While many of us are watching the Nintendo Switch hacking scene with eager anticipation, coders and explorers on PlayStation 4 have made some shocking progress. According to Spanish site eltrolado, recent advances in the hacking scene have led to multiple new tools which enable users to backup and load not only PS4 games, but PS2 games as well.
As a layman it's tough to follow along and understand exactly what's been happening, especially since the report is written in Spanish, but this seems to be the gist. PS4 firmware 4.05 has been cracked wide open with a software suite known as PS4HEN. Among the many advancements being made on a seemingly-daily basis, a new set of tools known as PKG Kitchen have been made available, which allows users to create backups of their PS4 games, modify them, and then load them back up to run natively on the PS4.
Basically what that means is that hackers are now able to load up any PS4 game that runs on firmware version 4.05 and below. It also means that they can mod those games and then run them natively. This would be terrifying, since it could potentially lead to modders invading our online competitive games with beefed up characters and cheats, but luckily you have to update to PS4's latest firmware version in order to go online. The article states, however, that a vulnerability could exist in firmware version 5.01 as well.
Less terrifying is the prospect of playing any of your PS2 games on your PS4. Another new tool that has popped up as a result of all this progress is "Free PS2 Pub Gen," which allows users to back up their PS2 games and then run them on the PS4's built-in PS2 emulator. Sony hasn't exactly been doing the best job of keeping their backward compatible library of PS2 games up to date, so many gamers would no doubt love the opportunity to back up their own PS2 collection and play those games on their PS4s.
If you're the kind of person who keeps your PS4 up to date so you can play your games online, then this is all beyond your reach, unfortunately. Advancements are being made at a rapid pace, though, and we could see homebrew and backup tools make their way to more modern firmware versions. We'll keep you updated as this all develops.