PS3 – Converting a Demo PS3 to a Retail Unit (Part 1)

I was one of the folks that coughed up a lot of money in 2008 for one of the first Playstation 3 60Gb models – two months before the price drop (yup thats my luck). The reason for getting the 60Gb one was that it was backward compatible with Playstation 2 games.

Now Sony was clever enough to remove that functionality from the PS3 (how else are they supposed to still sell PS2’s??) and ever since then I have been on the look out for another PS3 60Gb.  Every visit to a Cash Crusaders or a Cash Converters and I would look out for PS3’s with 4x USB ports on the front and card reader under the flap – the quickest way to recognize a backward compatible one.

Low and behold my searching paid off one day when I saw 2 of them at a Cash Crusaders on the East Rand.  The sales person said that these were not normal PS3’s but Demo units. I asked him what that was supposed to mean, he just shrugged his shoulders and said that it rebooted every 30 minutes…

I pulled out my phone and did a Google search for PS3 Demonstration models and  yes apparently there was something like that.  These units would reboot every 30 minutes (to prevent people from spending hours playing on them in the shops); had a lot of the features locked down (so kids playing with them could not change settings) and could not connect to the PSN Network.   Bummer!  They also noted that these models might also be called Kiosk or Promotion models.

I next searched for “PS3 Kiosk hack” – bingo!  If you go on the XMB Menu to SYSTEM and then you highlight SECURITY SETTINGS, hold the L1 + R1 + SELECT + SQUARE buttons it will prompt for a password to unlock console and remove the rebooting feature.  Now the password is dependant on the firmware of the PS3…

Demo Unlock Codes:

1.5x = 5202
1.6x = 7568
1.7x = 0506
1.8x = 7712 or 7259
1.9x = 2737
2.01 = 0219
2.10 = 2464
2.20 = 4801
2.30 = 6558
2.41 = 9015
2.42 = 9015
2.50 = 6258
2.60 = 8783
2.70 = 7164
2.80 = 7897
3.00 = 2310
3.01 = 2310
3.10 = 5081
3.15 = 5081
3.21 = 7818
3.30 = 3512
3.40 = 2998
3.41 = 2998
3.50 = 2297
3.55 = 2297

I tested it out when the sales person stepped away – it unlocked!  I quickly decided then to take one knowing that in future there would be a way that  one could keep it permanently unlocked.  I can kick myself today still for not taking the other one also…but I will keep looking…

Anyway fast forward to 2010 and by Sony removing Linux support from the PS3 consoles, they angered a very large community that now focused its attention on hacking (the until then unhacked PS3) back to supporting Linux and custom software called “HomeBrew”.   Jailbreaking USB sticks then started arriving on the scene. This enabled people to start loading custom software on the PS3, and downgrading the consoles firmware to previous versions.  This caused Sony to hit back with firmware update that removed unauthorized (digitally signed) USB devices from being recognized in the consoles – thereby preventing the Jailbreak USB modules from working.  It became a cat and mouse game, Sony would patch and then the hacker community would find work arounds. Eventually (and I will not take sides on who has the glory of discovering it first) the Master Keys to the encryption of the PS3 was discovered and published on the Internet. With this key, software could be digitally signed as Sony “approved” and all PS3 consoles would run the code – no questions asked.  The time had arrived for custom firmware!

All this time I had been watching for posts on how to permanently unlock a Kiosk PS3.  On the 8th December 2010, PSGroove had a post on “How to convert a PS3 Kiosk unit to a Retail Unit“. Eureka!  The process involved using a Jailbreak device to flash the device.  Time to get a Jailbreaking memory stick…

I settled on a E3 Card Reader in the end, placed the order and then waited for the Post Office to contact me…

Coming soon…how I got it right to convert my PS3 Kiosk mode console into a normal retail unit  on a late Saturday night…


MadMike posted at 2011-1-28 Category: Playstation

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