To better understand the current state of the PS3 scene, let me take you back to the beginning. It all started with the release of a dongle that cost a couple hundred bucks, which lacked any quality security and was soon reverse engineered. So after that, the market was flooded with dongle clones, which everyone used to Jailbreak there PS3's on 3.41 OFW.
Near the end of the 3.41 dongle era, a new dongle that offered more options for PS3 users was announced, the Cobra USB; which, if you had a backwards compatible PS3, you could now run PS1 and PS2 backups. Soon after, geohot used fail0verfl0w's tools and was able to bring the first 3.55 CFW to the public. Followed by backup enabled CFW shortly thereafter. Cobra USB soon followed suit with the release of 3.55 method, which allowed for better backup support than any other CFW.
And then the True Blue dongle came out which allowed users to play the backups of newer games; games that Sony had successfully prevented users of CFW from playing. But with one major problem, you need special dics in order to play most some of the games, while others are playable via patches. The problem with the disc method is that the discs can become hard to come by, leaving users waiting for the latest patches. Unlike the Cobra dongle, the TB dongle does not offer any better backup support than the rest of the CFWs; well, except for the fact of playing newer backups.
Now comes the big question. Are dongles like this a good thing or a bad thing? It basically comes down to personal opinion, but it is important in this day an age to make your own opinions instead of having them made for you.
- This scene started because of a dongle.
- These dongles allow for more options than the free options.
- They are keeping the scene moving.
- One day could be reversed and open sourced.
- It is better than nothing.
- They are not free, and neither is the information surrounding them (not open source).
- They promote piracy.
- They are moving the scene in the wrong direction.
- Strong securities, and cracking it is expensive and time consuming.
- Need special discs, or wait for patches. Discs not always available.
- PS Jailbreak allowed for the very first homebrew to be made, as well as backup support. The primary function, backups.
- Cobra USB allows for better back compatability, as well as PS1 and PS2 back support for BC models. Also, backup support for DVD/BR. Primary function, backups.
- True Blue allows newer games to be played. Some require a patch, while others require a special disc. Primary function, backups.
My opinion, what the hell does it matter why we are here, and if someone pirates or not. What people do with their money and life is their own damn business. If we really want to stop these dongles makers, then the work is going to need to be reverse engineered it and make it open source. After that, they would not be able to continue to monopolize the scene. Perhaps that would also force their hand, and they would reveal more tricks hidden up their sleeves; but on the other hand, Sony might be able to patch it easier. In the mean time, the best thing we can do is support the developers, and as a community we can hopefully all make some great progress and advancements.
My thoughts; well, all the dongles are possibly the work of one person/team. They did not mean for the original dongle to be cracked so easily. They could possibly have more "secrets" they are waiting to release for the PS3. They are most likely watching the scene as closely as Sony, and Sony has been watching pretty damn close it seems. All that we know is there is someone out there with a lot more information than anyone else and they are not sharing. But perhaps they are in there own way, and perhaps our actions as communities will affect the outcome of future releases by this mystery team; what if they leave, then who really won?
The bottom line is we as a scene need to stop fighting with each other. The only way to progress is to come together and share information. This needs to be the welcome place it was back when I first joined in September 2010. Reversing the PS Jailbreak is what made this scene. Reversing the Cobra/TB could be what breaks it. The war should not be between users, but between man and machine!
So there it is, some pros and cons. I'm sure there are a ton of other issues left off this list too. What is your opinion on the Dongle Wars and where they are headed?