Modding of Proprietary Hardware

The PSP modding craze is reaching new heights. Apparently someone figured out how to run Windows on it (via Boingboing)! The linked article is very skimpy on details. I found a more detailed post at engadget. At first I was skeptical as there is no way in hell Win95 would run on non x86 architecture. But the engadget post clears it up a bit.

Someone ported Bochs – an open source x86 emulator and then managed to run Win95 on top of that. Pretty cool! And also, probably illegal on more than one level. PSP people are racking their heads right now to figure out how to stop people from hacking it – and each release of firmware has new locks in it.

I keep wondering why people bother to do this? I knew a guy who was a XBox modding nut. His box was so tricked out it was basically more of a multimedia desktop system than a crappy console. I can totally understand the tinkering aspect of this hobby – I like to do that myself. But tinkering with proprietary architectures is illegal and futile. You can be sued because of you really wanted to make your favorite gaming machine better… I think these people should switch to open architectures and stop adding value to the proprietary consoles.

But then again, there is no open gaming architecture on the market right now. The major players are all proprietary. I suspect that if someone would come up with an open console right now, it would flood the market! But, with the current climate it would be likely that an open console without DRM would not get any new game releases…

This is retarded. People alter all these gaming machines, adding really cool features that gamers all over the world need and crave. They make these machines so much more attractive to potential customers. People are willing to pay more for a modded XBox or PSP. But the greedy corporation blindly put more and more DRM on their machines to prevent this from happening. Why can’t someone out there embrace the modding culture?

I’ll tell you why – because our copyright law is horribly broken. Soon it will be illegal to pop the cover from your computer just like it is already illegal to pop the cover from your xbox…


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