When it comes to hacking Sony’s PS4, there have been few, or essentially no real options since the company foiled an exploit that allowed the firmware version 1.7.6 to be jailbroken. Unfortunately, that remains the case, at least publicly – it’s possible jailbreaks exist but have not been shared – but we have at least now been shown a minimal native homebrew app running on a PS4.
It won’t rival the latest blockbuster game, but it’s something running on a PlayStation 4 when it really shouldn’t be, and that’s impressive in itself.
The homebrew solution was shared by developer bigboss, or psxdev, depending on whether you know him from his iOS days or not, and is basically just a 2D demonstration built to show that first, it works, and secondly that controller inputs also work, as you might expect. Unfortunately, as firmware 1.7.6 remains to the be the most recent that can actually be jailbroken, this is still likely to be unusable for the vast majority of people.
In order to allow others to follow in his footsteps, the developer has also released a minimalist library that should help others create homebrew for the platform. The process of running the homebrew involves hijacking the launch process from an official game (free PS4 game The Playroom), building on work previously released by developer Zecoxao.
Of course, what we really need right now is a new jailbreak for most recent versions of the PS4 firmware, but in the absence of that, we will take any small victory we can find. While there was a suggestion that a new jailbreak was possible last week, it was later debunked, meaning we are once again at square one. With Sony’s PS4 keeping itself locked up nice and tight, don’t expect the homebrew community to really take off just yet.