PSJailbreak blocked by PlayStation 3 firmware update, claim users

Users claim the latest PS3 firmware update disables a recent hardware-based hack designed to allow play of pirates games

The latest firmware update for the PS3 reportedly knocks the infamous PSJailbreak out of commission, or so users claim. That hack, which uses a USB dongle to "trick" the PS3, allows users to play pirated as well as homemade games on the system. Its creators had also claimed it was capable of shrugging off Sony's "mandatory" firmware updates. Though the new firmware update isn't technically mandatory--you have to manually accept and install it--ignoring it cripples your ability to access Sony's PlayStation Network.

The update, which went live yesterday, was barely mentioned on Sony's PlayStation blog.

"Hi everyone! A minor update to your PS3 system is now available via system software update v3.42 that includes additional security features," wrote Sony director of hardware marketing John Koller. And that's about it.

What's it actually for? Sony's isn't saying. Code that blocks PSJailbreak? That recognizes the device and bricks your system? That, and perhaps only that? No one's certain, but reactions in the comments section of Sony's PlayStation blog were predictably ambivalent.

"Thanks but no thanks, Sony," wrote one user, adding "I perfer [sic] Custom Firmware/Jailbreak."

"Great update...[w]e all know why people were wishing this update wouldn't happen, and homebrew isn't it," countered another. "Homebrew clearly isnt [sic] all that useful if the most wanted psp features still arent [sic] available via homebrew."

The preliminary hundred-plus comments were mixed, with several simply decrying the need for more frequent system updates.

"You're going to lose customers this way," wrote an obviously frustrated user. "This better not turn into the PSP with 5 updates only being for homebrew protection. You will never get ahead of the homebrew community. It's been proven with everything."

Another bemoaned the apparent pointlessness of the update: "Come on...useless updates are really annoying, you could at least give us people who dont [sic] mess with our consoles something good in the update."

"[T]he jailbreak is not gone, geniuses...people who don't update can still use it," wrote a third user, convinced the update missed the point. "[B]tw, that hack hasn't been used in online games so stop blaming them...blame your crappy noobish skills."

At least one person claimed the update "fixed" the PS3's internet browser, noting the "font now seems bold and easier to read while browsing."

The problem with verifying? I don't use the PS3's browser enough to say, and Sony isn't talking.

And wherever you stand on the legitimacy of something like PSJailbreak, it really ought to be.

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Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
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