Interesting news regarding a new upcoming solution for running USB backups on the PS3. The 3k3y is an Optical Disk Drive Emulator for the PS3’s Blu Ray. The theory behind this hardware mod is the 3k3y is connected between the PS3’s motherboard and the Blu Ray drive. This is identical to the method used for the XBOX 360. This is something that many people have been working on for sometime and it would appear that this device has succeeded where many have failed in the past. Their ‘3K3y Revelations’ video that is doing the rounds while being maybe overly dramatic manages to show very few details on the actual device itself leading to a lot of speculation on the various forums.
The usage details they have released are as follows. First the Playstation must already be on some form of Custom Firmware to allow the user to run a PKG that will extract the Blu Ray drive key. This is the obvious stumbling block at this time but the team behind the 3k3y are promissing that a hardware solution is being worked on to extract the drive key from un-jailbroken firmware. Once the key has been properly obtained it must be inputed into the 3k3y so it can fully emulate the drive when loading a backup from the connected USB drive. The PS3 must then be updated to the latest official firmware (4.25 at this time) where it will then behave like a normal PS3’s but still able to load backups from USB. This means whatever updates Sony roll out in the future the device should continue to work. That is of course unless an update manages to change the built in Blu Ray drive key but looking at the XBOX 360 version this is not something Microsoft have yet done to block it. However it would appear to be detectable on the XBOX as the waves of mass bans in the past confirm.
The launch date given is the 12-12-12 which according to their video is set to tie in with the end of the Mayan Calender and the supposed end of the world – but isn’t this actually supposed to be 12-21-12 ?
So are we witnessing the end of the need for CFW for the PS3? That will depend on if this is fake or not. Many people have been tying this hardware mod to the same team who released the popular Xk3y for the XBOX mainly due to the similar name and almost identical logo.
A little digging throws this into doubt though. By comparing the hosting for the two different sites (3k3y.com and xk3y.com) shows they are on very separate hosting accross the world. No big deal as many companies do this but if you look at what else is hosted with xk3y.com you find many other dongles and usb loaders such as ps3key.com and d2pro.com and wiikey.com. Now thats obviously not proof that these are all the same company but you would expect 3k3y.com to have similar hosting if it was by the same company.
Fake or not? Time will tell of course. But there is still a few more possible problems with this. Firstly is the returning to ISO disk images something that will make every PS3 torrent out there un-usable with all the games needing to be re-ripped by the release groups. No biggie but expect this to fragment an already split scene. The second more worrying problem is brought about by the need to update the PS3 to the latest firmware. As any user of CFW on the PS3 knows updating gives no guarantee that the PS3 can then be jailbroken or downgraded again. It may be that many people will switch to using the 3k3y, update their PS3’s only for Sony to patch the Blu Ray key locking them out of their backups and possibly with no way to go back to CFW.
Unless there is progress with this hardware mod in relation to the newer super slim |PS3’s it doesnt seem to bring anything new to the scene and for the time being its more future proof to remain on the latest CFW and use spoofer methods to access the online features such as PSN/SEN and the store.