceboy's Avatar
I think the PS3 hasn't been hacked for a multitude of reasons:

1. The security
2. The price and cost of bricking a retail
3. The consumer base isnt large enough yet for a modchip project (or not enough to make big bucks) and the scene isnt as big as others.
Some people arent willing to solder a chip to there expensive PS3, maybe when the price is reduced they will
4. The size of bluray games (most are relatively small but some arent)
5. Online play
6. OtherOS makes the homebrew scene happy and they are more interested in finding a way for 3d access instead.
7. The other points which are made by Starlight (region free etc)

And i'm sure Sony wont be making the mistake of leaving massive security flaws in updates (but one will be found eventually), Sony's own security team would be finding and addressing the flaws, like mentioned in this post, the chance of finding one gets slimmer with every update, unless a new feature implemented into a new firmware update allows a hole, and Sony simly forget to patch it, but they will slip up eventually.

#11 - tworok - 292w ago
tworok's Avatar
Shrink said it all, because homebrew is possible on the PS3 through Linux, we have less people trying to hack the ps3.

i'd like to had that this is a very bad article... many other consoles were expensive a few years ago...

bluray definitely isn't a barrier, on the early days of the ps3, the scene was already making backups of the ps3 games...

the only valuable (but still debateable) point was the region free part.

#10 - Warrorar - 292w ago
Warrorar's Avatar
why do all say that the ps3 is expensive? the ps2 was same priced at the start up and got also hacked. the reason "expensive" is stupid crap.


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