Fail0verflow: the end of homebrews?


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48 Responses

  1. Damn, welp the psvita shouldnt be hacked i think, sony should let us have emulators since we already can *make homebrews* and everything will be straight…. the psvita just dont meed piracy cause it could end up like the psp and they shouldve made the vitas video ram at 256 or 512

  2. coffincolors says:

    Very insightful post

    • -X-77 says:

      But honestly, i still say its all opinion. Though most of it makes sense, like, i wouldn’t feel the need to hack my ps3 or 360 cause they offer enough, and i dont see any special eye popping homebrew that pretty much FORCES me into hacking them… kinnect/2013’s XBO has that factor though! voice command everything! only if its open-sourced like an android. by means of microsoft or some 3rd party/hacker ect.

      cause currently, i genuinely find it “cool” to show off my hacks and play old classic on a handheld device like a psvita or 3ds. Both would be amazing if full access was available to the public so we can finally fully personalize our devices to our hearts content with endless amounts of creations to download and try out in a modder’s shop channel!! but there’s always the downside that it will guarantee the freedom to develop rom loaders to play recent releases.
      I wouldnt say the only intent for the future console hacks is, or mainly is, piracy. Cause as long as there is interesting cool things to do with a hacked console there will be a need for non-piracy homebrew believe it or not.

      • SsJVasto says:

        I agree with you, there is nothing driving us to hack our systems. I’m extremely satisfied with my PSVita and recently got my Developer Key for PSM 😀

        You mentioned “i genuinely find it “cool” to show off my hacks and play old classic on a handheld device like a psvita or 3ds”, you have any info on 3DS SDK’s? I’d like to mess around with that 3D screen and also see what the 3DS can do (the NDS was nothing impressive (67MHz, 4MB RAM), but I never touched a DSi)

  3. Bob....bob? says:

    ” the psvita just dont meed piracy cause it could end up like the psp”


    • onnz423 says:

      Are you tard? Psp is not dead, and if it was piracy is not responsible for it.

      • StanSmith says:

        Exactly. The PSP has always had homebrew and piracy from the very start. Firmware 1.00 had 0 protection so it was open from the start thats how it was so easy to write homebrew for it. Just dont update and there you go. But the more $ony tried the more they failed as the hackers were always that one step ahead coz of $onys first mistake and that was releasing the console with no protection from the start.

        So when they say Piracy hurts thats a load of ***. The PSP is still going strong and its always had piracy so its all ***. Piracy has actually helped sales. As soon as the word got out the PSP can play backups it sold more. Even more bigger memory cards and games. You would buy games and your friends would buy games and you would copy them to your memory stick as they ran faster and better. So HOW can $ony complain that piracy is bad? Look at the Vita. Its going *** compared to the PSP as why? No Homebrew or piracy on it yet. When the Vita can play backups is when you will see a spike in sales. Till then its up to $ony. No exploit, no backups, no sales. easy as that.

        • Totoro says:

          Honestly I would normally agree, but you’re kind of mistaken that piracy did not hurt the PSP. The same kind of reputation that helped the PSP sell more units from its ability to be hacked and made to play backups was a double edged sword as it steered developers away from the system. Yes, smarter developers figured how to encrypt additional security within their game images and this stopped a number of potential pirating, but the core crowd still figured out how to bypass every one of these precautions.

          The initial crowd were homebrew enthusiasts, then came the freeloaders, then the small business hackers that either sold the systems hacked to out of country clients, or generally out of financial interest. As soon as the PSP got hit by freeloaders its image was tainted, software sales went down and less amount of them were connected online to use the many services Sony initially imagined for the system. This, without a doubt, hurt the PSP.

          I’m not trying to stick up for Sony, I actually think they should get the picture and let individual developers tinker with basic things like emulators and even potentially running different operating systems like the initial PS3, but pirating definitely hurts a system, sometimes in an almost unnoticeable manner, but other times, like in the instance of the PSP, very seriously by declining software sales.

          • JT says:

            What people don’t understand is that piracy did help the PSP a bit. But now we’re paying for it in the next generation.

            The Vita is hurt by what helped the PSP. Western developers are being “scared off”, as they are afraid of it turning into the same situation as the PSP. The Vita is still going strong in Japan, however.

            I hope the Vita gains some momentum within the next year, when new amazing games are released. The Vita has so much untapped potential, and it’s sad to see it go to waste!

          • wololo says:

            The PSP was pirated as much, if not more, in Japan (When the GTA hack was released, all stores in tokyo started showing messages saying “do not ask the sellers about the firmware version of this game, they don’t know it”. At its peak, The GTA unpatched game sold for the price of a new PSP – 23’000 yens , i.e. 250 dollars).

            What explains that developers trust the vita in Japan then? I’m not saying piracy is helping a console or anything, but clearly, the explanations cannot be that simple.

            To me, this is mostly related to the influence and support Sony provide in Japan, which they do not provide at all outside of their country. They are clearly focusing on the national market. Which is not a surprise, Japan has to be the only country in the world where people are ready to pay close to $100 for games.

          • Darth Agnon says:

            Hacking the PSP “steered developers away from the system”? With all due respect, then how come the PSP still has a wider/more varied/better dedicated game selection than the more or less unhacked Vita? E.g. PSP has dedicated Monster Hunter, MGS, Ratchet and Clank, Final Fantasy, Jak and Daxter, Silent Hill, etc.; Vita has *reissues* of many of these and other classics (hey, the PSP had the original MGS and FFVII on PSOne Classics) and only a few dedicated gems in its selection (e.g. Uncharted, Tearaway), most of the rest appear to me to be indie titles and (non-Final Fantasy) JRPGs… An basically unhacked console doesn’t seem to attract big name developed series, as a general rule. (PS. I don’t mean any offence, just wanted to point this out)

  4. Jiacheng Weng says:

    I agree with the points mentioned in this article. Hacking for devices become tougher and tougher, and the main goal of hacking is to pirate copy of games. As for me, homebrews became decreasingly interested. And hackers, as for their own interests, can choose those cheap or popular devices to work on like android or iOS. Moving to Psv, it is not widespread and the iron protection brings many difficulties for hacking.
    Talking to piracy, I think the most valuable thing is to translate languages. Some games on Psv have the only version of Japanese which confuse me a lot. If there is a English version, it is ok. For my personal experience, I will be more earnest of the game that I have purchased. Further more, the company’s passion of developing an amazing game is connected with benefit. If we all play pirate game, there will be lack of commercial support of new game release. Anyway, when we are enjoying hacking, we cannot forget the problem of copyright. Haha!

  5. skpg says:

    Homebrew is declining in next generation consoles primarily because of two reasons.

    1. Console makers are tightening their security for their gaming devices thanks to online access.

    2. Government enforcement of copyright law.

    I’ll touch on number two. Make no mistake about it, the copyright system is broken. The government regulates technology in the name of protecting intellectual property, they also regulate the internet in the name of copyright law (the DMCA).

    Take for example the blu-ray disc. One of the reasons why the blu-ray disc is expensive and almost useless is because it’s heavily protected by copyright. It’s illegal to rip play blu-ray movies, video games, etc. There are copyright standards on how blu-ray discs are made; they need to have certain encryption on blu-ray discs so they won’t be read on pc’s.

    Hackers are giving up on the Wii U because it has a small user base, it has an overpriced underpowered system, also hackers have to deal with legal issues as well.

    But if there is a gaming device that deserves to be hacked and modded it’s the PS Vita.

    • Yukon says:

      The PS Vita surely needs to be hacked. The PS Vita and its games is a slap in the face. When the PS Vita was first coming out, they released trailers of soon to be released games such as CoD Declassified. A lot of people bought a Vita just for that and the game is a sorry piece of sht. I heard that “GTA III” was supposed to be coming to the Vita. Why a GTA THAT old? What’s wrong with GTA San Andreas? I’m pretty sure that the Vita can handle it.

  6. stOneskull says:

    the official SDK for playstation mobile is free.

    if the brew is good enough people will pay a dollar.

    • Jd8531 says:

      The SDK for PSM is NOT the same, and is way limited as to what can be done technically. Most homebrew if redeveloped for the Vita would also not usually pass Sony s standards.

  7. Chuckthetekkie says:

    On my Vita, I mostly play emulators. I lost my PSP 1000 a few years ago so I use my Vita for homebrew. Also, it has become harder to get a brand new Sony made battery for the PSP 1000 and the few that I have barely get 3 hours of use before I have to charge them and they drain so quickly even if the PSP is off.

    I understand the issue of trying to break the security of these more expensive consoles as you could easily brick the device if trying to make custom software for it.

    For most consoles, I like being able to play backups so I don’t have to worry that my originals may get damaged. I’ve had a few Xbox 360 game get damaged by the case. Yes, the case damaged the discs. Some cases make it very hard to remove the disc without damaging the center ring of the disc. Mostly those stupid Steelbook cases.

    I understand that many people just want the consoles hacked to play pirated games, but many of use just want to play backups they we made ourselves. You don’t know how many hours I spent ripping my Wii games on my computer.

    I also have a small business modding consoles and it is surprising how many people ask me how to pirate games. I have to refuse that request. I tell them that they are on there own if they want to do that. I can help them make backups of there own games but I will not help them download pirated content. In my opinion, if a game is good, the developer deserves to get paid for their work so they will continue to make great games.

    You should see my Xbox 360 library. I must have over 400 games both on disc and in digital form.

    The primary driving force to hack a console should be for fun and to learn more about the console itself. If I could do it, I wouldn’t hesitate to try but hacking is way out of my league unless it is basically spoonfed to me with how-tos and such.

    I love being able to play emulators on my Vita so I can play those games on the go. My favorite game to play on my Vita is Super Mario Bros. 3. Not the GBA version as they made some sublet but noticeable changes in the GBA port (not including the e-reader parts). In the GBA version, the second enemy you encounter in level 1-1 is not the same as the NES version. Go ahead and check that out. It was the the first thing I noticed when I started playing the GBA version.

    I wish that Nintendo would get its act together with the 3DS Virtual Console. They could really rake in the dough if they put more NES, SNES, and GBA games in it.

    I don’t even know what a Raspberry Pi is and I don’t own any Android devices. The only handhelds I own are the DSi XL, 3DS and the Vita right now since I can’t find my PSP 1000.

    I also use my Vita on 2.02 to play the PSP games that Sony for whatever reason won’t allow the Vita to normally play. I’m talking about the PSP PSN games that aren’t in the Vita Store. They have LittleBig Planet PSP in there but not ModNation Racers. Both of those games do have a native Vita version so why put one in but not the other?

    The PS Vita is a powerful handheld device compared to what else is out there. I don’t think the iPhone 5 is as powerful as the Vita. iPhone 5 is a dual-core device while the Vita is a quad-core device even though you can’t fully use all 4 cores due to the current cooling methods.

    Some games I’ve played on the Vita look almost as good as PS3 games.

    I’d love the Wii U to get hacked so we could play GameCube games on it since Nintendo won’t allow them to be played on it yet. The Wii U is more then capable of playing GC games as it is simply a more powerful Wii and the Wii in simply a more powerful GC. All 3 systems run on a PowerPC CPU and ATI GPUs. There really was no reason for Nintendo to remove the GC part of the Wii. Especially since some Wii games require the GC controller ports. I personally play Mario Kart Wii and Brawl with a GameCube controller as it gives the best possible playing experience for me.

    • DjNeo says:

      Well… a Samsung galaxy 4… can easily beat PSVita:

      Procesador Exynos 5 Octa octa-core 1.6 GHz / Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 1.9GHz (según región), GPU PowerVR SGX 544MP

      Even an S3 is capable of doing that:

      Procesador Exynos 4 Quad quad-core 1.4 GHz, GPU Mali 400MP…

      I just have portable consoles because I like to play on dedicated hardware… but talking about power… even some cheap phones are capable of beating consoles.

      • DjNeo says:

        lol, I used my other e-mail address >.<

      • Kyu says:

        Tell me more how a mobile phone costing as much as a midrange laptop can be compared to a vita,which costs 1/4th of it.

  8. Flow says:

    Piracy has always been the sole purpose of hacking video game consoles. All those iso loaders and stuff from the PSP scene. Don’t tell me that they were all for “back-up” purposes. That’s ***.

    Sure there were a few emulators, plug-ins and homebrew games but that came in as a bonus. Pirates will always dominate the hacking scene. It’s how life is.

  9. andre104623 says:

    Console hacking will be around till game consoles are gone. Marcan is full of *** i read this a few days ago the way i look at it if wiikey u comes out in the near future with the only wii u hack people are going to spend *** tons of money for it and the only thing it does is let you play copied wii u games. Are big shot hackers like Marcan and others going to stand there and let wiikey u make millions of dollars on a hack that could be free? I don’t think so this is how the ps3 LV0 keys got leaked bluedisk (aka trueblue) made a CFW4.25 and was trying to make money on a software hack. If Marcan and team failoverflow just stands there with a hack that will put wiikey u out of the game forever and just doesn’t release it there just as bad as the pirates trying to make money on a failing console.

  10. Tjoeb123 says:

    I just want to explore the file systems of the HDDs in the consoles (and the Memory and Game cards in my PS Vita). I’ll be back when that can happen.

  11. Warlord698 says:

    sad thing is, this probably wouldn’tbe the case if they made it easier to run homebrew and only tried to block the actual measured used to pirate games instead of the entire scene *facepalm*

  12. gunblade says:

    shity thing i guess is the amount of storage space that games now days taking up… on the ps4 from what i herd would be fun for a challenge i guess but then most of the games r like download n streamed or u can play while downloading.(would think that sum games most of it is like on a remote server like an online computer games so u cant really get the whole game n need a lot to store the whole thing i had the wow private thing was like 40 giggs but probably possible to the the install or load of the game). n would thing that they lock down the ps4 consoles like what i herd with the ps3… hacking consoles made hacking cool n people to have an interest in such things…. more so then the times wen there wasn’t to much hacking but it was cooler to hack something cuz now body did it or jus cuz…well cant think of much that one can do with a console except to play games but i can see pokemon red running pretty smooth on a ps4…

  13. Vegeta Ali says:

    Simple fact: No hacking for consoles? No buy for many gamers. Also if the hackers can’t find the hack for any console then it doesn’t mean it’s not interesting anymore so they will leave it. It’s just that they fail to hack it simple.

  14. Christophe says:

    I completely agree on the lack technical interest. Back in the early days, consoles hosted specialized chips able to render sprites efficiently or output audio waveforms, those chips were unique and interesting to explore. I can understand a hacker’s interest moving away from consoles where the CPU and GPU models are the same as those readily available on a PC (and more hackable too).

    Just looking at the recent history of what seem to interest hackers: the CELL cpu was interesting because of its parallel computation model; the Wii motion tracking joystick hosted sensors not that common at the time; the Kinect depth sensor now opens up 3D reconstruction to the masses. And many musicians are reexploring the dedicated audio chips of the original game boy.

  15. jake says:

    For those talking about the PSM SDK, the problem is that it does not unlock the full Vita experience (no back touch ect) because it must work on ALL playstation certified devices. I would like CFW for homebrew, however I think it’s best not to exploit one if such an opportunity arrives (due to piracy issues).
    I find it amusing when people are worried that the Vita will end up like the PSP. The PSP sold a LOT more units (in its first week than the vitas year or something like that) so yeah, I would love the Vita to end up like the PSP at this stage xD

  16. PC Supremacist says:

    Unrelated topic; (PS3= Virtual Boy=Xbox 360=NES)<PC deal with it.

  17. vxcvxv says:

    with 10$ from 10000 pple donations we can hack vita? :))

  18. GottZ says:

    yo wololo,

    awesome article you put together.

    since you asked for it, here is my answer:

    i primarily use linux and windows on pc for developement and most of my play time.

    i still have a psp2k somewhere with 4 batteries and 16gb storage. it runs all kind of emulators and was awesome to play with. in the end i bought a htc desire z (also known as htc vision or g2) it has got a hardware keyboard i can use for gaming and most emulators run pretty fine on it.

    basicly now i have only my phone in my pocket and played tetris for gameboy the last time just yesterday.

  19. FreemyVita says:

    The power of hacking is contained in homebrew. Yes I play emulators on most of my consoles but the reason I remain custom and stay on the scene is because of the limitless potential! When the psp first came out everyone was developing for the scene. Like plug ins! I love the plug in that lets you listen to your own music or cheat. Now that the hardware has expanded we could do anything if we had a vita hack. Think about it. Before hackers we couldn’t even take screen shots. Sony and other companies have been feeding off hackers implementing the hackers ideas into their own firmware!

  20. Sharo93 says:

    I do agree with the line that today the main objective is piracy….it is getting annoying, seriously people if anybody has ever written a line of code will understand that creating games is no easy task, so have some respect for the game developers… for an answer to the question: I want to rip apart the vita and see how it ticks and just understand it so my answer is i will keep my “interest” in the consoles.
    i want to create native games for the Vita and the PSP and hopefully the PS4….and those are my only reason for hacking the devices.(FYI i just starting to pick up game development and understanding of hardware).

  21. hell_knight says:

    I use my ps vita to play GBA and mega drive.
    Thanks for the great Apache Overkill exploit.
    Hope this scene keeps continuing forward like how it used to be when Dark Alex came into the scene. I got my first psp around firmware 3.03. Miss those days.

  22. b0redkid says:

    As much as people want to hack their consoles, the sad truth is there needs to be the right people willing to reverse engineer it. The PS3 was lucky to have Geohotz otherwise that console might not have the hacks it has today. Same with iphone 5 and Evasi0n, who else can produce the same hacks? My point is for consoles like Vita, Wiiu, PS4 and so forth I’m sure there are lots of talented people who have what it takes to hack these systems but also who is willing to dedicate their time and effort. Hackers will always find a flaw or exploit and use against the big corps, so there will always be hope no matter what generation you come from there are always people who want to pwn.

    • john boy says:

      i understand what you are saying but you mention a important part guys like geohotz there plenty of those guys and as long as there is a console there will be always a motive for it to be a hack look at the psp and how much it evolve from being hack and i had my psp for 7 years and its the psp1000 even tough i had the other new models and soon i will get a vita so lets all pray that hacking continue 🙂

  23. jlo138 says:

    I think they should release it. I like the fact that Nintendo offers digital versions but not at the same price as a physical copy. If I purchased a physical copy then Nintendo should have an insert with a digital download for that game that’s locked to that console. This way your unlikely to sell the physical copy because the digital copy is tied to the console and if something happens you could have the actual disc for another console. Of course the license could be redeemed only once. I’d go for that. I’d have my library of games and they would be digital on my console. Also it could allow HD emulation of the gamecube on the WiiU. Couldn’t play the disc but I could use the compressed ISO copy I’ve made.
    Would dreamcast be possible emulation on the WiiU? That would be awesome too. So hackers can do what Nintendon’t.

  24. Buu-San says:

    Sounds like he’s being cynical for the sake of being cynical. Albeit, he did bring up some important points.

  25. José Miguel says:

    it’s not the end. if there is interest, like marcan stated (like a port of linux) then there will be a homebrew scene 🙂

  26. the3 says:

    The ps3 devs said it when the last set of keys were released. Basically the ps3 could be opened up further but it only makes way to piracy and they have no intention of moving forward with any more jail breaks or cow they got what they wanted and it was hb and other os and i think it’ll be the same fRom there forward why risk legal trouble for 5 mins of fame. Igot my Samsung note and with a bt controller it can do every thing the vita ecfw can but with a bigger screen and i can keep up with all the official vita stuff. Console hacking would be better off moving in a reverse direction take me my interest is to get my hand on the psp kernel and modify it to be able to adapt any device i see fit to function as a psp. is it possible i think and hope so buy maybe not but i think that’s the next move lets fully understand what they have done take control of it and move forward from there just my opinion though lol

  27. luigivsf says:

    Samsung galaxy s4 is NOT 8core device… they wish for thay, is just a 4core with some extrapower. And as Marcan says, the problem is consoles are just getting boring everyday… none to hack hard as ol’ days :/

  28. mavman42 says:

    Guys, emulators you own that plays games you do not own is piracy. Stop calling it homebrew and try to be innocent -_-

  1. May 14, 2013

    […] trouvé un excellent billet chez Wololo, qui analyse un petit peu la situation des programmes amateurs (homebrews), ou plutôt […]

  2. November 22, 2015

    […] been questioning the usefulness of homebrews on modern consoles. Somewhat recent examples include Fail0verflow’s statement about the end of homebrews, Or Yifanlu’s description of the difficulties hacking the PS Vita. […]