New hack unlocks the PlayStation 1 with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Have a copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater lying around? It could still be useful…

by Oliver Barsby
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

A new exploit for the PlayStation 1 that allows players to load games onto the console has been found, using a copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2.

As reported by Hackaday, Marcos Del Sol Vives has released the exploit ‘tonyhax’ that can be triggered by either Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, 3, 4 or Brunswick Circuit Pro Bowling.

Once the exploit has been triggered, players can switch out the discs for their own CD-ROMs burned with copies of PS1 games.

This comes after the PlayStation 1 passed its 26th anniversary in December 2020.

How does the exploit work?

The tonyhax exploit uses the ‘Create Skater’ mode in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater to load in an executable file found in the PlayStation 1’s memory card.

As explained by Del Sol Vives, this hack exists due to “an oversight from the programmers” that does not check if text in the save file has been modded or changed, allowing for hackers to insert their own code into this slot.

To use, players need to download a special save file for their respective games, along with the tonyhax SPL file, and transfer this onto the PS1 memory card.

You can check out the full explanation here.

PS1

More accessible hacking?

At the beginning of Del Sol Vives explanation of the exploit, he justifies the reasoning behind this software exploit. “I didn’t want to mod my mint, boxed PSone, but I didn’t want to leave it rotting on a shelf either,” they said.


Most PlayStation 1 exploits require the use of external modchips that mean PS1 owners have to tamper with their console, potentially damaging any collector’s value for the future.


As this exploit only needs a memory card, a way to connect it to your PC (via an adapter, for example), and a copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, it’s should be easier -and cheaper – to implement. That is unless scalpers use this as a chance to inflate the price of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2.

READ MORE: The best PlayStation games we want on PSVR 2

Oliver Barsby