FAQ

Let's start with the questions/statements that we've seen on psx-scene :

Q - [opium2k] The manager looks really ugly!

A - Thanks for the feedback :) However, the manager has been designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind. We have avoided excessive eye candy in favour of simplicity. Cobra ODE manager can however be modified and replaced by any other homebrew app/manager so long as the communication protocol matches our specs, allowing listing and selection of games.

We will provide at time of release a public domain library which will aid integration into any manager and allow listing and selecting games.




Q - [pinfloydviste] Was that manager the prototype and will be different from the final version ?

A - The final manager will have slightly different graphics, but the overall look and feel will remain the same.



Q - [Falcon80] What other homebrew can run using the COBRA ODE ?

A - Homebrew apps which don't use CFW-specific syscalls should be supported.



Q - [Shrek] Can it disable cinavia ?

A - This is not possible without modification of the system files, which our product does not do.



Q - [Hakuoro] Is the process reversible on 4k models? Can I leave the console the way it was before the ODE installation?

A - 4K consoles require desoldering 4 resistors and soldering of a Quick Solder Board. It would be possible to remove the QSB and resolder the resistors, but would require some care.

In saying that, the Cobra ODE clip on PCB has a switch to select Emulation mode or Passthrough mode. In passthrough mode the ODE hardware is completely bypassed, so this will more than likely be what you are looking for.



Q - [barelynotlegal] Does it look like the blue light is lit [in the video] ?

A - The blue LED is indeed lit. The blue LED will be lit when a valid ISO is detected on the USB storage media. If you disconnect the USB storage, the blue LED will turn off. This is also the reason why when the console is turned off the blue LED is still lit, since the ODE hardware is connected.



Q - [Shady Guy Jose] How do I find out if my CECHL model has a BMD-021 dive ?

A - You need to remove the shielding of your drive and look at the drive PCB to determine model number: (BMD-021 or BMD-031) will be written on the PCB. Please refer to the ps3devwiki for more information:  http://ps3devwiki.com/wiki/Bluray_Drive



Q - [alzaabi] How to play games from the internal HDD? Will the COBRA ODE support external NTFS HDD ?

A - You cannot run games from the internal PS3 HDD. The COBRA ODE does not have access the the PS3's internal HDD. You can connect an external Hard drive or a usb flash drive to the COBRA ODE and it will support both FAT32 as well as NTFS drives.





Here are our answers to the questions/statements/misinformation from the ps3hax.net forums:

Q - [TheEvolution_PT] Is it Iker Casillas from real madrid? Why wear those gloves..?

A - The gloves were used for two reasons :P Firstly, to preserve the anonymity of those who helped us with the demo, and secondly, because we thought it would be hilarious.



Q - [wakka1, musashiro] Restarting the PS3 after each game selection looks annoying.

A - We have been testing the product for months, and we're pleased to say that ressarting the system is less annoying than you might imagine. The time needed to press 'quit game' or 'turn off system' is the same, and the time required to boot the PS3 is the same as the time the XMB takes to return after you quit a game, hence the only difference is the option chosen from the in-game XMB.

The reasons for selection of games in this manner are two fold.  Firstly, switching to the new game after the console reboots will allow you to change your game selection in case you make an error. Secondly, the PS3 keeps a cache of the inserted disc's structure and even if we did switch the virtual disc on the selection of the game, the PS3 will cannot recognize it until it detects an eject or until reboot.

While we could emulate disc ejection, this would require more complex installation on the newer models such as 2k5, 3k and 4k, which we wanted to avoid. We opted instead for the easiest and most friendly installation possible with a single QSB on newer models and solderless on the older models.

In the interests of consistency in behavior of the ODE on all models, we have chosen to use the method of triggering the game selection upon reboot, and we are sure everyone will like this solution once they get to try it.

Note that restarting the PS3 is only needed when you wish to select your game in the manager. The game you selected will stay selected through several reboots, until you action the 'return to manager' event by either simulating a disc ejection (eject button or 'remove disc' from XMB on fat and slim or open/close the drive cover on the super slim) or by disconnecting or changing the hard drive connected to the ODE.



Q - [saxile, GregoryRasputin] ICO & Shadow of the Colossus is available on PSN.

A - This may be the case, but the COBRA Manager is not, and seeing the COBRA Manager run on the 4k model proves the validity of our product. We have used ICO & Shadow of Colossus (retail disc version) in the demo for two reasons, firstly, because the game is small enough for the USB Stick which we used, and we wanted to show the COBRA ODE working with both USB flash drives/ USB sticks and USB Hard Drives in our video demos. We also wanted to show that game since it's a special, as it executes separate
.self files other than the main EBOOT.BIN, one for each of the individual games.



Q - [felino_31, mrKruger] Can a new hacked firmware/CFW be developed for the 3k and 4k through the ODE ?

A - Unfortunately not. The firmware on 2k5/3k/4k consoles can not be modified in any way due to the new security checks with lv0.2 signatures. The ODE works with the original firmware (OFW and CFW on earlier models)



Q - [carldenning] Was there another PS3 connected to the TV? What was the wire behind the TV?

A - There was no other console or any other trickery invloved in making the video. The cables behind the TV were the power and the antenna that were plugged directly into the wall. We showed the actual HDMI cable going from the PS3 to the TV, nothing in between. There were no other cables coming out of the TV and we do not know of any wall sockets in existence with HDMI connectors.



Q - [mrc1978] Why zoom in and out?

A - Zooming in was required since without doing so, the camera's white balance for the room and the TV's brightness would not match and the content on the TV would not be clearly visible, only a bright white image. We zoomed in at various intervals in the video to allow you to see what was appearing on the screen instead of a small, blurred, very bright image.



Q - [mrKruger] Is there a release date?

A - Production phase has commenced, which means that by the time the factory assembles the boards and tests them. then ships them to retailers, the release date will be upon us. While it is hard to estimate, we believe the ODE should be available in stores in the beginning of July.



Q - [3absiso, hellsing9] Was the Cobra Team working on the security of the device for the 4 past month?

A - Security of the device was completed over a year ago. As we explained in the announcement post, the additional research and development time which has caused the delays was due to a bug in the hardware with a specific drive model, and we had to eradicate that before release.During that time, we discovered a way to vastly improve the product and enhance the experience, in turn making it much easier to install and use the ODE. Consequently, we decided to delay the product a little further and deliver to our users a far superior product overall.



Q - [mrc1978] Can the COBRA ODE be hacked ?

A - Our device is well secured, so it cannot be hacked in the sense that you are referring to. A similar solution cannot be achieved through software only means.



Q - [musashiro] Can this ODE open up an eventual software solution ?

A - We resolutely believe this to be impossible. We do not think the security of the newer firmwares can be bypassed without a hardware device such as ours at this point.



Q - [Abkario] Has the COBRA Team discovered a new exploit or have the 3.56+ private keys ?

A - Unfortunately we have not discovered a new exploit. The method of running homebrew is the result of the hard work of the work of fail0verflow team two years ago, nothing has changed and if our product was ready at that time, it would have worked then just as it does now.



Q - [VIRGINKLM] Can running homebrew be done via a USB dongle instead of an ODE?

A - This is not possible. Had it been possible we would have released Cobra USB 2 :)



Q - [BobbyBlunt] How did you manage to get a homebrew app to launch on PS3 OFW 4.41 ?

A - The only method currently known of getting homebrew running on those firmwares is if they have the 'discbind' flag. Detailed instructions on how to compile your applications or port existing binary .pkg into a valid homebrew .iso will be released with the user manual.



Q - [brenza] Did you make the homebrew work by matching it's SHA1 with one of the whitelisted SHA1? Can other homebrew apps work as well?

A - No, we did not. Following the instructions on the user manual will allow any and all homebrew apps to run on the OFW via the COBRA ODE (although peek and poke syscalls will not be available).



Q - [brenza] Can we bring linux back using the 'homebrew mode' of the ODE?

A - Unfortunately, that is not possible since all linux-enabling homebrew use peek and poke syscalls which are only available on CFW's.



Q - [itskamel] I know some people connected and they have the private keys!

A - We appreciate the sentiment, but unless those people are called "Kaz Hirai" or "Jack Tretton", that is mathematically impossible.





Here are our answers to the questions from the ps3crunch.net users :

Q - [kalberto] Why do we need to turn off console to chose the game? Can it go directly to the XMB disc game icon ?

A - Please see response given above.



Q - [Brenza] Can we downgrade the 3k/4k models too now ?

A - No, it is not possible to downgrade newer 2k5/3k and 4k models. It could be possible to have write access to the NOR from a homebrew app (untested, but it is highly unlikely). However even if write acces was possible, the downgrade will not achieve anything since those consoles cannot go lower than their factory version, which is for sure an OFW version above the software-hackable 3.55 versions.



Q - [yonut32] What can you tell us about chances of being banned ?

A - We cannot offer any guarantee of any kind in terms of being banned or not, although we do not think it is possible for the PS3 to detect the use of the COBRA ODE. That said, we can not predict the future, thus we do not know what solutions the Sony developers could find for this issue.

We can say however, that it the COBRA ODE is not visible to the PS3. The Cobra ODE emulates the drive, and this gives an almost zero % chance of being banned. The COBRA Manager uses a valid game id from a commercially released PS3 game, thus making it stealthy to the PS3 servers. However, if you use other homebrew applications or if you use a different manager with your COBRA ODE, we cannot guarantee that Sony will not be able to detect it.



Q - [yonut32] Do we need to downgrade the firmware of our console in order to use the COBRA ODE?

A - It is not necessary to upgrade or downgrade the OFW or CFW on your console. Installation is a simple plug and play process on older models and can be installed in less than 5 minutes. Simply open the console, disconnect the drive's cable, connect it to the ODE, then connect the ODE to the drive, close the console, and it will run straight away. With the 2k5/3k/4k models, there is a bit more involved requiring soldering of a quick solder board (QSB). Once this has been completed simply connect the QSB to the ODE, and it is ready to work. No downgrade or modification will be needed to the firmware on your console.



Q - [yonut32] Will the COBRA ODE use the internal hard drive of the PS3?

A - As afore mentioned, the COBRA ODE does not access the internal hard drive of the PS3. You can connect an external hard drive or USB flash drive to the ODE, which allows loading your backups. The COBRA ODE supports external HDDs in both FAT32 and NTFS partitions.



That's all we have to say for now... Please address any further questions to:    support@cobra-ode.com