I'm making this guide for those of you who do not feel like reading through 500 pages of information. I'm going to attempt to establish some sort of time line of events as things have gone down from when this all exploded until now, then a sort of FAQ section. We'll see how it goes, and feel free to add anything to it.
First off, this entire scene was kicked off with the release of PSjailbreak. They are the original hackers that found this exploit. Their exploit is currently being held up by sony with an injunction, so if you want that, you will have to wait a while.
Their exploit was closed source, until Mathieulh's team reverse engineered it, and released his own version of the source called PSgroove. PSgroove can be put on certain sets of AT90USB and related microcontrollers, and more recently, BlackCatUSB modem flashers.
Other versions of the PSJB are a work in progress, including a PSP version, a android version, and a TI81 version. Mathieulh's open source was originally intended to not run anything except homebrew (no backups), but that was quickly patched to allow backups (Thanks CJPC!).
An overview of this exploit can be found is here. It works as follows;
You plug this USB device into your PS3 after power cycling, press power+eject, then the exploit runs. This puts your PS3 into a debug mode that allows you to run unsigned code. You then put a USB flash drive with the backupmanager.pkg or whatever other PKG file you would like to run in the other USB slot of your PS3.
Okay, so here are your options if you want to get this done.
A) Buy a preflashed USB such a PS3Stinger, PS3Key, PSJailbreak, or the promising x3jailbreak if you're in for simplicity.
B) Buy a supported USB microcontroller to put your own PSgroove on, which is the cheapest method that is availiable.
C) Wait for the Andriod/PSP/TI89/iPhone ports to run the exploit on. (as of right now there are NO working versions of these ports!)
Option A is pretty straight forward, and option C isn't exactly an option just yet (it's more for the patient man ), so we are going to go into detail about option B.
Basically the first step to option B would be to buy your USB stick. The following are compatible;
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More info on blackcat boards
Olimex AVR-USB-162 boards work, with these settings:
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OKAY! I was lucky enough to have found one of these boards online, now what!? The next step is to chose the correct version of PSgroove that you will need based on your chipset. The first two pages of this thread contain all of the versions of it that you'll need, precompiled. Choosing the version you need is pretty straight forward. Once you have your compiled hex file, you need to stick it on your USB device. Here's a good tutorial provided by PJRC, or if you'd like to take the more complicated route you can use FLIP software to put it on there (google!).
Once you have your PSGroove installed into your USB device, there's only one other thing to do. Go to this sites downlaod section and snag a copy of the PS3 Backup manager, then put that on a USB flash drive. Power cycle your PS3, then plug your PSgroove into it. Press the power button, then quickly hold the eject button to activate the exploit. You'll have new options in your game menu. Plug in your USB flash drive with the backupmanager.pkg and install it.
Now you're good to go
ODDS AND ENDS;
Q: Can I burn a PS3 ISO onto a bluray disk and rip it onto my hard drive?
Q: Is USB90LOLHIFFF compatible with PSGROOVE!?
A: Go use the search button, and click search posts. If nothing comes up, probably not. But feel free to ask in the main PSGroove topic anyways, keep that out of here.
Q: Can i use a regular USB flash drive to boot PSGroove?
A: Absolutely not, you need a chip that can run code, not a flash drive that stores information.
Q: Will this void my warranty?
A: Nope, console is never opened.
Q: Can i play online?
A: Yes, with some games. Beware though, you're at risk of getting banned!
Q: Do all games work?
A: Nope. Some games with files larger than 4gb don't work, others just don't work for no apparent reason. I'm sure later on there will be patches, but as of now check the PS3 compatibility list sticky.
Q: HOW DO I GET MY PSP TO RUN THIS EXPLOIT???
A: You wait for the developers to finish their program, it's not out yet. Same thing with android/iphone/ipod/ect.
Q: How do i download a game, then put it on my harddrive to run for the PS3?
A: As of right now, there are no confirmed methods, just speculations.
Q: Can I download .PKG files off of PSN, then install them with PSGroove?
A: As of right now, it seems the answer is no, but I'm sure later there will be patches for this as well.
Q: What firmware is required? Can i play it on older firmwares?
A: As of right now, firmware 3.41 is required, it works on no other firmwares. However, there are rumors that PSJB has a patch upcoming that will run on all firmwares.
Q: Are games updatable?
A: This one's tricky. There's just been a lot of random information flying around about updates. If you have updates already installed on your system before installing the game, they game wont work. You have to delete the game data, then install the game. The new game data will be skippable, because sometimes it works, but for certain games it wont. There's no real solid information on it.
That's all i can think of right now, i'll update later!