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Author Topic: Encryption chip will end piracy  (Read 1118 times)
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Destructor
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« on: May 24, 2008, 02:39:30 AM »

Or so says the Atari founder:

Quote
Speaking at yesterday's Wedbush Morgan Securities annual Management Access Conference, the Atari founder suggested that game piracy will soon be a thing of the past thanks to a new chip.

"There is a stealth encryption chip called a TPM that is going on the motherboards of most of the computers that are coming out now," he pointed out

"What that says is that in the games business we will be able to encrypt with an absolutely verifiable private key in the encryption world - which is uncrackable by people on the internet and by giving away passwords - which will allow for a huge market to develop in some of the areas where piracy has been a real problem."

Bushnell thinks that piracy of movies and music, however, is probably unstoppable because "if you can watch it and you can hear it, you can copy it."

"Games are a different thing, because games are so integrated with the code. The TPM will, in fact, absolutely stop piracy of gameplay.

"As soon as the installed base of the TPM hardware chip gets large enough, we will start to see revenues coming from Asia and India at a time when before it didn't make sense."

(entire quote copied because I can)

What Mr. Bushnell doesn't realize is that the pirating community can crack ANYTHING given a bit of time. They consider it a contest of sort, and they WILL win.

And I'll be real blunt - I won't be buying a new motherboard until I learn that it doesn't have said chipset in it. I'm already treated enough like a pirate as it is as a PC gamer.
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2008, 02:50:09 AM »

personally, I think this might be a good thing.  If pirating was able to be significantly decreased, the pc game industry should see more profit, leading to more development of pc specific games.  As far as playing games is concerned, this chip should have no effect on me whatsoever, anyway.
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Giles Habibula
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2008, 03:14:39 AM »

IF the thing actually works, and IF it doesn't require online activation for SP games (meaning I can re-install it in 10 years on a legacy machine without activation worries), I'm all for it.
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Jeff
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2008, 03:53:05 AM »

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What Mr. Bushnell doesn't realize is that the pirating community can crack ANYTHING given a bit of time. They consider it a contest of sort, and they WILL win.

Yeah I remember when DVD encryption was "uncrackable" too. Oh and Vista's new activation security, and so forth.

I have nothing against game devs protecting their stuff, but not when it introduces huge hassles for paying customers. I don't want to pay $50 for a game that I'm not allowed to play without their permission.

And the last thing PC gaming needs is another Starforce fiasco, where the "cure" was worse than the disease.
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Kyosho
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2008, 03:57:33 AM »

Aren't they cocky. I understand the want to stop piracy, but I doubt this will work. As the OP said, to crackers, cracking IS their game. It's what they love to do. It's a challenge. They won't stop until it is cracked.
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Sarkus
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2008, 04:25:28 AM »

Well, hardware encryption is harder to break.  Just look at the consoles, which already have been using it, from what I understand.  Those are breakable, but there is a price to pay.  When I worked for GameStop I had a guy come in complaining about how a new game wouldn't run on his PS1.  One of my more knowledgeable employees asked him if he had modified his system at all, which he admitted he had in order to play regionally encoded games from Japan on his US system.  The employee told him the new game had shipped with a built in check that would fail when it encountered the modification.  The guy ended up buying a new PS1 and I'm sure Sony was happy with that outcome.

The point is that while you might be able to modify the chip, the response may be costly.  No chip?  No online gameplay, etc., etc.  Modify the chip?  Software can be designed to look for the modifications, etc., etc.

It would be unrealistic to think this chip will end piracy.  But it may very well reduce it enough to have an impact on sales.  We see piracy on such a vast scale on the PC because it's so easy.  If you make it harder, then some of those people won't bother.  It's one thing to download a new game off a torrent, it's another to flash your bios to disable a built in chip. 

Whether any of this really has an impact on sales remains to be seen.  Personally, if it works without causing problems for people with legitimate software, I could not care any less if such a chip is installed on my PC.



« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 04:30:37 AM by Sarkus » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2008, 05:55:59 AM »

Hardware encryption is going to be much harder to handle on the PC side of things UNLESS it's tied into either the video card or CPU itself, as there's only two MFGs for each, for all intents and purposes.  Motherboards?  You're looking at dozens, at least, and you'd have to force it on them, IMO.

I call bullshit, and Bushnell with a pipedream.
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2008, 07:21:24 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 24, 2008, 02:39:30 AM

And I'll be real blunt - I won't be buying a new motherboard until I learn that it doesn't have said chipset in it. I'm already treated enough like a pirate as it is as a PC gamer.

Hear, hear.  I already bought a TPM-enabled motherboard before I knew such things existed and before reading stuff like this and this article by Richard Stallman.

You can bet your arse I won't be making that mistake again.
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Sarkus
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2008, 07:39:53 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 24, 2008, 02:39:30 AM

And I'll be real blunt - I won't be buying a new motherboard until I learn that it doesn't have said chipset in it. I'm already treated enough like a pirate as it is as a PC gamer.

If it works without any impact on the legitimate customer would you still have this opinion?  Or is this a stand on beliefs? 

See, I think if you are standing simply on beliefs you have likely long passed the time to do that.  Don't fool yourself into thinking that you aren't already allowing people to look at and scan your PC all the time.  Do any online banking?  I just built a new PC and two of the three credit card companies I deal with online recognized that fact and required me to confirm my identity.  You may say "that's different" but unless you read the fine print you probably didn't realize the extent to which you are already allowing security measures to violate your theoretical beliefs.

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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2008, 12:10:20 PM »

Quote from: Zarkon on May 24, 2008, 05:55:59 AM

Hardware encryption is going to be much harder to handle on the PC side of things UNLESS it's tied into either the video card or CPU itself, as there's only two MFGs for each, for all intents and purposes.  Motherboards?  You're looking at dozens, at least, and you'd have to force it on them, IMO.

I call bullshit, and Bushnell with a pipedream.

Yea there's not much incentive for manufactures to add these chips if the customer isn't demanding it.  I just don't see the majority of customers willing to pay extra to help fight piracy.  Now if the all the software companies pulled resources to pay for these then I could see it happening.  The MB manufacturers are not making any money of software sales ala console makers.  Maybe MS will foot the bill.
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2008, 12:14:38 PM »

Quote from: Sarkus on May 24, 2008, 07:39:53 AM

Quote from: Destructor on May 24, 2008, 02:39:30 AM

And I'll be real blunt - I won't be buying a new motherboard until I learn that it doesn't have said chipset in it. I'm already treated enough like a pirate as it is as a PC gamer.
If it works without any impact on the legitimate customer would you still have this opinion?  Or is this a stand on beliefs?

Because I don't believe it'll work without any impact on the legitimate customer. The copy protection schemes we have now are only proof of that.


Quote
See, I think if you are standing simply on beliefs you have likely long passed the time to do that.  Don't fool yourself into thinking that you aren't already allowing people to look at and scan your PC all the time.  Do any online banking?  I just built a new PC and two of the three credit card companies I deal with online recognized that fact and required me to confirm my identity.

And what exactly do the online banks use to confirm that it's your PC? IP address? MAC info of your wi-fi/ethernet? I know that when I've taken my laptop to other locations and tried to log in, it bitches. Nothing has changed short of the IP info the bank is expecting.
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2008, 06:32:43 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 24, 2008, 12:14:38 PM

Quote
See, I think if you are standing simply on beliefs you have likely long passed the time to do that.  Don't fool yourself into thinking that you aren't already allowing people to look at and scan your PC all the time.  Do any online banking?  I just built a new PC and two of the three credit card companies I deal with online recognized that fact and required me to confirm my identity.

And what exactly do the online banks use to confirm that it's your PC? IP address? MAC info of your wi-fi/ethernet? I know that when I've taken my laptop to other locations and tried to log in, it bitches. Nothing has changed short of the IP info the bank is expecting.

Probably just a cookie.  Try a different browser and you'll probably get the same result.
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