An enterprising modder has created a new version of the USB mod chip, this time built into an official PS3 controller.
Those USB ports on the front of the PlayStation seem to have suddenly turned into a major headache for Sony. It just gets finished fixing an exploit that allowed people to play pirated games using a USB mod chip, only to have someone make a new hack using a modded controller five minutes later.
The good news for Sony is that getting the hack up and running on a Sixaxis or Dualshock 3 controller is fairly complicated, requiring a lot of fiddling around with soldering irons and PIC microcontrollers. It seems to work ok, although it’s not clear just yet whether it gets around the most recent software update which prevented a number of third-party USB devices from working on the PS3. If the hack does work after the update, then it seems likely that Sony will again want to fix the exploit as quickly as possible, although the use of official controllers may make it a little bit trickier.
There will come a time, and possibly quite soon, where Sony will have to come up with a better long-term strategy for dealing with piracy than fighting a constant arms race with hackers. It wouldn’t be all that surprising if it adopted a policy similar to that of Microsoft and banned any hacked PS3’s it detected from going online. We’ll have to wait and see what path Sony actually takes, however.