Let's face it, the reason we do what we do is that we're modders at heart. And though most of our time is taken up in the lab, finding ways to maximize PCs of all shapes and sizes, that doesn't mean we can't appreciate console mods too. To the contrary; after seeing what people have been able to fashion their trusty consoles into, we felt compelled to make a gallery featuring some of our favorite console mods of all time. We still think PC gaming is superior, but we respect a good hardware hack - and with these kick-ass mods, we're seeing a whole new side to consoles.
Goodness. This is frighteningly impressive. Sure, people dream up ambitious mod ideas every day, but rarely do they ever lock horns with Blizzard, dust themsleves off, and emerge with a product worthy of tears from most pros' ducts. StarCraft Universe – perhaps better remembered by its former name, “World of StarCraft” – is a mod that aims to transform StarCraft II into a fully featured multiplayer RPG. Earlier this year, the project was certainly coming along nicely, but now... damn. Can we give someone money for this? Or at least a slightly discounted hug? Gawk at the full thing yourself after the break.
Bill Owen of MNPCTech fame is building us two Star Trek-themed PCs, one of which we will give away at Comic-Con. With design help from Mike Okuda and our own David Gerrold (who will take home the other PC), both Top Men in the Star Trek world, it's going to be amazing. Follow Bill's build log in the forums!
Check out more great forum threads after the jump!
If we've learned anything from the modding community, it's that they don't mess around. Give them a goal and they'll get it done, as is the case with the iPad 2. Apple's second generation tablet went on sale just before the weekend, and it's already been jailbroken, shedding the shackles of iOS 4.3.
The fellas over at TechPowerUp have posted a guide detailing how to mod a Radeon HD 6950 (Cayman Pro) videocard into a Radeon HD 6970 (Cayman XT), both of which are based on the same GPU design. The main difference comes down to the number of shaders -- 1408 on the 6950 and 1535 on the 6970.
According to TechPowerUp, the 6950's missing shaders are the result of a deactivation scheme in the card's BIOS. That's good news for modders, as unlike hardware locks, software locks are usually easy to reverse.
Bear in mind that you're on your own should something go wrong, but according to the guide, activating those dormant shaders involves nothing more than flashing the BIOS. Once you're finished with that, you can goose the clockspeeds to match that of a 6970 videocard.
TechPowerUp tested its method on 14 cards from 7 different vendors and in each case determined that the mod "unlocks and works fine" without any errors.
Trying to track down a list of “five game mods you must download right now” is a lot like trying to choose your five top games of all time. Sure, your list might be impressive—maybe even awesome—but you’re still going to get a heap of contenders sobbing in the corner at your refusal to acknowledge their almost-noteworthy existences. And nobody likes bawling boxed titles.
So let that be a warning to you, fun-loving gamer who continues to read this article. I’m covering freeware game modifications this time around—freeware, obviously, because I doubt your average enthusiast is going to risk the wrath of a developer’s fury because he or she is selling blood, sweat, and tears in the form of a $5 game add-on. As well, I’m not just looking at maps, or other whip-dip little tweaks. I’m talking about huge transformations that range from, “making this game playable in the modern era” to “wow, I want to go back and revisit this title because it is now sweet.”
I’m paraphrasing, of course. But you get the idea.
But as I mentioned, narrowing down to a list of five is near-impossible. So if you don’t have an affinity for the Infinity Engine (including Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment), Sins of a Solar Empire, Fallout 3, TIE Fighter/X-Wing Alliance, or Half-Life 2… you might want to sit this one out. Otherwise, let’s get real.
Adafruit Industries lit a fire under the hacking community's feet when it announced a chance to win $2,000 to the first person to deliver open-source software drivers for the Kinect, and it looks like a winner has emerged.
Nothing has yet been verified, but NUI Group forum member "AlexP" posted a couple of videos showing the Kinect merrily communicating with Windows. Microsoft, as you might imagine, probably isn't going to take the news well and was never in support of the contest to begin with.
"Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products," a company spokesperson told CNet. "With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant."
AlexP has been down this road before. In addition to hacking the Kinect, he also modified Sony's PS3Eye Camera to run under Windows.
What do you do when your 11-year-old son tells you he wants to dress up as a chick for Halloween? You help him build a Samus Aran costume, of course!
Little Jospeh DeRose wanted to do exactly that, and so his father decided to help him construct a replica of Samus Aran's Varia Suit from Metroid Prime, starting with the awesome arm cannon complete with a speaker and LED lights. Best of all, the father-son team posted an 8-minute worklog on YouTube for all to see.
Check it out below, then hit the jump and tell us if you've seen any noteworthy Halloween costume mods.
I own an HTC Dream, otherwise known as the T-Mobile G1. Yes, it's now dated and slow and pitifully behind the curve compared to today's superphones, but with my contract just about up, I'm riding it out before switching carriers (T-Mobile's coverage in my area isn't the greatest). So how do I deal with constant smartphone envy? It helps that I rooted my G1 almost from Day 1.
Still today the XDA forums are brimming with modified firmware for the G1, and it's that culture of modders that helped make the first Android handset such a popular device. Surely then the recently released G2 would follow in the same footsteps, right? Sadly, that's not the case. Rather than encourage third-party ROM development, or even just leave them be, the G2 comes with a security mechanism that prevents the device from saving changes made by modified firmware.
Hit the jump to read T-Mobile's explanation on why this is necessary.
Sony appears to be fighting a losing battle in preventing users from jailbreaking their PlayStation 3 consoles. In a recent Australian court ruling, a judge made permanent a previous ban on the distribution of the PSJailbreak dongle only to watch the software code behind a similar hack released for free into the wild. Naturally, Sony responded with a minor firmware update blocking these bits of code from working their mojo, but it's an ongoing cat and mouse game at best.
What we find most interesting, however, is how insanely easy it is to jailbreak a PS3. This is Sony's flagship console, after all, yet users have been able to jailbreak the device with everything from a Palm Pre to a calculator.
That's right, we said a calculator. Gizmodo has put together a collection of clips showing various devices cracking the PS3, and one of them includes the above mentioned hack (known as PSGroove) run from a TI-84. Pretty rad, no? Check it out below.