First system be hacked?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by bnwchbammer, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. bnwchbammer

    bnwchbammer GBAtemp Fan

    Mar 4, 2009
    United States
    Yo guys, I've got a research paper to write, and my topic is piracy and homebrew. (my teacher's pretty cool) anyway, one of my sub-questions is "What was the first video game system to have homebrew run off of it?" If you guys know, would you let me know... and I'd need the source. Soooo yeah, if you wanna help, thanks... if not... oh well, maybe you'll learn something from this thread.

    As I said in a post below
    Well, I've chosen to define homebrew as code run against the desired function of the console. I'm not talking about open source here, must involve hacking or some sort of bypassing.
    Just cuz I know people don't like reading stuff below the first post
  2. CJL18

    CJL18 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Mar 4, 2007
    United States
    i might be wrong on this one but i'm pretty sure it was the playstation
  3. lagman

    lagman I wish I was green.

    Former Staff
    Nov 5, 2003
    Me, To You
    Would the Amiga/C64 count? Can't think of anything running homebrew before that. Then again, it would be nice to know your definition of homebrew.
  4. TrolleyDave

    TrolleyDave Philosolosophising

    Former Staff
    Jan 1, 2007
    Wales, UK
    I'm with Laggy, you'll have to define the system type you mean. If you're on about consoles then I can tell you that the first console I ever saw a homebrew game running on was the SNES. I think it was called something like Shoot Your Load and it was from Anthrox. There were intros, cracktros and demos for both the Megadrive and the SNES before it though. I'm pretty sure the SNES had demo coders before the Megadrive.
  5. bnwchbammer

    bnwchbammer GBAtemp Fan

    Mar 4, 2009
    United States
    Well, I've chosen to define homebrew as code run against the desired function of the console. I'm not talking about open source here, must involve hacking or some sort of bypassing.
  6. mercluke

    mercluke ‮҉

    Dec 2, 2007
    well, if we're talking unauthorised then the nes (and other too i suppose) had games released for them by companies that didn't have consent from ninty

    there is also early personal computers to think about, if i remember computer science class discussions correctly, computers were originally proprietary..

    edit: also, the homebrew computer club was started in '75
  7. kaputnik

    kaputnik GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 10, 2007

    Yep, and you had to disable the lockout chip in the NES to be able to boot [unauthorized] carts, since they didn't have the corresponding chip that the lockout chip communicate with. So bootleg carts for the NES definitely falls under the definition "code run against the desired function of the console".

    My guess why there were no homebrew for the NES would be that there were no simple and cheap ways to store and boot the homebrew code. Nowadays you just need to softmod your Wii/PSP/whatever, or get a flashcart for your GBA/DS/etc and boot your unsigned code from standard flash memory. It's easy, and the required hardware costs next to nothing, no wonder that the homebrew scene has grown. I dunno if there were any disc copiers for the NES, but I do remember that the Super Wildcard and equivalent devices for the SNES didn't come cheap, and they weren't all that easy to use either.


    Here's some info on the NES lockout system;
  8. zuron7

    zuron7 RBYG

    Apr 6, 2009
    GPS not available in this area
    The 5th GEN were the first consoles to be hacked fully but the one's before that had unofficial games running off emulators.
    I think the first console to be hacked was the ATARI 2600.

    You can try Wikipedia but other sources are much more useful than a that.
  9. Jamstruth

    Jamstruth Secondary Feline Anthropomorph

    Apr 23, 2009
    North East Scotland
    Piracy started looooonnnng ago in the days of the first Home Computers (C64, ZXSpectrum etc.) when games came on cassette tapes. People copied them and passed them around to friends.

    And I would define homebrew as "Code created by amateur members of the public which is unlicensed" you need hacks to run these on most consoles but some hacks are not homebrew (Such as SwapMagic for the PS2 which is sold and maintained by a company)
  10. DjoeN

    DjoeN Captain Haddock!

    Oct 21, 2005
    Somewhere in this potatoland!
    I bet on "Atari 2600", C64, Amiga, Atari ST (Etc...) aren't really Game only systems
    But it could also be the "Magnavox Oddyssey"/"Maganavox Oddessey²" or "Fairchild Channel F"
    The Maganavox Oddessey 2 (Also known as Philips Videopac G7000) could be very well used for Homebrew
  11. TrolleyDave

    TrolleyDave Philosolosophising

    Former Staff
    Jan 1, 2007
    Wales, UK
    There were copiers for the NES but only the Famicom systems. They were top loading so it was easy enough. I think it was called the Venus or something similar. If I remember right you also had to have a FDS for it to dump the games on. The SNES/Megadrive copiers were easy as hell to use. You put a disk in and hit "Load disk" on the menu, that was all it took to load a game. You're right about the expensive part, but they were still incredibly popular. A whole pirate scene was set up because of them.
  12. Occult Tech

    Occult Tech Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    The floppy disk based loaders for the Mega Drive and SNES are still popular and collectible and expensive.

    Same as the Dr. 64 & Z64, come to think of it.

    I do feel that homebrew has become a smokescreen for piracy, by many people, and that it has lost it's way, to some extent.
  13. UltraMagnus

    UltraMagnus hic sunt dracones

    Aug 2, 2007
    piracy: the were companies that made bootleg vinyl records in the 70's.
    homebrew: if you mean "against the wishes of the producer of the hardware" then I believe the atari 2600 was the first. Although I am sure the people that made the DEC PDP-1 didn't intend for a bunch of students to write spacewar for their multi million dollar super computer.
  14. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    From my cupboard of wonder:
    Booklet for it:

    If that is not a hack device then I am not sure what is. Sure a poke is not really any better than a basic cheat but ram viewing/dumping, ram image loading, ram expanding and such is.

    I am pretty sure I have something similar for the c64 as well although at this time I can only find my cartridge of star ranger.

    You should also consider that most earlier devices that are being mentioned here explicitly allowed homebrew (full access most of the time as well) to the point where there were magazines if not devoted to it but relying heavily upon it. I will say homebrew is perhaps not a term coined in the last few years but certainly one that has risen to prominence- older systems would usually call it PD (public domain) or even shareware.

    "Desired function" is also open to interpretation even if you do not ask "who sets the meaning of desired function)- some of the best programmers of the era (many of whom today are some serious players in the industry) would use all manner of hardware glitches/oddities, undocumented interfaces, APIs (such that they could be called) which emulator authors curse them for to this day and many a hardware developer at the time would as well (suffice it to say some of the old players are not frustrated at windows having software upgrade nightmares but serious flashbacks instead).

    To spin it again you also have things like crystal change overclocking- today computers come as nice devices that slot into one another, I am sure you could find people that had to solder their own ram chips to ram modules.

    Finally it was not always hardware lockout- many games asked you to use a codewheel or quote the manual or some such to play them.

    To this end I would argue it is impossible to draw the line at where protection appeared and cracking/homebrew and other such things began.
  15. funem

    funem Retro Powered..

    Nov 4, 2006
    United Kingdom
    out of nowhere....
    I have one of those in my box of wonder in my loft .... I also have a Currah Microspeech, Microdrives and other such wonders in there somewhere.... as for homebrew on a home system you may want to look there... its a start anyway
  16. Hop2089

    Hop2089 Cute>Hot

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    PC-FX was the easiest system to hack and games were ridiculously easy to copy since they had no copy protection, the problem was the same, storage at the time was expensive and CD Burners also cost a mint, now they are standard on almost every computer.