PlayStation 3 Update 4.90 Releases: What You Need to Know

LBP Union and Project Lighthouse are not affiliated with Sony Interactive Entertainment or their subsidiaries. Project Lighthouse is a clean room reverse engineering project of now defunct PlayStation 3 and Vita LittleBigPlanet online features. No proprietary code is distributed. Under no circumstances will we endorse or support piracy. You must have your own copy of the game in order to use the custom features once they become available. When using these features, you release Sony Interactive Entertainment (Sony) as well as any employees or agents of Sony, from any and all liability, corporate, or personal loss caused to you or others by the use of Lighthouse custom servers for LittleBigPlanet.

This issue has been resolved! New 4.90 HFW and CFW are here! Read our PS3 Patching Guide to learn more.

On Feburary 28th, 2023, Sony released a small update for the PlayStation 3, known as PS3 firmware update 4.90. This comes as a surprise for many, as the console is over 17 years old. The new PS3 update poses a challenge for our upcoming Project Lighthouse public beta. Let’s talk more about what this means for our unofficial LittleBigPlanet server and what you can do from here.

What is PlayStation 3 Update 4.90?

Periodically, Sony will release software updates for their consoles. It’s rare that older consoles receive updates. The last update for the PS3 was 4.89 and released last year on May 10th. According to Sony’s website, PS3 firmware update 4.90 ” improves system performance.” However, there’s no other information about what the update does.

That hasn’t stopped the homebrew community from investigating the update further. According to LuanTeles, a senior member over at PS3 modding forum PSX-Place, PS3 firmware update 4.90 adds changes to the Blu-ray keys. These are encryption keys that protect the contents of Blu-ray discs. They are alternatively called Advanced Access Content System (AACS) keys.

Beyond this, it’s still unclear what exactly update 4.90 has added to the PlayStation 3.

Should I Update to Update 4.90?

No, you shouldn’t update to PS3 update 4.90 just yet. If you would like to play on LittleBigPlanet custom servers, it’s better to wait to update to 4.90 for now. See more details below.

Effect on Project Lighthouse Public Beta

Last year, update 4.89 threw a wrench in Project Lighthouse beta testing. Project Lighthouse is the LBP Union’s custom server software for LittleBigPlanet. Connecting to a Project Lighthouse server on PlayStation 3 requires users to jailbreak their PS3 and modify their LittleBigPlanet game. However, it still requires a connection to PlayStation Network. If you aren’t on the latest version of the firmware, your console won’t be able to connect to PSN or the Project Lighthouse server.

Therefore, in order to connect to PSN, users need to update to 4.90. However, if they update, they lose the ability to run modified games like LittleBigPlanet. For most people, this means that Project Lighthouse servers are unusable on PlayStation 3 for now. However, this isn’t permanent, and there are options you can take right now.

Getting Back Online

Players who want to play Project Lighthouse servers on real hardware have a few options available to them:

  • Wait for new versions of HFW/CFW to be tested and released that are compatible with 4.90.
  • Use untested versions of HFW/CFW (not recommended).
  • Spoof your software version (not recommended).

We recommend waiting until experienced modders, particularly from PSX-Place, are able to create, test, and verify a new version of hybrid firmware (HFW) or custom firmware (CFW). HFW and CFW are modified PlayStation 3 software versions that will enable players to play modified games like LittleBigPlanet.


However, if you are less patient, you can attempt to use an untested firmware version to get on PSN and play LittleBigPlanet online with Project Lighthouse. However, we don’t recommend this because without testing, it’s possible that something could go wrong. There is a higher chance that you might break your PlayStation 3 or that Sony could ban you from PlayStation Network.

The same goes for spoofing your software version, which is a way of tricking PSN into thinking you are on a different firmware version. The Union Space Corps beta testing program is also experimenting with other alternative methods as well so we can better understand them to ensure that they are safe for the rest of the community.

When Will New HFW and CFW be Available?

New HFW and CFW are now available! Our PS3 Patching Guide has been updated with links to the new firmware versions for you to use to get back online!