The Sega Saturn DRM has been cracked after twenty years

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by endoverend, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. endoverend
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    endoverend AKA zooksman

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    After twenty long years of suffering caused by the Sega Saturn's infamous hardware-based DRM, James Laird-Wah, a computer engineer known as "Dr Abrasive", has finally cracked the twenty year-old console. This DRM was so unique due to its mechanic that required a special groove to be present in all its CDs, requiring a rare modchip for any kind of homebrew. This solution involves a USB emulation of the disc drive.

    This is not a public release as of yet, but this represents major progress for the Saturn homebrew community as hardware testing will now be much more accessible. Post your thoughts below!

    :arrow:Interview with Dr Abrasive:
     


  2. WooHyun

    WooHyun GBAtemp Regular

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    So does this help anything in emulator development?
     
  3. iAqua

    iAqua feel the... envy.

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    Am I the only one who has never heard of this console?
     
    Last edited by iAqua, Jul 12, 2016
  4. CeeDee

    CeeDee hm?

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    Saturn: 20 years for crack. Unique DRM.
    Dreamcast: Cracked instantly. Literally no DRM whatsoever.

    ...Well then!
     
  5. endoverend
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    endoverend AKA zooksman

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    Quite possibly, and while it's too early to say since there is no release, having better control over the hardware is likely to bring more progress on that front as well as homebrew.
     
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  6. almmiron

    almmiron GBAtemp Regular

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    Since cartridge slot have advanced access to motherboard, iso loader by a possible flashcard perhaps is more close to be created? Hope so... :)
     
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  7. MeteK

    MeteK GBAtemp Regular

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    Gret news for Saturn's lovers like me :)

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Not by cartridge slot, but by VCD card slot !
     
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  8. Vappy

    Vappy GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    He says in the video that his research helped accurate emulation quite a bit, due to there being a bunch of unknowns that they had to estimate.
    That's basically what he has already, through the VCD slot. Probably a few board revisions and software tweaks away from anything resembling a marketable product though. Maybe check back in a year or so, if he keeps working at it, should be much closer to a release then, if not before.
    The Dreamcast DID have protection, it was just very easily bypassed.
    http://wololo.net/2012/11/12/sega-dreamcast-how-its-security-works-and-how-it-was-hacked/ This sums it up pretty well.
     
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  9. Lumstar

    Lumstar Princess

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    What makes Dreamcast interesting is that only applies to copies. You must modify the console to automatically run a legit imported GD-ROM in the same manner. (no boot disc, swap trick, or anything)
     
  10. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    What are you guys on about? The Saturn's AP protection was broken years ago, we just lacked a writer capable of reproducing the non-digital protection strip (Rings of Saturn, one of which is wobbly data while the other is literally a logo burned into the surface) on the disc. The modchips aren't "rare" and they're comparatively simple to replicate, the ring data is available, the mechanism is well-known and relatively understood, homebrew is plentiful and even without a hardware solution you could still disc swap using any original Saturn disc to bypass checks - the AP is a complete non-issue in 99% of the games, the latter 1% being games with custom AP and random ToC/loading checks in-gameplay, and even those can be mitigated. The one and only benefit here is ODDE loading, which is indeed an amazing feat as lasers all die eventually and mechanical/optical drives should be replaced as soon as possible, but to say that it's a groundbreaking development is a bit of a stretch.
     
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  11. ih8ih8sn0w

    ih8ih8sn0w Koreaboo

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    This wasn't a console that was well produced/known about/did well with sales afaik. I probably would be asking the same thing if I didn't have one just laying around...
     
  12. VinLark

    VinLark This machine kills bourgeois sentimentality.

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    Woah, this is pretty groundbreaking. This will totally help us homebrew consoles 20 years from now.

    w/e
     
  13. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Philistine. The Saturn's great, it could easily run laps around its competition in many aspects and its design was far ahead of its time. It's fascinating to this day and the way consoles are designed today, with multi-cpu, multi-gpu setups, is not unlike the Saturn's design. My issue with this breakthrough isn't so much that it's useless, it's the fact that it wasn't made earlier because nobody cared due to having plenty of alternatives. Making an ODDE would've required decapping the SH2 processor where the disc controller was to see what's cooking in the interface, and with cheap modchips and even cheaper swap tricks nobody wanted to go the extra mile.
     
  14. TVL

    TVL #|

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    An ODDE for the Saturn has been in existence for quite some time.
     
  15. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Back when I was dicking around with my Model 1 they did not and it's been at least 2-3 years since I looked into them, but you're right - they're called Rhea and Phoebe (depending on the pin count) and yes, they have been around since 2015, so nothing new is being created here.
     
  16. retrofan_k

    retrofan_k GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Nice achievement and props to the guy who cracked it. However, since owning a Rhea and Phoebe ODE, I don't see much use of this now using stock drives.
     
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  17. cearp

    cearp the ticket master

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    do you know what suffering is? lol... some people... exaggerating is not the same as reporting.
     
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  18. StriderVM

    StriderVM GBAtemp Fan

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    I thought that was Dreamcast's protection has been bypassed and not cracked? Same case with the PS1?
     
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  19. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    It was bypassed by using a different kind of medium (mil-CD rather than GD-ROM), cracking it would have no benefit as 1GB CD-R's don't exist, so a GD-ROM can't be "copied". We know what we know about the DC because of the Katana SDK and machines that float around.
     
  20. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

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    only 20 years too late