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Homebrew is a term frequently applied to video games or other software produced by hobbyists and amateur developers targeting proprietary hardware platforms (usually with hardware restrictions) that are not typically user-programmable or that use proprietary storage methods. Homebrew can include software made using unofficial, community maintained toolchains or games developed using official development kits such as Net Yaroze, Linux for PlayStation 2, or Microsoft XNA.[1] A game written by a non-professional developer for a system intended to be consumer-programmable, like the Commodore 64, is simply called a hobbyist (rather than a Homebrew developer).

Some popular targets for homebrew games include the Nintendo Wii, Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation Portable, and older consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System or the Atari 2600.

All major sixth generation consoles are given attention in Homebrew development, but less so than earlier generations. This is the case mainly because software production for newer consoles requires more time and resources compared to older consoles, newer consoles often employ significantly more complex systems to prevent the execution of unauthorized code, newer consoles generally quickly receive updates containing bug-fixes patching out software exploits required to run homebrew, and emulators for newer consoles, generally, are not accurate enough to reliably develop on.

Homebrew is not only limited to games. There are demos and applications that have been released for systems with a homebrew scene.

Development

Homebrew games for older systems are typically developed using emulators for convenience, since testing them requires no extra hardware on the part of the programmer. Development for newer systems typically involves actual hardware, given the lack of accurate emulators. Efforts have been made to use actual console hardware for many older systems, though. Atari 2600 Homebrew developers use various methods, for example, burning an EEPROM to plug into a custom cartridge board or audio transfer via the Starpath Supercharger. Game Boy Advance Homebrew developers have several ways to use GBA flash cartridges in this regard.

First through fourth generation consoles

The Atari 2600 is a popular platform for Homebrew developers.

Magnavox Odyssey

In 2009, Odball became the first game for the Magnavox Odyssey since 1973. It was produced by Robert Vinciguerra[2] who has since written several other Odyssey games. On July 11, 2011, Dodgeball was published by Chris Read.[3]

Fairchild Channel F

A handful of Homebrew games have been programmed for the Fairchild Channel F, the first console to use ROM cartridges. The first known release is Sean Riddle's Lights Out which included instructions on how to modify the SABA#20 Chess game into a Multi-Cartridge.[4] There is also a version of Tetris and in 2008 "Videocart 27: Pac-Man" became the first full production Homebrew for the Channel F.

Atari 2600

The Atari 2600, although released in 1977, is a popular platform for Homebrew projects. Games created for the Atari 2600 can be executed using either an emulator or directly when copied onto a blank cartridge making use of either a PROM or EPROM chip. Unlike later systems, the console does not require a modchip. Although there is one high-level compiler available, batari Basic, most development for the Atari 2600 is still done in 6502 Nintendo Wii, Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation Portable, and older consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System or the Atari 2600.

All major sixth generation consoles are given attention in Homebrew development, but less so than earlier generations. This is the case mainly because software production for newer consoles requires more time and resources compared to older consoles, newer consoles often employ significantly more complex systems to prevent the execution of unauthorized code, newer consoles generally quickly receive updates containing bug-fixes patching out software exploits required to run homebrew, and emulators for newer consoles, generally, are not accurate enough to reliably develop on.

Homebrew is not only limited to games. There are demos and applications that have been released for systems with a homebrew scene.

Homebrew games for older systems are typically developed using emulators for convenience, since testing them requires no extra hardware on the part of the programmer. Development for newer systems typically involves actual hardware, given the lack of accurate emulators. Efforts have been made to use actual console hardware for many older systems, though. Atari 2600 Homebrew developers use various methods, for example, burning an EEPROM to plug into a custom cartridge board or audio transfer via the Starpath Supercharger. Game Boy Advance Homebrew developers have several ways to use GBA flash cartridges in this regard.

First through fourth generation consoles

The Atari 2600 is a popular platform for Homebrew developers.

Magnavox Odyssey

In 2009, Odball became the first game for the Magnavox Odyssey since 1973. It was produced by Robert Vinciguerra[2] who has since written several other Odyssey games. On July 11, 2011, Dodgeball was published by Chris Read.[3]

Fairchild Channel F

A handful of Homebrew games have been programmed for the Fairchild Channel F, the first console to use ROM cartridges. The first known release is Sean Riddle's Lights Out which included instructions on how to modify the SABA#20 Chess game into a Multi-Cartridge.[4] There is also a version of Tetris and in 2008 "Videocart 27: Pac-Man" became the first full production Homebrew for the Channel F.

Atari 2600

The Atari 2600, although released in 1977, is a popular platform for Homebrew projects. Games created for the Atari 2600 can be executed using either an emulator or directly when copied onto a blank cartridge making use of either a PROM or EPROM chip. Unlike later systems, the console does not require a modchip. Although there is one high-level compiler available, batari Basic, most development for the Atari 2600 is still done in 6502 assembly language. Combined with the extremely limited resources of the 2600, it is a difficult system to develop for, and some games are programmed simply for the technical challenge.[5]

NES

Several compilers are available for the Nintendo Entertainment System, but like the Atari 2600, most development directly applies assembly language. One impediment to NES Homebrew development is the relative difficulty involved with producing physical cartridges, although third-party flash carts do exist, making Homebrew possible on original NES hardware.[6] Several varieties of custom processors are used within NES cartridges to expand system capabilities; most are difficult to replicate except by scavenging old cartridges. The hardware lockout mechanism of the NES further complicates the construction of usable physical cartridges. However, the NES-101 removed the 10NES lockout chip so any game, whether Homebrew, unlicensed, or another region of an official game, can be played. The original Famicom and its clones also feature no lockout mechanism. The 10NES chip can eventually be permanently disabled by performing a minor change to the hardware.

Genesis

A handful of Homebrew games have been programmed for the Fairchild Channel F, the first console to use ROM cartridges. The first known release is Sean Riddle's Lights Out which included instructions on how to modify the SABA#20 Chess game into a Multi-Cartridge.[4] There is also a version of Tetris and in 2008 "Videocart 27: Pac-Man" became the first full production Homebrew for the Channel F.

Atari 2600

The Atari 2600, although released in 1977, is a popular platform for Homebrew projects. Games created for the Atari 2600 can be executed using either an Fairchild Channel F, the first console to use ROM cartridges. The first known release is Sean Riddle's Lights Out which included instructions on how to modify the SABA#20 Chess game into a Multi-Cartridge.[4] There is also a version of Tetris and in 2008 "Videocart 27: Pac-Man" became the first full production Homebrew for the Channel F.

Atari 2600

Atari 2600, although released in 1977, is a popular platform for Homebrew projects. Games created for the Atari 2600 can be executed using either an emulator or directly when copied onto a blank cartridge making use of either a PROM or EPROM chip. Unlike later systems, the console does not require a modchip. Although there is one high-level compiler available, batari Basic, most development for the Atari 2600 is still done in 6502 assembly language. Combined with the extremely limited resources of the 2600, it is a difficult system to develop for, and some games are programmed simply for the technical challenge.[5]

NES

Several compilers are available for the Nintendo Entertainment System, but like the Atari 2600, m

Several compilers are available for the Nintendo Entertainment System, but like the Atari 2600, most development directly applies assembly language. One impediment to NES Homebrew development is the relative difficulty involved with producing physical cartridges, although third-party flash carts do exist, making Homebrew possible on original NES hardware.[6] Several varieties of custom processors are used within NES cartridges to expand system capabilities; most are difficult to replicate except by scavenging old cartridges. The hardware lockout mechanism of the NES further complicates the construction of usable physical cartridges. However, the NES-101 removed the 10NES lockout chip so any game, whether Homebrew, unlicensed, or another region of an official game, can be played. The original Famicom and its clones also feature no lockout mechanism. The 10NES chip can eventually be permanently disabled by performing a minor change to the hardware.

Genesis<

The Sega Genesis has no physical lockout mechanism, making it easier to release software for the system. Rick Dangerous, Rick Dangerous 2, Pier Solar and the Great Architects, and a port of Teenage Queen were released as physical cartridges. Other games include Sacred Line Genesis, Coffee Crisis, and Frog Feast for the Genesis and Mighty Mighty Missile for the Sega Mega-CD. The 2018 game Tanglewood was developed using original Sega development hardware.[7]

Neo-Geo MVS, Neo-Geo AES, and Neo-Geo CD

The Neo-Geo Home Cart and Arcade Systems can be tough candidates for Homebrew development. Neo-Geo AES and MVS cartridges have two separate boards: one for video, and one for sound. If programming a cartridge for the system were to occur, it would involve replacing the old ROM chips with one's newly programmed ones as the cartridges are in a sense, Arcade boards. NGDevTeam who have released Fast Striker and Gunlord found a workaround with this. What they did was print out their own board, and soldered their own ROM chips into them; this, however, can cause the Universe Bios logo to look corrupted if a custom bios were to be programmed. Programming for the Neo-Geo CD, how

The Neo-Geo Home Cart and Arcade Systems can be tough candidates for Homebrew development. Neo-Geo AES and MVS cartridges have two separate boards: one for video, and one for sound. If programming a cartridge for the system were to occur, it would involve replacing the old ROM chips with one's newly programmed ones as the cartridges are in a sense, Arcade boards. NGDevTeam who have released Fast Striker and Gunlord found a workaround with this. What they did was print out their own board, and soldered their own ROM chips into them; this, however, can cause the Universe Bios logo to look corrupted if a custom bios were to be programmed. Programming for the Neo-Geo CD, however is easier than programming for cartridges. The CDs themselves can actually contain both sound and video respectively. Depending on the Megabit count for a game program, load times will vary. A CD game with low Megabit counts will load only one time; whereas a CD game with higher megabit counts could load in between scenes, or rounds. There are now some full games scheduled[when?] for release in physical form, such as Neo Xyx.[citation needed][8]

Programmer of the Neo-Geo Universe Bios, Razoola is currently[when?] working on a "Skeleton Game Driver" that supports two players. This ROM is meant to remedy t

Programmer of the Neo-Geo Universe Bios, Razoola is currently[when?] working on a "Skeleton Game Driver" that supports two players. This ROM is meant to remedy the corrupted Universe Bios Screens, as well as work with an unmodified/stock Neo-Geo Multi-Video System (MVS), or Advanced Entertainment System (AES).[9]

After its discontinuation of games in 1999, and production in 2003, Homebrew ROM images were created, despite the various security measures to prevent unauthorized code running on the machine.

Eventually[when?] the Homebrew community figured out how games ran on the SNES hardware and were able to bypass its security mechanisms. Companies such as Bung Enterprises Ltd. released hardware plugins such as the Game Doctor SF series. These allowed users to not only copy games but also to run Homebrew developed games on SNES hardware. Homebrew ROMs could be converted into the Game Doctor SF format and put onto a 3 1/2" floppy. Games as large as twelve megabits could be put on floppy disks formatted to 1.6 megabytes.

An alternative device was the Super Flash, by Tototek, which allowed for multiple games to be burned onto a flash memory chip of cartridge. This allowed up to 48 megabits. This chip was the mask ROM for the Super Flash development cartridge; it was easy to use and had a user interface on the computer end. This allowed users to make a SNES game and play it in an actual cartridge rather than a floppy disk.

The run and gun game, Alisha’s Adventure, used original Super Famicom development hardware.[10]

TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine

[when?] the Homebrew community figured out how games ran on the SNES hardware and were able to bypass its security mechanisms. Companies such as Bung Enterprises Ltd. released hardware plugins such as the Game Doctor SF series. These allowed users to not only copy games but also to run Homebrew developed games on SNES hardware. Homebrew ROMs could be converted into the Game Doctor SF format and put onto a 3 1/2" floppy. Games as large as twelve megabits could be put on floppy disks formatted to 1.6 megabytes.

An alternative device was the Super Flash, by Tototek, which allowed for multiple games to be burned onto a flash memory chip of cartridge. This allowed up to 48 megabits. This chip was the mask ROM for the Super Flash development cartridge; it was easy to use and had a user interface on the computer end. This allowed users to make a SNES game and play it in an actual cartridge rather than a floppy disk.

The run and gun game, Alisha’s Adventure, used original Super Famicom development hardware.[10]

The TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine has a comparatively small homebrew scene. The first homebrew title released on CD was MindRec's Implode in 2002, a few years after the system's last official release (Dead Of The Brain I & II for the PC Engine in 1999). Two years later, MindRec released Meteor Blaster DX on CD-R. Official word was that it was unable to be pressed to CD proper due to the glass mastering software suddenly unable to handle the unorthodox style of CD layout that the system expects. Five years later, Aetherbyte Studios released Insanity, a Berzerk clone, on pressed CD, quelling the notion of unpressable CDs. Aetherbyte later went on to prototype and produce a new HuCard design called "AbCARD", which was fully compatible with the console.

There is one C compiler for the console known as HuC. It has not been officially updated since 2005. The MagicKit assembler is generally considered[by whom?] the de facto assembler for the console, and comes included with HuC. Additional libraries for HuC/MagicKit include Squirrel, a sound engine developed by Aetherbyte Studios, and the SGX/ACD library, developed by Tomatheous, that gives the developer easy access to the SuperGrafx video hardware as well as the Arcade Card.

The cc65 C compiler is compatible with the console, although there is no development library support for it.

Fifth-generation consoles

Atari Jaguar

[by whom?] the de facto assembler for the console, and comes included with HuC. Additional libraries for HuC/MagicKit include Squirrel, a sound engine developed by Aetherbyte Studios, and the SGX/ACD library, developed by Tomatheous, that gives the developer easy access to the SuperGrafx video hardware as well as the Arcade Card.

The cc65 C compiler is compatible with the console, although there is no development library support for it.

After JTS Corporation sold all the assets of Atari Corporation for $5 million to Hasbro Interactive in 1998,[11] Hasbro released into the public domain all rights to the Jaguar on May 14, 1999, declaring the console an open platform and opening the doors for extensive homebrew development.[12][13][14] Because of this, a few developers and publishers such as AtariAge, B&C Computervisions, Piko Interactive, Songbird Productions, Telegames and Video61 continue to release both previously unfinished games from the Jaguar's past life cycle and several brand new titles to satisfy the system's cult following. These titles are not endorsed or licensed by Atari or Hasbro.

Homebrew games for the Atari Jaguar are released in either cartridge, CD or both formats. Titles released in the CD format are either glass mastered, or burned on regular CD-Rs however, since the add-on was released in very limited quantities, most of the Homebrew developers prefer to publish their works either online on forums or in cartridge via independent publishers, with many of the cartridge releases stylized as a retail Jaguar title from the era. Since both systems do not have regional locking all of the titles are region free but some titles, such as Gorf Classic and the initial release of Black Out! do not work correctly on PAL systems. Some of the earliest CD releases were not encrypted, requiring either B&C's Jaguar CD Bypass Cartridge[15] or Reboot's Jagtopia (Freeboot) program burned into a CD in order to run unencrypted CD games,[16] but Curt Vendel of Atari Museum released the binaries and encryption keys for both the cartridge and CD format, making it possible to run games without the need of development hardware.[17] A cracked BIOS of the Jaguar CD can be ins

Homebrew games for the Atari Jaguar are released in either cartridge, CD or both formats. Titles released in the CD format are either glass mastered, or burned on regular CD-Rs however, since the add-on was released in very limited quantities, most of the Homebrew developers prefer to publish their works either online on forums or in cartridge via independent publishers, with many of the cartridge releases stylized as a retail Jaguar title from the era. Since both systems do not have regional locking all of the titles are region free but some titles, such as Gorf Classic and the initial release of Black Out! do not work correctly on PAL systems. Some of the earliest CD releases were not encrypted, requiring either B&C's Jaguar CD Bypass Cartridge[15] or Reboot's Jagtopia (Freeboot) program burned into a CD in order to run unencrypted CD games,[16] but Curt Vendel of Atari Museum released the binaries and encryption keys for both the cartridge and CD format, making it possible to run games without the need of development hardware.[17] A cracked BIOS of the Jaguar CD can be installed inside the system but with some soldering skills.[18]

Some of the titles listed have been released on other platforms, such as the Amiga, Atari ST, Dreamcast, Genesis, mobile devices, PC, PlayStation and Super Nintendo. The very first Homebrew title programmed for the Jaguar dates from 1995, a version of Tetris called JSTetris developed using a hacked Alpine Dev. Kit, one of the pieces of development hardware used to program official Jaguar titles.[19]

Since emulation of the console is still limited, coding is conducted using a real Jaguar console through either the Skunkboard development cartridge, using a BJL modified Jaguar, or the official Alpine Development Kit. The commercial game BattleSphere Gold, also contains the JUGS (Jaguar Unmodified Game Server) aid to development.[20]

Homebrew games and demos for the system developed between 1995-2008 were done by small groups which released their titles in either downloadable or physical format, with the downloadable games needing an emulator or development device. There has been an increase in the number of Homebrew games released for the Jaguar in recent years. There are also ST-to-Jaguar conversions, which involves porting titles from the Atari ST to the Jaguar, which a few of them includes some enhancements and improvements from its original computer version, also done by some members of the community.[21] While they can be downloaded for free, select titles were sold in August 3, 2016[22][23] and others, as of date, are being licensed and sold in festivals dedicated to the system such as E-JagFest, JagFest or online via AtariAge.[24]

Making games on the PlayStation is possible with any model of the system through the use of a modchip or the double 'Swap Trick'. Requirements consist of a PC, SDK, and a 'Comms Link' device to upload and download files to and from the console.

Another way of starting Homebrew on the PlayStation is 'UniROM', which is a Softmod. UniROM works by being installed onto a cheat-device, which is connected via the parallel-port (on old consoles) and allows loading of custom code via burned CDs and the serial port.

Homebrew was originally promoted by Sony with

Another way of starting Homebrew on the PlayStation is 'UniROM', which is a Softmod. UniROM works by being installed onto a cheat-device, which is connected via the parallel-port (on old consoles) and allows loading of custom code via burned CDs and the serial port.

Homebrew was originally promoted by Sony with the Net Yaroze, which had a large scene for quite some time. However, the official Net Yaroze site was shut down in mid-2009, and Sony stopped supporting the system as well as the users who still owned the console.

The Sega Saturn Homebrew scene is small but active. As with the PlayStation, all models are capable of Homebrew. Modchips for the Saturn Model 1 have been scarce for some time, as it seems that no one has produced any new modchips in years. As such, the only two options left are to either perform the swap trick or extensively modify a Saturn Model 2 modchip.

Running Homebrew on the Model 2 can be accomplished by bridging two points on the modchip, soldering a wire from the modchip to the Saturn power supply, and inserting it where the CD-rom ribbon cable inserts. The swap trick is more difficult to pull off on this Model due to the lack of an access light.

Another m

Running Homebrew on the Model 2 can be accomplished by bridging two points on the modchip, soldering a wire from the modchip to the Saturn power supply, and inserting it where the CD-rom ribbon cable inserts. The swap trick is more difficult to pull off on this Model due to the lack of an access light.

Another method is what is known as the "PseudoSaturn" unlocking method. It is a program created by CyberWarrior2000 that abuses the "Pro Action Replay" cartridge's firmware. It unlocks region, frequency, and CD protection of most Saturn models. Either a modded Saturn or a swap trick is required to run the installer, which loads the code in the FlashROM of the cartridge. Afterwards, the cartridge unlocks everything and most software can be run, from backups to Homebrews. There is also now a new engine for development called the Jo-Engine created by Johannes Fetz to allow easy development of 2D games.[25] This engine is currently able to compile 2D games without the Sega Graphic Libraries (SGL). Another engine by XL2, called the Z-Treme engine, led to the creation of a fully 3D Sonic The Hedgehog game called Sonic Z-Treme.[26] Z-Treme uses Sega Basic Libraries (SBL) and Sega Graphic Libraries (SGL).

Planet Virtual Boy has promoted Homebrew for years by the site, since the system has no region lock.[27] But it wasn't until the flash carts FlashBoy and FlashBoy+ were released that the Homebrew scene began to grow. Despite the Virtual Boy's mere 8 months in production before being discontinued (August 1995 - March 1996), dedicated fans have been making a variety of Homebrew games for years. Two previously unreleased games, Bound High! and Niko-Chan Battle (the Japanese version of Faceball) have been released.

Nintendo 64

The Nintendo 64 Homebrew scene is small, but Homebrew can still be played and developed through the use of a Doctor V64, (Acclaim used a Doctor V64 to help develop Turok,[28]) the Everdrive 64[29] or 64drive.[30]

NEC PC-FX

The

There is only one Homebrew development kit known for the PC-FX, which is based on the GNU Compiler Collection version 2.95.1. The Mednafen author began work on a library for the compiler called pcfxlib but it was discontinued due to lack of interest until trap15 started development of a new library called liberis. The toolchain is designed for a Linux environment, although it can also be used with cygwin. To date, no Homebrew titles for the PC-FX have been released, although Aetherbyte Studios and Eponasoft have both expressed interest in developing new software for the console.

Sixth-generation consoles

Despite its short commercial lifespan of less than two years in North America, the Dreamcast benefits from an active Homebrew scene even ten years after its discontinuation. Due to a flaw in the Dreamcast BIOS, which was intended for use with Dreamcast benefits from an active Homebrew scene even ten years after its discontinuation. Due to a flaw in the Dreamcast BIOS, which was intended for use with MIL-CD's, the console can run software from CD-R without the use of a modchip. Sega reacted by removing MIL-CD support from the BIOS of the later produced Dreamcast consoles manufactured from November 2000 onwards.

The console is especially notable for its commercial Homebrew scene. One notable project was the Bleemcast! emulator, which was a series of bootdisks made to play PlayStation games on the syst

The console is especially notable for its commercial Homebrew scene. One notable project was the Bleemcast! emulator, which was a series of bootdisks made to play PlayStation games on the system, featuring visual enhancements over the original console. Newer independent releases include Last Hope, released by RedSpotGames in 2007, and DUX,[31] both Shoot 'em up style games. These releases were written using the KallistiOS development system. A port of the freeware high-level development language Fenix and BennuGD is available for use in game development; many DIV Games Studio games have been ported and others were originally written for the system.

Early versions of the PlayStation 2 have a buffer overflow bug in the part of the BIOS that handles PS1 game compatibility; hackers found a way to turn this into a loophole called the PS2 Independence Exploit, allowing the use of Homebrew software. Another option for Homebrew development is the use of a modchip. Also, it is possible for developers to utilize a PS2 hard drive and HD Loader.

As of May 2008, there is a superior exploit called Free McBoot, which is applicable to all PS2s including Slimlines except for SCPH-9000x models with BIOS 2.30 and up, where the exploit was patched by Sony. Manufacturing of such Homebrew-proof models started in the third quarter of 2008, which is denoted as date code 8C on the console, although some consoles of this line still have the old unpatched 2.20 BIOS.

Unlike the Independence Exploit, which requ

As of May 2008, there is a superior exploit called Free McBoot, which is applicable to all PS2s including Slimlines except for SCPH-9000x models with BIOS 2.30 and up, where the exploit was patched by Sony. Manufacturing of such Homebrew-proof models started in the third quarter of 2008, which is denoted as date code 8C on the console, although some consoles of this line still have the old unpatched 2.20 BIOS.

Unlike the Independence Exploit, which requires a trigger disk, Free McBoot needs only a standard Memory Card, which allows it to be used on systems with broken optical drives. The installation is keyed to the Memory Card and will be usable on only the same version consoles that it was originally installed on, unless a Multi-Install is performed.

The drawback of this exploit is that it needs to be installed/compiled on each individual memory card. Simply copying the exploit is not possible; this means that an already modded or exploited system is required to install FMCB on a Memory Card.

After installing an exploit, unsigned executables (Executable and Linkable Format) may be launched from a Memory Card or a USB drive. Such programs include emulators, media players, hard drive management tools, and PC-based or NAS-based file shares. The exploit is also notable for allowing the user to copy PS1/PS2 save files from a Memory Card to a USB drive, a functionality normally only possible with tools such as a DexDrive.

Sony also released an official Homebrew-development kit that allows PlayStation 2 to run Linux.

Homebrew development on the Nintendo GameCube tended to be difficult, since it uses a proprietary MiniDVD-based drive and media as opposed to the standard DVD drives of the PS2 and Xbox for piracy protection. Also, its connectivity is limited, as it does not feature a USB port or an HDD port like the PlayStation 2.

The barrier to burning Nintendo GameCube discs with a consumer DVD burner is the Burst Cutting Area, a "barcode" in the innermost ring of the disc, an area inaccessible to most burners and writeable only by very expensive disc pressing machines. For a

The barrier to burning Nintendo GameCube discs with a consumer DVD burner is the Burst Cutting Area, a "barcode" in the innermost ring of the disc, an area inaccessible to most burners and writeable only by very expensive disc pressing machines. For a long time the only way to run Homebrew software on Nintendo GameCube was through a patching-system exploit of Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II, requiring users to find the game and a Broadband Adapter. Both of these are difficult to find because a follow-up has been released (under the name Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Plus) and thus the original PSO was rarely sold after then, and because the Broadband Adapter was not often carried in stores due to the Nintendo GameCube's very limited selection of online games.

As of August 2019, the most common method is to use an Action Replay in conjunction with an SD card adapter inserted into the memory card slot, allowing the user to run Homebrew from the SD card, or over Ethernet. Another method involves using a modchip to allow the GameCube to run Homebrew from a MiniDVD-R via the disc drive. Another method uses a save game exploit which involves transferring modified game save files to a GameCube memory card that triggers arbitrary code execution when loaded by an official game, allowing custom software to be run from a memory card, SD card, or other media.[32] As the Nintendo GameCube's case does not fit a full-size DVD-R, third party replacement cases are available.

Homebrew software for the Nintendo GameCube mainly consists of emulators for other systems, as well as several popular Homebrew utilities. Swiss is an “all-in-one Homebrew utility”, including a file browser, and the ability to force software to use different video modes that aren't officially supported, such as progressive scan or 16:9 widescreen.[33] The Game Boy Interface is a Homebrew software frontend for the Game Boy Player peripheral, and is often used for capturing high-quality footage from Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games.[34]

The Xbox console uses several measures, including cryptographically signed code to obfuscate firmware. The primary method of executing Homebrew code required installing a mod chip which could be flashed with a modified Microsoft BIOS. This BIOS allowed the system to boot unsigned executables (XBEs) and control several hardware variables, such as region coding and video mode. With the leak of Microsoft's official development kit (XDK) Homebrew coders were able to write replacement Xbox GUIs (known as dashboards), games and applications for the Xbox.

A softmod, which uses a commercial game such as 007: Agent Under Fire, Mech Assault, or Splinter Cell, had been created to execute a persistent softmod installer without modification of the hardware. This method utilizes modified font and sound files to cause the Xbox to cause a stack buffer overflow and load a Homebrew dashboard. Once in this condition, the Xbox is able to execute Homebrew games and applications upon boot up.

Due to the Xbox using standard PC libraries, writing Homebrew games is relatively easy and the vast majority of libraries available for a PC programmer are available to an Xbox Homebrew programmer.

One of the more common type of Homebrew games for the Xbox are ports of

A softmod, which uses a commercial game such as 007: Agent Under Fire, Mech Assault, or Splinter Cell, had been created to execute a persistent softmod installer without modification of the hardware. This method utilizes modified font and sound files to cause the Xbox to cause a stack buffer overflow and load a Homebrew dashboard. Once in this condition, the Xbox is able to execute Homebrew games and applications upon boot up.

Due to the Xbox using standard PC libraries, writing Homebrew games is relatively easy and the vast majority of libraries available for a PC programmer are available to an Xbox Homebrew programmer.

One of the more common type of Homebrew games for the Xbox are ports of PC games whose source has been publicly released or leaked. Many classic PC games have been released for Xbox, but most are created with the XDK which limits their availability. The only places to find these ports are through IRC or peer-to-peer browsers.

The Xbox system is also very adept at running emulators which have been ported from PC. The Xbox is able to emulate systems up to the previous generation, including the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation. For this reason, many different emulators have been created for or ported to the Xbox.

The popularity of Homebrew development for the Game Boy Advance system since its release in 2001 is due to the availability of C compilers and ready-made, high-quality code libraries, and debugging features for Gameboy Advance emulators like the VisualBoyAdvance-M, the mgba, the No$gba GBA Emulator, John GBA and My Boy. Also contributing to the success is both the nostalgia for the system in general, the Pokémon Romhacking community, and the wide availability of Flash ROM cartridges and cartridge writers in online shops.

Seventh-generation consoles

Microsoft has released a version of its proprietary Software Development Kit (SDK) for free, to would-be Homebrew programmers. This SDK, called XNA Game Studio, is a free version o

There are a number of cards which either have built-in flash memory, or a slot which can accept an SD, or MicroSD (like the DSTT, R4 and ez-flash V/Vi) cards. These cards typically enable DS console gamers to use their console to play MP3s and videos, and other non-gaming functions traditionally reserved for separate devices.[35]

In South Korea, many video game consumers exploit illegal copies of video games, including for the Nintendo DS. In 2007, 500,000 copies of DS games were sold, while the sales of the DS hardware units was 800,000.[36]

Another modification device called Action Replay, manufactured by the company Datel, is a device which allows the user to input cheat codes that allows it to hack games, granting the player infinite health, power-ups, access to any part of the game, infinite in game currency, the ability to walk through walls, and various other abilities depending on the game and code used.[citation needed]

Photographer Steve Chapman, looking for other ways to continue his photography work with smaller equipment, created DS-DSLR, an application that allowed him to control his camera without his bulky laptop. When his camera was connected to the DS through the GBA cartridge slot, DS-DSLR allowed him to execute many tasks, including controlled bracketing, custom intervalshots, and timed long exposures. DS-DSLR even had a noise-activated shutter control which was activated when the DS mic detected noise.[37]

Microsoft has released a version of its proprietary Software Development Kit (SDK) for free, to would-be Homebrew programmers. This SDK, called XNA Game Studio, is a free version of the SDK available to professional development companies and college students. However, to create Xbox 360 games one must pay for a premium membership to the XNA Creators Club. Once the games are verified, the games written with XNA Studio can be made available for 80, 240, or 400 Microsoft Points to all Xbox 360 owners (through Xbox Live). This allows creators of Homebrew content access to their target audience of Xbox 360 owners. This content is available under the Indie Games section of the New Xbox Experience.

On March 20, 2007, it was announced that a hack using the previously discovered hypervisor vulnerability in the Xbox 360 kernel versions 4532 and 4548 had been developed to allow users to run XeLL, a Linux bootloader. The initial hack was beyond the average user and required an Xbox serial cable to be installe

On March 20, 2007, it was announced that a hack using the previously discovered hypervisor vulnerability in the Xbox 360 kernel versions 4532 and 4548 had been developed to allow users to run XeLL, a Linux bootloader. The initial hack was beyond the average user and required an Xbox serial cable to be installed and a flashed DVD Drive firmware. Felix Domke, the programmer behind XeLL, has since announced a live bootable Linux CD suitable for novice users, with the capabilities to be installed to the SATA hard drive of the Xbox 360. Despite the availability of such a distribution, the Xbox 360 still isn't considered a popular platform for Homebrew development, given the dependence of the exploit on the DVD-ROM being able to load a burnt DVD |game, a modified version of the game King Kong, and two older kernel revisions of the console itself.

A group independent of Microsoft is working on the means to run Homebrew code, as part of the Free60 project.

Note: The hypervisor vulnerability in the Xbox 360 kernel versions 4532 and 4548 was addressed by Microsoft with the release of the NXE system and dashboard update in 2008.[citation needed]

Homebrew was since re-enabled on any Xbox 360 with dash 2.0.7371.0 or lower via an exploit referred to as the jtag / jtag smc hack but was promptly patched again by Microsoft with the 2.0.8495.0 update.

Homebrew has now become available on most if not all Xbox 360 consoles due to the Reset Glitch Hack. So far it works on all current dashboards up to as of now the latest 17526 dashboard. Although it can run unsigned code some hardware is required to do the hack/exploit. Also soldering skills are a necessity when attempting to use this exploit.

The PlayStation 3 was designed to run other operating systems from day one. Very soon after launch, the first users managed to install Fedora Core 5 onto the PlayStation 3 via the 'Install Other OS' option in the PlayStation 3's XMB (Xross Media Bar), which also allows configuring the PlayStation 3 to boot into the other OS installed by default.

So far, several Linux flavors have been successfully installed to the PlayStation 3, such as Fedora Core 5, Fedora Core 6, Gentoo, Ubuntu and Yellow Dog Linux (YDL). The latter comes installed with the Cell

So far, several Linux flavors have been successfully installed to the PlayStation 3, such as Fedora Core 5, Fedora Core 6, Gentoo, Ubuntu and Yellow Dog Linux (YDL). The latter comes installed with the Cell SDK by default, allowing programmers a low cost entry into Cell programming. See also: Linux for PlayStation 3

Originally, graphics support was limited to framebuffer access only (no access to the PlayStation 3's graphics chip RSX), yet some access to the RSX graphics processor was achieved (but Sony blocked this with firmware release 2.10).

As of firmware release 3.21, consumers are no longer able to access the 'Other OS' due to Sony removing the facility[38] from the software in an update. Sony said this was in response to several 'security concerns'.

Homebrew developers do have access to the Cell microprocessor, including 6 of its 7 active Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). The Game OS resides under a hypervisor and prevents users from taking full control of the PlayStation 3's hardware. This is a security measure which helps Sony feel secure enough to allow users to install other operating systems on the PS3.

The Sixaxis controller has also been exposed to Linux and Windows,[39] but no driver seems to have been successfully created yet that exposes its accelerometer functionality, except for Motioninjoy. However other drivers have successfully used it as a controller for gaming and other applications.

In May 2008, a vulnerability was found in the PlayStation 3 allowing users to install a partial debug firmware on a regular console. However, the debug functionality is disabled, so neither Homebrew applications nor backup games can be run yet.

Another exploit was found on August 14, 2008, allowing users to boot some backup games from the PlayStation 3's HDD, although the exact instructions on how to do this were not released at that time. However, a different person posted instructions 10 days later, which explained the exploit.[40]

On January 6, 2009 a hacking ring known as the "Sh4d0ws" leaked the jig files needed to launch the PlayStation 3 into service mode. Although the PlayStation 3 can be triggered into service mode, it is not yet of any use because the files needed to make changes to the console have not been leaked.[41]

On August 31, 2010, PSGroove, an exploit for the PS3 through the USB port, was released and made open source. This exploit works on all of the PS3 models released up until then.[42] A guide for the creation of the PSGroove is available through several online sources.[43]

George Hotz, better known under his nickname "geohot", has recently appeared on Attack of the Show because he released the PlayStation 3's encryption keys, therefore any Homebrew or custom firmware can be signed. Once signed, Homebrew can be natively run. It would be difficult for Sony to fix this because it would most likely require a voluntary recall and the most expensive parts would have to be replaced.[44] In 2011, Sony, with help from law firm Kilpatrick Stockton, sued Hotz and associates of the group fail0verflow for their jailbreaking activities. Charges included violating the DMCA, CFAA, Copyright law, and California's CCDAFA, and for Breach of Contract (related to the PlayStation Network User Agreement), Tortious interference, Misappropriation, and Trespass.[45]

In advance of the Wii's release, WiiCade was the first site to host Adobe Flash Homebrew games specifically designed for the Wii and its remote, which could be played without any exploits using the Wii's Opera web browser.[46] The Wii was hacked via a custom serial interface in December 2007.[47] The goal of most Wii exploits is to install the Homebrew Channel, a custom channel that lets users run Homebrew software on the console. The Homebrew Channel's first full release was in December 2008.[48] Though Nintendo successfully patched various older exploits to install the Homebrew Channel, many exploits to run the channel on current firmware exist. This channel can be installed using exploits in games such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl, an exploit in the Internet Channel,[49] or it can be installed via an exploit in the Wii's messaging system.[50] Note that only exploits that use disc games are compatible with installing the Homebrew Channel on the vWii (virtual Wii) mode on a Wii U, with the exception of "wuphax", an exploit that installs the channel via Wii U specific system permission exploits. The Wii Opera software development kit let developers make their own games in JavaScript.[51] The console's controller was also a popular target for modification.[52] On Aug 9, 2010, Team Twiizers released an exploit called LetterBomb which uses a malformed mail letter (Buffer overflow) to load a boot.elf file into memory, which then installs The Homebrew Channel to run unsigned code.

In recent years, other methods exploiting the Internet channel (Flashhax) and EULA have been released (str2hax[53]). In 2019, an exploit using Bluetooth called bluebomb[54] was released. Bluebomb meant the Wii Mini was hackable for the first time, as it was previously not possible due to the Wii Mini's Internet and Wii messaging capabilities, and SD slot removed.

Eighth-generation consoles

Nintendo 3DS