We were all extremely excited for the PlayStation Classic, so it’s a real shame that the console didn’t offer much more than an underwhelming selection of obscure games -with some glaring omissions.
As was the case with the NES and SNES classics – and presumably in lieu of any decent games to play on it – hackers are already working to crack the console. As it turns out, it’s not putting up much of a fight.
As it turns out, Sony has opted to house the key to decoding the PlayStation Classic’s firmware on the device itself, rather than making use of a private key.
This comparative lack of security, as you can imagine, means anyone with the tools ,the inclination, and the time will have a much easier go of hacking the console, as pointed out by hacker yifanlu on Twitter.
Yifanlu explained to Kotaku:
There really isn’t any security on the device at all. Sony managed to accidentally include their firmware update private keys on every console.
The upshot of this is that it’s actually really easy to upload games like Spyro and Crash Bandicoot to the console yourself, as yifanlu explained that the 20 preloaded games are in a “standard ISO format”, and the lack of additional security checks means you can simply replace the files.
gg Sony please learn what a private key is kthxbye
— Yifan (@yifanlu) December 6, 2018
A number of hackers – including yifanlu – have been demonstrating what they can do by showing off the likes of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 and Crash Bandicoot on the novelty console.
yifanlu did say that he found this lack of security kind of disappointing:
Everything about it was cut corners including the security. It was a bit of a shame how easy it was to hack considering the Vita was one of the most secure consoles ever released.
The only downside at the moment is that any games uploaded to the console will have to substitute one of the 20, but with a little more tweaking that issue should be a thing of the past before long.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.