After years of work, hackers have finally managed to unlock the PS4 hardware with an exploit that lets the system run homebrew and pirated PS4 software. In a somewhat more surprising discovery, those hackers have also unlocked the ability to run many PS2 games directly on the console, using the same system-level emulation that powers legitimate PlayStation Classics downloads.
While hackers managed to install Linux on the PS4 years ago, the biggest breakthrough in the PS4 hacking scene came late last month, when two different teams of hackers released a WebKit exploit for version 4.05 of the PS4 firmware.
That firmware was patched (and automatically updated on many systems) in late 2016, and there’s currently no known way to downgrade an updated system to the older firmware, which limits the range of consoles that can run the exploit. For compatible consoles, though, the kernel-level exploit allows for pretty much full control of the system, including the running of unsigned code.