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


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146w 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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#151 - Neo Cyrus - 152w ago
Neo Cyrus's Avatar
Quote Originally Posted by ModderFokker View Post
I hope a couple of exploits are kept secret until we actually can buy the damn thing.

(Not talking about import ....)

Meh, it's going to be a game of cat and mouse as usual. They're going to constantly tighten their draconian grip around the throats of their customers while more exploits to free the hardware keep getting released, an endless cycle like always.

As I said before I'm not even considering buying one until it's cracked wide open and until there are Micro SD to whatever-it's-proprietary-nonsense-is-called adapters. There will be for sure, just as there were 2 Micro SD to Pro Duo adapters.

#150 - moja - 152w ago
moja's Avatar
I wouldn't be surprised if the US launch saw an even later firmware (1.6?). Hopefully the scene for Vita stays motivated and finds some reliable homebrew.

#149 - Prince Valiant - 152w ago
Prince Valiant's Avatar
Indeed, at least he didn't reveal them specifically. I hope the launch firmware isn't very high for the US.

#148 - ModderFokker - 152w ago
ModderFokker's Avatar
I hope a couple of exploits are kept secret until we actually can buy the damn thing.

(Not talking about import ....)

#147 - PS3 News - 152w ago
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Since reporting on his last flaw uncovered, PlayStation Vita hacker SKFU has found a few new vulnerabilities in Sony's PS Vita handheld gaming system.

To quote via [Register or Login to view links]: Few hours ago, developer SKFU (known for his work on the PS3, but also recently for some investigations on the Vita security) posted a screenshot of his Vita showing some HTML in what is supposed to usually show official messages from Sony’s updates or packages.

Knowing SKFU's passion for everything network-related, I'm assuming he's doing some tests using some local DNS changes... or maybe he managed to put some of his own files in an official package? That would be exciting.

In previous tweets this week, he mentioned he found 2 potentially usable vulnerabilities on the Vita

VITA is back to life, since last tweet found 2 new possibile vulnerabilities. If it runs good, news in blog this evening!

That was, however, 2 days ago, and his blog wasn’t updated since then, so I’m assuming he ran into a few issues. (the “back to life” comment refers to the official 1.52 firmware which bricked his Vita…or appeared to do so... which turned out to be that the battery had to charge for almost 24 hours before the Vita accepting to turn on, for some reason)

Obviously lots of this experimentation will probably not lead to anything, but for now, every bit on info on the internals of the Vita is interesting. Let’s keep digging

Also from SKFU (linked above) is an update on the recent PlayStation Vita 1.52 Firmware status below, as follows:

Ok guys we tested the possibilities on firmware 1.52 for a few days now. What I can confirm is the following:

  • Tech4's exploit still works
  • Wololo's HBL still works
  • Everything I research atm didn't change from 1.50 to 1.52

If that is fine for you, there's no reason not to update. Anyways, I have to mention that this can change without a firmware upgrade!

If you are online with your PS VITA, it can download and install silent updates for any application which runs in usermode and has nothing to do with system critical modules.

The good is, those updates are removed once the system is restored to the current firmware, so it would not be a major problem to remove a fix.

- SKFU

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