The PlayStation Classic has been subject to hacking efforts since it released. Those efforts have begun to pay off as a number of people have shown other games and software running on the device. The PlayStation Classic hack is allowing individuals to bypass its security.
Ars Technica reports that several console hackers were able to dump code from the PlayStation Classic. Hackers by the name of Yifanlu and madmonkey1907 were both able to utilize the system’s UART serial port to access code, and determine security measures. Yifanlu took to Twitter and laid out the failure in Sony’s encrpytion process—the key is embedded on the device itself. Sony essentially sold the PS Classic with its own security key, meaning hackers can access software on the device more easily.
Yifanlu dove further into the PlayStation Classic on their Twitch channel. They discovered that the Classic doesn’t appear to perform any signature check for bootrom code. The security failure has made bringing other games to the device relatively easy, as demonstrated by Yifanlu with a prototype of Crash Bandicoot.
A number of other hacks and projects have brought new games to the device. One YouTube user showed off a soft hack for the device, and played games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 with it. These soft hacks utilize accessing the emulator settings, which can be done a number of ways. PlayStation Classic owners found that emulator settings can be accessed on a PS Classic by plugging a USB keyboard in and hitting the “escape” key.
Several open source projects have cropped up in recent days to allow PS Classic owners to repurpose the device. If done properly, a correctly formatted payload can get the hardware to recognize and run PlayStation games not officially included. If done improperly, it can brick the system.
Sony’s ARM-based mini console has been a lot easier to hack than Nintendo’s NES and Super NES Classic editions. Hackers needed to dump and reflash those devices’ kernels, and it was significantly more challenging to do so. Poorer security has led to hacked PlayStation Classic devices, and will likely bring non-PlayStation emulators to it soon enough.