With Call Of Duty Black Ops Permabans Incoming, Are PS3 Permabans Next?

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By now you surely must know that Sony has released PS3 firmware 3.56, which applies a “minor security patch” to the system. Of course it does, and of course it prevents people from hacking their PS3. What happens hereafter will be most telling.

Let’s not mince words: Sony has every right to update the system’s firmware so as to prevent folks from being able to hack their PS3. I do sympathize with the idea of being able to fiddle with your legally purchased hardware as you see fit, with the desire to run whatever on your PS3. But if you want to connect to Sony’s servers to play online, or to buy stuff from the PlayStation Network, you’re going to have to play by Sony’s rules. I don’t see how anyone can dispute that.

But will Sony show mercy to hackers? (And I used the word “hackers” purely out of convenience—there’s nothing “hackery” about putting a few files on a USB flash drive and tapping the X button on your controller.) Reports right now suggest that people with previously hacked PS3s, after applying the 3.56 update (Why would you update, by the way? Best to content yourself with offline play for the time being.) are still able to connect to the PlayStation Network, are still able to play online.

In other words, Sony hasn’t whipped out the banhammer just yet.

Microsoft has been fighting Xbox 360 hackers since Day One, and it never had any problem mass banning offending 360s from Xbox Live. Outrage usually followed—how dare Microsoft ban me from Xbox Live~!—but it’s Microsoft’s service, and it can admit whoever it wants. It’s my party, I can cry if I want to.

If you want to play on Xbox Live, you need a clean Xbox 360, end of.

It’s slightly different when it comes to the PS3. New games often require the latest version of the official firmware in order to run—even in offline mode. So if you have a hacked PS3 but then want to play Killzone 3 (or whatever) when it comes out, you’re out of luck. You can either upgrade to the newest official firmware, or have slightly less fun by staring at the disc. Maybe play frisbee with it?

All of this will be moot, of course, if people can figure out a way around the new “minor security patch.”

WHAT?! Minutes before this was to go on the front page it emerged that users have started running into Call of Duty: Black Ops (for PS3) permabans.

Countdown to Aggro…

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