Last night, the news broke that George “Geohot” Hotz, the man who cracked Sony’s Playstation 3 for the first time, settled in court with Sony after a couple months worth of name calling and trash talking. Hotz settled, but now is barred from “unauthorized access to any Sony product under the law”. If he happens to do so and is caught, he would suffer dire consequences. This, obviously, has angered the diligent hacker, and has recently said that he will never buy another Sony product again.

I’m tempted to agree with him.

The Wii was hacked quite fast from the moment it hit the market. Can you find anyone who can name the person who first hacked the Wii? No, we can’t. He was never remembered (because Nintendo didn’t sue the man) and now it’s super easy to hack the Wii; everyone who wants to do it can easily figure it out.

Sony did a very good job keeping their PS3 un-hackable. Last summer, however, there was finally a hole found in the PS3’s security and Hotz exploited it. It was going to happen eventually, and even after all Sony tried to do, just like the PSP, the PS3’s security fell.

And I’m ok with that. I applaud Hotz for finally allowing the PS3 to run custom firmware. There are huge advantages for a console to run custom firmware, the best being homebrew. The Wii can do some amazing things with homebrew, and the PSP has a GIANT homebrew society. But no-one seems to realize that there are so many good things to come out of custom firmware; everyone instantly cries “PIRATES, PIRATES” and runs the other direction.

Custom firmware does NOT automatically mean that EVERY ONE is going to start to PIRATE games!

Yet this is the mindset that everyone has towards custom firmware.

We need to abandon the mindset that every single hacker wants free games. There are SO many possibilities for custom firmware on the PS3. The PS3 is an amazingly powerful console, and the possibilities are endless for homebrew. I, for one, will install a custom firmware onto my PS3 as soon as I find some sort of homebrew that makes it worth it. If that means Sony is going to shut down by PSN account, so be it.

Screw you, Sony. GeoHotz did something good for the gaming community, and you shut him down. And while I’m not going to protest Sony products, I certainly have a lot less respect for you as a company.

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