One of the first steps to getting mods and other player built content running on consoles like the PS4 is opening up their backdoors through exploits to get homebrew applications running. A recent video posted online shows this exact type of exploit being used on a newer version of the PS4 system software, as long as players haven’t already downloaded the most recent update.
This isn’t the first time that the PS4 has been opened for homebrew and other hacking software, though this most recent breakthrough is reportedly stable according to the original poster who goes by Specter online. More comments from some of the creators of the exploit even suggest that this same exploit may be usable on PS5 systems, though the hacker hasn’t been able to confirm at the time of this writing.
In the video below, Twitter user @SpecterDev shares a video that shows a homebrew app being opened through the PS4’s UI, though it isn’t connected to the internet at the time. The video goes further to show that this exploit is accessible when running the PS4 on the 9.00 version of the system software, one of the more recent updates to these consoles. Considering that the follow-up to 9.00 only released earlier this month, that gives players access to new homebrew firmware with most of the features currently available on the console.
The application shown in the video is quite simple, however, only being able to load a test PNG as a proof of concept for this latest homebrew exploit. While the sample shown is simple, the implications of this latest exploit could lead to players being able to access a considerable amount of player built content, such as emulators and alternative operating systems. Players will still be limited to the limitations of the console’s storage, and might want to start deleting larger games from the PS4 before installing new homebrew apps.
There are plenty of uses that players might have for these exploits, but it should be mentioned that even the most stable backdoor and homebrew still comes with some risk. Then there is the matter of how Sony might respond to those who pass around ways to bypass the system’s proprietary software and use a PS4 differently beyond what was intended. Use of the exploit could also exclude players from PS4’s online features and PS Plus as they may need to stay offline to keep using their homebrew programs.