Are you tempted to try out the PS Downgrade USB key, but the $40 price tag is a bit too much to handle? Thanks to an anonymous source on IRC, a free version is well on its way to becoming a reality.
According to PS3News.com, the PS Downgrade files have been posted online and significant progress is being made to decrypt and reverse engineer the files needed to make an open source solution. From the website:
“Currently work is being done towards a free public PS3 downgrader alternative to the pay version, and based on a preliminary examination of the leaked PS Downgrader 3.41 PUP and Lv2diag.self files they appear to include a modified PUP along with the official Sony PlayStation 3 JIG Files that were also leaked nearly two years ago.
Usually JIG files use a special PUP to downgrade as inside its CORE_OS package is flagged for downgrading, however, this is not the case. It seems that the PUP has been modified to allow downgrading, perhaps via another yet undisclosed exploit… Time will tell for sure! :)”
As they mention over at PSGoove.com, the average PS3 user should not yet attempt to try using the downgrade files to flash the firmware on their console. There seems to be some speculation, however, that an easy and free solution could hit the web sometime within the next week.
From the comments that I’ve seen on these two sites, it appears that there are a lot of people out there sitting on now-useless PS Jailbreak dongles and aren’t willing to fork out more money to the company for the Downgrade solution. As quickly as the free Jailbreak copycat solutions were developed, I can’t say as though I blame them. It certainly is an expensive lesson learned.
In addition to the firmware downgrade capabilities, the apparent surfacing of Sony’s official Service Jig could soon produce some other interesting PS3 mods from the hacking community. Sony execs are sure to get flustered over this development. Stay tuned!