Ever since the exploit for firmware 1.76 released, we've been seeing many new features and developments in the PlayStation 4 hacking scene over the past couple of years. Below we've compiled a list of the best and most popular features the current jailbreak has to offer for the PlayStation 4.
Many homebrew games have been developed for the PS4 and jailbreaking your system allows these to be installed as fPKGs or Fake PKG (package) files. Games are probably one of the most talked about features of jailbreaking your PS4 and unfortunately a by-product of this brings the possibility to play games in which you do not own i.e. piracy. We do not condone piracy in any way shape or form and while we can that it is possible, we will not provide any information on how it works or how to accomplish it.
One of the most interesting parts of jailbreaking your PS4 is the ability to mod (softmod; software modification) not only the system but also your games as well. A good example of a system modification is a payload which enables you to take control over your consoles fan speed, this can be particularly useful when the system is being pushed to its limits and you want to avoid overheating. On the game modding side of things we have an entire section going through how this is achieved. Game modding is not to be confused with the Save Wizard software which doesnt require a jailbreak and is just a way of resigning saves to work on your own console.
Linux was first made possible on 1.76 but back in January 2018 the payload was ported to 4.05 which enabled many more users to get it up and running on their console. This has since been ported to 5.05, the latest exploitable firmware. There is a big debate throughout the scene whether or not running a Linux distribution over the PS4s Orbis OS is favourable and one of the biggest drivers for the prior being beneficial is the possibility of running games for Linux through Steam for example. This is still a very active part of the PS4 hacking scene and progress is constantly being made.
A popular past time of exploiting any console is to try and see what games it will play from other consoles, usually retro games. The PS4 is no exception and we have already been graced with numerous emulators from Nintendo to SEGA and most things in between in one way or another. One of the most popular frontends for the retro gaming scene is RetroArch, which is still a work-in-progress project, soon to be a reality for the PlayStation 4.
Custom themes started to come around after the 4.55 update and coincided with the leak of the Sony SDK which allowed users a plethora of opportunities to make their own themes. Although the themes had to be reapplied after every boot, users soon found a way to make them permanent. There are now many custom themes available, even many of the regular store themes have been made compatible with jailbroken consoles.
The main way of exploiting the PlayStation 4 is by "injecting" payloads using a TCP connection. These payloads can execute code that can modify the system in various ways. Take for example HEN, otherwise known as the Homebrew Enabler payload, which allows you to launch custom made system applications. Or FTP, which allows you to transfer and download files from and to the PlayStation 4 filesystem.