Technology

It is possible to run PT on a hacked PS5 (but …)

Is PT going to become the Doom of PlayStation consoles, the one piece of software you’ll want to run anywhere just because you can? Probably not, but somehow people have been keen to try and get it to run on the PS5 since the console was hacked (and proving me wrong in the process).

Running PT on a hacked PS5 – under the hood

PT has become an iconic piece of software on the PS4 (and now PS5) in part because it was removed from the PlayStation store. Since then, re-downloading it and getting it to run, or creating remakes, has become kind of a challenge for many tinkerers.

Running PT on a hacked PS5 is possible, as demonstrated recently by Twitter user @ supertoilet12, and as many folks had correctly guessed before that.

Before we go on how this is achieved, we need to talk about the constraints associated with running this game.

PT is a Demo, meaning at the time of its release it was technically free, but it has been removed from the PlayStation store years ago, when the full game was canceled. In order to run it on a PS5 in the current state of knowledge, not only do you need to have the PT files available (they can be found on the net, and we did have a technique that leveraged random hosts to re-install he game on PS4), but you also need to have a valid license for the game associated with your PSN account, meaning… you have to have acquired the game on the PlayStation store at the time it was available, back in 2014.

Got that?

Right.

For the handful of folks who are still reading, it does not stop here:

Your PS5 needs to be associated with the same account for which you got PT on PS4, otherwise the license will not work. This means that at some point in time you activated your PS5 and logged in with your PSN account to it.

In summary: you need to be one of the people who have a valid license for PT, AND your PS5 needs to have the same PSN account up and running, AND your PS5 needs to be on one of the hackable firmwares.

If you’re one of the two people in the world with that kind of configuration, congratulations, you can run PT on your PS5.

showcase video by @ supertoilet12 of PT running on the PS5.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s fun and I’m always a proponent of “if we can do it, then why not” when it comes to tinkering with our gaming consoles. I just want to set the expectations right as to what this really means.

The PS4 compatibility list on PS5

In addition to all of the above, and maybe the most interesting discovery in all of this, is that the PS5 has a whitelist of which PS4 games can run on it. I’m sure Sony have put this in place for a variety of good reasons, but the good news for us is that it’s easy to update, since it’s a simple text file.

Literally a text file

Beyond the fact that PS4 games need a proper license to run, and that this license is tied to your PSN account as described above, making them “compatible” with PS5 (when they’re not marked as such already) is as simple as editing this text file as needed. Of course, again, Sony might have had good reasons to not put some specific games in there.

Running PT on your PS5 – How to

If you have the files for PT, and your account has the rights to run it (basically the same account that activated the game on PS4, should be your account on the PS5), you should be able to install and run PT

  • Run the Kernel exploit on your PS5
  • Using the PS5 package installer, install the PT retail package file (how and where you get this file is up to you)
  • At this point you should have PT installed, but it will be marked as not PS5 compatible. You need to edit the PS4 compatibility file on the PS4

  • From there, if everything went smoothly, PT should run on your PS5

Wait, does this mean piracy is a thing on PS5?

It’s quite fun, and impressive, to see what people are doing with a hacked PS5, don’t get me wrong. People are however a bit quick to jump the gun, saying this means piracy is just a few steps away for the PS5.

This has nothing to do with piracy. This is people running a PS4 game for which they own a valid license, on to PS5. Granted, the PS5 wasn’t supposed to let you install, or run the game in the first place, but the locks for that part were “easy” to remove once the exploit is running (namely, the possibility to install the package is a debug feature of the console, and the possibility to run it is a simple entry in a text file)

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