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PS Vita Half Byte Loader (VHBL) Release Incoming, Details Arrive


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126w ago - Following up on his previous update, today PS Vita homebrew developer wololo has announced that the PS Vita Half Byte Loader (VHBL) will arrive shortly after March 1, 2012 with details below.

To quote: "This has been a tough week for lots of you, coming to my blog everyday to see that no new information was available about the release of VHBL. Trust me, it's been a much tougher week for me, making sure things go according to my humble plan, coping with a few more issues than expected, and overall, taking all the insults about "being a faker" or "trying to boost my ego" without being able to say anything else than "please trust me".

Ok, let's reveal a few essential things here, starting with the bad news: The game used by Teck4′s exploit is not available on the US vita store. Blame Sony and their "275 out of 900 PSP games available for your vita" scheme for this, not us. Part of the waiting time was to see if Sony would add this game to the US store at some point. It is obviously compatible since it is available in other continents, so my guess is that this is a marketing or a legal decision.

Long story short, people in the US who want to enjoy HBL on their vita, for now, will have to create a European (or HK, or JP,...) PSN account, buy a PSN card for that specific store (google for online shops that can sell you those and email you the code within a few minutes), and buy the game from there. A 20 euros card will cover for the price of the game as far as I know (Update: a 20 pounds card will be enough on the UK store).

This also means you'll have to "link" your vita to a European store every time you want to use HBL. Yes, it's super impractical, yes, it makes HBL even less likely to be interesting for you if you're in the US, but no, that clearly was not part of the plan. The game is, after all, available on the US PSN Store, just not for the vita.

I do not plan to wait even more until Sony adds the game to the US Vita store, since that could pretty well never happen, and is wasting everybody's time (people waiting for HBL in Asia have been waiting for this release for almost 3 months now, keep that in mind if you are one of the few who complained that you had to wait for a week). We waited a week for good measure, and saw that Sony is not adding PSP titles on a daily basis.

Waiting in hope for the game to be added to the US store is not the only reason that I "waited" for the release, but that's one of the reasons. Another reason is that there is a maintenance of the PSN, inconveniently scheduled on march 1st, that is, basically 2 days after I initially planned to publicly reveal the name of the game.

After discussing with a bunch of people, I've decided to wait until after the PSN maintenance to reveal the name of the game. Best case scenario, the game magically appears on the store and everybody's happy (I wouldn't dream about that), worst case scenario, the PSN update patches some of the vulnerabilities used for VHBL, and we're screwed. So we'll see...

I'm using the opportunity to remind everybody that HBL is only a PSP homebrew loader. The exploit and HBL do not give you any access to PSP isos, or vita isos, or the vita system, or anything like that. Even compatibility with PSP homebrews is limited, so basically you're better off getting a hacked PSP if playing homebrews is really what you want, and you're better off going elsewhere if piracy or pure vita hacking is what you're looking for. Basically, this hack is for those of us who want to be part of the "first step", however insignificant that step might be. Other people should not buy the game and then blame me for spending their money foolishly, the choice is entirely yours.

I'm just trying to cover my #ss here: don't go and buy a PSN PSP game for your vita if you're deeply expecting something useful out of this. You should buy the game first to play it, second, as a bonus, to get HBL to (maybe) work with it. Again, HBL has been confirmed to work by a few people already, but I cannot predict if Sony will do a magical trick to patch the game under our feet.

Unless something goes wrong, the name of the game will be publicly announced here on March 2nd, after the March 1st PSN maintenance (give me up to 24 hours, I'm not necessarily in the same timezone as you and I also have a real life). The files for VHBL itself will be available shortly after that."




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PS3 News's Avatar
#4 - PS3 News - 136w ago
Here are also some PlayStation Vita internal pics for those interested via Japanese site pocketnews.cocolog-nifty.com/pkns/2011/12/ps-vita-pch-110.html

PS3 News's Avatar
#3 - PS3 News - 136w ago
Thanks, if/when found it will be useful to grab the PS Vita updates from similar to the PSP and PS3 updater links.

Below are a few PS Vita links from zecoxao and SKFU and some pics from psx-sense.nl/75005/japanse-playstation-store-vol-met-ps-vita-content-de-fotos/:

[Register or Login to view links]

[Register or Login to view links]

Edit: Here are the PS Vita updater links for those interested:

Retail (JP) [Register or Login to view links]
Retail (EU) [Register or Login to view links]
Retail (US) [Register or Login to view links]
Shop (JP) [Register or Login to view links]

CJPC's Avatar
#2 - CJPC - 136w ago
Currently working on checking where the updates are coming from - it seems like Sony is doing what it can to not expose the update link. Kind of odd, eh?

PS3 News's Avatar
#1 - PS3 News - 136w ago
Update: Sony has now released [Register or Login to view links], and although no official changelog is available according to [Register or Login to view links] the update fixes an issue with Dynasty Warriors Next that prevented players from progressing further.

With the Japanese release of PlayStation Vita slated for tomorrow, Sony has now released a PS Vita 1.50 Firmware update which allows for PSN feature access including the PlayStation Store alongside a Content Manager Assistant application for updating via PC.

Download: [Register or Login to view links] / [Register or Login to view links] / [Register or Login to view links]

Some PS Vita Disassembled Pictures revealing the internal components are also available, and [Register or Login to view links] also reports that the PlayStation Vita games ship without instruction manuals as it appears Sony is ditching a paper manual in favor of an in-game digital manual.

The package includes a single sheet of paper showing warning messages and details on a firmware update that's included on the card.

To quote from Sony's official PS Vita site: PlayStation Vita System Software Update - System software version 1.50 for PlayStation Vita Update

From 17 December 2011 and began updating the system software version 1.50. To become available and some features of the PlayStation Network features, updates the system software of PS Vita (Update) is required.

PS Vita also system software, by updating, adding and security can be enhanced many features. Please use the update to the latest version.

For more information on the latest system software features of the [Register or Login to view links] please visit.

Interestingly, the guide reveals that users can now take screenshots during gameplay, which are saved as an image to their PlayStation Vita Memory Stick.

How to Update

By one of the following methods, you can update the system software on PS Vita:

  • Update using a Wi-Fi - Wi-updates with the PS Vita-Fi. ([Register or Login to view links])
  • Connected to the PS3 update - Using the network function of PS3, the latest update file download over the Internet. ([Register or Login to view links])
  • Connected to the PC and update - Using computer networking capabilities, download the latest updates via the Internet. ([Register or Login to view links])
  • PS Vita card to update - If the PS Vita card data includes updates to update using the PS Vita card. ([Register or Login to view links])

After updating, the home screen of PS Vita Setting (Settings)> [start]> [System]> [System Information and tap. [System Software] If the data is displayed and updated version, and has been updated correctly.

And update the system software update to connect to PlayStation Vita PC

Connected to the PC and update

Using computer networking capabilities, download the latest updates via the Internet. To update your system, you must keep the following states in advance the target computer.

  • Keep connected to the Internet
  • Administrative Assistant to the content you download / install the administrative assistant for PlayStation content can be downloaded from the Web site: [Register or Login to view links]

1. PC, to determine whether to launch a content management assistant. You can check the computer's system tray.
2. Connect the USB cable to PC and PS Vita.
3. In the PS Vita, Setting (Settings)> [start]> [System Update]> [to be updated by connecting to a PC] to tap. Using computer networking capabilities, download the latest updates via the Internet. Please follow the instructions on the screen then.

Content Manager Assistant

Content Manager Assistant for PlayStation is a computer application that enables data transfer between a PS Vita system and a computer. By installing it on your computer, you can do things like copy content from your computer to your PS Vita system and back up data from your PS Vita system to your computer.

Download: [Register or Login to view links] / [Register or Login to view links] / [Register or Login to view links]

Main Features

  • Backing up saved data and application data (game data) - You can back up the saved data for games played on your PS Vita system, and the application data (game data) for games purchased from PlayStation Store to your computer.
  • Copying music, image, and video files - You can display lists of music, image, and video files stored on your computer and transfer them to your PS Vita system. You can also transfer music, image, and video files in the opposite direction.
  • Backing up system files - You can back up system files saved on the PS Vita memory card or in system memory to your computer.
  • Performing a system update of the PS Vita system - When a Wi-Fi access point is not available, you can perform a system update of the PS Vita system using a computer that can connect to the Internet.

For detailed operating instructions for each feature, and for information about other features, see the [Register or Login to view links] for the PS Vita system.

Installation and Uninstallation

Installation

Download the installation file (above) and save the file on your desktop or in a convenient folder. When the downloaded file is launched, the installation screen for Content Manager Assistant for PlayStation will appear. Follow the on-screen instructions to perform the installation.

  • During the installation process, dialog boxes might appear that direct you to download components (additional software) needed to operate Content Manager Assistant for PlayStation. If this happens, follow the on-screen instructions to download the components.
  • After the installation is complete, a message for creating the database for the PS Vita system will appear when Content Manager Assistant for PlayStation is launched for the first time.
  • After the installation is complete, if a dialog box like the one shown below appears, click [x] in the upper right of the dialog box to close it.

Uninstallation

From the Windows control panel, select “Add or Remove Programs” (if using Windows XP) or “Programs and Features” (if using Windows Vista or Windows 7), and remove the program shown below.

Content Manager Assistant for PlayStation

Operating Environment

PS Vita system

  • PS Vita system (system software version 1.00 or later)
  • USB cable

Computer running a Microsoft Windows operating system

One of the following operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 or later (32-bit version only)
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 2 or later (32-bit or 64-bit version)
  • Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (32-bit or 64-bit version) or later
  • 1 GHz processor or greater
  • At least 150 MB of free space on the hard disk
  • At least 512 MB of RAM
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 or later
  • Windows Media Format Runtime 11 or later (for Windows XP) (included in the installation)
  • Windows Media Player 11 (for Windows Vista)
  • Media Feature Pack (for Windows 7 N and Windows 7 KN)
  • A USB 2.0-compatible port (used for connecting the PS Vita system)
  • An Internet connection

Operations on custom-built computers are not guaranteed.

How to Access the PS Vita Recovery Menu

The PlayStation Vita Recovery Menu offers users several tools to fix corrupt system files, upgrade your firmware, format memory stick and more. It is a powerful tool and several features should be used with caution as they can remove all your settings, as well as all of your saved information.

  • Turn OFF your PS Vita (Press Power Button for 10 seconds)
  • Now press and hold “R” + Power + PS (PlayStation Button)
  • Wait...
  • Now you’re in Recovery Menu (Mode)

PS Vita Recovery Menu Options

1. Restart System
This option boots your system as normal without changing any settings or files.

2. Rebuild Database
This can be a useful feature if you have lost files on your system for no apparent reason. Try using this feature to see if it can restore those files. This will also rewrite corrupted files within the database, potentially eliminating future issues. This feature should not erase any of your saved data or settings.

Deletes messages, playlists, changes made on “Information” screens, trimming information for pictures in “Photo”, video thumbnails, video playback history and video resume information. This operation may take a long time depending on the type and number of data items.

3. Format the memory card
This will format the memorycard, effectively erasing all data currently on it.

4. Restore PS Vita System
This will restore your system to original including, formatting and erasing all of the data on internal flash and returning all system settings to default. This will not take your system back to a previous Firmware release. Use this option as a last resort, unless you have nothing on the console that you want or you want to erase everything on the console, do not use this option.

5. System Update
This can useful if your system has become corrupted to the point you can not boot. This will allow the user to update their console with new firmware via PS3, PC or PS Vita memorycard.

PS Vita Hidden System Menu

This PlayStation Vita hidden system menu is present on both PS3 and PSP, and includes the product code, release build, and other internal version strings. To access it, do the following via EmuOnPSP.net:

  • Go to Settings > System > System Information
  • Press simultaneously R1 + L1 + DPad Left + Square for a few seconds
  • Release those buttons then immediately press the start button (and keep it held)



















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