It looks like Sony has driven another nail in the coffin of the USB exploits that allowed use of game backups and homebrew applications on the PS3.
The new Medal of Honor game for PS3 has been discovered to be programmed with code that ties its operation to a new decryption key present only in the console’s firmware versions 3.42 and above. Firmware 3.42 was the first that Sony released to thwart the use of PSJailbreak, PSGroove, and other USB hacks.
And Medal of Honor won’t be the only game to tie to the key. Sony is reportedly also including it in all future releases.
Until this point, PS3 owners who wanted to continue running homebrew applications and game backups were able to do so by refusing to upgrade their console to the latest firmware. Though they would have to sacrifice PSN access, they were still able to purchase and play new games. Now, with this decryption key, all new release games will be unplayable on the console unless the user has upgraded to firmware versions 3.42 or 3.50.
That’s to say that that all new games will be unplayable unless, of course, those who developed the USB hacks are somehow able to add the new key to the devices.
Until something like that happens, however, Sony executives and game developers can sleep a little better at night knowing that their titles are safe from the hands of pirates for now.
Say what you will about Sony’s will to keep the PS3 locked down and in their control, but it’s pretty impressive how quickly and efficiently the corporation has acted to render these hacks useless in almost every aspect. The PSJailbreak first surfaced in mid-August, so the company has had only a two-month time frame to deal with the issue.
Your move, hackers.