Sony blocks jailbreaks with firmware update

Sony’s released what it calls a ‘minor’ update for the PS3 – minor, that is, for anyone who hasn’t been tempted by either of the two jailbreaks that have been doing the rounds over the last couple of weeks.

The mandatory firmware 3.42 update includes ‘additional security features’ which wipe out the possibility of using either PS Jailbreak or the open source version, PS Groove.

Those who have tried the update out say it doesn’t appear to add any functionality apart from blocking the jailbreaks. As a result, sulky users are already complaining about it on the Playstation blog.

“I know this special ‘security features’ is for blocking the USB JIG. They aren’t fooling anyone. To everyone else, that’s all that’s in this update. No cross-game chat, no in-game music, no anything else some of you are constantly begging for,” complains one.

“Oh, come now. At least be honest about the update. We all know it’s the first of an expected hundred-plus firmware updates to block the Jailbreak,” says another.

“Now you’ll be doing these every day like with the PSP instead of actually taking the time to give us updates we actually need or working on making the system/service better.”

Sony had already been granted an injunction in Australia prohibiting sales of PS Jailbreak, on the grounds that it facilitated piracy. But a second, open source version, PS Groove, aimed to get round this by disabling the relevant features, meaning it could be used only to enable third-party and home-brew games.

The move is likely to be only a temporary success for Sony, with the modders promising to find a way around it. Expect more updates in the coming months.