PS3 Modchip ‘PSJailbreak’ Surfaces, Touts Plug-And-Play Backup Loading

by Justin B. August 19, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

Earlier today a USB dongle was revealed for use with the PlayStation 3 that would allow you to backup and run games your blu-ray games from your internal or external HDD. Many PS3 developers have chimed in on this new “modchip” and have determined that it relies heavily on the official PS3 SDK, making things a whole lot easier for the PS Jailbreak team (the ones responsible for this).

For now a few people have managed to get their hands on the device and have confirmed its legitimacy, however there’s one large restriction. The NTFS file format is currently not supported, so good luck trying to backup anything over 4GB. The asking price is also quite a shocker with one distributor already taking pre-orders for the hefty sum of $170. I would just recommend for a free solution to come from the scene before you waste any of your money on this product.

Follow the break for our full coverage on the product.

Mathieulh on PS Jailbreak’s Backup Manager:

psjailbreak’s so called “Backup Manager” (which is pretty much the only thing available to download on their website) is a debug package including a regular fself compiled with the (massively privately leaked) 1.92 sdk, The package itself is generated with Sony’s official sdk tool (make_package_npdrm revision 1203 probably from that very same sdk) that makes it illegal to share because I am quite sure psjailbreak staff doesn’t have the appropriate license to be using the official Playstation 3 SDK and its tools. The binary itself seems to use the usual sce apis when it comes to the gui or copying files over.

It does run on a debug console and displays a “nicely” done GUI that lets you “backup” your game to the external or usb hdd and “run” them later on. Needless to say the backups wont “run” as their “backup manager” is just a regular fself running with game privileges and doesn’t make use of any exploits that I can think of. Needless to say that if their so called usb dongle is real (which I doubt) it does extensive use of leaked sony’s software and keys/certificates.

Mathieulh on the USB dongle and why he thinks it works (via Twitter):

Ok, I know enough people that have the dongle to confirm that it’s real even though I don’t have one myself (yet). I believe it to be a USB jig; it’s triggered the same way as SCE’s official version so they must then use an exploit and do some lv2 patches. It’s also likely that they “finalize” (set recover flag to 0) the console at every boot because you always need to use power + eject.

It also doesn’t convert a retail to debug perse, there is no debug menu and no deci3 (debugging) support as far as I know. Also the fact that it only runs on 3.31 suggests that they do memory patches rather than run another kernel on the console. I might be wrong about that though since I don’t have one yet myself.

For those doubting the first video because the PS3 was out of sight for a good portion of it, they made a second one shortly after:

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january39 says:

Wow :w00t:

ultimakillz says:

very interesting. im anxious to see how this turns out.....

FrozenIpaq says:

Mathieulh confirmed on twitter a few moments ago that "it's real". The only problem right now: they're charging a shit ton for it (well I heard $170) and used a bit of the leaked SDK to achieve what they did

ultimakillz says:

:ohmy: $170, geez. am i the only one who doesnt think its worth it?

El Diablo says:

I hope the price isn't actually that much = \.

EvilSeph says:

It's not. A free alternative will most likely follow, as usual. I don't like the looks of this though.

Ril3ySnotZ says:

Holy crap.

x3sphere says:

Charging such a high price means one of two things: they are confident that it can't be copied, or are trying to make a quick buck off early adopters.

It is. $170 is the pre-order price.

El Diablo says: :\

FrozenIpaq says:

Writing up an article for this now, was hoping x3sphere would get to it so I wouldn't have to but I waited too long ;)

Something we can't stress enough though for our community: do not buy this

Zero says:

I forgot the PS3's the only seventh-generation console without piracy.

Hasn't seemed to make a difference in sales figures though.

Ril3ySnotZ says:

Wonder what's sony's guys are thinking. Get their hands on the thing and figure out how to counter it?

EvilSeph says:

I didn't have time to edit my post. I meant it isn't worth it.

BlackSheep says:

This will be patch very soon

Dan says:

Can somebody explain how a USB dongle can do this? I don't get it.

elite says:

Thanks Ipaq for freshening up my post! :) I will try next time to place up a respectable introduction like what Justin did.

x3sphere says:

Details are scant right now, I don't think anyone knows how it works exactly apart from those select few with the dongle already in their hands.

This could be the equivalent of the PSP's Pandora battery. It's possible that the dongle is engineered in a such a way that it unlocks a debug operating mode on the PS3. Who knows, Sony may have left a backdoor for recovering bricked consoles.

FrozenIpaq says:

I stole your post, I apologize. Just better to move all the posts here with the article than to redirect it - the flow still exists!

As far as how does it work off of a USB dongle? No one knows right now to be sure but Nevada's guess is that during the boot process (power then eject combination) it checks the USB driver for a link in the bootchain which is probably used for diagnostics (debug maybe, like Pandora)

Dan says:

Actually, I remember seeing this which is pretty much the same thing, which is clearly bull.

x3sphere says:

Presumably there's more to it than the files on the dongle itself. But - like anything else - I'm sure the magic will be reversed in due time.

Spiros says:

Wow, this is amazing, although I was hoping when something like this was released for the PS3, it would be more like jtagging a 360, this is just too easy to do.

I bet in a couple months these will be a few dollars on eBay from Hong Kong.

january39 says:

It was always going to happen in the end, cracking the PS3 is akin to the space race - everyone is desperate to be the first to do it.

Kudos to them for doing it, but i won't be buying it.

Craig Fairfax says:

Sony will release an update that kills it, making it a complete waste of money. I'm alright without pirating PS3 games anyway.

Seth says:

Once the free one is public, I might have to get a second ps3 or maybe not I never play with anyone of PSN anyway :)

Riorio99 says:

Sony's gonna smack down the banhammer on the USB slots next.

Nah, I'm assuming Sony can block this somehow, but we'll wait and see.

I 'll be skipping it personally because I went legit a few months ago, it's waaaaay too expensive, and I only have a 40gb PS3 (and changing the HDD is too much hassle for me, too much time invested in RockBand and other stuff online to lose the non-transferable saves) to pirate games like MGS4, which use the entire 50gb Blu-Ray Disc.

Ril3ySnotZ says:

I'll probably not get this unless there is some real kick ass reason like real good homebrew stuff and utils.

Seth says:

There is a backup and restore on the ps3 that will take everything you have on your ps3 and move it to the new HDD, including non-transferable saves and dlc.

EndymionDave says:

I am not surprised that much at all. I mean, most of us knew it was going to happen all along. I bet even Sony developers where just waiting for the hammer to fall, eventually. Come to think of it, why wouldn't there be progress like this to emerge. It's not like there are only a few hundred brains picking that particular console apart, we are talking about millions of hackers all for the price of what's inside pandora's box. Ironically, hope was inside that box and that's what hackers are doing--hoping to finally crack that elusive clam shell.

EndymionDave says:

and one more thing...I am clearly amused at how sony gamers and fans are taking it. It's like they're trying to assess their beloved blu-ray disc games and thinking, "heck, I paid a lot of dough with this stuff, I can't let a bozo hacker ruin my bragging rights." It seems like we have a lot of sour grapes passed around. I'm just saying, is all. he he he

Dan says:

The "sour grapes" are simply people who realise the failure of the PSP due to piracy, and we don't want a console like the PS3 to go down that path also.

Abe Froeman says:

Because piracy has really had an impact on the Xbox 360. It's failing so hard.

Dan says:

That hurt. ;_;

That's just my opinion anyway.

Bizarre says:

Would this be able to get patched by Sony/banned off PSN?

january39 says:

Piracy will never help a console, at best we just all pay more for games, at worst software is not developed for that media.

x3sphere says:

Apparently a firmware update can patch this, so I'd say its' longevity will ride on support. No word on if Sony will be able to detect if users are using the jailbreak through PSN yet.

FrozenIpaq says:

Apparently the contents of the chip have been copied already so we can expect to see clones on the market within a few months for a much lower price. Even then I'm not sure I'll be willing to pay a price.

slicer4ever says:

the 360 has a size thing going for it as well, at most, a psp game can be 1-1.5GB's, but an xbox 360 game can be upwards of 7-8GB's in size, which is a real turn off for many, of course that doesn't stop people who have the ability to rip their own games, or don't mind waiting(also the possibility of a MS banhammer against consoles can turn even more people away from piracy if they wish to keep their online services)

i don't imagine w/e hack this uses will last very long, or be very popular, since like the 360, the ps3 has a anti-priacy via size of disc going for it as well(and much much bigger)

x3sphere says:

Like the 360, I think the main deterrent to PS3 piracy will be the fear of getting banned from PSN. Hopefully for Sony's sake, they can easily identify non-legit players. I'd hate to see PSN swamped with cheaters.

I think the whole size thing is moot though. It's a barrier sure if you have a slow connection but on 10mbit+ (which is becoming commonplace in the US) downloading 20GB is nothing. Also, ripping groups may strip out unneeded data or compress audio to make filesizes much more manageable, as they did back in the Dreamcast era. This practice was also prevalent in the PSP scene as well - groups stripped 'padding' from UMDs oftentimes resulting in a huge decrease in size.

Spiros says:

Also, with this "jailbreak", you can just rent a game and rip it right on your PS3 and it's easy as taking a shit.

At the moment, with the current state of the jailbreak, I don't think you can just download a game and put it on an HDD, I think ripping it on the PS3 is the only route.

FrozenIpaq says:

The thing that has deterred me from modifying my Xbox 360 drive is a two-fold thing:

1) I don't want to have my Xbox Live account banned, so if anything I would use a second 360 (so costly)

2) It's not a simple process - well it requires a little more work and updating than I would like if you want to keep up with the latest games

With this PS3 hack however it's extremely simple, the only problem will be obtaining the games (which as Spiros pointed out, you can easily rent)

slicer4ever says:

true, but i wouldn't give this much weight to people who live in the rural area which are confined to 2-4mbps connection's, although i guess that's still not too bad of a wait.

the psp i think is a perfect example of what sony does to online cheaters, although the ps3 does hold alot more merit to them, so hopefully you'll see something to try and prevent alot of the cheaters from continuing online play.

Abe Froeman says:

I've got an original Xbox that I use for the old rent-n-rip routine. It's great. I just need to take the time to build a decent library on it one of these days before the games are impossible to get from gamefly.

Sousanator says:

Microsoft has only banned cheaters from their Live account, never anyone who just modded their console. Just the console gets banned, not the Live account. And you can still play online, its just you take a chance when the random quarterly ban-waves come. In which case if you get hit, then you can't play online until you buy another console, but you will still have your gamerscore and Gold account in tact when you do.

With the newer iXtreme LT's you don't necessarily need to update your firmware since they don't restrict the disc's wave version anymore, and it's meant to be bare minimum feature-wise to keep it as close to the original firmware as possible, so you will rarely have to update anymore.

One thing that Sony has that Microsoft doesn't is the fact that some of their games require the new updates (Just like PSP). So pretty much this modchip is only good for the current games that are out right now, whereas with Microsoft, I know there are still people playing the latest games with the blades menu.

WillyVWade says:

The only thing that I don't like the sound of is that you need the disk to update.

Zero says:

I know details are scant about this so far, but is this a software or a hardware exploit? If it's the former the use of this is quite limited (and anyone wishing to use this should consider remaining out-of-date), as Sony can simply patch this out, and use PSN as a carrot.

EndymionDave says:


I have to agree with Abe with this one. The XBOX 360 is in deep mud with piracy but did it fail? If you're a xbox 360 fan then you'll immediately say no. But bias aside, I don't think the xbox 360 is in trouble with piracy. Quiet the opposite. And I believe Abe was being sarcastic and I guess he got my initial point. The psp isn't a failure, heck because of piracy did the psp soar higher than it could have possibly been planned by the developers. People just need to stop the scapegoating the PSP of heavy piracy, what about the Microsoft Console, the Wii, the PC and soon to be pirated PS3 (if not now, if not tommorrow, then soon enough). See if you open your eyes, it's not so hard to accept the inevitable.

WillyVWade says:

I wouldn't be so sure. If they are using Sony's repair centre code (as has been hypothesised over and over) then patching this out might lock themselves out of the systems they might have to fix one day. I'd say that the exploit could be patched if they are just using the Sony code to then run their own code (for pushing into debug) but then you'd only need to find another exploit to move it from Retail to Debug and run that.

El Xando says:

Well my current Xbox 360 has been modded with iXtreme Liteon v1.1 for about 6 months now without getting banned. My previous Xbox got banned on November 13th last year after being modded with various iXtremes (ranging from 1.4 to 1.61 I believe) and lasting well over a year.

If this PS3 hack comes out much cheaper, or people manage to make it so you can do it with a regular USB stick, and they are pretty certain you can't get banned from PSN, I will most probably do it. I currently only have one PS3 game.

Cloudy says:

Hmm, this is interesting. I just wonder how low level this thing is. If it is before any reading of the NAND or anything of the firmware (i.e. - pandora level) then it will not be possible to patch.

That sure would be an interesting turn of events.

Muratcan says:

"The exact chip for the psjailbreak dongle has been identified, looks like dumping it will be easy."


WillyVWade says:

This would have no problem being detected by Sony. It sets it's Title to "Backup Manager"...

From what I've read it looks like each Jig device Identifies it's self to the PS3 and a firmware update could Blacklist the ID that the Jig uses, so until another ID gets leaked from another Jig unit it would be unusable.

Don't take that as gospol, that's just how I understand it from reading Google Translated sites and some Twitter feeds.

Hellcat says:

Too bad some ppl may missuse it to run HB instead of "backups" xD



shikamaru says:

Has Mathieulh identified if this Dongle selling for an outrageous price (and not even available in the Uk) could be replicated onto a regular USB stick i.e Make a normal USB into the required 'Pandora' or Jig.

InfinitiProject says:

I'll admit, at first I thought of jumping on this when it was first announced being sold. But then I thought over it some more and decided not to get it for the fact that i've spent an ASSLOAD of money on PSN for PS3/PSP games, add-ons, and PS+.

If they were to ban, who knows what they'll do... Along with the ban, they would probably revoke/invalidate your license for your purchases until you buy another PS3, something like what Microsoft did with invalidating game saves, disabling features (including Media Center) and such when they banned users.

Once someone gets this thing to run other stuff besides "backups", i'll either buy a PS3 with a broken Blu-Ray drive or just pick up a Slim and run exploits and such my Phat.

slicer4ever says:

microsoft only corrupted the profile on a banned xbox, and disallowed ripping games on a banned xbox, to fix this, with the new xbox, simply delete the profile but keep the data, then recover the profile, and everything should still be fine, including saves, microsoft did nothing of that sort.

InfinitiProject says:


More on LIVE Bans, HDD Crippling, Possible Ban Causes - Xbox-Scene

Xbox 360 System Update Released - USB Memory Support, Un-Cripple HDDs - Xbox-Scene


slicer4ever says:

i didn't realize the usb support update actually uncrippled the xbox's hdd from being allowed to rip games(that was kindof nice of microsoft)...besides correcting my mistake,that still doesn't mean that microsoft invalidated save data like i was simply pointing out from your post

Dan says:

Oh well.

FrozenIpaq says:

That's pretty much a given. It's a risk that everyone will have to decide for themselves if it's worth it or not to risk it. If I do decide to go the way of the jig then I would buy a new console, even though I don't use PSN thaat much

BlackSheep says:

Why would a jailbroken ipod be legal and not a ps3?

Dan says:

What does a jailbroken iPod offer? What does a jailbroken PS3 offer?

BlackSheep says:

Yes i know the PS3 only offers privacy ATM the PS3 will have homebrew at least within a month of the Mod chip release

Hellcat says:

Because the iPod jailbreak is based on research and reversing, while there's still a high chance the PS3 JB is based off leaked SCE materials.

Zero says:

I would say because Sony say's it's illegal and it's their network.

Just because "jailbreaking" is legal doesen't mean manufacturers can't fight them tooth and nail.

afiser says:

maybe its illegal because they are trying to sell it instead of all ipod jail-breaking being free

x3sphere says:

I have a hunch the Backup Manager is what prompted Sony to take action. It was compiled with a leaked SDK. Also, PSJ touted running backups as the main feature of the device. Not a smart move.

FadedHearts says:

$169 is way too expensive. But i saw the same USB device for around $50 through PS3Break.

you say: