PlayStation 3 Security Foiled by Jailbreak USB Stick?

Sony’s PlayStation 3 was long popular with the homebrew and tech-savvy gamer crowd, in part because Sony initially supported running Linux on the console. However, Sony removed Linux capability in a firmware update earlier this year, allegedly to staunch game and content piracy, and since then PlayStation 3 security has been garnering more than a little attention from enthusiasts and console modders eager to get back inside the console.

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Now, a solution may have appeared in the form of PSJailbeak, which claims to be be the world’s first USB chipset mod for the PS3: instead of having to crack their console, void their warranty, and modify internal components to bend the PS3 to their will, all users need do is pop in the USB stick and follow onscreen instructions. Many are skeptical of the product’s claims; OzModChips has produced a video claiming to show PSJailbreak in use.

What can users do with PSJailbreak? Perhaps the most significant (and legitimate) use of the product would be to copy games to the PlayStation 3’s internal hard drive or other USB storage device: not only would users then have a backup copy of their games, but in many cases the games will play faster from the hard drive. PSJailbreak can also enable users to run a range of homebrew applications.

PSJailBreak supposedly works with firmware 3.41 on all PlayStation 3 models, including the recent PlayStation 3 Slim. If the product works as advertised, it’s a safe bet that Sony is working very hard on a firmware update that disabled PSJailbreak—as well as looking into any legal options it may have. However, if PSJailbreak really can disable forced software updates, users won’t have to worry about new firmware sneaking onto their system and disabling the jailbreak…unless, of course, Sony ties some must-have feature (like network play) to newer firmware versions to encourage adoption.