What was the first ever game console custom firmware?

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Hanging around this site, you can be fooled into thinking "custom firmwares" are a ubiquitous thing. But, in reality there haven't been all that many, especially if you consider true CFW not just some sort of homebrew enabler.

What do you think was the first proper CFW, and how many can you even name in total (that aren't just derivative works)?

I think my first experience was on the PSP when Dark Alex burst onto the scene. After that, probably 3DS, PS3 and Wii U (if that counts as a CFW). Not sure if I'm forgetting any other systems.

But yeah, if you count them up then you could say CFW is actually a pretty rare thing.
 

appleburger

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I'm pretty sure Dark Alex was the first true CFW ever released for a game console. But if you include iOS and older PC Operating Systems, I'm sure there's a lot to unpack, there.
 
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Cyan

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I suppose it implies the device requires a firmware, because old devices didn't have such a thing but had rewritten mods. like Miss Pacman ?

if it's about actual firmware and not its operating system or rom hack, I also think I encountered the term "CFW" with the PSP.
I don't know how many I can name or count.

The DS has a firmware, and had flashme mods to replace the passkey cartridge. but I don't remember it being named "CFW" at all.
it's more patched than custom.
 
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appleburger

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I suppose it implies the device requires a firmware, because old devices didn't have such a thing but had rewritten mods. like Miss Pacman ?

if it's about actual firmware and not its operating system or rom hack, I also think I encountered the term "CFW" with the PSP.
I don't know how many I can name or count.

The DS has a firmware, and had mods of it to replace the passkey cartridge. but I don't remember it was named "CFW" at all.
DSi cfw was the first iteration of any DS custom firmware, I believe.

And yeah, I'd say CFW is definitely a different beast from ROM hacks entirely
 

DaFixer

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I think JiffyDOS kernal rom replacements for the Commodore 64/1541 floppy drive, with this programs will load 10x faster.
But when using JiffyDOS you will lose the option to load progams from tape.

Second I will say Flash Me firmware on the NDS, when using Flash Me you don't need a Pass Me/Key card to boot NDS stuff from a slot 2 flashcard. When Mario kart DS was released it can brick your NDS when Flash Me was installed, so back then there was a Flash Me update to fix this.
 

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lets see, for mobile phones i can bring it back to i think that was as soon as Windows CE came on the marked?
about any smartphone has CFW.
i thought there were even java phone mods.
pc i've seen some bios mods even when i was a kid, but that was hardly cfw (it didn't change the way it worked, just the displayed picture got hacked.
the diskwriters for pc hve in many cases CFW that allows some special sections to be writable and readable that should be locked.
Nintendo ds there was flashme.
wii, psp,vita, ps3...
i'm not sure what was the oldest so called CFW, as said here, FirmWare is a term that kinda kicks out all consoles that didn't work with FirmWare, so PsX or PS2 mods are not gonna be counted.
i don't know about xbox hackings, i didn't had the desire to connect a full size PC to my tv when there were better options.
 
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hippy dave

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I remember there being a patched firmware for the Saturn to disable the copy/region protection, but I didn't have it and I don't know how commonly it was used, because it involved replacing the firmware ROM soldered to the motherboard. I'm also not entirely sure when it came about relative to the active lifetime of the console.
 
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I remember there being a patched firmware for the Saturn to disable the copy/region protection, but I didn't have it and I don't know how commonly it was used, because it involved replacing the firmware ROM soldered to the motherboard. I'm also not entirely sure when it came about relative to the active lifetime of the console.
Any links? I've never heard of that.
 

hippy dave

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