Better late than never, as they say, and that applies especially for squashing software bugs. All non-trivial software have bugs and that’s true both for games as well as the platforms that run these games. Although the PlayStation 5 is just around the corner, Sony is still giving its current PS4 console some much-needed attention by opening up its bug-hunting program to the public at large.
The news here isn’t that Sony is finally giving PS4 bugs some attention. It has had a bug bounty program for quite some time but it wasn’t open to the public. Only some researchers have access to this pool, which, while controlled, also limits access to talented hackers that may not be backed by formal institutions.
That’s why Sony has now partnered with HackerOne, one of the most prominent and most trusted bug bounty platform, to handle making that bounty available for all. At least all that want to try and get their hands on some monetary compensation for properly exposing PlayStation bugs.
To be clear, the bounty isn’t for finding bugs in PlayStation games or third-party software. In fact, the coverage is specifically limited to the PlayStation 4 operating system and accessories as well as the PlayStation Network. The latter covers a wider range of services such as the store, social networking, and, perhaps more critical, wallets.
The highest bounty is reserved for critical PS4 bugs and will be awarded $50,000. “Low” bugs, on the other hand, will be compensated $500 and $100, for PS4 and PSN bugs, respectively. It’s a bit amusing that Sony would open its bounty program this late in the PS4’s lifetime but it may extend the coverage to the PS5 when that finally does launch. Of course, it might also be too early in the game for bounties as the PS5 could have dozens if not hundreds of bugs in its first few months.