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Beginning with the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3, Sony has included a file named
param.sfo with their games that provided metadata about the game itself, such as the game's name, ID, version, minimum required firmware, etc. The format of the file studied and well documented (the PS3 version in particular is well documented), and there are many different SFO utilities available. (My referred reader is sfo by hippie68 since it's cross-platform, open source, CLI-based, and still being actively developed.)
param.sfo contents is easy enough, extracting it from the original game or package is a bit trickier. It's pretty straightforward to extract
param.sfo from PS3 and PSP ISOs, but PS4 and Vita games, plus PS3 and PSP PSN packages, require jumping through more hoops.
SFO Extract aims to make extracting
param.sfo from any supported game or package format as easy as possible. It was developed with the following goals in mind:
- Support all PlayStation media formats that include
- Extract the file as quickly and easily as possible
- Minimize external dependencies
SFO Extract has been tested with and supports the following formats:
- PS3 ISOs and App, Update, and DLC PKGs
- PS4 ISOs and Update PKGs
- PSP ISOs and DLC PKGs
- Vita PSVs and App, Update, and DLC PKGs
SFO Extract currently has the following limitations:
- PS4 ISOs that contain multiple games or app packages (like Life Is Strange: Before the Storm) are not fully supported as there's no predictable way to determine which SFO should be extracted. As a result, if this type of ISO is detected, SFO Extract will instead extract the BD SFO instead of the App SFO, which describes the contents of the disc rather than the contents of the game. The BD SFO contains a subset of information from the App SFO.
Download Current Version: 1.0, Released: 09/21/2021
read-game-id.sh (11.95 KB) - The SFO Extract BASH shell script
The SFO Extract changelog is included in the beginning of the script.
SFO Extract installation simply requires downloading the script, enabling the execute bit (eg.,
chmod a+x sfo-extract.sh, and moving to a directory in your
In order to support encrypted PS3 and PSP PKG files, the following utility is also necessary:
- https://github.com/windsurfer1122/PSN_get_pkg_info, along with Python 3
sfo-extract.sh -h to display help information. This will describe the syntax for running the program and list all available options.
You may provide pass one or more ISO/PKG files; if multiple files passed (such as
*.iso), it'll extract from multiple files in parallel up to your number of CPU threads in order to speed up the process.
param.sfo to the same directory and base name as the source file; use the
-d option to change the location of the output file.
sfo-extract.sh includes a
-q quick extract option for PS4 games. Unpacking the main (App) SFO can take quite a while on PS4 games, so this option exists to extract an alternate disc (BD) SFO that contains a subset of information from the main SFO. Extracting this BD SFO is much faster, and is useful when you only need basic info about the game, like Title ID, version, or minimum firmware requirement.
SFO Extract primarily works as follows:
- Search the file for a pattern matching the
param.sfo(hereafter referred to as "SFO") header
- Calculate the length of the SFO by examining the header
- Extract the bytes containing SFO and write to the new file
SFO Extract will perform each of those steps in parallel up to the number of logical CPUs in your computer (use the
-t option to control this). Below is a breakdown of each step.
Search for SFO header
Per reverse-engineered specifications, the SFO begins with the hex string
00 50 53 46 01 01 00 00 xx xx 00 00 xx xx 00 00 (the Xs are variable). SFO Extract uses
grep to search the binary file for this matching pattern and determine the offset of where the header begins.
While searching for the header is relatively straightforward, there are a couple complicating factors:
- Some formats, like PSP ISOs, may contain multiple SFO files, with the desired SFO not stored first. SFO Extract identifies the file format and, when appropriate, extracts the second matching SFO to produce the desired result.
- PS4 ISOs also include multiple SFOs, and because the second SFO is randomly located on what can be very large ISO images,
grepwill either crash or run out of memory when searching files that large. As a result, instead of directly grepping files, SFO Extract will use
ddto read a 1 GB chunk of the file at a time, search that for the SFO header, and repeat as many times as necessary to find the desired SFO file.
Calculate SFO lengthSFO files vary in size between systems and games. To determine the SFO size, SFO Extract does the following:
- Get the data table offset from the header
- Get the number of index entries from the header
- For each entry, determine the size if it's corresponding description
- Perform the following calculations:
- Header = 20 bytes
- Index table = number of entries * 16 bytes
- Data table = sum of sizes defined for each entry in index
- Key table = Data table offset - index table size - header size
- Total SFO size = header + index table + key table + data table
Extract and save SFOThis step is the most straightforward: using
hexdump, read the bytes beginning at the offset found in step 1 for the size determined in step 2, then write the results to the new SFO file. This step largely reuses commands and logic developed for the prior steps.