61w ago - Following up on the previous update, today the PS3 3K3y Team have made available a video, the official features and release date of 12-12-12 for those interested below.
To quote: PS3 3K3y Features:
Play your PS3, PS2 and PSX games from any USB media!
No custom firmware required for operation* - you can update to the latest official firmware for PSN access
Integrated game ripper
User friendly intuitive interface
No soldering required
Compatible with both Fat and Slim models
Supports most file systems, including NTFS, EXT2/3/4, and Mac OS X Extended
High speed USB2 interface
Powerful embedded Linux system running from Micro SD card (included)
Linux firmware fully updatable from USB media
FPGA fully updatable from USB media via built-in, in-system JTAG programming
Recovery mode - it is always possible to recover from a bad flash Update your PS3 as normal, no CFW or game patching required
Pass-through mode. (Use your PS3 in "normal mode")
* Currently firmware 3.55 is required for exctracting the drive key. Once the key has been extracted the PS3 can be updated to any official or custom firmware. We are working on hardware methods for extracting keys from PS3's already on 4.x firmware.
PS3 3K3y How It Works:
3k3y is an optical disk drive emulator for the PlayStation 3 video game console. It is installed between the genuine Blu-ray drive and the PS3 motherboard.
Once 3k3y is successfully installed and configured it can be used to make backups of your original PS3 game disks to USB media, and play those backups from USB media without the need of the original game disk.
Several games can be backed up to a single USB media, making it ideal as a 'jukebox' for hardcore gamers as well as for families with children too young to handle bluray discs with appropriate care.
3k3y works with most PS3 models, however there are a few exceptions, most notably the new super slim model and all PS3s which comes with firmware 4.xx (after retrieving the drive key the PS3 can be upgraded to any firmware). We are working to add support for these PS3's but you are adviced to consult with your reseller if you are in doubt whether your PS3 is compatible with 3k3y or not.
Finally, 3K3Y has detailed pricing at a costly USD $129 for those who can't wait for free PlayStation 3 scene solutions, new PS3 key leaks, CEX and DEX fixes, etc.
Shortly following, a bit more information about 3K3y and 3Dump (via consolecrunch.com/more-information-about-3k3y-3dump-coming-soon/) surfaced, to quote:
Following up on the previous update, today the 3K3y Team shows us a picture of their future release application called 3Dump that allows you to dump the key that is needed to use the 3K3y.
Stay tuned for more PS3 Hacks and PS3 CFW news, follow us on Twitter and be sure to drop by the PS3 Hacks and PS3 Custom Firmware Forums for the latest PlayStation 3 scene updates and homebrew releases!
Following up on the previous Blu-ray drive emulation rumor, today modrobert has announced that 3K3y, a PS3Key (ODD) - essentially an XKey for PS3 - is incoming shortly with some preliminary details outlined below.
Still can't get too excited at requiring additional hardware to play PS3 games with the advent of PlayStation 3 Custom Firmware a few years ago though.
To quote from EurAsia (linked above): I just got word from a well known team that will make PS3 owners happy!
Watching the video and drooling!! With those few words I hope to keep you interested...
Below is a picture (via facebook.com/x360key) as well.
More info while waiting for the video: In order to retrieve the needed BD drive key, Team 3k3y (aka xk3y) will release a PS3 software tool which requires CFW 3.55, after the key is dumped the PS3 can be upgraded to latest official system update (firmware/XMB) to get PSN etc.
The team is exploring other options to dump the required key as well, more on that later.
I'm relatively sure it does support original discs as well, but will confirm it anyway. Pretty much same functionality as xkey.
For now, any PS3 model that can be downgraded to CFW 3.55 will be supported, this is only to retrieve the Blu-ray drive key, after that you can update as you want.
The 3k3y Team is researching other options to dump the required key as well, more on that later. For now you have to downgrade to (or be on) CFW 3.55 in order to get the unique BD drive key required by 3k3y, once you have the key the PS3 can be updated anyway you want, doesn't matter for 3key.
General tech info about 3k3y which is true for xkey as well:
The 3k3y hardware device is an advanced Optical Disc Drive (ODD) emulator, it does not rely on any software based hacks to operate (once the drive key is known).
The device is connected on the SATA (PATA) bus in the PS3, like this; cable from PS3 goes into 3key, cable to BD drive goes out from 3k3y, in other words 3k3y physically sits between the drive and the PS3 mainboard and offers USB 2.0 port to connect hard drive(s). Games residing on the connected hard drive(s) can be selected using a small remote display with buttons (as seen in the photo linked a few posts up reading "PS3" in white characters on the display).
For the PS3 this device appears as a legit BD drive, and replies to any ATA protocol requests/commands the same way the original drive does. The BD drive key which is unique in each PS3 makes it possible for 3k3y to decrypt/encrypt data on the fly and redirect SATA traffic originally on disc media from the hard drive connected via USB 2.0 instead. No original Blu-ray disc needs to be inserted for operation, you can use this without any disc in the drive.
Again, this makes it possible to use any official firmware (XMB) version you want after installation (and key retrieval). No need for software hacks like CFW or DEX to make this work at all. If the original game requires firmware (XMB) 4.25, then go ahead and update, just like you would if the system was completely original (virgin).
I hope this clears up any misunderstandings what 3k3y does, or what it requires.
If the CFW you use can load games on Blu-Ray from the BD drive today, then it will be able to do that from hard drive with 3k3y installed as well.
However, to my knowledge the Blu-ray Disc (BD) drive is not used with CFW, original game disc can be mounted for compatibility, but games are actually loaded from a hard drive connected to the USB port on PS3 or from the internal hard drive.
Simply put, whatever fails with the installed CFW will fail with 3key as well. That's the reason it is kind of pointless to use 3k3y with CFW, but makes a lot of sense to use OFW.
The team for now is only releasing one picture regarding 3K3Y, but are hoping for an end of the year release.
It is full hardware interface, not a dongle, but currently you need CFW v3.55 to dump the BD drive key, after that you can update.
It will be complete ODD Blu-ray emulator, allowing even the feature to rip your original PS3 game discs to your external HDD.
Due to the nature of design, you will be required to open your PS3 to install it, but NO SOLDERING is needed.
More info will be release later, but for now any more pictures and videos are PRIVATE and been shown only to trusted long-time resellers.
In order to retrieve the needed BD drive key, Team 3k3y (aka xk3y) will release a PS3 util which requires CFW 3.55, after the key is dumped the PS3 can be upgraded to latest official system update (firmware/XMB) to get PSN etc. The team is exploring other options to dump the required key as well, more on that later.
Update: Below is a minor timeline update, as follows:
[21/10/12] 3k3y key dumper app! (pictured below)
Finally from bubba: You will need do some soldering with this ODE... If You want to get the keys from 4.31. SATA bus level For 25xx and newer models will need to be solder and to get the keys and play backups.