12 Legitimate Reasons to Hack Your Console

12 Reasons to Hack Your Console

We don't need no Education

4. Education

This is probably one of the most important reasons to hack your console.  If you want to be on the bleeding edge of technology, then you have to know how the new technology works.  All consoles are closed systems, and only the game companies know how to program them.  Hacking your console allows you to create “homebrew” applications, which fuels the next generation of programmers.

The best security specialists became experts because they poked and prodded firewalls and other computer security.  The same holds true with the best game designers today: they got their start by playing and tinkering with consoles.

5. Games tied to system

Most consumers don’t know this, but some consoles’ downloadable content is tied to the physical system.   Games you download for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC (via Steam) are tied to an online account, so you can re-download these games at no cost if your old one is stolen, breaks, or you just buy a new one.

Nintendo’s eShop works differently.  When you purchase and download a game for the Wii, DSi, or 3DS, then that game is tied to your console’s serial number.  You lose all of your games if your console is replaced, stolen, or otherwise unrepairable.  On top of that, Nintendo prohibits you selling a console with pre-purchased titles (according to the license you have to wipe all content before selling it).

Nintendo is changing their stance on this issue for future consoles.  You will be able to transfer your Wii titles to the new Wii-U, and you can currently transfer DSiWare or 3DSware to a new 3DS system.  But Nintendo is still tying game licenses to serial numbers, not accounts.

The next generation of consoles will be focusing on downloadable distribution methods.  Either the game will be tied to an online account or to the physical box, which may raise some eyebrows in the Privacy department (see point 3).