**This post is a work in progress and I will add to it as I discover new and exciting stuff about the PS3. Thanks to @partious for the original information that set me off learning about PS3 modding. If you see any information here that is incorrect, please comment and I will correct it. All mods are done at your own risk, and I'm not responsible if you mod your PS3. Also please be aware that this is, as always, for storing and playing your own games collection that you legally own.**
Anyone here tried PSNPatch? Can you give us feedback on it?
What happens to your online purchases from the PSN store. can you play them if you install CFW?
How do you play a game from disk, after playing a game from your ISO? The disk emulation means it loads the last ISO, unless you remove power and reboot.
Why does Capcom Classics PSP give an error message about your internet connection, and why does PSP Outrun2 ask you to connect to the Playstation Store to renew the licence?
Is MAME any good on PS3?
Have you found a PS2 game that doesn't work, then altered the config file and made it better?
Following on from my thread last year about turning the Wii into a fantastic emulation machine , I started looking into what you can do with the PS3 and I'm very impressed. The modded PS3 seems to be a brilliant way to get your PS1, PS2, PSP and PS2 games collection all in one place, even if your PS3 isn't backward compatible. Your PS3 converts the disks to ISOs automatically, and you can use your CFW PSP to make the ISO files from your UMD disks. PSP games play full screen and look fab, which is more than can be said for my actual PSP and TV cable.
You can load ISO files from the internal hard drive, or a USB device. It's brilliant, and surprising when you consider that most models of the PS3 don't offer backwards compatibility for PS2 games - the emulation isn't perfect but so far only one game hasn't worked. And PS1 seems perfect, and plays everything I've tried. All region free of course....
You can install Retroarch for your emulation needs, although this seems more relevant to older game systems than the PC version. PS3 Retroarch notably doesn't seem to support N64 or Dreamcast, and I tried Yabause for the Saturn but it's very slow. There's also MAME and other emulators to try, I haven't done this yet, but will add info if anyone here tries it.
The process for the mod sounds complicated in its descriptions, but when you look closer the processes are listing multiple ways to do the same mod and lots of unnecessary jargon. The reality is that it is actually a painless step by step process, and a lot of the process is spent creating a backup copy of your PS3 system for use in the event you break somethingHowever I found no problems, everything just worked, despite me going at it like a bull in a china shop. The one bit that caused me confusion made me look closer to realise I'd missed a couple of steps out. Overall it was very straightforward.
The key thing to understand is that there are different models of the PS3 and a different process to follow for each. There is a process for a full custom firmware if your model is suitable, or an ODE (optical drive emulator) that gives some functionality if your model is not compatible with a full mod. Of course, this is merely a thread on an internet forum, so we/I take no responsibility for anything that might go wrong. It worked for me, and was easy and I love my new PS3.
How to SoftMod your Playstation 3:
Before you start, power up your PS3, and switch off the setting to "auto sign-in to PSN". We don't want anyone getting banned from PSN for modding their console. There's a solution (PSNPatch - see below) for going online once your console is modded, but I have not tested this myself. For the moment, I'd suggest doing this on a console that you don't want to use online.
Next, we need to check your PS3 and see if it is suitable for soft-modding. There's a page here that tells you what to look for.
Do the necessary checks as listed on this page to be sure your Playstation 3 is moddable. This page has some crazy jargon that makes the process look more complex than it is. It says that you have the choice of following the PS3xploit tutorial for NAND or NOR based consoles, or do a hardware exploit (E3 flasher), or install an ODE (optical drive emulator). It's jargon like this that makes the process look harder than it is, but you only need to do the appropriate PS3xploit tutorial (NAND or NOR) and so you can ignore the hardware mods and ODE stuff.
So once you know which of the two PS3xploits to perform (NAND or NOR), then you can follow the appropriate tutorial:
Nand - http://www.reddit.com/r/ps3homebrew/wiki/ps3xploit_nand
NOR - http://www.reddit.com/r/ps3homebrew/wiki/ps3xploit_nor
Again, this looks more complex than it really is, because both tutorials give you two methods that can be used. Just ignore method two, it's complicated and a waste of time. I recommend method one (use the xploit website). It is easy and all you need to do is be sure to take it step by step and don't skip anything. This will install REBUG as your custom firmware, which comes complete with the REBUG Toolkit.
This process should leave you with a SoftModded Playstation 3, and now you will want to install some software to get the most out of your newly open console.
The recommended software installs are listed here after you complete the modding process:
The Custom Firmware has a built in 'Package Installer' to install PKG files by downloading them on the computer, copying them to USB and sticking the USB into the PS3.
You can install PSP Launcher to add PSP compatibility. (use "PSP Launcher Fixed", seems the best one)
Then install Multiman, which allows you transfer files to the PS3 hard drive, or launch your games.
I also downloaded ManaGunz which I read offers better compatibility with PS2 emulation. I've not seen it make much of a difference over Multiman but I don't have a huge PS2 collection to try. A guy on Youtube says that playing a PS2 game on ManaGunZ creates a config file for that game which you can then edit to increase compatibility but I have not tried this yet.
When you select an ISO file within Multiman or ManaGunZ, the PS3 resets to the Sony dashboard - your ISO now appears as if it is a disk in the drive. Click the disk to start it loading. The PS3 memory card manager allows you to create a virtual memory card for the PS1 and PS2 as well, and you can mount these into slot 1 or 2 by highlighting the memory card in screen and pressing Triangle.
Finally, you can download an app here called PSNPatch:
This purports to allow you to reconnect to PSN without getting banned, although I have not dared try this myself.
If you have a PS3 and want to give this a go (at your own risk), please comment here on your experiences, and I'll expand this OP into a guide with tips and advice.