SCEA CEO "embraces" hacking, hackers are not so sure

Sony has certainly been in the news a lot lately and it seems that hardly a week goes by without one of their subsidiaries getting hacked in some form. It is for this reason it may come as a surprise to many that Jack Tretton, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, claims they actually support "hacking".

In a recent interview with the New York Times, the topic of hacking quickly came up and this is what Jack had to say -

"...we embrace independent game development; if you call that hacking, then we embrace that. We give people tools that let them create new experiences. What I don’t think we are in support of is someone trying to hack our device to pirate software and possibly collapse the platform."

Of course, Jack's definition of "hacking" more than likely differs from your own and it's true that independent game development can be seen as a form of hacking, it all just depends on your perspective. However, some PS3 hackers and homebrew developers seem to disagree with this statement in its entirely, particularly the part about giving independent developers the tools they need.

KaKaRoTo, who we recently interviewed and who has been petitioning Sony to legitimise homebrew, immediately fired off a response to the NY Times author. In his response, KaKaRoTo doesn't mince his words and outright accuses Jack Tretton of lying -

"This is a complete lie, and Mr. Tretton is being dishonest with you and with your readers. The world needs to know the truth: Sony has been hard at work to prevent customers from modifying their rightfully owned Playstation 3 system and this has absolutely nothing to do with piracy."

What this really boils down to is the distinction between an independent developer and a homebrew developer. At one point in time, they may have been one in the same, particularly when you go back to the days of the first home games consoles. Many games would be programmed and created by just one or two people, which coined the term "bedroom programming". However, these days many people attribute homebrew with hacking, rather than amateur hobbyists doing something for enjoyment.

The problem many independent developers face is the cost of entry to a platform. Both Microsoft and Sony charge at least a 4-figure sum for their development tools, with many believing the figure can exceed $10,000. This certainly puts the cost above what most hobbyists could afford, however Microsoft does offer a much cheaper, albeit cut-down development solution. Sony does not and this is why many feel that Sony does not truly support independent developers. An independent developer, by definition, is a developer that does not have a publisher. If a developer does not have a publisher, it can be difficult to raise the capital needed to pay this entry fee, assuming Sony is even willing to allow the developer onto their platform.

Whether you believe that independent developers and homebrew developers should be treated the same or not, Jack Tretton's comments are sure to rile a few feathers here and there. Whether Sony will suffer yet more retaliations for this remains to be seen.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

EA Sports to launch retail stores

Next Story

Apple's retail store head to depart for J.C. Penney

25 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

*sigh*

Get a F**KING PC if you want to mess with stuff. Good God, it's a Games console and is a closed platform for a reason. This KaKaRoTo guy is a spin doctor and sh** stirrer. He's no better than the guys he talks crap about. I'm sick of hearing his stupid little internet handle on here.

Move on people ... play games you buy and stop fussing over who's the big bad wolf. You know what? They all are. The companies, the morons who hack them, and the idiots who spin crap to try and make people hate.

Im confused by neowin readers. They complain that sony are lting about providing dev tools for independent game development and therefore are siding with the hackers but as soon as the hackers attack sony for suing an independent hacker the readers then start complaining to no end. WTF GUYS PICK A SIDE GODDAMMIT.

zikalify said,
Im confused by neowin readers. They complain that sony are lting about providing dev tools for independent game development and therefore are siding with the hackers but as soon as the hackers attack sony for suing an independent hacker the readers then start complaining to no end. WTF GUYS PICK A SIDE GODDAMMIT.

Maybe its because not every neowin reader shares the same opinion? It is entirely possible that a site with thousands of members will have those who share one opinion along with those who share another.

zikalify said,
Im confused by neowin readers. They complain that sony are lting about providing dev tools for independent game development and therefore are siding with the hackers but as soon as the hackers attack sony for suing an independent hacker the readers then start complaining to no end. WTF GUYS PICK A SIDE GODDAMMIT.
Or... it could be that Neowin does not choose sides and they do have their own belief on issues that matter mosts.

zikalify said,
Im confused by neowin readers. They complain that sony are lting about providing dev tools for independent game development and therefore are siding with the hackers but as soon as the hackers attack sony for suing an independent hacker the readers then start complaining to no end. WTF GUYS PICK A SIDE GODDAMMIT.

Uh, it is pretty simple, two wrongs are still two wrongs. Just because one side is an a** and the other a douche doesn't mean I have to side with either one of them. I don't need to pick a side, this is exactly what is wrong with the US, it is not Us vs. Them, black vs. white. There are tons of in between options.

Sony - don't lie about supporting hacking/homebrew
Hackers - don't punish me because YOU have a beef with Sony.

schubb2003 said,

Hackers - don't punish me because YOU have a beef with Sony.

They weren't punishing you, they cost Sony millions and gave you your life back.

zikalify said,
They weren't punishing you, they cost Sony millions and gave you your life back.

You forgot the "IMO" part there. What you do in your down time is your business and what I do in mine is none of your damned business.

what a bunch of whiners alot of you are. the ps3 is a closed system, you knew that before you bought it. i dont get the sense of entitlement. linux was a privelege, a bonus, but its understandable it had to be pulled not to compromise the security further. you know all these hacks were only possible by using linux. and the main thing people are using the system is for piracy. for every 1 user who uses it for legit purposes, there are 500 who use it for piracy. you want a linux machine,go buy one on ebay for 50 bucks that will out perform the ps3 version. this isn't 1996 anymore,you can get a machine for dirt cheap, we dont need homebrew on consoles anymore.

vcfan said,
what a bunch of whiners alot of you are. the ps3 is a closed system, you knew that before you bought it. i dont get the sense of entitlement. linux was a privelege, a bonus, but its understandable it had to be pulled not to compromise the security further. you know all these hacks were only possible by using linux. and the main thing people are using the system is for piracy. for every 1 user who uses it for legit purposes, there are 500 who use it for piracy. you want a linux machine,go buy one on ebay for 50 bucks that will out perform the ps3 version. this isn't 1996 anymore,you can get a machine for dirt cheap, we dont need homebrew on consoles anymore.

I agree. And the people who talk about using Linux on the PS3 are simply using it as an excuse to feel like they're able to fight the big bad. Sorry, but get over it. It's a games console and media player. And it's a bloody good one too. Has anyone here run linux on the PS3? It's embarrassing. It's horrendous. A 5 year old £25 PC would run better. In fact, my brother just bought an Asus EeePC 4G for £20 from a school who were selling them off, and that runs Linux better. I really wasted time installing Linux. And I did it just to see what it would be like. I removed it pretty quickly when I realised it was crap.

Spirit Dave said,

I agree. And the people who talk about using Linux on the PS3 are simply using it as an excuse to feel like they're able to fight the big bad. Sorry, but get over it. It's a games console and media player. And it's a bloody good one too. Has anyone here run linux on the PS3? It's embarrassing. It's horrendous. A 5 year old £25 PC would run better. In fact, my brother just bought an Asus EeePC 4G for £20 from a school who were selling them off, and that runs Linux better. I really wasted time installing Linux. And I did it just to see what it would be like. I removed it pretty quickly when I realised it was crap.

The fact is sony advertised this feature...then removed that feature. THAT'S a fact, so get over it. If people are upset, they have every right to be.

The Gunslinger said,

The fact is sony advertised this feature...then removed that feature. THAT'S a fact, so get over it. If people are upset, they have every right to be.

Enough to take down a service for weeks? No. I'm over it Those idiots aren't

Newsflash: you don't own the software nor have the right to distribute modifications to the software. Build your own PS3 firmware and bootloader, without using Sony code, and you can do whatever you like. Hackers don't like it? Too bad, so sad.

Buying a device that you *know* has locked down software before you bought it and then complaining about it makes you look like a whiny bitch. You don't like the lockdown, DON'T BUY INTO IT. Problem solved.

lostmongoose said,
Newsflash: you don't own the software nor have the right to distribute modifications to the software. Build your own PS3 firmware and bootloader, without using Sony code, and you can do whatever you like. Hackers don't like it? Too bad, so sad.

Buying a device that you *know* has locked down software before you bought it and then complaining about it makes you look like a whiny bitch. You don't like the lockdown, DON'T BUY INTO IT. Problem solved.


Agreed.

The core of all these issues is that folk don't understand or, worse, understand but ignore what they are buying when they pay for a console (or for software). They typically don't read the long-winded, boring agreement. They just agree and then complain about what they blindly agreed to. The assumption of entitlement and the lack of distinction between ownership of a device and of the technology inside said device are usually to blame when people rant emotively about their "rights being taken away by evil corporations". Arguments and actions built on this flawed logic will be increasingly flawed.

Jack Tretton Needs to GET THE FU*K OUTTA HERE WITH THAT BS. How what you expect anyone to believe something like that when they went out of their way to sue a young kid for releasing a patch that only allowed homebrew to be installed on the system. In order for the system to play backed up games you would have needed to get sources from other devs that allowed that which is total separate from what he worked on. His patch had nothing to do with piracy, yet they sued him. Any other dev could have created a custom firmware because he release the keys yes but other devs what have been able to do this as well. Now they claim to be a hackers friend after banning that young hacker from even owning another one of their products. Lying bitches, just trying to look good in the public's eye. Sony does not support hackers.

Biglo said,
Jack Tretton Needs to GET THE FU*K OUTTA HERE WITH THAT BS. How what you expect anyone to believe something like that when they went out of their way to sue a young kid for releasing a patch that only allowed homebrew to be installed on the system. In order for the system to play backed up games you would have needed to get sources from other devs that allowed that which is total separate from what he worked on. His patch had nothing to do with piracy, yet they sued him. Any other dev could have created a custom firmware because he release the keys yes but other devs what have been able to do this as well. Now they claim to be a hackers friend after banning that young hacker from even owning another one of their products. Lying bitches, just trying to look good in the public's eye. Sony does not support hackers.

I agree with you about Sony being full of crap, but GeoHot opened the entire playstation processing core open.

So, let's spell this out GeoHot's mod allowed the complete circumvention of the entire system's disk encryption, at every single level. This means complete and utter control of everything that goes into it. You could tell your system to never check a game disk for authenticity...This was not a flaw exploit or a design issue, it is not even like the original Playstation emulator where you cracked your own key and used it in the emulator.

So just remember, the guy with the master key to Schlage locks giving them out is not responsible for what happens with them. Even though he had no right to the key to begin with.

That's funny, seeing as when someone hacked the PS3 to run Linux and allows us to develop our own apps in the platform, he was sued by Sony. So without a public SDK, how exactly is it that Sony supports hacking again...

Talk is just talk; until their actions match that of their words, there's no sense in really buying into what they're saying.

"This is a complete lie, and Mr. Tretton is being dishonest with you and with your readers. The world needs to know the truth: Sony has been hard at work to prevent customers from modifying their rightfully owned Playstation 3 system and this has absolutely nothing to do with piracy."