PS4 Hacker Cturt updated the PS4 dlclose exploit yesterday to include a patch that enables the PS4 debug menu. This is of course valid only if your PS4 can run the dlclose exploit, meaning it has to be running firmware 1.76 or below.
The Debug Settings on the PS4 give access to a series of additional tools that could be useful for PS4 tinkerers, modders, and hackers. These settings include some boot parameters to check the console’s health, the infamous “package installer” that could also be found on the PS3 and PS Vita, and a bunch of other options (full list can be found on psdevwiki).
Normally, debug settings are only available on “devkit” consoles sent to PS4 game developers. Unlocking these settings on a retail PS4 therefore gives us access to lots of additional options. These settings don’t give you magical access to unprotected features of the PS4, though. It’s not like the package installer would let one install unsigned content (homebrews or pirated games), but it could certainly opens some doors.
It is unclear if the settings we get through this patch are the full range of Debug options that can be found on devkits, and what can be achieved with those (I still don’t have a PS4 1.76 – a choice I’m regretting more and more every day – so I couldn’t confirm myself). Early testers over at playstationhax are reporting that the package installer doesn’t seem to open, although it could be related to a known fact that the package installer screen won’t load if there’s no package to actually install. However, the package installer now requires package-specific passkeys according to members of playstationhax. Again, just because the option is here doesn’t mean Sony added a completely unprotected backdoor to its own system.
Update: developer fx0day confirmed to me that the package Installer works as long as it finds packages to install, but the installed software will not work due to lack of license. He also confirmed that the debug settings patch gives us access to slightly less options than one could find on a PS4 devkit.
Cturt has also confirmed that the package installer works, but it won’t install a valid license file, meaning the installed pkg can’t technically be run (unless we’re talking demos or packages that do not need a license)
Note: not an actual screenshot from a patched 1.76, this screenshot is from a debug console
Nevertheless, it’s certainly a very cool new feature for those of you with a 1.76 PS4, and adds a good list of new things to explore. The package installer has been used in the past on the PS vita for things such as installing Netflix in countries where Netflix wasn’t officially supported, for example.
The PS4 dlclose exploit can be downloaded from KR105’s github here. You’ll need to compile it with the PS4 SDK, until a good soul decided to share a compiled binary.
It’s interesting to note that CTurt submitted this change in KR105‘s repository, to me a great sign that the PS4 scene is starting on good collaborative grounds 🙂 CTurt also credits long-time scene dev flat_z for the patch.