Don't get too excited— it hasn't happened yet. In fact, the PS4 has proven itself to be terribly troublesome to jailbreak, even for expert hackers. Here's an update on the PS4 and its relationship with custom firmware.
What's a Jailbreak?
If you're a newbie when it comes to hacking terminology, you might be confused right now. A jailbreak of a console, smartphone, tablet or some other device means that a user has broken through the digital rights management software and has gained root access to the system's inner workings. It means that the user can change things that the manufacturer didn't want anyone to be able to change, or install software that isn't technically authorized for that device.
Why Jailbreak the PS4?
Why would anyone want to jailbreak the PS4? The short answer is, "To prove that we can." The longer answer would be, "To broaden the possibilities for entertainment and enjoyment, and to add more games to the PS4 repertoire."
Are There Risks Involved in Jailbreaking?
Jailbreaking a device often voids the warranty, if any still exists on the item. Also, jailbreaking breaks down the layers of protection that guard the device against malicious incursions; so by expanding your PS4 or your phone's features, you may also be opening yourself up to attacks. The system isn't designed to be hacked like that, so if it's done the wrong way, your device may become unstable, suffer from reduced battery life, or experience other issues. Is it worth the risk? That's up to you.
Is Jailbreaking Legal?
The legality of jailbreaking is complicated. A 2015 exemption in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has protected the customer's personal freedom to jailbreak a smartphone and a few other devices. According to the U.S. Library of Congress's decision on October 27, 2015, it's okay to jailbreak a tablet, a smartphone, or a smart TV. Interestingly, e-readers, consoles, and handheld gaming devices are not part of the exemption. Of course, those regulations do not stop the devoted hackers from trying their best to jailbreak consoles like the PS4.
Has There Been a PS4 Jailbreak?
Due to the masterful security measures enacted by Sony, the PS4 has yet to be legitimately hacked or jailbroken, although in December 2015, one hacker claimed to have achieved a total jailbreak. Hacking groups such as FailOverflow have been tackling the PS4 for months, and FailOverflow finally succeeded in writing a custom version of Linux just for the PS4, demoing the hack by playing Pokemon Emerald on the PS4. However, there are a number of bugs that the group still needs to work out, and the widespread release of a PS4 jailbreak is still pending.
Cool PS4 "Hacks" That Are Totally Legit
If you're interested in getting the most out of your PS4, why not check out some of the cool tricks that it can already do? No jailbreak required!
Got just one Dualshock controller? No worries! Your PS Vita can double as an extra Dualshock! Use your Vita to set up remote play and take over the on-screen control of your console as the primary player. Another player can participate by pressing the PS button on your Dualshock controller. All they have to do is log in, and you're ready to game.
Want to be the first to play a brand-new game? You can pre-order a hot game on your PS4 and pre-load it a few days ahead of the launch day. Instead of staring at the progress bar as the game slowly loads, you can jump right into gameplay when the release date arrives.