It's been a long time coming, but a full software solution for installing custom firmware on the PS3 is now a reality.
Despite the fact that we are mid-8th generation, tweak and custom firmware development for 7th generation consoles is still going strong. And today, we get to see another sign that 7th generation console modding; or namely, PS3 modding, is far from dead. A custom firmware installer has been released for certain PS3 models, which you can use to pull off a homebrew installation with no necessity for hardware tweaks in sight.
This exploit allows for the installation of custom ROMs on PS3 firmware 4.82 (the latest retail firmware), on any downgradable variant of the device; meaning it should support the original PS3 Phat and any models of the PS3 Slim that shipped with factory firmware 3.56 or below. Notably, some specific PS3's that were released in 2011 shipped with firmware 3.60, and, as a result, will not be able to use this tool. PS3 SuperSlim's likely will not be able to run the installer at all; at least, not just yet. Please do note that the developers have confirmed that running the exploit on a model that is not compatible will brick your PS3. Check if your firmware is compatible, and don't install it anyway hoping for a miracle.
Custom firmware is a great way to get more out of your console and we're happy to see custom firmware support finally hit the big time on these PS3 models. However, if you own a different variant of the PS3, you need not despair; the team behind this exploit has got your back. They have stated that they are currently working on a Homebrew ENabler (HEN) solution, which will give you most of the benefits of a CFW at runtime (without writing anything to the device flash). The notable disadvantage with HEN solutions is that you have to re-launch them every time you turn the console on: it does not stay installed permanently. However, a HEN solution for people on unhackable consoles is much better than the alternative of being hung out to dry, so we're happy to hear developers looking out for the whole community. The release date has not been confirmed jut yet,
You can grab the firmware installer and take a closer look at the instructions over at psx-place. Tell us what you think of this custom firmware installer and what it will do for you and your PS3 gaming experience down in the comments!