PSP homebrew using the Half-Byte Loader

[Rich] tipped us off about the Half-Byte Loader which lets you run homebrew on late-model Sony PlayStation Portables. Above you can see a PSP Go running Doom (a screenshot from the video after the break), which is a prerequisite for any cracked device. HBL uses an exploit in the game demo of Patapon 2, which is free for download. A crafted game save loaded onto a Memory Stick gets you to the loader when selected from the continue menu of the game. Right now this method works on all know firmware version 5.0 and higher. Who knows when Sony will take action to kill an exploit like this one.


  1. Wouldn’t it be a nibble loader? :) I’m sure this exploit will be patched pretty quickly – but it’s a worthwhile exercise.

    What would be better is if Sony allowed homebrew. I’m sure they’re already making money on the hardware – why not let people run their own code on it, too?

  2. nick says:

    This is a free demo so it cannot be patched easily. It is a save data exploit. This has been around for a while also.

  3. Scott says:

    The current exploit in use by the HBL has been around for about two months. Pretty sure you can actually still get the version of Patapon 2 required from the PSN too. Even if it gets patched via. Patapon 2, people are always finding small things like this in new game releases, the HBL is just a bin file loaded by the exploit.

  4. osgeld says:

    OMG a new psp exploit that is not showing some crap celphone pic and then right below that tells us it wont be released becuase of reason (a patches, b lawsuits, c its complete BS in the first place)

    props for not only doing it, but backing it up by actually releasing it and showing that your not full of crap

  5. Darkmatter says:

    Extra credit for Daft Punk in the background.

  6. M4CGYV3R says:

    I don’t know anything about the PSP Go but if it still uses UMD they don’t allow homebrew because as of mid-2007 they were charging $20,000 for each workstation system(computer not included, emulator devkit and license only)to develop for UMD, and then you had to print the discs through their DADC centers.

    I don’t know what they charge now, I don’t work there anymore, but I’m sure it’s still a butt load.

  7. Daniel Higgins says:

    I think Sony should let people run homebrew on the PSP, just to make up for the Other OS retraction fiasco.

  8. Joel says:

    @M4CGYV3R the PSP Go doesn’t use UMD

  9. NatureTM says:

    I’m always impressed with game system exploits and the people who manage to do them, so nice work.
    I think I’ll keep my slim. Using that thing looks uncomfortable.

  10. VV says:


    Why hasnt someone released this emulator…

  11. waffles1200 says:

    nice hack. I havent hacked a psp sense 2.5 ithink and it was always a bitch every time they upgraded the firmware. you need to learn how to strafe. your doom skills suck. im not sure of the port you’re using but if its running on a dos emulator then you should running doom legacy and map the controls like a current fps, there’s support for multiplayer which would be sweet on psps

  12. wdfowty says:

    @VV There is a java PSP emulator: JPCSP

    @had This is old news, sorry to say…

  13. jjrh says:

    yet new news for me.

  14. fartface says:

    Sweet! a real hack and not one of these faker posers that wont release the hack because they are nothing but liars.


  15. PocketBrain says:

    Joy! Happiness!

  16. manIK says:

    Okay, I installed it. Now what? All the homebrew stuff I find is crap and emulators and roms are wonky at best with none of them older than 2009 (that I found) I couldnt even *find* an nes game or genesis or gba that I even wanted to keep.

    Hopefully someone will write a homebrew and emulator with a little more teeth.

  17. strider_mt2k says:

    Go write your own then. :p

    A PSP is only at it’s best when it’s been freed of it’s fetters.

    Well done!

  18. BigBubbaX says:

    Awesome, It’s nice to see that even the ‘go’ can now be used to it’s full potential. I still love my old PHP Phat though.

  19. Digital says:

    I got an old fatty here that I use daily. Get yourself a photofast and two 16Gb microsd cards and hardly have to worry about storage on the psp again.

  20. strider_mt2k says:

    Say it, brother!
    Love my phat.

  21. Rich says:

    totally awesome to see my name on this site!
    i have a phat, slim, and a pspGO. people give them to me for no apparant reason. its amazing to see my favorite SNES games on the newest psp model!
    also using the HBL some people have been able to get the kernel keys and directly modify the font styling and whatnot.

    this exploit was patched in the latest update (firmware 6.30) which only new feature is the same as a the homebrew “game category” so we’re on the look out for a new exploit, and so the game continues!

  22. Rhoads says:

    i got a psp 3001, signed homebrews like n64 emu, lamecraft, mind craft,bookr, file adhoc thing, light cycle game, psp go clock when in sleep mode, & i have the xmb version of half byte loader which successfuly (most of the time) lests me watch go tube! online. also have the ps vita app for my psp on hbl as well

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