The birth of the PlayStation Classic was a great idea however it was not implemented in the best ways. Thus, hackers have made numerous promising attempts to crack the original console after cracking others such as the SNES Classic and Nintendo’s NES Classic.
However, the hackers attribute their impending success to Sony’s error of placing the key to decoding the console’s firmware instead of using a private key under the care of the company. The code that works with the game console is encrypted to prevent individuals from making modifications to it. However, in this scenario, the means by which hackers to tamper with the system was available to them as soon as they were able to copy the code on a PC.
According to Ars Technica, console hacker Yifanlu made this discovery public on Twitter last week as during a live stream where he made efforts to crack the consoles digital framework on the live streaming video platform, Twitch. Until now, techies have successfully played previously unsupported games like Spyro using a flash drive amidst plans to get other emulators working on the device as well.
“There really isn’t any security on the device at all, “Yifanlu informed video game website Kotaku in an email ” Sony managed to include their firmware update private keys on every console accidentally.”
Although modifying the PlayStation Classic’s menu system to display new games and box art by homebrew developers might take some time, merely playing such games on the PlayStation console was easy. “The 20 included games are stored on the device in standard ISO format,” Yifanlu explained. “There are no additional checks, so you can just replace the files or redirect the mount to somewhere else (like a USB drive).” This means that you can install games and other programs from other devices because there are no measures to prevent such activities from occurring.
Over the last few days, many hackers including Yifanlu have a test run popular PS1 game titles which were not supported in the PlayStation Classic. Such games include Crash Bandicoot 1 and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2.
Presently, hackers have had success loading games from thumb drives by replacing them with games already on the console. Extending the interface to display more than 20 games will need more adjustments. One homebrew developer, Pat Hartl, has plans to create BleemSync, a software that will act as PlayStation Classic’s parallel of Hakchi, a program used to load ROMs on both NES and SNES classics. Naturally, dabbling any in any of these actions can result in the bricking of your console.
According to Yifanlu, hackers were disturbed by the ease with which the console was hacked as against the absence of Crash Bandicoot. “My opinion is that Sony doesn’t really care about this console,” Yifanlu expressed. “Everything about it was cut corners including the security. It was a bit of a shame how easy it was to hack considering the Vita was one of the most secure consoles ever released.”
However, Sony did not make any comments when approached by Kotaku.