Modding your PlayStation 3 allows you to bypass some protection mechanisms like Cinavia, as well as dump games and transfer files to and from partition types other than FAT32. Here, we've detailed the traditional hardmod method, as well as a new exploit for 4.82 that allows you to get into custom firmware of the same version (currently Rebug/Ferrox).
One thing to note is that PSN connectivity is still possible on custom firmware, but you can potentially run the risk of getting your PSN ID and Console ID banned. This can be reversed with a workaround involving acquiring someone else's Console ID, but it's not failsafe.
Softmod (PS3Xploit for 4.82)
- Note: Not all models are supported. Check the linked page for guides that explain which specific models are not supported. You could also refer to the table below.
See this page on Team PS3Xploit Browser Exploits to get started. Click on PS3 NAND Writer or PS3 NOR Writer depending on your model, and follow the linked guides.
Hardmod (Downgrade to 3.55)
This guide has been rendered a little outdated, but can still be used if you're interested.
To start, you need to get your PS3 on system firmware 3.55 to mod it. If you're on a lower version, just update with this archived copy of the 3.55
PS3UPDAT.PUP. If you're on a higher version, you have to use a hardware flasher. See this table for what models are downgradable and what flashers can be used on those models:
|PS3 Model #||Downgradable||Progskeet||E3 Flasher||Teensy++|
|CECH-A to CECH-G||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|CECH-H to CECH-Q||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
All fat models are downgradable. If you have a NAND model (CECH-A to CECH-G) use Teensy++. If you have a NOR model (CECH-H to CECH-Q or any downgradable slim PS3) use E3 Flasher. For downgrading you should follow a tutorial: Using Teensy++/Progskeet or Using E3 Flasher
See this guide for going from OFW 3.55 to CFW 3.55.
See this guide for upgrading from CFW 3.55 to CFW 4.30.
RetroArch has a PS3 port with lots of working cores that should cover most of the usual targets.
Official Sony Emulators
- Main article: Official Sony Emulators#Emulators on PlayStation 3
You can emulate PS2 games on any model of the PS3 using ps2_netemu (Sony's own software-based PS2 emulator, also known as the "PS2 Classics Emulator"), which was developed for playing the PS2 games sold on PSN. It was never meant to be used as a general-purpose emulator, which means you really shouldn't be expecting perfect compatibility with games it hasn't been specifically optimized for, but many titles are playable. Refer to the PSHomebrew's PS2 Classics compatibility list for per-game info.
Note that if you own an old backwards-compatible PS3 unit, and it for whatever reason hasn't broken yet, you'll rather want to be using ps2_emu - the emulator that's launched when you put a PS2 game disc into the console. Unlike ps2_netemu, this one utilizes the extra PS2 hardware integrated in your console and has much better compatibility. ps2_emu is only usable on COBRA firmwares, meaning custom firmwares that integrate the functionality that was previously only available for those who bought the DRM'd Cobra dongle. Refer to Wikipedia's PS3 backward compatibility list for per-game info.
PSP games also work on PS3 through an emulator created for playing "PS3 Minis" from PSN, but compatibility is very limited (less than that of PPSSPP). Refer to PSHomebrew's PSP on PS3 compatibility list for per-game info.