informa
6 min read
article

CARTS!! "The lifespan" , "The protection" , "the option" , "the cool" , "the COMBO"

In response to the new SONY NGP rumors and specs, I'd just like to take some time to continue my never ending RANT, and prediction about the return of the CARTRIDGE option, and some of benefits of the cart, including a copy protection scheme called "BEP"

First I must prove my point with this:

Kingston 64GB SSDNOW V100 SATA 2

2.5" #19423

BV Code: HDD-K-64G V100 
Manufacturer Number: SV100S2/64GZ
Shipping Weight: 1.00 lbs


Our Price:
$127.99
 

 

Now this is pretty cheap (this is CANADIAN even) for a 64GB flash SSD, it really says some new volumes.

SO what's your DREAM Rhys? I think that it would be VERY cool to have a CART OPTION on a next gen console, I think there are some very cool things that can be done with a CART, that cannot be done with a BIG mulitilayer DVD. Not to mention that SONY will no doubt want to maintain BLUE RAY with the PS4, this will give them huge storage expansion possibilities.

1. THE "combo"

Some games, could actually come with a CART, and a DVD, to decrease load times, even completely "REMOVE" load times on some games. Use the DVD for "streaming" cinematics, pure mesh animations, and 24Bit surround. This would make the drive last longer as well, not to mention use less power, and be WAY quieter. No more "zing zing ,. zing zing zing,.."

2. The "lifespan" and "the cool"

CARTS are just plain cool, they store better, they look cooler, they "stack better" they last longer, they lay around the room better. You get an actual cool "physical object" when you buy the game as well, and I would imagine that some people would pay up to $10-20 extra to get a cart version, for better load times, and better durability. AND did I mention how fragile stupid lazer drives are?? XBOX anyone,.

3. The speed

Random access speed in flash drives makes some things POSSIBLE that are actually IMPOSSIBLE!! on a DVD or a MAGNETIC HARDDISK. Just take a look at my GENPASS909 password generator, it takes 1,000,000 or more random seeks from a HUGE 1GB file. IT will not even work on your harddrive,. DON'T USE IT,. it has to use a flash drive or it will THRASH for an hour, and ruin your harddrive quick. I'm sure IBM could come up with a NICE FAST cart port to put on our games consoles. Remember this is a CART BUS, not some USB interface, the rules change, no load times is possible on some games.

4. "BEP" hardware protection 

I'll not go into the deep that far, on this "not so secret" type of hardware CART copy protection that I have been working on, but I'll explain the basics.

BEP stands for BRANCH EXECUTION PROTECTION, and it's a design to have a unique "flashable" hardware protection chip embedded into a cart. It's not your typical DONGLE key, the flash actually contains, some of the code for the game, inside of this protection chip, but not in "executable binary format". What happens with this protection, is that the programmer, is responsible for protecting certain branch conditions in the code, where the actual execution of the IF statement, happens inside the cart, on a simple chip, that is flashed with the logical values and operators to complete the branch condition. Example

Inside the BEP chip, in the cart lies this:

Statement: 42 = { ((X || Y) && Z) || (Z && (Y || W)) }

inside the BEP protected program, in a non time critical point (like a dongle key)

if (LOAD_BEP(42, W, X , Y , Z)==true)

{

     do something VERY important

}

else

{

// do some other thing

If you think about this,. if the BEP chip is not present, or completely reverse engineered, (preprogrammed by the company) than it will give back the WRONG branch code result (true or false, or even an INT) and basically cause the program to malfunction in an unpredictable way and crash and burn. 

AND if you want to write a program to "SNOOP" the BEP,. you need to go through ALL the control paths of the program which is virtually impossible with 3D games,. or hardware querry all the values possible to "decode" the logical arrangement from the chip, and this is BAD NEWS, and takes a HUGE storage area, and like an "MRI" of the chip. This is VERY serious copy protection, and it's not really that hard to implement,. this is the kind of thing we could be doing with CARTS!! It's not a new idea to have a CPU on hardware, to run functions, but that's over kill, you can have a cheap BEP chip or some combination. Its just important that the "answers" returned by the ALU unit are indeed "functional parts of code" not just easy to remove "dongle checks". This would pretty much force anyone to have to crack each game individually, instead of "modding their console" to play all games. Plus with this level of cheap hardware protection, it may really require physically "MRI"ing the chip, and using computer vision to reconstruct the flashed rule table or something. Remeber the rule "table" on the chip, is only ever seen by NINTENDO or SONY. They used to do this kind of thing, but the "code" that was executed always had to be "included" on the floppy disk, times have changed. I pretty sure that's what NINTENDO and SONY are on the virge with,. it eliminates a LOT of piracy compared to modding. Even a "modded" cart, that has a "pirate BEP" on it, won't have the right combination of "custom BEPS" you'd need "parameters per game". Very strong protection. Automated 3D control path monkey's for 3D games like CALL OF DUTY, are pretty much impossible, even for "learning AI" because of the computer vision invovled with "artistic models".

optional CARTS!!!

optional CARTS!!!

optional CARTS!!!

There, now I've said my peice on carts,. and I really would pay extra, to get a lot of my games on CART rather than DVD,. but I only see carts as an OPTION, on a next gen console, we like our DVD's as well.

Jim Drew but never fired :) RAMBO LIVES!

OH here's one for you,. this one took me YEARS to figure out,. HOW DO YOU MOVE MT RUSHMORE??

OFFSET DC!!

and shut up the Scientific Investigation Division CHIP :) (it's a DirectSound bug :) Always the sound :) Stay away from my FALCON 030!!

RADIO CONTROLLED MEGA PIRATE

Latest Jobs

Treyarch

Playa Vista, California
6.20.22
Audio Engineer

Digital Extremes

London, Ontario, Canada
6.20.22
Communications Director

High Moon Studios

Carlsbad, California
6.20.22
Senior Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
6.20.22
Lead UI Programmer
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more