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The PS3 is the only games console that has not been hacked, despite being on the market for more than three years.

Now a group called PSJailbreak says it will release a USB dongle containing software that allows users to save games to the console’s hard drive.

Sony, the maker of the PS3, declined to comment.

PSJailbreak has also not responded to interview requests by BBC News.

However, a distributor for the dongle said that he had tested it and would start selling the device “in the next two weeks”.

“We are in contact with a person in Malaysia but don’t know where the manufacturer is,” the spokesperson for Fox-Chip told the BBC.

Mixed response

According to videos of the hack posted online by an Australian distributor, a user merely has to insert the USB stick into the console to make it work.

The videos show a person navigating to a “backup manager” on the PS3, which purports to show a list of games saved to the console’s hard drive.

The narrator flicks through the list before loading one of the games.

Sceptics have suggested the videos are a hoax or that they show the hack running on a so-called “debug PS3” or “dev unit”, used by developers to test code for the machine.

However, a spokesperson for Fox-Chip, another distributor based in France, denied this was the case.

“It works on all PlayStation 3s,” he told BBC News. “We tested it yesterday.”

A spokesperson for Console Pro, another distributor based in the Netherlands, told BBC News the “dongle converts a retail unit into a dev unit”.

“Dev mode means it will run any – even unsigned – code. Using a simple backup maker or player software, you can play backed-up [saved] games without the actual disc being in the PS3.”

The spokesperson for Fox-Chip said the hack was a “good thing” as it would give gamers more functionality, including the ability to run their own games, called homebrews.

“There was previously no homebrew, because it was impossible to execute [on the console] – now some people can do it,” he said.

He denied that the product would just be used to pirate games and said, in the long run, its release would be good for Sony.

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