Top 4 reasons piracy hasn’t hit the PS3

In Asia’s gaming culture, piracy has been common place for every major game console since the NES. In the mid 90’s a device called the UFO, allowed ROM games stored on floppy disks to be played on the SNES via a disk-drive like device that sat on top of the SNES. The 32-bit era saw the rise of mod-chips and insane swap-tricks to get past CD region lockouts.

Not much has changed in the generations that followed. Even today, the Xbox 360, Wii, DS and PSP have all fallen victim to heavy piracy. The advent of torrent sites and faster download speeds don’t do the major players any favors either. The PS3, on the other hand, remains a different story. I have been keeping an eye on the local pirating scene, and with almost a year after the PS3’s release, it appears to be the only console piracy free. On that note, I have concluded these reasons for the PS3’s success in the anti-piracy war.(Note : despite the tone of this article, I have no doubt that eventually, technology will catch up and savvy pirates will have their way)
4. Hardware complexity
Let me preface this by saying that I’m by no means an engineer or have any expertise with console hardware, but from what I’ve heard from around the Net, I’ve decided to include this point with some doubt. With the Xbox 360, all that is needed is to flash the DVD drives firmware, for the Wii, a simple modchip install. The only hiccup would come with future software updates. The PS3, unlike the Xbox 360, does not do incremental firmware updates, each PS3 firmware update completely replaces the previouslt installed version, leaving me to the think that any exploited areas in the software would be eliminated. Unless someone out there commits to creating custom firmware, similar to the PSP homebrew scene, running something like the an HD loader or installing a modchip seems an unlikely option.

3. Blu-Ray
Despite the whole next-gen format war, Blu-ray has served Sony on multiple fronts. First of all, touting a size limit of around 50gb for a dual layer BD-ROM. Very few sane people would go through the trouble of downloading or uploading such a large ISO file. Also, Blu-Ray disc burners are still out of the price range of the mass market.

2. Region-free games
As hard as it is to believe, there are people out there who have their consoles modded for the sole purpose of importing. With games such as Kingdom Hearts 2 : Final Remix available only to the japanese market, its hard to ignore that any hardcore gamer has gone through the whole importing process before. with the PS3 being region-free, with most games released in Asia already coming with an option for English as the primary language, Sony has appeased the importing community. Importing, was also the primary justification for shops to carry mod-chips in the first place, this move thereby eliminates this excuse for pirates to hide behind.

1. High price point
With the early adopter having to shell out $600, anything with even the slightest risk of bricking the system will give any PS3 owner nightmares. This seems to be the prevailing sentiment on many forum threads I’ve read, many people just don’t want to risk the PS3 the same way they did with their past consoles. As a side-effect to having a high price point, the installed base isn’t as high as the Xbox 360 or the Wii, bringing little payoff to those who would have to go through all the trouble.


~ by phgamer on October 30, 2007.

21 Responses to “Top 4 reasons piracy hasn’t hit the PS3”

  1. I think the same thing that affects Pc’s has affected the consoles. Piracy is like a form of let say viruses and hackers. Mac has less of these simply because there are less Macs. Same suit follows for the Xbox, Wii and PS3. Simply comes down to more 360s and Wiis in the market and less PS3. It will happen shortly as soon as they sell more. I would say also why would anyone want to hack a PS3 anyway? You can just buy the two good games that are out for the PS and save yourself the hassle. Not so for the two other consoles : -)

  2. Although PS3 will win the antipiracy war but its killing the main reason for which its predecessors where loved by the audience. Although this is good, but PS1 and PS2 created a scene in asia where all the first grade entertainment was available at very cheap price and that created a very huge fanbase, believe me in Asia PS2 users are in more abundance than anyone could expect. Now these people are gonna escape PS3 due their attitude towards gaming and this could cause a huge decline in PS3 users.

  3. […] On that note, I have concluded these reasons for the PS3s success in the anti-piracy war". Read on At the end I still believe the most important component is Blu-Ray. People don’t want to waste […]

  4. Excellent Points!! I wish the PS3 wpould play imported PS2 games for that exact reason. I wish I could go and import Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix + so I could play it on my U.S. PS3. DAMN YOU SQUARE ENIX for not releasing in all of the regions. This is so unfair.

  5. and the PS3 is already LEET enough

  6. I just wanted to point out that many ps3 games have been dumped and are available online and most range from a single dvd-r’s capacity to a dual layer dvd-r’s capacity (8.5GB). (I assume some are >8.5GB also)

  7. Hi man, I’m phil from gamecovered, join our PS3 world of blogs, you can blog away under a subdomain with FREE hosting, and design like our main sites. We are looking for PS3 related blogs to join our ranks, email me if your interested – Great article hence the invite to join us.

  8. […] Top 4 Reasons Why Piracy Has Not Hit PS3 (YET) […]

  9. Those are good points. A major reason for me to consider piracy was region codes. I’m a fan of importing, and I know enough Japanese that I can play most games that aren’t super text heavy.
    As for the firmware though, I had heard that Sony’s stance with the PS3 is almost the opposite from their PSP stance. I was reading an article the other day that said that Sony felt that if you could get it to run on the PS3, you were welcome to use it. But that may be just due to Sony being confident that if developers are scared of the complexity of game programing, than what pirate would bother?

  10. Might I suggest a reason 5? “No one plays the PS3.”

    Sorry, I saw the title and that’s the first thing I thought. I don’t have anything against PS3, but you have to admit it’s the least popular next-gen console.

  11. Completely agree i thot of 2 or 3 of those reasons myself. For me, the reason that i havent even looked into getting games free is because of the fact of the amazing games that are produced for the PS3. Less money going towards this cause would mean crappier games, so all the money that they can get, they should get. Keep it up sony and affiliates, Love your games, especially the upcoming releases i am looking foward too!!!

  12. Correct me if I’m wrong, but for #3 and #1, wouldn’t the same have applied to many consoles when they first came out? Like the PS2 for example…DVDs and burners were mad expensive back then, and so was the PS2 itself, of course. The PS3 will go down in price eventually, we all know that, and so will Blu-Ray discs and burners to the price of DVDs today.

  13. Hey people, thanks for the great comments!! I completely agree with all your points. Not that I want piracy to run rampant on PS3, but I think piracy is a twisted indicator of how successful your technology is. That was part of the reason I wrote this article and eventually chose my #1.

  14. The price has come down, Its getting great games in the next few months thats not crappy XBoX ports so they will start to grab the attention on gamers new and old. This should be a great Xmas for sony and the ps3 hope they can stay hack free for awhile longer

  15. sony has the RSX locked up. once the hackers get around it then it is free game. isos that big can be compressed or downloading in portions anyways, that isnt the problem.

    hopefully sony unlocks RSX themselves soon enough so homebrew can get started, people are doing homebrew right now but it is strictly on CELL.

  16. Pre astig ito !

    Hmmm…my opinion would be…

    STOP PIRACY movements for the PS3 !

  17. The price has come down, but on the model that it happened to you can’t play PS2 games. What the Hell!? It keeps me from wanting one.

    That and the fact that I play behind because it’s cheaper anyway.

  18. Using extremely compressed data could be harmful for the lens and earlier when it happened to PS2( game that wee compressed to CD). They did a lot of damage to the system. I think PS3 could only be moded if Sony does it. But thats unlikely to happen although PS2 and PS1 were moded but Sony was not responsible for it, they just didnt opposed it much ( in ASia atleast). But know countries like India and China have passed the developing stage and are NIC. So there could be some chance for piracy to die, and PS is widely popular there. But still 360 and Wii offer a cheap option that users cant surpass and also I must comit PS3 is very high priced here near abt 750 USD, but the game pricing has reduced a lot since PS2.

  19. Very interesting that only PS3 has no piracy. Thanks for the post!

  20. mmmmm….. i like this ,but …

  21. I own a PS3, and I think it rocks. Yes, some games are up on torrents already, but without a loader of some sort, these games are useless.

    Someday maybe pirates will revel in the vast technology of PS3 hardware, but definitely not today.

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