“Revertible” Firmware PS4 by Modded Warfare: this could be the future of PS4 hacks

There hasn’t been any news or even rumors for a PS4 Jailbreak on latest firmwares, and it seems Firmware 9.00 will remain the “golden firmware” of hacks for the time being.

Firmware “rollback” is now where everyone’s been looking, as more and more tools are made available to revert a PS4 to some previous firmwares. There are significant limitations to the technique, which is why people are reluctant to call it a “downgrade”, but basically if you have the right soldering skills, it becomes possible to create a backup of your 9.00 PS4, and then switch back and forth between 9.00 and the latest firmware. The caveat being of course that you need a PS4 on Firmware 9.00 to being with.

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Modded Warfare has published a video where he iterated on this process, and integrated a Teensy 2++ inside his PS4, to make the switch between firmwares even easier. He says changing firmware now takes about 15 minutes.

Revertible PS4 by Modded Warfare

I was tempted to call this a “Dual firmware” PS4, but in the current state of Modded Warfare’s experiments, there is a bit of work involved to go back and forth between the two firmwares, so it’s not just the push of a switch yet.

The concept is simple, and iterates on the firmware revert system that Modded Warfare demonstrated late last year: create a backup of the necessary files and chips (soldering required) on your PS4 9.00, then once you have that, it’s “fairly” straightforward to update to the latest firmware, then revert back to 9.00 by copying the backup files back to their original location. The “copying” step requires a Teensy 2++, and is done through PS4 Syscon Tools.

What this new process innovates on, is that the Teensy board is now integrated inside the PS4 console: once that is done, there is less soldering required, generally speaking less steps, so that going back and forth becomes easier.

 

Limitations

As we can see in the video, there are limitations to Modded Warfare’s technique, but I’m assuming the technique could be refined further in order to limit the impact.

First of all, some minor soldering/desoldering appears to be necessary on the Teensy board, every time one reverts the firmware. I’m assuming a hardware switch would be enough to get rid of this requirement.

Secondly, Modded Warfare mentions every time a revert is done, the data on the hard drive is technically “lost”, as a firmware reinstall is required. In this case, I’m assuming that having two hard drives (one for each version of the firmware), and doing a swap before rebooting, would be enough to avoid the issue. Of course, I’m sure some people will imagine ways to have two hard drives plugged in and switch easily.

I can’t wait to see how people will take this to the next level. Maybe we’ll start seeing some true “dual firmware” PS4s sometime soon?

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