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Report: PS5 Gets Jailbroken, Man Installs PT

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Those who missed the chance to download PT from the PSN during its limited release on the PS4 will have the chance to get it for the PS5. Albeit, a PS5 that has been jailbroken. And you cannot actually launch it. Yet. But hey, at least you can see it on the main menu. A user named SpecterDev (aka Specter) has reportedly published a “jailbreak” (a reverse-engineering trick designed to “open up” closed hardware to run unauthorized software) for the PlayStation 5. Some users of the jailbreak have already employed it to install the defunct game PT to their PS5s. [Thanks, VG247!]

Here’s a tweet thread from modder Lance McDonald demonstrating the jailbreak in action and installing PT to a jailbroken PS5.

According to McDonald (who recently helped publicize news of the user-made NieR Automata modding tools), he legally downloaded PT when it was available on the PS4 store. When Konami removed PT from the PS4 store in 2015, everyone lost access to the demo. Even those who had originally downloaded it could not re-install it. However, McDonald put the game onto the USB stick via the debug menu. This allowed him to access the PSN store’s blacklist, but he cannot actually launch the game from the PS5 because of another blacklist on the console that he cannot get rid of yet.

Specter’s jailbreak method on Github applies to PS5s operating under firmware kernel version 4.03. However, as October 5, 2022, Specter was able to add support for 4.50. This means that even if you have a PS5 at firmware 4.50, you can jailbreak it. Firmware regularly gets updated, though, and on October 5, Sony also released a firmware update, potentially affecting the exploit. Platform holders and device manufacturers, like Sony and Apple, typically take a dim view of jailbreaks and similar software exploits. Inexperienced or careless users running unapproved software can threaten the security or functionality of their devices. It’s not unusual for a jailbreak installation gone wrong to “brick” a device, making it unusable. And though customized firmware allows users to run “homebrew” software on their devices, the same exploits have often gone hand-in-hand with enabling software piracy.

Manufacturers typically discourage the use of jailbreaks by issuing updates to combat them, voiding warranties on devices that use them, and occasionally banning accounts connected to jailbroken devices. Most game consoles typically require the latest firmware to be installed to connect to platform networks or use online play, meaning a jailbroken device is often unable to play online.

That said, this particular jailbreak is quite limited. As mentioned, it can’t actually launch PT on the PS5 . Further, the jailbreak exploit doesn’t always work, with some estimates placing the success rate around 30%. It can’t install homebrew code, either. But these are early days, and one jailbreak tends to lead to another.

Stephanie Liu
Stephanie is a Canadian writer, translator, anime fan, and gamer. She only exhibits her true power at night.