Good news: half of this fever dream known as 2020 is over. Bad news: there’s still another half to go through. Thankfully, video games are here to cheer us up and even better are developments in the hacking scene which give us something to look forward to.
Here we discuss the 3 most promising console hacking news that we’ve seen in 2020 so far.
1. PlayStation 2 exploit without any additional tools
First we go back a few console generations for a brand-new PS2 exploit. Developed by @CTurt, FreeDVDBoot allows you to run homebrew games from a burnt DVD on an unmodified PS2. No other tools needed; just slide the DVD in and boot.
And this method is not restricted to homebrew games either. Indeed, FreeDVDBoot also enables you to run backup copies of retail PS2 games. CTurt made such a video running a backup copy of Shadow of the Colossus:
Well, you might be wondering why this is promising at all. Afterall, the PS2 is a retro console and we’ll soon enter a new console generation. The answer is that FreeDVDBoot’s method could potentially work on every single PlayStation home console, from the PS1 down to the PS4. CTurt might look into this possibility and we’ll surely let you know if we hear more.
If you’re interested in learning more about FreeDVDBoot, head to our official discussion thread where you can also find a GitHub download link.
2. Kernel exploit for firmware 7.02 of the PlayStation 4
TheFlow, mostly known for his activity in the PSVita scene, recently made public a kernel exploit he found on the PS4’s FW 7.02. This vulnerability was found back in June and TheFlow exposed the flaw to Sony's HackerOne bounty program. This helped Sony patch it in the PS4's 7.50 FW update.
Here you are, https://t.co/cdVyvdqGZ6, PS4 kernel exploit for FW 7.02 and below. Vulnerability discovered on 2019-06-09.— Andy Nguyen (@theflow0) July 6, 2020
This must be chained together with a WebKit exploit, for example https://t.co/1BYe1aFGCe for FW 6.50.
However, TheFlow hinted that those still on lower firmware could use his discovery to jailbreak the console by combining it with a Webkit exploit for firmwares up to 6.72. It looks like it’s only a matter of time before such a jailbreak is made public.
In the meantime, you can join the discussion in our existing thread and find a link to more technical details about this kernel exploit.
3. 3DS emulator for the Switch is in the works
While the first two news revolved around PlayStation consoles, we’ll shift our attention to Nintendo’s latest one. The Switch is great for emulators thanks to its portability (we shared our top 5 ones recently) and one of the most promising emulators in the works for the Switch is Citra.
The latter is a popular 3DS emulator and GBAtemp member @m4xw is working on porting it to the Switch. His early progress showed great promise as a proof-of-concept, even if it contained a few bugs.
... also worked first try 🥱— m4xw (@m4xwdev) May 25, 2020
@m4xw is also sharing progress of his Citra port on his Patreon page before making a stable build publicly available. Head there if you want to get a peek or join our discussion here on GBAtemp.
This brings us to the end of our latest exclusive article. We hope it gave you something to look forward to in 2020! Is there any other hacking news that got your attention so far this year? Let us know in the comments!