Team Cobra, the people behind the Cobra USB dongle (one of the many piracy dongles available on the PS3) announced two days ago that they are ready to start the production of their upcoming hardware mod for the PS3. If the device actually does what it announces, then it’s pretty much a revolution in the world of the PS3, as Team Cobra claim their upcoming modchip is compatible with all existing models of PS3.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term ODE, it stands for Optical Drive Emulator. Long story short, it’s a system that will allow PS3 owners to plug in a usb drive to their console, and pretend it’s the blu ray drive, with the obvious goal of playing “backups”, the word we use for pirated games when we are ashamed to talk about them.
Yup, Cobra announcde they have a solution that will let you play backups on all models of PS3, including the recent “super slim” ones. Although I’m myself not into that kind of stuff, there are a few reasons I’m blogging about this. First, it’s pretty big news, given how hard to hack the PS3 has proven to be so far, and the cobra team also announced that the modchip will also support Homebrews. As a matter of fact, their “backup manager” itself is a homebrew.
That being said, the device appears to me as a far from perfect solution. Setting aside the fact that once again, we end up in a situation where people will pay the wrong people to play commercial games, the dongle itself and its usage don’t seem optimal to me. First, it is pretty clear that it will be a modchip. No matter how easy, it means you’ll have to open your PS3 and do some weird stuff to it. It also seems the installation difficulty depends on the PS3 model, in particular instalation on 25xx, 3xxx, and 4xxx PS3s will require some soldering.
Secondly, looking at the videos below, it seems loading any game through this system requires rebooting the console. I’m sure that many people won’t mind going through that kind of pain just to play pirated games, but you’ll have to admit it’s far from being the perfect product.
As for the possibility that a PS3 firmware update prevents that device from working in the future… only time will tell, but sony have been pretty good at counter attacking these days. My point is, you should be aware that when you buy these things, there’s a risk they’ll just stop working with the next firmware update.
Nevertheless, this is impressive, and I can’t wait to see what “homebrew compatibility” will actually look like with this device. Below are a couple videos showcasing the device running on a PS3 slim and a super slim