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Favorite softmod systems?


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Ever since home consoles became powerful enough to start including PC-like things such as internal storage, optical drives and even USB and SD card slots on rare occasion, the softmod or software modification to defeat security and unlock functionality has taken place. In iPhone terms this is a jailbreak.

Some would argue what the first softmod console was. If one were to include hardware modchips, then of course that all started on the PS1. For software-only, my vote is for the Dreamcast, it contained a security flaw that meant specially written CD-Rs could boot code on a completely unmodified Dreamcast. No, I don't count the swap trick for PS1.

With that, I present below a list of systems that as far as I know, feature at least one software-based security exploit used to run unauthorized or unsigned code. Yes some use third party accessories, they're not expensive or hard to find and require no tools or soldering.

PS1 - TonyHax save file exploit

Dreamcast - MIL-CD exploit, serial to SD adapter + Dreamshell

PS2 - Freemcboot, Freehdboot, FreeDVDBoot, Mechapwn and Open PS2 Loader, also POPStarter for PS1 backups

GC - save file exploits + Swiss on SD card adapters

Xbox - save file exploits + custom dashboards on internal HDD

Wii - multiple entry points + homebrew channel and USB Loader GX/WiiFlow

PS3 - PS3Xploit + CFW for 4.82 to 4.85 on Phat and Slim, PS3HEN for late slim and super slim

PS4/PS5 - WebKit exploits

PSP/Vita - CFW permanent and HEN

DSi - memory pit exploit and TwilightMenu++

3DS - multiple entry points + Luma3DS

Switch - joycon jig for service mode + Atmosphere

Honourable mention: Xbox 360 - RGH hardware mod + custom dashboards on hard drive (also the older JTAG)


So what are my picks? Consoles, to me it is hands down the PS2 and Wii for sheer convenience, they are great on CRT which is what I have, plus these systems also support PS1 and GameCube, you get four systems plus many more via emulators.

For portable, my usual go-to is DSi, all I ever usually want is GB, GBA and DS which TwilightMenu++ can do. I don't need 3DS much so a DSi is a better fit for me. Not perfect but gets the job done.

My least favourite is the Xbox 360 because it requires soldering. If 360 doesn't count here, then the Switch is my least favorite as it typically needs an early model and a tether boot from a smartphone or PC or a modchip like the 360.

Edited by Koopa64
Atmosphere, not HorizonOS
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Much of the SNES I play is on my Homebrew Wii, so I guess I'll go with that. It's not the greatest as far as input lag is concerned, so tight platformers aren't the best. RPGs though you can't beat the wireless and plugging a SNES mini controller into the wiimote for a nice authentic feel. Great relaxing on the couch and veging out under a blanket. 

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One more edit, I completely forgot about TonyHax for the PS1. Technically it only allows for loading burned discs as the PS1 never did have much for mass storage devices without hardware mods, but it probably should be mentioned.

Dreamcast still remains as the first softmod console, because TonyHax wasn't until 20 years later.

Edited by Koopa64
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