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Sony Once Officially Supported Homebrew on PlayStation

When the PS3 first hit the scene, one of the cooler features was being able to run Linux on it. Sony killed that with the release of the PS3 Slim in 2009, thanks to fears of piracy, but it also killed 13 years of love for homebrew. Yes, Sony once officially supported and endorsed the homebrew community.

Let’s go all the way back to 1997 and the original PlayStation. Sony released something called Net Yaroze. This package contained a matte black PS1, a couple of controllers, software, and professional documentation. In short, it was a “full” homebrew development kit for the avid hobbyist.

There were limitations on the size of the games, but it demonstrated that Sony was interested in allowing regular folks make their own games. This continued with Linux for PlayStation 2 (complete with size restrictions), but again, it demonstrated Sony’s dedication to endorsing homebrew.

And then the hackers kinda ruined the party for everyone, Sony got scared, and here we are today. It’s a shame, really, but I guess they’re trying to push these enthusiasts to develop games for PSN instead… though that’s an entirely different beast altogether.



About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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  1. cward24, tell me where you live. because i will be GLAD to (jail)break open all of your locks to your house(ps3), BUT NOT TAKE ANYTHING AT ALL, then share the secret with the entire town(online community), and hey, “It’s not MY fault if OTHER people want to steal(pirate) from your house that’s THEM, i just wanted (homebrew) to look inside. i didn’t do anything incriminating. back off of me(geohot) and just blame yourself(sony) for not having better locks.”

    If you and everyone else needs a better metaphor to finally understand why this whole hacker community is stupid then god there is no help for you all.

    • Mr. Navarro it really does not matter where I live. You are reading the post but are not really understanding what I am saying. If you are familiar with the STI project and the purpose of the Cell Broadband Engine for the partner companies that was involved then you would know what I am really discussing here. I would be more than happy to discuss this further if you are really willing to listen.

    • I would assume that this would be a no.

  2. I am not taking sides in this issue. I am just simply stating that if the “OtherOS” was removed from the older PS3 due to security concerns then why is there such a security concern today. Why was the “OtherOS” even put in the PS3 in the first place and removed. There is the hackers side, Sony’s side, and possibly the truth.

  3. @cward24 MAYBE it wasn’t. Sony pulled linux literally a week or two after Geohot opened it. coincidence? i don’t think so. Just keep on blaming sony and not the hackers, go ahead give your full support to the hackers. PSN in offline. blame sony, not the hackers. someone breaks into your house blame yourself not the robbers. go ahead. they’re not criminals they support freedom and sharing remember?

  4. Maybe it was actually Sony and possibly those that used the PS3 as supercomputers such as the US Air Force that ruined the party and not so much the hackers. Food for thought. You might want to do a little more research on this.

    • Like anything else, there are “good” hackers and “bad” hackers. Some want to grow the community and do the homebrew thing for the greater good of other gamers. I’m not blaming those guys, but there is a subset who are only out for piracy and that’s who eventually pushed Sony to take the measures they did. Goes with the territory.

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