As covered by BBC News, Mr Justice Laddie has ruled that selling mod chips is illegal. Not stopping there, he also ruled:
The use, advertising or possession of them for commercial purposes should be considered illegal too
Whilst I don’t condone the piracy of PS2 games, and infringement of intellectual property, it’s concerning that the law is now dictating what you can and can?t alter on equipment that you own.
There?s quite a difference between saying “it is illegal to own or use pirated games” and “it is illegal to install a mod chip on your games console”.
In fact the Italian courts agree with me, saying:
It’s a little like Fiat marketing its cars while banning them from being driven by non-European citizens or outside towns
Finally, I find Sony?s timing in bringing about this case very interesting. Mod chips have been around since the days of the PlayStation 1 and yet Sony have generally turned a blind eye.
Many have argued that the reason why Sony and the original PlayStation was so successful over the already established console players Sega and Nintendo was that the PS1 was so easy to chip (creating the “critical mass” affect; producing a significant userbase from nothing in an already established market place).
This, in my view, has carried on into the PlayStation 2 ? the PS2 has been just as easy to chip, and become even more compelling as new chips have offered extra features such as multi-region playing on the PS2?s built-in DVD drive.
It’s interesting that only now, when Sony has just announced the first details of the next generation Playstation (indicating they are reaching saturation point of the current product) have they decided to crack down on the modders and chippers?