Sony has released 3.60 firmware patch. This update apparently disables firmware updates from a external device and has reportedly banned "Jailbroken" from the Playstation Network. The following has NOT been tested or reported to work for downgrading from OFW 3.60.
There is a way to downgrade your PS3 firmware from version 3.56 to 3.55 or lower. Ironically, I did find a work around that I have yet to personally verifiy, where you essentially brick (corrupt your PS3 boot software) and then force it to the service screen using a special LV2 file. This allows you to downgrade your firmware.
I have had a few reports of this working with the PS3 slim successfully downgrading to the Sony 3.55 firmware but I personally have had issues getting my older version 2 PS3 to actually brick; only currupted hard drive that I get forced to reformat.
I am still working on getting some video and pictures to post. I will post the results. Be sure to backup your PS3 on to external hard drive before trying. Happy bricking.
PS3 firmware downgrade tutorial - Try at your own Risk
NOT RESPONSIBLE for any problems you may cause to your PS3
I HAVE got reports that this process can get your PS3 stuck in service mode - be warned.
Summary: Force your PS3 booting software to be corrupted (brick your PS3) and therefore invoke the console service screen.
You will need these files:
Download DownGrade.rar (http://net4geeks.com/DownGrade.rar)
You will also need a Original Firmware of your choice (i.e 3.55 OFW) - Search for a torrent to get this file.
IMPORTANT: Before you start to try to brick your PS3, I suggest removing your original PS3 hard drive and installing a separate drive.
To install a new hard drive, you will need to first re-install 3.56 using Sony's original firmware (save the update file you used for later), install the harddrive, and run a format/restore using the update file you saved
If you don't you will get a Data Corrupt 8002F225 error, even with the correct 3.56 firmware downloaded from Sony will give you this 8002F225 error no matter how many times you try. This makes it almost impossible to brick and you are stuck. My guess this is the bug that Sony fixed with "3.56v2". At least if you have your original PS3 hard drive, and your PS3 will still be functional if you plug it back in. That said, I'm not sure this method of downgrading works for 3.56v2.
If you did run into this issue, you will likely need to install a modchip, manually patch your firmware and flash manually.
#1.) While INSTALLING firmware, (Not downloading) Unplug the power cord from the PS3. This could take from 1 try to 10000 trys. It's all about what model PS3 you have. The older, the more easier.
#2.) Create a backup, and while it is formatting, unplug your power cord from the PS3. This way is more easier then the FW update method.
#3.) Restore your PS3, while it is restoring, yank that power cord.
#4.) PS3 hard drive corrupt on you? Restore default settings and yank that power cord once again, and say "Hi" to that nice bricked screen of yours.
#6.) Format your PS3, and while it's formatting, yank that power cord.
Yes, I know you CAN'T get out of service mode on 3.55 and up. But this DOES NOT enter service mode initially. Your PS3 is bricked, and the Lv2 forces service mode later, due to the fact that your PS3 is bricked.
This WILL WORK on 3.56. You can downgrade to ANY firmware, if you have successfully bricked your PS3. YOUR PS3 is NOT BRICKED if you get any other error or recovery screen. This will not work if your PS3 is not BRICKED. If you are stuck, this is where you re-install your original PS3 hard drive and everything will be working again.
How do you know when your PS3 is bricked?
#1.) You turn your PS3 on, and you have a black screen.
#2.) You turn your PS3 on, and it freezes.
#3.) You turn your PS3 on, and it does nothing.
THIS WILL NOT CAUSE YLOD. YLOD is a hardware malfunction (Yellow Light of Death). Your PS3 overheated and was due for the YLOD. Bricking is ALOT different then YLOD.
To start, this is RISKY. I am not responsible if something goes wrong. Sticking a USB device into the right-most port on your USB port shouldn't be that hard to do.
You should create a backup, (use an external USB Drive for this) it will prevent all your saves from being deleted, your music, photos, and other items etc. to be safe.
To create a backup, insert a USB device into the USB port onto your PS3. Navigate to System Settings-->Backup Utility-->Back Up-->Yes
To restore your backed up files back on your PS3, navigate to System Settings-->Backup Utility-->Restore
To utilize the method of downgrading, you must force a brick on your PS3. Don't worry, this will unbrick your console as well. If you end up with a corrupted hard drive, you will have to set default settings.
Step 1.) Download the files needed above.
Step 2.) Format a USB device to fat32. Make sure their is nothing on the USB device, or this will not work. Extract the lv2 file from folder 1, and place it on your USB device along with the Firmware you chose.
Step 3.) Insert your USB device into the Right-Most USB port on your PS3. (Closest to the Disc Reader.) Turn your PS3 on, and your screen will be black. Wait for a little bit, and your PS3 will turn itself off. If it fails to turn off within 25 minutes, turn it off manually.
Step 4.) Turn your PS3 back on, and you'll see the recovery menu. Once you know you see the recovery menu, go ahead and turn your PS3 off. Now, unplug the USB device from the PS3, and insert it into the USB port onto your PC. Erase everything off of your USB. Extract the lv2 file from folder 2 and place it on your root of your USB device.
Step 5.) Insert your USB device back into the Right-Most USB port. Now, turn your PS3 on, it will be unbricked with the firmware you chose to put on the USB drive in step 3.