Why You Probably Won't Want To Jailbreak Your PS5

The PlayStation 5 has been successfully jailbroken, opening the console up to all manner of software modifications, though with some major limitations. While jailbroken home consoles aren't new, it is something that current-generation consoles have managed to avoid up to this point — though, in this case, it's still very early days.

Modder SpecterDev shared details and files for the PS5 jailbreaking process on Twitter, stating that while it works, it's not entirely stable and could use some improvement. That's a detail that's since been confirmed by other modders attempting to jailbreak their PS5s using the new kernel exploit, with some reporting success followed by failure on follow-up attempts, and others running into a proverbial brick wall during each of a dozen or more attempts.

More specifically, the process takes advantage of a use-after-free (UAF) exploit in the PS5's WebKit, though SpecterDev admits that it has some limitations and is probably best used by other developers to plumb the console's depths, maybe to reverse-engineer system details for future jailbreaks or other modding opportunities.

Really though, why wouldn't I jailbreak my PS5?

There are a few caveats to this particular PS5 jailbreak that might make it not worth the initial effort, though. For starters, it only works on systems that use firmware version 4.03 released in October 2021 or earlier versions; the current firmware is already up to 6.0. On top of that, this particular jailbreak method isn't a guarantee even if you do have 4.03 installed, and based on reports thus far, only works sometimes.

Even with the somewhat stringent requirements and spotty success rate, it's still worth attempting, right? Well, no, not really. Beyond the limitations, risks of an account ban for modding, and the potential to outright ruin your console if things don't go well, it turns out that once you jailbreak the PS5 there isn't much new that you can actually do with it.

For the time being, at least, about all you can do is access the console's debug menu and (possibly) install games without going through the PlayStation Store. Granted, that second bit sounds promising, but there's a problem with that: jailbroken or not, your PS5 won't run sideloaded software. So no using ROMs, games, third-party storefronts, or other unofficial programs on your PS5 yet. At least for now.