The PlayStation 4 has finally been hacked to run homebrew apps, play pirated games, and enable PlayStation 2 emulation, through a recently discovered exploit on the console's firmware.

The hack is certainly a powerful one, but of course, there is a huge limitation on which PlayStation 4 units it can be used on.

Hackers Finally Unlock PlayStation 4

It took years of hard work, but hackers have finally found a way to unlock the PlayStation 4 hardware through vulnerabilities found in its firmware.

Earlier this month, hackers discovered an exploit that opened up low-level system access to the PlayStation 4. The exploit generated a lot of activity among the hacking community, leading to developments such as Linux support, full root access to the PlayStation 4 system through FTP, and a homebrew launcher named PS4HEN.

PS4HEN allows the installation of code packages directly into a PlayStation 4 console. These packages may include homebrew apps or cracked copies of PlayStation 4 games. Titles that were released since early 2017 will not run, as they require firmware of higher versions, but those that were launched before that time apparently work on a hacked console without any issues.

The hack also opened up PlayStation 2 emulation for several titles on the PlayStation 4, outside of the console's official PlayStation 2 Classics roster. A tool has been created to rewrap ISO files of PlayStation 2 games to work on the PlayStation 4. The compatibility rate is very low, though, which is an issue that will likely be addressed in future versions.

PlayStation 4 Hack: The Catch

PlayStation 4 owners who may be interested in applying the hack to their consoles, however, may have to let go of their dreams. This is because the exploit can only be found on units with firmware version 4.05.

The vulnerability that the hackers used was patched with the update to version 4.06 back in November 2016. This severely limits the number of PlayStation 4 units that can utilize the hack, as there is currently no way to downgrade the firmware version of the console.

There may be PlayStation 4 owners out there who have not touched their console for more than a year, but the chances of that are slim. If you happen to have a PlayStation 4 with firmware version 4.05, though, you might find that the value of that console has dramatically increased.

The PlayStation 4 is currently on version 5.03, with Sony recently opening sign-ups for gamers who would like to volunteer as beta testers for version 5.50.

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