Google engineers hacked PS Portal to play PSP games, then handed the secrets to Sony

Google engineers managed to get the PlayStation Portal handheld to natively play PSP games, but consumers and gamers will never be able to do the same.

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Google engineers spent a month hacking the PlayStation Portal to run PSP games natively...but then they handed the secrets right to Sony.

Google engineers hacked PS Portal to play PSP games, then handed the secrets to Sony 5

It's official: The PS Portal's is once again a "remote player." Sony has released a new firmware patch for the PS Portal that fixed a big security vulnerability that ultimately led to PSP games running on the device. The $199 PS Portal is specifically designed as a profitable accessory that requires a PS5 in order to stream games to the controller-screen hybrid. Being able to play games without needing a PS5 goes against the entire point of the handheld.

Two Google security experts--Andy Nguyen and Calle Svensson--spent an entire month hacking the PS Portal to see if it could run games natively. It turns out that it can indeed do this, at least when it comes to 20-year-old PSP games. Yesterday, Nguyen confirmed that Sony had been notified of the vulnerability and that a fix has been employed with PS Portal's new v2.0.6 firmware update.

"We responsibly reported the issues to PlayStation. Bugs are fixed on 2.06. No idea why you folks cry about the disclosure. If we just released to the public, do you think Sony would just leave it unpatched? Reporting vs. not reporting is only a few weeks of difference."

"After more than a month of hard work, PPSSPP is running natively on PlayStation Portal. Yes, we hacked it. With help from xyz and [Google engineer Calle Svensson]," Nguyen had wrote on Twitter in a February post.

Sony says it is pleasantly surprised by the Portal's demand. At $199, the handheld is half the price of the cheapest PS5 SKU (the digital edition), however Sony has not released sales figures for the device.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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