Sony has just released a new mandatory update for its PlayStation 3 console, bringing the firmware up to version 3.56. As you might expect, the firmware is largely an attempt to close up the massive security hole in the PS3 that allowed hackers to obtain the PS3 master key and run any unsigned code they want on the console… even warez. The only problem? That hole’s completely unclosable. Once the master key is out there — and it is — the only thing Sony can actually do to close it is issue new hardware… and even then they’d only be able to police the new consoles, not the hardware already cracked and running in the wild.No wonder, then, that the new firmware was cracked within a matter of hours. Do a short Google search and you’ll see just how easy it is to get past firmware 3.56’s safeguards and crack the PS3 wide open again, making all of the existing cracks, cheats and warez ready to run in a matter of moments. Expect a lot more of these security patches from Sony. Unfortunately, they’re in a pickle: they need to try to keep hackers out, even though there’s no real way to do so. These firmware patches may be like trying to stop a flood with a wall made up of a single ply of tissue paper, but Sony’s still got to try. And honestly, at the end of the day, the hacking just kind of sucks, because while it theoretically makes the PS3 more open, it also fills our games with cheaters and robs money from developers. I really do wish Sony could figure out a way to close this hole up, once and for all.