Shortly after the DMCA was passed a common misunderstanding of the DMCA was how it applied and the exceptions. Early on people thought that if you got a take-down notice you had no recourse and it allowed companies to steam roll legitimate use. It was several years of DMCA notices before the counter-notice in the DMCA was really being talked about and people realized you could counter-notice the DMCA notice and get the material reposted almost immediately.
The DMCA includes numerous provisions and exceptions to the normal DMCA provisions in cases of inter-operation, reverse engineering and academic study. In fact nearly every provision of the law had exceptions for valid use. With any new law companies will deliberately misinterpret the law in lawsuits to try to get a favorable interpretation of the law by the courts. But basically what it boils down to is that if what you are doing isn't intended to copy copyrighted material you are probably going to be OK under the law IMO. The problem is that the first few people sued in cases like this are going to have to go full court press with a major corporation in court, probably all the way to the supreme to get the precedent established. I really hope George is supported by the legal aid organizations that exist so that a legal precedent can be established interpreting the law correctly (IMO as it was intended). IMO Congress had no intent to pass this law to limit the use of ones own purchased hardware, they did intend to prevent the widespread dissemination of copyrighted material via the internet.
As to your question, yes they will press the hacker-tool issue but the key point is did he have "tools" whose only purpose was to circumvent copy protection for the purpose of distributing copy protected material? My guess is that Sony will lose that charge and nearly every other with Summary Judgment Motion but unfortunately nothing is certain because this is one of the first to challenge the law on legitimate grounds.
Sony actually damaged their position by referring to George's work as jailbreaking, a term the library of congress used to describe perfectly legal breaking of encryption protection to use cell phones on networks other than the one it was purchased on and locked to. Although nothing is certain in cases like this George couldn't be a better first case, he has advocated against illegal copying of copyrighted material and he was trying to break the hardware open to use it for another purpose. Sony simply has no case that he was trying to copy games and implying such could get them in trouble, leaving their only option to claim that they have the right to control the hardware after it's purchased, something English common law doesn't agree with and I think isn't supported by the constitution.
As I said before my hope is someone like the EFF/ACLU or others steps in and takes this full court against Sony and sets a nasty precedent to use against all the companies that want to control physical products after purchase using the DMCA and a small blob of encryption code in hardware. This is simply an ideal case to bring to the supreme to get the DMCA abuse neutered and some of the anti-circumvention provisions watered down (to more accurately match congress's intention, legal precedent and the Constitution) when the goal isn't to abuse copyrighted materials.
I was a bit long winded but I hope I answered your question.