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Google engineers crack open PlayStation Portal for local gaming

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Two Google engineers have successfully hacked Sony’s recently released PlayStation Portal, enabling it to run emulated games locally without WiFi streaming.

The $199.99 handheld, launched in November, initially had restricted users to streaming games solely from a connected PS5 console, leaving out titles from Sony’s cloud gaming service.

Andy Nguyen, a cloud vulnerability researcher at Google, and his collaborator Calle Svensson, a fellow Google security engineer, have achieved this feat by getting the PPSSPP emulator to run natively on the PlayStation Portal.

This breakthrough allows games like Grand Theft Auto PSP to be played directly on the device, marking a significant departure from its initial limitations, reported The Verge.

“After more than a month of hard work, PPSSPP is running natively on PlayStation Portal. Yes, we hacked it,” tweeted Andy Nguyen.

Andy clarified that the exploit is purely software-based, requiring no hardware modifications such as additional chips or soldering.

Currently, Nguyen shared only a photo of Grand Theft Auto 3 running on the PlayStation Portal, but he hinted at the possibility of sharing videos to demonstrate the exploit over the upcoming weekend. This development also raises questions about the device’s security and the potential for further modifications.

While this PlayStation Portal exploit adds to the series of previous PlayStation vulnerabilities, there is uncertainty regarding the availability of a jailbreak for the general public. Nguyen addressed this concern in a follow-up post on X, stating, “There’s no release planned in the near future, and there’s much more work to be done.”

Nguyen, who has a history of discovering exploits for both the PS4 and PS5, is set to reveal a new PS4 exploit in May. If a jailbreak or mod is eventually released for the PlayStation Portal, it could open doors to significant improvements by allowing the device to run software locally, potentially including game emulators and even Android games.

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Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: