PS5 Jailbreak Opens A Whole New World For Techies

A PS5 jailbreak has finally occurred, and although it's far from ready for end users, it promises big things for the future.

Published: October 3, 2022 9:33 AM /


The PS5 Disc Edition and PS5 Digital Edition sitting next to one another

A PS5 jailbreak has occurred for the first time in the console's history. While the jailbreak isn't quite ready for end users just yet, it opens up a world of possibilities for the technically inclined and could represent a first step on the road to PS5 homebrew software.

It's been almost two years since the PS5 was released, and the homebrew community has been waiting with bated breath to see when the first jailbreak would occur. Now, that barrier has been broken, as reported by homebrew site Wololo. Hacker SpecterDev has managed to implement an IPV6 kernel exploit for the PS5, granting him root privileges and access to the console's debug menu.

A PS5 debug menu accessed by hacker SpecterDev, showing PS5 jailbreak info like controller settings and accelerated tests
It might not look like much, but this debug menu is proof a PS5 jailbreak has occurred.

The jailbreak was also implemented by Lance McDonald, whose name you might recognize from the unofficial Bloodborne 60fps patch, among other things. McDonald posted a video of himself applying the webkit-based hack over on his Twitter page, also gaining access to the debug menu.

So, what does this PS5 jailbreak actually allow you to do? Well...not too much right now, as it happens. As SpecterDev points out, the exploit won't work around 70% of the time, and it doesn't give you execute access, so you can't implement any homemade code (which would include homebrew software).

Still, the hack does give you access to the PS5 debug menu, and it also gives you root access to the console, as well as read and write privileges, so it's useful if you're a techie and you're experienced with digging into the backend of consoles. You can see the exploit in action right here, and you can download and try it out for yourself here

There are a couple of caveats if you do intend to try this out. First, you'll need to be running a PC webserver to apply the hack. You can find instructions on how to do that on the Wololo article. Second, this hack only works on PS5s running 4.03 firmware, as subsequent updates fix the webkit vulnerability the hack uses. That's quite a few updates ago, but it's impossible to run this hack on any more recent firmware versions, unfortunately.

Jailbreaking: the good and the bad

If you've never heard of jailbreaking, in a nutshell, it refers to the ability to run custom software on a device as opposed to the operating system the device is currently running. This in turn leads to the ability to run custom operating systems or homebrew games and other software, as in the case of the Henkaku Vita homebrew hack. Some commercial operating systems, like Cyanogen OS, got their start as homebrew mods.

The benefits of jailbreaking can be numerous. If a device is reaching the end of its life cycle, jailbreaking can give it a new lease on life, ensuring that those who love it can still use it. As a user, it also gives you access to files or functions you might not otherwise have been able to get to, especially in more closed-ecosystem devices like iPhones. 

A PlayStation Vita with Dragon's Crown being played on it
The PlayStation Vita may have reached the end of its life, but homebrew is keeping it alive for some.

Of course, it's not all rosy when it comes to jailbreaking. Depending on the device, jailbreaking it might void your warranty, meaning you can't get free repairs or replacements if something goes wrong. Since you're bypassing a device's software, you may also be bypassing security protocols, meaning that you might be leaving yourself more open to hackers in some instances, too.

One of the big problems with jailbreaking is piracy, with many hackers opening up consoles to run pirated games and software when jailbreaking consoles. That's also a big reason why console manufacturers and software developers lock users out; piracy is something that developers generally want to avoid enabling. There's also the problem of cheating; if someone is playing on a jailbroken console, then having complete access can lead to players being able to cheat by using device hacks. Thankfully, this PS5 Jailbreak won't allow either of those directly at this time.

Suffice it to say that jailbreaking is mainly something you do when you know what you're doing. As such, it probably makes sense not to jailbreak your PS5 if you've just bought it and you've never dipped a toe into the world of homebrew software before. With that said, this hack does open up a world of possibilities for the PS5 in the future, so it may just be a matter of time before someone manages to gain execute access to the console as well. We'll bring you more on this as we get it.

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Joe Allen's profile picture
| Senior Writer

Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for five years, and in those five years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph