Console Homebrew: Expectations vs.. Reality
One gamer’s experience with hombrew applications.
Most of us gamers spend our hard earned cash on the newest games only to play them a few times and then trading them away for roughly half of what we paid for them in the first place. Homebrew and game piracy have been around since the earliest of times and have allowed gamers to play the games they so desire without forking over a single cent for them. While downloading or buying pirated games is wrong, the more modern game consoles have a better side to them; homebrew. Homebrew games and applications are programs created by people who have some knowledge of the code native to the system but are not authorized to write and publish said code on the console (at least officially anyways).
Like a jailbreak on Apple’s iPhone, softmodding the consoles allows the user to run unauthorized programs on their device. On many consoles, these homebrew applications can be simple emulators that allow them to relive the 8-bit glory days. A great example for me has to be Masterboy for the psp. With Masterboy, I was able to play the games I once played when I was a child such as the Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (and finally finishing them completely too). Other hombrew games include ports of popular games such as minecraft for the psp or some other games.
Of course, my expectations of the homebrew scene were much higher than what I had recieved after I looked into it more deeply. Most of the homebrew scene on the Wii was centered on running backup games from a hard drive or a usb (not something I particularly care for since I almost never use the Wii anyways). I suppose that my high expectations came from Cory Doctorow’s book “Little Brother” where the protagonist Marcus Yallow used his softmodded Xbox Universal (not sure that exists but I haven’t checked) to play a massively multiplayer online game called Clockwork Plunder. I expected homebrew to allow me to turn my consoles into supercomputers or get some really awesome games that are made by the community.
While I’m sure that games like Clockwork Plunder do exist, I have not found any as of yet and I don’t really intend to find any now that I’ve left homebrew behind.