Google engineer confesses to having hacked PlayStation Portal: here’s the proof

Google engineer confesses to having hacked PlayStation Portal: here's the proof

Andy Nguyen is a well-known name among users PlayStation. The researcher is one of the most famous “enthusiasts” who over the years have done the most to enable the console Sony possibilities not foreseen by the manufacturer.

After about a month of uninterrupted work, as he himself statesNguyen announces that he has succeeded in bringing PPSSPP up PlayStation Portal.

Nguyen, by the way, is Google Senior Information Security Engineer and explains that he achieved the ambitious result thanks also to the help of two of his other colleagues.

What is PPSSPP emulator and how does it work

PPSSPP is an open source emulator created by Henrik Rydgård and designed to allow enthusiasts to run PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld console games on devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets. The acronym PPSSPP stands for “PlayStation Portable Simulator Suitable for Playing Portably“.

The program was developed to offer a gaming experience similar to that of the original PSP, allowing users to enjoy their favorite games on different platforms. PPSSPP is compatible with several operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Users can download the emulator for free and then load their own PSP games.

An emulator that transforms PlayStation Portal

At its core, PlayStation Portal is a device built using Android as a foundation that, by default, offers a rather limited skill set.

In particular, PlayStation Portal – launched in November 2023 – is a device that opens the doors to streaming of the titles uploaded to PS5.

PlayStation Portal wants to allow the gaming on the move: it is a “remote player” that includes a high definition display, offering an experience similar to that of the PS5, except that the contents can be enjoyed “in the palm of the hand”.

PPSSPP breaks the link between PlayStation Portal and PS5

To use the functionality of remote playback on PlayStation Portal, you need to turn on your PS5 console and make sure some settings are configured. The device requires an Internet connection capable of ensuring a bandwidth sufficient and a PS5 connected to the WiFi network. However, it is not essential that the two devices are obviously connected to the same network.

Otherwise, the possibility of enjoying your favorite titles in mode would be lost streaming remoto.

PPSSPP, whose source is published and updated on GitHub, was in this case used by Nguyen and his collaborators to run titles like Minecraft e Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories su PlayStation Portal.

Hacking in style

As seen in the previously published X post, Nguyen shared a photo of his PlayStation Portal running GTA: Liberty City Storiesa game released in 2005 exclusively for the PSP.

The engineer modified the Sony device out of pure passion, in this case not carrying out any activity related to his work at Google.

He explained that his interest was born out of disappointment over the lack of a real one portable console signed by Sony, capable of competing with Steam Deck e Nintendo Switch.

Nguyen stresses that one is not currently planned public release and that there is still a lot of work to be done to refine its functioning.

The work of hacking of PlayStation Portal began on January 1, 2024 and took just a few weeks.

The Google engineer reported that last year he discovered a vulnerability on another PlayStation console, earning a $10,000 reward.

Top image credit: Andy Nguyen.

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