Hacking an electronic device, such as the Sony PlayStation 3, means giving that device capabilities that its manufacturers never intended it to have. This type of hacking is commonly called jailbreaking. A jailbroken PlayStation 3 has many useful features, but hacking the console also has several negative consequences that can ruin the gaming experience.
The PlayStation 3 was released in North America in 2006. Hackers soon went to work on the PlayStation 3 in an attempt to jailbreak the system. After the first successful jailbreak, hackers made it possible for almost anyone to modify their PlayStation 3 with a USB device. This USB device contained everything necessary to jailbreak the PlayStation 3. You only needed to connect the device to you console to start the jailbreaking process. That device is now unusable due to an update released by Sony. Updates continue to render jailbreaking devices inoperable, but hackers continually find ways to get around the updates with new hacks.
The biggest benefit of a jailbroken PlayStation 3 is the ability to back up a game and movie collection. With price tags often exceeding $60, video games are expensive investments. Game discs aren't impervious to scratches and other damage, and game owners sometimes lose their discs. U.S. Copyright laws permit a game owner to make a backup copy of the game for personal use only, although Sony frowns on this practice. Backing up games that you don't own, however, is illegal.
Home Brew Applications
A jailbroken PlayStation 3 has the ability to run user-created games and applications. For example, you can run a cheat engine on the PlayStation 3 that allows you to enter codes for infinite health or extra ammo. A jailbroken console can also run emulators. Emulators are programs that let you play older video games, such as those for the Super Nintendo, Atari or Sega Genesis consoles.
If you enjoy playing games with friends via the PlayStation Network, think twice about jailbreaking your console. A jailbroken PlayStation 3 can't access the network, rendering it unable to take advantage of a game's multiplayer feature. A jailbroken console also can't download game demos or system updates. Jailbreaking the console voids its warranty, so if the hardware fails, Sony won't repair it for free or may not service it at all.