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Sony is reportedly readying a hardware revision of their popular PlayStation 3 console with an updated Blu-ray ROM which will feature a new copy protection system to combat piracy.

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The source of the rumor is GamerTell. The site cites a “well-placed industry source” who says that developers were recently informed of a hardware revision of the PS3. The revised PS3 is in testing process and will feature a new copy protection system.

From GamerTell:

According to a well-placed industry source who wishes to remain anonymous, developers were recently notified that a new revision of the PlayStation 3 is in the testing process …

Presumably this would at least prevent these newer consoles from running copied games with an additional layer of authentication. It’s likely that there will be some kind of watermark on genuine PlayStation 3 discs that the drive is looking for. All of these measures are in response to the acquisition of the PS3 root encryption key earlier this year (2011) by hacker GeoHot which allows unlicensed code to be run on the PlayStation without restriction.

The new copy protection system will be inside the newer Blu-ray ROM itself which is similar to how the Xbox 360 Slim’s anti-piracy system works. It will add an extra layer for authentication of the game discs. GamerTell believes that there will be some sort of watermark on original PS3 games that won’t be on pirated disks. From this difference, the PS3 will infer whether to play the disc or not.

Along with the revised hardware, there would be a firmware upgrade which will have new drivers to optimize 3D playback with Blu-ray discs.

The revised hardware, according to the source, is expected to be announced with a price drop at this year’s Tokyo Game Show in September. Price drops, as always, are highly welcome.

Sony’s move to revise hardware is a direct corollary to Geohot and fail0verlow’s hacking of the PS3. George Hotz publicly posted the PS3’s root key in January. The motive behind it wasn’t to spur piracy, but to make the console more secure and for it to be able to run Yellow Dog Linux and other homebrew applications.

(via PSX Scene)

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