PS3 Hackers Gain Flash and Registry Access: Custom Firmware Coming?

With the release of yesterday's PS3 FTP server which enabled easy access to dev_hdd0, dev_flash, dev_flash2, dev_flash3 and dev_bdvd on the PS3, several developers are now examining the PlayStation 3's dev_flash and registry entries.

Forum user diemetal has let us know today that Spanish PS3 developer DemonHades has began to analyze dev_flash from PS3 Firmware version 3.41, stating the following (roughly...

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JhawkFootball062993d ago

In the picture it shows the ps3 having a ps1, ps2 and a psp emulator. Why doesnt sony let us use these?

SasanovaS19872993d ago ShowReplies(7)
IMChampion2993d ago

if they did then it wouldn't be good for business. this is why they do what they do, to make money off of hardware and rebranded software.

inveni02993d ago

Bingo. Why people have such a hard time remembering that Sony is more than a company that totally supports hardcore gaming with every dime they make is just beyond me. But, it's true.

Heartnet2992d ago

Asking the question why sony wont let u have ps2 and psp emulators is becuz the games are still selling lol its like asking microsoft or nintendo why nto deliver us free games to our door :) (and not for reviewing! hehe)

2992d ago
corneliuscrust2992d ago (Edited 2992d ago )

both microsoft's and nintendo's consoles are backwards compatible with their respective predecessors.

I just wish sony kept the BC ps3s rolling out or offered an emulation option that people could purchase.

barom2992d ago

I think the PS2 Emu is not 100% complete and only supports certain titles and even then the titles might have issues running on the emulator. This is at least the case for the PS2 emulator for PC.

As for PSP, I'm sure they will as soon as PSP dies off. They don't wanna cannabalize their own market. One of the executives has actually said this. I think it was DualShockers interview with John something (John Hight?)

OpenGL2992d ago

The PS3s that had PS2 emulation were only emulating the Emotion Engine. They still had the physical Graphics Synthesizer, so only the CPU would have to be emulated.

The issue with emulating the Graphics Synthesizer is that it has 4MB of eDRAM on a 2560-bit memory bus, giving it 48GB/s of memory bandwidth. In comparison, the PS3's CPU has 25.6GB/s of memory bandwidth, where the GPU has 22.4GB/s of bandwidth. This doesn't mean complete software emulation is impossible, but you can be damn sure that it won't be easy. Even if Sony eventually adds software PS2 backwards compatibility to the PS3, it won't work with 100% of the library.

catguykyou2992d ago (Edited 2992d ago )

Every article I've ever read and posted has stated that the European models removed the PS2 hardware from the PS3 and was using software emulation to play the PS2 games. This lead to a list that had more games that weren't compatible with the European PS3 (to add to your point). It was a big deal and people in Europe felt ripped off cause they were paying the most out of all the territories but getting less hardware.
However to take away from your point, they all stated that all the PS2 hardware was removed and that the emulation was all software. Can you produce any links that state some of the PS2 parts were left in the European PS3's?

Two articles showing example showing my point.

ExplosionSauce2992d ago (Edited 2992d ago )

* If you bought PS2 games, that means you bought a PS2.

* So if you DO have PS2 games and you're going to buy a non-BC PS3, DON'T get rid of your PS2 in the first place.

* Only the new PS3 systems don't have PS2-BC(but all have PS1 BC).
If you already have a BC-PS3, then it's all good. BC will stay there and isn't going anywhere.

I have a PS2 and a BC-PS3, yet I don't mind buying the PS3-remastered-PS2-game collections.

But that's just me :P

OpenGL2992d ago

Note that every site mentions the removal of the Emotion Engine, but not the Graphics Synthesizer.

The first picture is of the 60GB motherboard, and note the 4 heat spreaders (Cell, RSX, Emotion Engine, and Graphics Synthesizer). In the second picture is of the 80GB motherboard, and note that there are still 3 chips with heat spreaders. In the final picture you can see 40GB PS3 motherboard, and it is reduced to only two heat spreaders (the RSX and Cell).

catguykyou2992d ago

Ah ha, Thank you thank you thank you.

Reading further into the issue I see the last piece of ps2 hardware remove thus completely removing PS2 hardware backward compatibility was the graphic chip.

I was under the impression that the RSX was being used like the PS3 memory and the only piece of hardware that was being used by the PS3 from the PS2 was the emotion engine, which after being removed was done through software emulation on the cell.

Now I see differently. Thank you for actually providing the doc to support your point. Much more useful than baseless arguing.

So in light of this, the modding community would either have to create their own emulator OR as we discussed earlier, Sony already has a PS2 software emulator on the console as well as the PSP, PS1, emulators as mentioned by the article. I wouldn't say it is far fetched to assume that this is the case. There have long been rumors that Sony was working on a Software solution to BC. I wouldn't say its too far fetched that Sony is pre-loading a lot of this stuff onto the console to reduce the size of updates.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 2992d ago
Nitrowolf22993d ago

That is interesting indeed, may be it is just for the Mini's and ps1 game that can be copied to psp (cause may be they are running like the psp version instead of the ps1)

lokiroo4202993d ago (Edited 2993d ago )

Not all ps3's can play ps2, get it through your head. That is included for the ps3's that do indeed play ps2 games.

bigevilworldwide2992d ago

Except the 20 and 60gb models that play every ps2 game because they have ps2 guts inside

Proxy2992d ago

You can run successful PS2 emulators on a 1.6 ghz processor, which is nothing next to teh power of teh cell. Granted there are a few problems, and always will be, there is no reason Sony can't provide a pretty good PS2 emulator on every PS3.

I'll be we see a PS2 emulator running on the PS3 using custom firmware soon.

I guess Sony just can't keep up with what a bunch of hackers do in their free time.

badz1492992d ago

the PS2 emulator you're talking about is not even stable. with 1.6GHz CPU u say? LOL you're drunk! with GS and EE both unavailable on the new PS3s, I don't think the PS2 emulation will work. especially not from some no name hacker!

commodore642992d ago (Edited 2992d ago )

Dude, try to follow this logic.

The ps3 and 360 are roughly on par.
Some ps3 fanboys assume the ps3 is more powerful than the 360.
I disagree, but let's run with it.

The 360 has to emulate the old xbox1, which was technically superior to the ps2.
Now, if the 360 can easily emulate xbox1 games, even with improved resolution, then running a ps2 emulator on the ps3 is absolutely possible and easily achievable, as the task of emulating the ps2 is less than the task of emulating the xbox1.
Think about it.

The ONLY reason Sony hasn't released the ps2 emulator for ps3 is that they are trying to squeeze more money out of ps2 hardware sales, which have been profitable when the ps3 was not.

Greed, pure and simple.

ColJessup2992d ago

Can you believe that Sony would dare to try to continue to push the PS2, offering their customers a cheaper gaming option? The nerve! And don't look now, but I hear they also sell a portable game player, something called a PSP! It's unbelievable how greedy they are, offering and supporting multiple products! What greed! What corporate shenanigans! They could easily make the PS3 run PSP and PS2 games, but they choose to sell those products separately, giving their customers choice! Who does that? Monsters!


badz1492992d ago (Edited 2992d ago )

this is not about logic! If I have a PC that can run Crysis at MAX setting, do you honestly think that my pc can emulate the PS3? no, it can't! this is not about logic but more about structure of the PS2 processing. it's not about which one is more powerful but rather can the more powerful one mimic the style of the weaker one and perform the same which is not the case with PS2 emulation. if you don't trust me, try running PCSX2 and you know that I'm not lying! PS1 emulation is out of concern because it was always emulated successfully on the PS3 and the PC as well for quite sometime now but PS2 is a different story.

"The ONLY reason Sony hasn't released the ps2 emulator for ps3 is that they are trying to squeeze more money out of ps2 hardware sales, which have been profitable when the ps3 was not." - yeah, how dare them, right? taking out PS2 chips and cut the price of PS3 so it will be more affordable! /s

Death2992d ago

The PS3 has been emulating the PS2 since the release of the 80 gig. The Emotion Engine was removed and the GS kept since it was a custom chip. There is no reason Sony couldn't have emulated the GS also since then. I believe at the time the GS was being produced for all of $5, so retaining it wasn't exactly breaking the bank anyway. Sony removed b/c so they could sell more PS2 hardware which was profitable. I'm not sure why people think this is good. Typically people with a back catalog of older games already own the old hardware. Removing b/c made it less convenient for people with limited hookups on thier tv's and really stings for people that have failed PS2's.


corneliuscrust2992d ago

all backwards compatibility and started charging for original xbox games, you'd never hear the end of it around here. It would obviously be because MS is "cheap" not because they are running a business.

When Sony removed backwards compatibility to make money off of their old software, it's a great business move...

funny how things work around here. Double standards are a lot of fun. They're also why no one anywhere respects N4G.

Nemo882992d ago (Edited 2992d ago )

"greed pure and simple"

Not that these files actually confirm ANYTHING.

You even admit in your own post that the PS3 WASNT making any money.

So how the hell can it be Greed, when the company was really struggling-in all areas not just playstation, problems with the Yen etc-?

The greedy bastards try to stay in business instead of letting me play my old ps2 games on my new ps3 "which is just a blu ray", instead of the ps2 I Already own??? The pigs.

Get real.

Besides this proves nothing. Lets see the ps2 emulation running first.

P.S can somebody answer WHY ON EARTH Sony would even leave the files in there if they were not being used/going to be made available?? I mean surely just delete the files.

Why have the PS2 files there at all??

Maybe they were working on bringing it back themselves and it just wasnt ready yet. Seems like the most logical explanation???

sorceror1712992d ago

@Death - the GS in the PS2 was *really weird*. It had *ridiculous* bandwidth for the time. The *slowest* interface had 9.6GB (that's giga*bytes*, not giga*bits*) per second. It actually had faster access to RAM than the PS3's GPU does (but the PS3's GPU has much more local memory).

Games written for the PS2 were in a unique style that's not easily emulated. The mostly didn't store textures locally, but streamed them from RAM. That doesn't fit as well with how the PS3 does things, so emulating it is complicated. It's tough to do even on a PC.

OpenGL2992d ago

The Xbox is easier to emulate than the PS2 due to the PS2's MIPS based CPU and the fact that the Graphics Synthesizer has 4MB of eDRAM on a 2560-bit memory bus, giving it 48GB/s of memory bandwidth. It would be easier to emulate the Gamecube and Xbox on the PS3, despite the PS2 typically being the slowest of the 3 consoles last gen.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 2992d ago
StanSmith2993d ago

Ok here goes:

All Ps3s play PS1 games

The PSP emulator is strictly for the Minis range on the Store

PS2 Emulator is for the Early PS3s that had backwards compatibility. (60GB & 20GB)

This does NOT mean all PS3s can play every PS1, PS2 and PSP Games. It's ONE firmware for ALL PS3s!

bigevilworldwide2992d ago

Ummmmm the 20 and 60gb models had ps2 guts inside it didn't use emulation it was the 4 usb port 80gb models that used emulation

StanSmith2992d ago (Edited 2992d ago )

"Ummmmm the 20 and 60gb models had ps2 guts inside it didn't use emulation it was the 4 usb port 80gb models that used emulation"

Yes and the 60GB PS3 in Europe used emulation which was what i was referring to. The 80GB came after the successful emulation of ps2 games on european machines. Both of which still had one of the chips used in the PS2. Notice i said "Early PS3s." The 80GB and the EU 60GB were only part emulation. There are NO PS3s current or past that fully Emulate the PS2 without the need for additional hardware.

There are more SKUs than just those released in America!

meetajhu2993d ago

Sexy. Now remove region protection for PS2 games so i can play Pal games i got a launch Japanese console.

2993d ago
ThanatosDMC2993d ago

PS2 doesnt work with the Slim only the older models meaning the fattys and not the 40gb versions.

GrandTheftZamboni2993d ago

What's the big deal? I have emulators for PS3 and 360 on my Linux box. Don't believe me? I can post screenshots of folders named "PS3 emulator" and "360 emulator".


I see what you did there! LOL

Darth_Bane792992d ago

I have picture of my PS4 emulation files also!!! lol

CimmerianDrake2993d ago

That they could be using a Phat Launch PS3? In which case there would be a PS2 emulator on it for BC purposes (maybe the 80GB one which had software emu). Plus, have you considered that the PSP emulator could be for remote access, or PSP demos which you can download onto your PS3, or Video in for connecting your PSP to your PS3 so you can play the handheld titles on a tv?

Honestly, jumping to conclusions and getting all worked up and blaming Sony for something you aren't sure of is just the height of stupidity.

"Oh look, a PS2 emulator that Sony isn't letting us use, they must be trying to milk money out of everyone by releasing PS2 HD classics instead of letting us play them on the PS3"

Count how many PS2 HD remastered games have come out. I bet you can use 1 hand.

Nemo882992d ago

Why would Sony would even leave the files in there if they were not being used/going to be made available?? I mean surely just delete the files.

Why have the PS2 files there at all??

Maybe they were working on bringing it back themselves and it just wasnt ready yet. Seems like the most logical explanation???

TotalPS3Fanboy2993d ago (Edited 2993d ago )

The reason there is a PS2 emulator is because the 60GB 80GB can play PS2 games.
The reason there is a PSP emulator is because the PS3 can play PSPMins.

It doesn't mean Sony is purposely disabling it. Because the PS3 Slim can never play PS2 games, and none of the PS3 can play full PSP games, or PSP minis.

Hope that clear things up for y'all.

iagainsti1202992d ago

the ps3 has all the power it needs t run any ps2 game in emulation. PS3's without the the emotion engine or the Graphics Synthesizer still have that power just a matter of Sony not wanting to write the code for it.

And to all of you sony or Microsoft fanboy's that say it cant TIS THA POWER OF THA CELL!! jk but really it has the power to do it

to sum it up
old PS3 can play ps2
New PS3 can play ps2 (just needs the code)

TotalPS3Fanboy2991d ago

Yes. The PS3 is very powerful. However, the PS3's video ram are no where as fast as the small ultra fast video ram of the Emotion Engine. And almost all PS2 games utilized that ultra fast aspect of the video ram to do all their amazing sh*t.

Without the Emotion Engine's small ultra fast video ram, emulated PS2 games will run very slow on the PS3 because the ram on the PS3 is slower.

Now you know why older PS3 models have the small ultra fast video ram of the Emotion Engine hardware inside in order to play PS2 games.

badz1492992d ago

CFW? PS2 emulation? ah...even Geohotz was talking about the same thing and guess what, he QUITS before any of them can be done! just wake me up when ANYBODY got these stuff running! I'm busy enjoying games on my PS3 and here's hoping Sony will put mandatory FW updates for new games so those staying on 3.41 can't play any of them! looks like none of them came out with the way to work on 3.42 yet and I hope this continues!

sikbeta2992d ago

Meh... More BS coming from these nerds... if you have something, show it, don't try to claim anything before you're done, bet this is going to end the same way with geo-loser, seriously, multi-orgasmic nerds in pure excitement over speculations and bunch of things like that, pffft...

xAlmostPro2992d ago

we can play ps1 games, and psp ones.. but they removed the ability to play ps2 games.. although i guess they could put them on the PSN :/

custom firmware could be cool, i'll see how this goes first as ive already updated with the recent update

frostypants2992d ago (Edited 2992d ago )

Just because it has a reference to a PS2 emulator does not mean one is installed. Come on people.

It's left over from the old half-assed software-based PS2 emulation that they had on a few systems after they quit the full hardware support. That software emulation pretty much sucked, by the way.

My PS3 has the badass full hardware PS2 support. I used it once or twice when I first bought it. Never again since.

fullmetal2972992d ago

This is the beauty of homebrew: giving you the ability to play and create user content. I had an modded xbox with XBMC and there so many homebrew apps and other feature that made it truly the first multimedia console. It could play any media file and rip my DVDs to my HDD all while being able to play PS 1, N64, NES, SNES, and Arcade games.

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M4ndat0ry_1nstall2993d ago

Cool, I'll be looking forward to hearing how it turns out. fingers crossed :)

2993d ago
gamingdroid2993d ago

Kinda liking customer firmware. We might get xross game chat before Sony's official release if ever.

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Omega42993d ago ShowReplies(5)
mrv3212993d ago (Edited 2993d ago )

You approved this article I wonder why :P

hi22993d ago

how does this piracy crap get approved so often , are the mods that dumb?

JhawkFootball062993d ago

Please tell me where you see piracy anywhere in the article. Believe it or not people hack things other than to pirate stuff.

jerethdagryphon2992d ago

custam firmware is a dirivitive of sonys firmware hence agaisnt terms and conditions further if there custom firmware using any code (which it must ) from original firmware then bang thats piracy

i hope sony can find a way to stop that
in its tracks

KratosGirI2993d ago

For the last time.

Hacking is not Piracy!

radphil2993d ago (Edited 2993d ago )

Yet 90% of the time it LEADS TO PIRACY. I mean I understand the honorable way for those that do homebrew, but be realistic.....who here keeping track of these articles are hoping for Homebrew....

Edit: It's funny to see those that just put the disagree without saying something. On a side note I actually agreed with Kratos. :p

morganfell2993d ago

In this case it is piracy because that is their purpose. I can't believe you are that naive.

And it won't do them any as encrypted disc check is inbound. You won't be running any new titles with anything but the specified firmware.

duplissi2993d ago

"who here keeping track of these articles are hoping for Homebrew.."


radphil2992d ago


Lies and slander!

But in all seriousness though I'm on the side for homebrew, but sadly it's not going to be the case within this situation. I've already had my hand in working on homebrew for PSP, but I'm not going the method that they're doing with this. I'd rather prefer for Sony to do something in the ways of how XNA is on Live.

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nycredude2992d ago

For all the people who thinks hacking doesn't lead to or is directly related to piracy. I have a bottle of really good air I am selling, better than any air you can get. When you breath it in you can have 3 wishes come true, only three though. I'll sell it to you cheap but I only have one bottle. $10,000 paypal.