‘ PS4 hacked by Xploder ‘ popped up on my Facebook profile last week, courtesy of a school friend and gaming buddy I’ve not spoken to in almost a decade. In all honesty, PS4 hacked by Xploder was something I’d never thought I’d ever hear. Xploder has always been part of my gaming life since I was a kid, I think I still have some of those shiny metal boxes up in my loft somewhere. And though I picked up a PS3 Pro Xploder way back when, I’ve not heard of Xploder in a long time.
Xploder, it seems have not been idle. Quiet, sure – but oh-so very busy. Now they’ve resurfaced – and they may have blown the PS4 wide open.
So, taking a break from posting cosplay, innuendo and sexy moe – I decided to track them down and find out the truth behind the PS4 hacked rumour, what they’ve been up to and their plans for the future. Below is the (almost) full conversation I had with them – because, you know… secrets.
I used to have an Xploder PS3 Pro a long time ago, but you guys have dropped of the radar for a while. What have you been up to for the last few years?
Research and Development. Research and Development. Research and Development and then Research and Development. As the PS3 era came to a close, we hunkered down and got to work on PS4. It’s been a long hard process to get to where we are now with mastering the PS4 – but it feels totally worth it now we are here and we have an operational product that people can actively enjoy and explore.
What other products have the Xploder team made over the years?
Where shall we start? Our most successful products were the Mad Catz Gameshark range – we sold millions of units of these on PS2, GBA and other popular gaming formats. We also made the Pelican Codebreaker and Thrustmaster’s Cheatcode S. We have made cheat devices on more gaming formats than any other cheat platform out there. Our complete history includes PS1, Ps2, PS3, PS4 (coming soon), Xbox, Xbox 360, GB, GBC, GBA, DS, 3DS, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, Dreamcast… to count a few!
What has been the biggest technical challenge in getting a new generation of Xploder off the ground?
The resigning process is always the most difficult. Taking a user’s save and modifying it so you can use it on your own profile is the heart of what we do and it’s also the most difficult part to implement. Over the years we have had to change our tech from cheat codes to resigning game saves. We’ve done this successfully, many times on many platforms – PS3, Xbox, PSP, Wii, 3DS – PS4 was particularly tricky, but as you would expect from the Xploder team, we’re delighted to say we’ve finally cracked it again.
I noticed Xploder in my Facebook timeline when one of my friends said ‘ PS4 hacked by Xploder ‘. Which isn’t strictly true is it? Can you explain a little bit about what Xploder is and how it works?
We are always careful with our product to ensure we never violate anyone’s intellectual property. We just want to make fun products for everyone to enjoy. Our software has always been about helping users enjoy and get the most out of their games, either by entering cheat codes or sharing their game saves with their friends and the community. The community is everything to us but we are careful to ensure our tools are focused on games based cheats/saves/hacks and nothing more sinister than that.
On a simple level, you take a friends save, and reassign it to your own profile using a PC – it sounds like a simple thing, but our fans believe it’s a way to massively expand the lifespan of their games and in turn helps them to get the maximum value from all games they own. So in a way, we are increasing the longevity of all games and engaging all levels of gamer to complete a game and not just the hardcore audience. For example, if you’ve grown tired of, say, Persona 5, using Xploder you can revisit it to find new ways to enjoy it.
Xploder really got famous with the Lara Croft Nude mod way back in the late 90’s – and then again with Grand Theft Auto’s Hot Coffee, can we expect similar things from Xploder PS4.
Mmm dem polygon boobies… never say never! The beauty of Xploder is that, even though the core of save reassigning is a relatively simple ‘mechanic’ – it can blow games wide open in powerful and unexpected ways. You could say that for some it’s ‘The Key’ and then seeing what our user base can discover. Generally our users exploring “what’s behind the door” has always been part of the enjoyment of our product. We’re further looking forward to seeing what our fans discover.
If I’m honest honest, while Xploder was a great piece of software on PS3, it wasn’t super intuitive to use, how has this improved for the PS4 iteration?
We’ve taken a lot of the feedback on board and improvements have been made in simplifying the UX. It’s something we will continue to work on, however the power lies “under the bonnet” of our software. This is part of what the upcoming Beta is all about – we welcome people to join us, give feedback and help us though the final stages of perfecting PS4 Xploder.
We’ve obviously been looking at it in isolation for years – so we know how it works inside and out. The big test is getting it out to our core fans and understanding if it makes sense to them – and if it’s easy to use. Often, fresh eyes have the best input into a project like this and it’s feedback we absolutely value and look forward to.
The PS3 community for Xploder was always really vibrant back in the day, is this something you’re looking to nurture. Can users, for example, share files and help build up a database of cool content? Your forums used to be awesome – will we see a return to the glory days?
Yes of course! Ultimately the community of the product’s life-blood. We’re in the process of restoring the forum, which as you know was huge – and we will also have the ongoing database for people to contribute to. This is the heart and soul of the software and something we will absolutely be rebuilding.
We have a dedicated team of gamers here that are creating content for Xploder for launch and we’ll work with the community to create new and exciting content as close to release as possible.
You’re going to Beta in a few weeks – can you give us examples of the kind of thing Xploder will be able to let users do early on?
If you look at the big PS4 releases of the last few years, then our aim is to make sure that we have content for those games. So stuff like Grand Theft Auto weapons, vehicles (including jets, helicopters, space crafts) unlocks etc will be a given. Also, the beta will have the core functionality of the final software, allowing users to re-sign save points from the database to their own profiles. What this means is that those who are lucky enough to get Beta access can immediately contribute to Xploder, which is very exciting for us.
This initial beta period will also be key for testing the servers to make sure that everything behind the scenes works as smoothly as possible.
Recently there’s been some controversy, particularly around Blizzard games like Overwatch, about cheat systems. Is this something you’re wary of and how does Xploder fit in to that issue?
We do not fall into this category. Xploder game saves have been created to not allow users to use them online in any way, therefore no influence on any online gameplay functions at all. Xploder is purely for your own enjoyment. Xploder is about players getting the most out of their own games library – not a tool to influence other peoples’ games or enjoyment. We like to cheat, but we’re no Lance Armstrong!
With the beta coming so soon, is it too late to for people to access the beta? What’s the best way to get involved?
No, theres still time, though probably best to sign up in the next two weeks. As a big thank you to our community for continuing to support us over the last few years (we appreciate it’s been quiet for a while once we got everything together for PS4) so we have an extremely strong pre-order incentive. When you pre-order today you will get access to the beta (which is hopefully due this month!), an unlimited time period license (vs 12 months for the final version) and a huge 50% discount: http://shop.xploder.net/xploder-ps4-edition
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