PS3 piracy - it begins. First hacked game shown running on unmodded PS3

After last week's cracking of the PS3's master key, it was only a matter of time before the first full pirated game booted up on PS3. And... it has. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow has been shown running off a hard drive, with the PS3 convinced it's a PSN game. GeoHot, the hacker responsible for publishing the key online, may well be 'totally against piracy', but the pirates in question are gleefully touting 'GeoHot's custom firmware' as their springboard. D'oh.

Fortunately for Sony, at this stage it's still a complex thing to do to get it running, which is well beyond the capabilities of 'normal' gamers. But now the dam has been breached, it's unlikely anyone's going to stick their finger in the hole because they're having second thoughts.

Above: There it is - Castlevania installed to a retail PS3 hard drive like a PSN download game

Now. There is a very strong argument for us not posting stories about pirated games, as it can only exacerbate the problem, so I won't link to the site that reported this. But the comments field there is an amazingly interesting read, if only as a study into human behaviour.


There are also pages and pages of people failing to get it to work, like this...

...which has reached such a high level of assumed knowledge, I can't do anything but imagine it literally.

Above: My elf was so small the ink acted like a tattoo and now he refuses to load any PS3 games whatsoever

I know, the situation's not funny. Be sure to read our previous article on why this is all a Very Bad Thing right here.

10 Jan, 2010


  • princefarr - January 13, 2011 6:50 a.m.

    It would be pretty stupid of me to discuss or mention what the game is to exploit or security issue ... what happed to go to the PSP, a lot of people buy certain items because they were recoverable ... Im sure Sony is ultimately all about what he intends to do about it ... To give just hope they make sense to avoid any software that has a problem to get the PS3 or PSN ... and I hope that people can take the software back to the place of purchase for a full refund ... social network development
  • g4m3rk1dd - January 12, 2011 2:52 p.m.

    @talus who plays the wii :|
  • rabidpotatochip - January 11, 2011 5:44 p.m.

    @FoxdenRacing - Aw, shucks... I'm going to print your comment and frame it. =)
  • FoxdenRacing - January 11, 2011 3:36 p.m.

    @Rabidpotatochip: Bravo, sir. If I could clap online, I would. An understanding of the underlying issues, a solution that harms nobody, no name-calling or insults...posts like this give me hope for the denizens of the 'net.
  • rabidpotatochip - January 11, 2011 2:47 p.m.

    @chrisbarker1980 A few days ago, I made a comment about purchasing a lot of my games from the "secondhand games market" (not sure why you used the scare quotes, but I'll roll with it) and that I'm willing to agree it damages sales, but I can't fathom how it can be _more_ of a problem than piracy; at least when someone buys a used copy someone else had to buy it new. That little detail makes a great segue into a discussion I had with the staff at the local game shop: some people only buy certain games because they know they can get a chunk of their money back when they lose interest or when they're done with them. Two new sales would certainly be better than one new and one used but one new sale still beats no new sales. Maybe somebody will jump on this and say "Chip, you're full of crap and have no understanding of basic economics" but reality is that the used market can't exist without _someone_ buying their games new. Piracy, on the other hand, absolutely guarantees that the developer isn't going to see money from that burnt copy of their disc. I know this is where someone's going to call me on that comment with the "some pirates buy games they like" argument but reality is that most don't. I'm sorry to say this, but the entire gaming industry is caveat emptor (buyer beware). It doesn't matter if you're a happy customer, just that you're a customer. Joe thinks a game looks good, he reads some reviews and it even sounds good so he buys it; the game actually sucks but the developer got paid, right? A good analogy would be seeing a movie; the trailers make it look good enough to get people into the theater but you could end up watching the worst movie known to man. Either way, they still have your money and still add it to their figures, whether you liked the product or not. Beyond the people who were never going to buy the game in the first place, the "try the whole game before you buy it" pirates also cut into the developer's profits because "I wanted to buy this game but it sucked so I didn't" really is a lost sale. And developers, if you're reading this I want to offer the following suggestion: go back to putting out worthwhile demos. Give people enough of the game that they can try before they buy and cut off that "try before you buy" piracy argument once and for all. If you want to make money off the used market, like I said a few days ago, offer DLC that's worth playing.
  • chrisbarker1980 - January 11, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    @ Herbalfuzz I imagine you will get some guy down your local market selling them from a suit case. Another point I would like to draw peoples attention to regarding this subject is the "secondhand games market" which is just as big of a problem, if not more so, than piracy. The end result of both is effectively the same, the developer see no money from either.
  • Herbalfuzz - January 11, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    Apart from being illegal the biggest other problem with pirating games for the PS3 is the sheer size of them. We are all told of the amazing capacity of Blueray and that the discs can hold 50GB of data. Now my broadband usage limit 20GB's a month doesn't get me anywhere near that and with the cost of adding additional GB's of data I might as well have just bought the game. Also the time it would take to download on our broadband speeds in the UK would be far too long. When you add up extra usage costs, the cost in time to download, also you will need big external drives to transfer the game image across to the PS3 (we haven't all got Blueray writer yet), you may just as well buy it, or wait for a pre-owned copy. You probably actually end up paying less to buy it legitimately than by getting if "free" (if that makes sense)
  • mi6bomb - January 11, 2011 4:21 a.m.

    Author needs to do some fact checking, making me think he's not that knowledgeable on the subject. The ps3 has been able to play pirated games for months now, ever since the ps3 jailbreak came out. This is simply the first game to be pirated using this new method.
  • Snowyjoe - January 11, 2011 4:15 a.m.

    @Talus Because alot of the Wii users don't know anything about computer programming let alone how to hack a Wii! My question is, is Sony able to detect these jail broken PS3s if they connect to the internet???? It would destroy Sony if people can play Online games with pirated software.
  • gopikmin - January 11, 2011 4:15 a.m.

    @talus have you seen the size of the wii's memory. only some wiiware games could be pirated on to an unmodded wii hard drive. I am assuming the SD slot is taken up by the hacking device
  • Onepersonwithnoopinion - January 11, 2011 2:20 a.m.

    What did I say? Now I have more of a reason to buy a PS3 than ever.
  • FanofSaiyan - January 10, 2011 11:15 p.m.

    You'd expect the first pirated game to be Black Ops or Resistance or something... If there really is no (logical) way of fixing this error, since as Justin stated before that this is a hardware issue, this could have drastic effects on the PS3's sales numbers... then again only a relatively small percentage of all gamers hack or pirate games. Seriously though, who's to say this problem won't extend to Nintendo and Microsoft!? The future of gaming looks bleak...
  • Orbilator - January 10, 2011 10:56 p.m.

    jesus, a game about pirates ? hmm let me see if you can come up with something intersting from this snippet of a hackers day. The game would start with you get up at 2 or 3 pm You the have to navigate from the kleenex covered bed to your keyboard and mouse and wake your pc from sleep , it will probably say "Hello Dave" in a voice from a really old movie. Next drink the cup of tea and eat the toast your mom left you before she left for her job in the diner. then you would need to navigate to the bathroom and burst some zits caused from lack of sun and a poor diet, in the mirror, the juicier the better the more mess you make of the mirror the better. Next its have a shower and spank the first monkey of the day. Back to your room, peek outside the curtains just to make sure the sun has come up again. Back to pc and spend the next 12 hours trying to hack or pirate something, whilst spanking the monkey a further 7 or 8 times. go to bad, crack one off just to make sure its still working. your mom told you you'd go blind, but your 16 and you ain't blind yet. repeat above process for 10 - 12 years then manage to crack something first and become 3Li73. Get through your unusually long Puberty Get a job for a large company writing security algorythms for video games hardware and software and complain about hackers circumventing your security measures and having the cheek to ask you for a job. The above is just what I have noticed or maybe its just a new hacker called GeoSpots life :)
  • KaiokenKid - January 10, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    I can only assume that SONY will start making PS3s with a different kind of key coder so Hackers cant do it anymore, but that wont help the 40+million sold already.
  • BlackElement17 - January 10, 2011 10:23 p.m.

    Well there goes the neighborhood.
  • freakyfro99 - January 10, 2011 9:17 p.m.

    Someone else's comment made me realise something. The PS3 has been hacked for a few months at this point. People came out with USBs that let you play hacked PS3 games. This newest hack just makes it a little easier to play hacked games. Why is it that people are only acting like it's the end of the world now?
  • chrisbarker1980 - January 10, 2011 9:12 p.m.

    @krejsy - Firmware updates will not solve anything. The security key that was hacked is built into the PS3's hardware. To fix they would have to recall and reissue all software since the PS3 went on sale. @Rhybo - Hey man I agree you. But most of what you say is already happening anyway regardless of piracy, more dlc, subscriptions, cloud based gaming. And creativity is at all time low with the major publishers at the moment, yet they are selling more game then ever. Dont get me wrong I am not pro piracy. It is just every few years this whole piracy thing blows up and you hear cry's of the industry collapsing due to pirated software. My point is, the argument that x amount of pirated copies means x amount of lost revenue is not altogether true. Because someone who pirates a game is not necessarily going to go out and buy it, if they cannot pirate it. And also just because you can pirate game's does not mean that every one is suddenly going to start.
  • BobsYurUncle - January 10, 2011 9:09 p.m.

    This is a very good thing. Finally I can back up all my discs so I don't have to swap them out. It's only a matter of time before we get ps2 games running on PS3's so I don't have to buy this HD pack rehash bullsh!t. For honest folks like me, this is great. Now I'm off to go buy a ps3 with a bigger HDD.
  • mx2000 - January 10, 2011 8:48 p.m.

    "But the comments field there is an amazingly interesting read, if only as a study into human behaviour." = "A random dude on the internet acts like a jerk! That proves I'm right, see?" Seriously, using random comments from the internet to prove your point is the worst form of anecdotal evidence. Here's a choice piece of writing from the comment section of your last article: >Keefster10 - 2 days 16 hours ago >Geohot can gurgle my boiling piss while scrunching down my delicious, bloody excrement. Nice! Its still up, so I guess thats accepted behavior on GamesRadar...
  • Odpaterson - January 10, 2011 8:34 p.m.

    This sucks so much. Games aren't that expensive anyway in the grand scheme of things: for the price of a new game you can get 2 large domino's pizzas, which is more worth it? Hope this doesn't become an additional entry to the "Worst dick moves ever pulled by gamers" feature. Maybe it already has :/

Showing 1-20 of 48 comments

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