Hackers have found a security loophole in the most recent version of Sony's PlayStation Portable firmware which may allow the console to run homebrew software, emulators and pirated games again.
The loophole is down to a bug in the new feature that allows users to set their own wallpaper on the device, and can be exploited by placing a specially modified image file on the Memory Stick in the PSP.
At present, only a range of simple applications such as "Hello World" text printers and a version of Atari's classic Pong game have been created that run through this exploit, as hackers only have 64kb of space to use for their code.
However, that limitation is unlikely to hold back homebrew application creators - and pirates - for very long.
"Once you can run unsigned code on the device at all, the floodgates are open," according to a development source who spoke to GamesIndustry.biz this morning. "The chances are that they'll be able to run full size apps and games on version 2 firmware within a couple of weeks."
This will be unwelcome news to Sony, which issued a number of firmware updates last month to try and crack down on earlier security loopholes which allowed homebrew and pirate software to be used on the PSP.
Version 2.00 encouraged users to upgrade by including a web browser, wireless picture sharing and a host of other new functionality, but also beefed up the security on the device significantly - a step which now appears to have been in vain.