The most interesting thing about Playstation 3 TOOL and TEST devices might be the ability to run unsigned code. You can even write code with Visual Studio and push it via the famous sn tools target manager (TM) to the device. The problem is, this code is caged inside a hypervisor which you cannot escape from unless you got a exploit to do so. These exploits are hard to find and write and before you can actually go of with that you should learn the basics of PS3 development. You can get yourself the leaked 3.60 sdk i.e. and start of with some homebrew, or write a little game to find out more about the plattform.
There are a few more things TEST and TOOL can do, but unless you own a TOOL, the debug facilitys are not interesting to you. Don’t think you can hack with the debugger as well, it’s pretty much limited to the game you are working on or better said the process you spawned via target manager.
One of the other few outstanding features is maybe the ability to change the enviorment. There are serval PSN enviorments other than the retail (NP) one you can access from your retial console. The most outstanding is most likely the SP-INT one. Sadly this one got locked down to the bone after a custom firmware named Rebug was released, which incooperated the Debug firmwares extracted XMB (main GUI) with the debug features and people used the testing features to virtualy rob the PSN store and stole tons of games. So it became useless for most people now unless they got a whitelisted IP.
Before Firmware 3.60, it was also possible to connect to other PSN testing enviorments too, this is now completly locked out on TEST device, they just will accept the few ones which usale press and testers are allowed to go. As well a effect of the Rebug drama.
There are quite some more features inside the debug menu, but most of them are nothing you should try out in first place. Most of them are for performing certain QA test cases or similar, nothing really needed for hacking.
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