An Xbox 360 hacker's checklist:
- Being able to rip games off of Xbox 360 DVD discs? Check
- Being able to boot the system off of a custom disc? Check
- Being able to run home-grown code on the Xbox 360? Not yet
- Being able to decrypt ripped games so that copies of them can be used? Not yet
If the group of hackers that call themselves "Pi," is to be believed, the second item in the checklist above has been achieved by exploiting unencrypted content contained on disks intended for use on Xbox 360 kiosks in European retail locations. They write, "This leaves hackers with the possibility to hack around with this disc that load from a normal DVDR5 backup! .... YES you can run this! Burn the iso, put it into your xbox and be very amazed...."
Color us unamazed. These fellows have just determined that the kiosk DVD can be modified, copied, and used to boot an Xbox 360. Ho hum. The important step of running unapproved programs is still unfinished. Once the first simple program to display "hello world" has been written, hacking the Xbox 360 is a matter of creating more complex programs such as Internet browsers, media players, software emulators for older consoles, and even copied Xbox 360 retail games, assuming that the protection on those games can be cracked open.
If the crucial third step above is achieved, expect a patch to be swiftly developed by Microsoft and distributed via Xbox Live and via retail game disks in a replay of Sony's own back-and-forth battle with PSP hackers.