For years now, Hideo Kojima’s cult classic P.T. (or “Playable Trailer” for a canceled Silent Hills project) has only been playable on the million or so increasingly hard-to-find PS4 consoles that downloaded the free demo (and didn’t delete it) before it was completely removed from the PlayStation Network. Now, one hacker has gotten the game to run on an unmodified PlayStation 5 by using a second, jailbroken PS5 as a go-between.
Streamer Lance McDonald demonstrated his P.T.-on-PS5 method in a stream early Monday, detailing several prerequisites and steps that will make it difficult for many interested players to copy. Chief among them is McDonald’s access to a second PS5 system that he said he hadn’t plugged in for over a year, when he used it to try the Elden Ring Network Test. That means the console was still running an old version of the PS5 firmware and was thus susceptible to the recently revealed PS5 jailbreaking method that Sony patched after firmware version 4.3.
Using that jailbroken system, McDonald says he could log in to the system from a PC using an FTP client and “edit the list of games you’re allowed to run on your PS5.” That’s important, because even users who have previously managed to transfer a legitimate PS4 copy of P.T. to their PS5 have been faced with a message saying: “You can’t use this PS4 game or app on the PS5.”
That’s great if you have an older, jailbreakable PS5. But McDonald also discovered the jailbreak helps enable a workaround for unmodified PS5s running the latest Sony firmware.
As he said on his stream, “I just hoped that if I did a USB system backup of my jailbroken PS5… I thought maybe included in that backup will be the list of games you’re allowed to play on the PS5. And I was right, it turned out it does, it backs up the list. So you can edit the list of games you’re allowed to play on PS5, back it up on USB, and restore that to a fully updated PS5. And that’s what I did.”
“Such a weird edge case”
Aside from having multiple PS5 consoles, McDonald said his method requires access to a PSN account that previously accessed P.T. during the game’s short availability window on the PS4. Users also have to jump through some hoops to get the game onto a PS5; McDonald said he transferred a copy downloaded from the Internet Archive via USB using the jailbroken system’s debug menu.
Combined with the need for two PS5s—at least one of which is jailbreakable—McDonald estimates that “I must be one of the only people in that situation.” And while Sony could patch future PS5 firmware versions to block this particular workaround, McDonald said his setup was “such a weird edge case” that he doubts they’ll even bother. That said, McDonald added that “they could definitely ban me” for doing this, which would cut off his entire collection of PSN games and saves.
Regardless, it’s now even more abundantly clear that P.T.‘s longstanding lack of PS5 compatibility is a licensing decision on the part of Konami and Sony, and not a technical issue inherent to the PS5 hardware. With Konami promising to reveal new updates on the future of the Silent Hill series this week, now would be the perfect time for the publisher to offer an official PS5-compatible download of P.T. for those who missed out the first time. How about it, Konami?