Will E3 team defeat True Blue?

As I’ve described recently, the “PS3 scene” is a strange world, especially because everything revolves currently around the “True Blue” dongle, a usb key that only enables piracy and nothing more.

True Blue has the particularity of being extremely well protected against clones and reverse engineering (more details here). This is a clever way from its creators to guarantee a good revenue stream, but it also makes the dongle the “public enemy #1″ for hackers who would prefer to see a scene where people actually share their findings.

If anything, the securities on that dongle allow the True Blue team to sell it at a price that goes between insanely expensive and total rip off (let’s remember that the manufacturing cost of the device is below 2$, and they resell it at 70$).

But hey, can’t blame them for making money on stupid people, and I’m sure this came with experience. After all, the first jailbreak dongle for the PS3 was reverse engineered before it was even publicly released on the market, which prevented its creators from rightfully scamming thousands of kids, so no wonder that the True Blue creators introduced those securities.

Damn, I digress again. Back on topic: recently, the E3 Team (a hackers team behind the E3 Flasher, a hardware mod that allows you to downgrade a PS3 from any firmware to 3.55) announced that they found ways to run “backups” of recent games on a 3.55 firmware.

What this means to the end user is that the expensive True Blue dongle will become entirely unnecessary for playing backups on a hacked PS3.

The story does not stop here, however. In a weird publicity stunt that would probably get laughed at in any regular company, E3 Team proved they were not lying by releasing a few free patches. These patches allow CFW owners to run a few selected games backups. The games (such as Splinter Cell Trilogy), until now, were not playable on 3.55 using any of the existing dongles (including True Blue), which proved E3 had found “something”.

This was a clear proof that E3 had found a way to compete against True Blue. So why do I say this was a strange publicity stunt? Well E3 showed us that no dongle was necessary to run these backups (something that has been known for a while now), but explained that they were working on a “device” to enable their patches to work, and that this device would be released at a “fair price”.

In other words, they could release the patches for free, and that would work on any CFW, but instead they will add some securities on their patches, and sell you the result, in the form of a usb key. If you thought you would get rid of DRM-protected dongles to pirate games, think again. E3 is coming up with a similar solution to True Blue, and you’ll have to pay, once again, for a device which sole purpose is to… well, make you pay.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am sure E3 put lots of work into figuring out the mechanisms behind this whole thing, and they probably don’t want to give the result away for free. But I still personally think that when your goal is to bring piracy to a console, asking for money is adding insult to injury. Also, this is the problem with all these hardware teams, they can’t even start to imagine releasing stuff without making money on it, and often for them it means releasing some hardware, even if the hardware is actually useless.

Anyways, if this tool comes out, at the very least it should bring prices down for these piracy dongles. I guess anything that brings a bit of price competition is a good thing…

Note: I could have talked about this a while ago, but I tried several times to contact E3 for a clarification on their product, they never answered. I assume that when you are preparing to scam a bunch of people, the last thing you want is to be interviewed on how you are going to do it… Then again, the E3 team has a good image, and I’m sure people will be happy even if the dongle is DRMed, since it will probably be way cheaper than True Blue.

What do you guys think? Would you get E3′s solution? At what cost?

  1. SteelStrannik’s avatar

    You against piracy, are you not?

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      Sort of. As a website owner, I cannot allow illegal stuff to happen on my site. As a player, I don’t care about piracy because I buy my games. As an individual, I think it is a matter of personal responsibility: I don’t judge people who pirate. On the other hand, I hate the idea of paying thieves.

      Reply

      1. TrECeNTeRs’s avatar

        Should not matter. Don’t like to discriminate based on opinion.

        Reply

      2. Cercata’s avatar

        Yeah, it’s awfull to pay to a bunch of thieves … they should use their talents to develop some other thing.

        Reply

  2. Korben’s avatar

    The only thing wich is actually interesting is that E3 Team claims to be able to make a CFW 4.11 wich means they got the public/private keys.

    For the rest, I have never understood the craze there around the True Blue. Anyway, “PlayStation 3 scene” is about the money since “day one” with the PSJAILBREAK and I am not surprised that they continue to make money with this, when you found the goose that lays golden eggs, you don’t kill it, that’s simple.

    Anyway, you’re talking more and more about the “PlayStation 3 scene” Wololo. Are you planning to make some homebrew/application for this console ? You do now that you’ll be very welcome. :)

    Rien de mieux que de se mettre à développer avec PSL1GHT pendant les “grandes vacances” avec son laptop sur la plage. :p

    ps : Who knows ? Maybe one day we’ll see you on #psl1ght.

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      Hey Korben, not sure yet. I’ve been interested in the PS3 for a while, but never found the time to invest in developing for it. But there has been lots of status quo in the PS3 scene lately, and I am seeing a bit of movement now so it triggered my interest :)

      Reply

      1. fartalis’s avatar

        Hey wololo, try to put up a team and bring these thieves down. These f* thieves bought bad name to the developers/hackers. I think you have a lot of talent people here.

        Reply

  3. saeeid’s avatar

    at least another case for programmers to reverse engineering
    more dongles=more chance to finding secrets
    is it right?

    Reply

  4. Salah’s avatar

    I won’t buy a ps3 in a very long time.

    Reply

  5. zorrodood’s avatar

    on the oen hand i understand that people are against piracy and i would never say support it, but on the other hand i think there is no difference between pirating a game and not paying for it and not buying a game at all. in both cases noone gets money.

    Reply

  6. HIMFan’s avatar

    I have an ex GF who wants me to update her modded PS3 to the newest update. I was stressing that she didn’t wanna do that. I told her that she should just trade with someone who wants 3.55CFW on their PS3 but has too high of a firmware. SO, if you’re interested (and wanna pay international shipping costs) we could arrange hers being shipped to you. But it sounds super shady I know, but she’d do it if you were so inclined.

    Reply

  7. Foleyfactor’s avatar

    Hey wololo, if you are looking for a ps3 on cfw, I have one but it a YLOD one that I reflowed and the blu-ray laser is taken from it. Not sure how long is left in it but your welcome to it for developing purposes if you can arrange a courier or something.

    Reply

  8. tonyuk73’s avatar

    A lot of talk on the ps3 these days. stay away from it wololo I followed geohot from day one,it was great but almost went very wrong for him.don’t want to loose another great dev like yourself……homebrew forever.

    Reply

  9. willyB95’s avatar

    fuck true blue team and E3 team

    Reply

  10. Andrew Wright’s avatar

    it doesn’t really bother me. I mean when see people selling pirate DVDs you don’t walk up to them and expect it for free just cos its a pirate you just pay a lower price. I mean these guys worked on it and spent there time on it so I don’t grudge them wanting a few quid for there work. yeah its illegal but its the black market and it wouldn’t really be a market if everything pirated was free. But I’m all up for somebody reverse engineering their work and releasing it for free so they know how the company’s their doing it to feel.

    Reply

  11. James Way’s avatar

    Piracy is wrong, plain and simple. It damages the entire gamer community and could be the end of a system. What I don’t understand is why the PS3? I’m against it anyways, but I would understand it for the Vita. Small cartridge games costing $40. PS3 games are $60, vita games come no where close to them in terms of magnitude and visuals. Due to the fact that the system is new, there is almost no used games market, especially since the games can be downloaded instead of purchased. PS3 has been around for so long that if one wants to save money on a game, they don’t have to go about doing it illegally.

    Reply

    1. fate6’s avatar

      so if the same amount of work goes in to making the game but since its on the Vita it should cost less ?

      you sir have no idea how things work

      Reply

    2. Andrew Wright’s avatar

      you sat that its wrong and I suppose it is, but we’re all supporting piracy in some way. you might not have a hacked ps3 and download games or anything but I bet you’ve downloaded a song off the internet before or a movie or even a program for the PC, don’t tell me you haven’t cos everyone has been a pirate in some way in their life. video games are far to expensive especially PS Vita games. if they were a fairer price then I wouldn’t be as sympathetic to pirates but as the way it stands it doesn’t bother me, there will always be more people that pay for the game anyway so the companies still make money. arggg, all hands on deck lol

      Reply

  12. barturox3’s avatar

    I know know if this is the place to put this but i got a code voucher to get Unit 13 at a discount price of £14.99 originally from £29.99 but as you can see it’s from Europe and am from the U.S so it no use to me if any one wants it
    here it is.

    3HEH-6KNR-N59J

    Reply

  13. Leonhart’s avatar

    Piracy is good.I live in a country where the minimum wage is 200 Euros.If i will buy a game with 50 Euros…
    This situation is not only in my country.For my and other people piracy is a salvation.
    This is a simple story but not an easy one.
    Piracy Is Good. Long Live Pirates.

    Reply

    1. fate6’s avatar

      frankly if you are in that kind of situation then dont buy games =_=

      Reply

      1. Leonhart’s avatar

        Don’t get me wrong, i respect the work of the developers, i want to buy but i can’t afford.Who Really Cares, Anyway?

        Reply

        1. svenn.dhert’s avatar

          Generally this is a cross-platform issue, people wane pay for content, just not as much as company’s want. If you could buy PS3 games for 5-10 € would you even care to get a true dongle ?

          Just look at the amount of money spend in sharing services. (megaupload anyone)

          Reply

  14. Norml’s avatar

    Saddly, this is what $ony wanted, so this is what happened to the scene. They sued the good guys and now we see the bas guys racking in the profit.
    Smart $ony, really smart, like everything they do it makes no sense. $ony is clueless. thanks

    Reply

  15. HaYNigloo’s avatar

    The hack & dev communities go hand-in-hand with their respective companies. Why do you think companies leave their back door open? They like to see user-end(loosely used term) input implemented, so they can gather ideas as far as what the users would like to see in the future. It’s unfortunate that hacking produces piracy. Without any of this, there would be no way forward. If console & games were produced by companies like $ony, we’d be back-paddling as long as we bought into them. Thank goodness for hack & dev communities everywhere!

    Reply

  16. Coldbird’s avatar

    Thank you but no thank you.

    Reply

  17. Esteban’s avatar

    “But hey, can’t blame them for making money on stupid people”

    This line just reminded me about this guy that came to my house bragging about his hacked psp after he paid another guy a 100 bucks for the installation of Pro B. He was expecting us to see him with amazement, but what really happened was that we all were laughing at him, in fact another guy who was there showed him how easy it was to install Pro B on the PSP.

    That was the best laugh I ever had in my life.

    Reply

  18. garrei’s avatar

    “free” solutions usually require effort to implement. I’m not stupid on the subject but I’d pay anyone just for the ease of setup and use. as would people without a clue on how to do this stuff. Its all about convenience.

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      Definitely. I am not saying people should not be paid for their hard work. But paying for a dongle that only allows you to do illegal stuff (let’s forget the “it’s only for backup purposes” minority of users) is really crossing the line to me.
      I make a big difference between a service that can be used for legal purposes as well as illegal ones, and one that is only here for illegal purposes. In addition, the dongles here are useless, just here to guarantee a revenue stream to their creators. They could instead sell the patches, but that would be illegal. They are just “shifting” where you spend the money in order to make it look “better” legally

      Reply

  19. Xianten’s avatar

    well…. believe it or not they are probably cutting down on the amount of piracy by selling the dongle. I have a psp and a DS. both can be hacked to play “backups” but im WAY to lazy to go online and research flash carts and crap for a DS when i can just put a few folders on my psp and click an icon and BAM…. free video games and whatnot….plugins and shit….

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      That is a good point. This could explain why Sony is not taking any dramatic action against those.

      Reply

  20. John’s avatar

    that’s it? it only allows you to run back-ups?

    how about plugins just like in the PSP?

    no development or is it in making?

    Reply

  21. svenn.dhert’s avatar

    I think its kinda wrong, then again, giving it away for free is wrong to. Its selling a gun to a criminal insane, selling it or giving it, both ways its immoral.

    The fact that they sell hardware is prolly cause legally that’s a complete different story then supply software , but that’s just a guess.

    Reply

  22. gamerb0y’s avatar

    I wont buy DRM dongles!!! I rather buy the game itself…
    go WOLOLO!!! please join the PS3scene =P

    Reply

  23. lostarot’s avatar

    Asking money adds insult to injury for hackers. But Sony would maybe prefer to have them charge people. Atleast it is not as publicly available as a free CFW.

    A free CFW is the last thing sony would want.

    Reply

  24. Andrew Wright’s avatar

    you know what, piracy isn’t wrong if your poor. these company’s are not going out of business cos of piracy, they make millions and most people who pirate are usually poor people who can’t really afford games at the price they sell them so what’s the problem?! the company still wins cos thwy make loads of money off people who pau for the game and alot people are happy cos they get to play the games. its a win win situation. if a company goes out of business and the main reason they went out of business is because they couldn’t make enough money from selling their product cos everyone pirated then I’d change my opinion but pirates espicially in the gaming world is a small group so what damage are they actually doing to the industry none, only stopping a few rich people becoming that little bit richer.

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      I 100% agree with the idea that people without a decent income should be able to get cultural products for free. Sadly, I’ve seen people with lots of money pirate games and movies as well, just because they can. I also don’t think there are lots of video game companies that make millions. Just the big producers.

      So, theoretically I agree with what you said, but practically I don’t think it works out “that well”.

      I also agree with your statement that everybody’s been a pirate at least once in their life, I actually blogged about that once:
      http://wololo.net/2012/03/28/its-not-copyright-infringement-as-long-as-its-not-a-videogame/

      Reply

  25. Andrew Wright’s avatar

    i read that article a while ago, you make a very good point. copyright infringment is everywhere i mean if you were in a band and were playing a gig and you played a few cover songs you are committing copyright infringement by not paying the record label royalties, people don’t see any harm in that but its still copyright infringement. I just don’t like it when I see people giving video game pirates shit when they probably pirate stuff themself, just because you don’t pirate your games doesn’t mean your not a pirate. I hope video games go down the same route as music and movies have with the introduction of services like Netflix and spotify where you pay a reasonable subscription fee and can play as many games as you wish. services like onlive would be good if you only paid one fee but it gave you access to a big selection of games. i do not own a hacked ps3 or anything(I actually use lovefilm and rent games that way) but I’m not against people who do hack it for piracy. I used to have a hacked PSP and I downloaded games alot, none of them were good as it was early stages of the PSP but I would have been angry if I’d paid for any of those games as they were all rubbish. some games don’t have demos so its good as a try before you buy sort of thing but then again your not gonna want to go out and buy the game if you like it if you already have it. its a touchy subject and there’s always gonna be 2 sides of the argumrnt. I think overall if games were a more reasonable price then piracy would decline. I pesonaly don’t pirate movies as much since I got Netflix and lovefilm. paying £10 for a DVD is far to much and its the same with paying £40 for games.

    Reply

  26. shawn’s avatar

    well its just a matter of time and someone will release a free solution …i mean you really cant fault someone from trying to make a buck but i guess its kind of frowned upon when your trying to get something for free!!! Let the people wait or pay either way its their choice..I personally think there is nothing wrong with E3 selling their product I wont buy it but i was one of the first to buy the first JB somewhere around $100 or something only to find out in just months after i should not have and that will happen again just wait and give it time if you can not wait then pay its on the consumer not the producer.

    Reply

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