Sony’s PlayStation Portal hacked to run emulated PSP games

Sony’s new PlayStation Portal has been hacked by Google engineers to run emulated games locally. The $199.99 handheld debuted in November but was limited to just streaming games from a PS5 console and not even titles from Sony’s cloud gaming service.

Now, two Google engineers have managed to get the PPSSPP emulator running natively on the PlayStation Portal, allowing the PSP version of Grand Theft Auto 3 to run on the Portal without Wi-Fi streaming required. “After more than a month of hard work, PPSSPP is running natively on PlayStation Portal. Yes, we hacked it,” says Andy Nguyen in a post on X.

Nguyen also confirms that the exploit is “all software based,” so it doesn’t require any hardware modifications like additional chips or soldering. Only a photo of Grand Theft Auto 3 running on the PlayStation Portal has been released so far, but Nguyen may release some videos to demonstrate the exploit at the weekend.

Nguyen is a cloud vulnerability researcher at Google, and he has worked with fellow Google security engineer Calle Svensson on the PlayStation Portal project. Nguyen, better known as TheFlow, has discovered multiple PS4 and PS5 exploits in the past. He’s due to detail a new PS4 exploit in May.

While the PlayStation Portal exploit is the latest in a long line of PlayStation exploits, it’s not clear if or when a jailbreak will be made available for everyone. “There’s no release planned in the near future, and there’s much more work to be done,” explains Nguyen in a follow-up post on X. If a mod is eventually released then it could greatly improve the PlayStation Portal by adding the ability to run software locally, including game emulators and perhaps even Android games.

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