92w ago - As previously reported, PlayStation Vita developer wololo has now released the PS Vita Half Byte Loader (VHBL) and updated the source code for the Motorstorm Arctic Edge buffer overflow exploit according to plan!
To quote: If you are lucky enough to be one of the few owners of Motorstorm Arctic Edge, VHBL is now available for download.
Please report Success/Failure here or on our forums (wololo.net/talk). As you will see, installing homebrews is a bit of a pain, so if you’re a good hearted guy who understands my explanations in the readme, please feel free to share homebrews packaged “correctly” for VHBL.
Note: you can have several homebrews in one “install” file. For example if you zip all your PSP/GAME folder, all the homebrews in there can be installed at once by VHBL.
HBL port to the KR/US/EU/JP versions of the exploit by Wololo. Thanks go to:
Teck4 for the Motorstorm exploit
All the devs who made HBL what it is today, in particular m0skit0 and JJS
Mamosuke, j416, Some1, and all the other devs who kept the secret, that’s much appreciated guys
Monsieur2T2R for the cool VHBL icons/wallpapers
For now, I’m off to bed, but I'll be sure to post more in the days to come, with updates, tutos, technical explanations, etc...
Vita Half-Byte Loader
Vita Half-Byte Loader is a project to port the PSP homebrew loader HBL to the Playstation Vita, through the PSP emulator on the Playstation Vita.
For the latest news about Vita Half Byte Loader, check the VHBL Category on this blog.
Half-Byte Loader (HBL) is an open source Homebrew Loader for the Sony PSP and the PS Vita. It allows to play fan-made games on any PSP up to firmware 6.60, and on the Vita up to firmware 1.61. HBL allows to run emulators for the Game Boy, Nintendo 64, Sega Megadrive, NES, Super NES... and many other applications.
VHBL does not technically allow you to play any pirated PSP or Vita games.
Although VHBL is free and open source, the current version relies on a vulnerability in a specific PSP game (Motorstorm Arctic Edge) that you need to buy from the PSN. VHBL comes with no guarantee, especially I cannot guarantee it will work on your Vita, so remember that you pay for a PSP game, and not for anything else. I do not do refunds for the money you gave to Sony
It is super easy for Sony to patch the vulnerabilities used by this tool, given the amount of control they have on the PS Vita. VHBL runs fine on firmware 1.61, but for all I know it is possible for Sony to patch the game’s vulnerability without a firmware update. So, once again, before buying the game and downloading VHBL, you need to understand that you pay for the game, and VHBL is a bonus that might or might not work
How to Install and Run HBL
It is *strongly* recommended that you turn of all wireless connections on your PS Vita, and that you use OpenCMA (wololo.net/downloads/index.php/download/1252) on your PC instead of the regular CMA. This is recommended because otherwise your console has a way to force you to upgrade the firmware even before you get a chance to use the exploit.
Extract this HBL archive in your CMA PSP Savedata folder. It is a folder on your PC named PSSAVEDATA/[lots of random characters here]. If you don’t know where it is, check your settings in CMA
Connect your PS Vita to the PC through the CMA, it should give you the possibility to copy the savedata from your PC to the Vita. If not, you probably extracted it in the wrong folder. (Note: You will also want to install some homebrews with a similar technique, read the section below)
To run HBL, start the Motorstorm game, select “Load” in the savegame menu, open the HBL savegame, then go to “Wreckreation > Time Attack” and select “No”. At this point, HBL should start. See the video below for details:
Motorstorm Arctic Edge VHBL r141 Changelog:
Games using the Quake Engine such as KurokPSP (and probably Quake itself) now work!
Geometry Wars Portable, which was also not working for some reason, is now working fine.
How to Install and Run Homebrews
Installing homebrews on the PSP was an easy task. On the Vita, until better solutions are provided, it’s quite a pain in the ass.
The CMA will only let you copy savedata, and will not recursively browse folders.
To address this, HBL comes with a tool that can extract archives with a specific structure.
Packaging the homebrew for installation on the Vita:
1) download PSP homebrews from your favorite Web site (wololo.net/downloads)
2) extract the homebrew somewhere on your hard drive, and with your favorite utility, zip it again with the *store* setting (no compression), in a file that you will name “install.zip”
3) take any PSP savedata (but not the one used for HBL!), and add the “install.zip” to that folder, in your PC CMA folder. so your PSP Savedata will look something like this:
in folder PSSAVEDATA/1a2b3c4def5678/UCUS12345000/ (or something like this) you will have the following files:
Here you can download an example of packaged homebrew: Doom (http://www.mediafire.com/?yl8518xxh8v9xvp)
1) run OpenCMA on your PC, and CMA on your Vita
2) copy the previously packaged SAVEDATA (see above) with your homebrew in “install.zip” on your Vita
3) run HBL (how to run HBL is explained in the previous section)
4) navigate with the HBL menu to the SAVEDATA folder, then go to the folder you just downloaded (in my example, UCUS12345000), and clikc cross or circle on it
5) At this point, the HBL menu should ask you if you want to install the homebrew. select yes, and wait until HBL is done extracting your homebrew
6) The homebrew is now installed, and you can run it by going to the GAME folder, if everything went well, a new subfolder with your homebrew has been created here, and you can run the homebrew
OpenCMA is strongly recommended to install if you want to use VHBL. Open CMA is a tool by Virtuous Flame that allows you to copy files from and to your vita without being connected to the internet. This is useful, especially if you don’t want Sony to forcefully update your firmware.
Looking for homebrews that run on VHBL? Check this list (wololo.net/wagic/2010/07/18/15-essential-homebrews-that-run-on-half-byte-loader/) of 15 essential homebrews that run fine with VHBL.
Quick Installing/Using VHBL FAQ
As you might have noticed, using HBL on the PSP wasn’t easy, but on the vita it’s even worse. That’s partially because of the many limitations enforced by Sony’s CMA, but also because I was too lazy to make too many improvements to HBL and the wMenu (mostly because I didn’t want to spend too much time on a tool that people might ditch at the next Firmware update)
Anyways, here are quick answers to the most frequently asked questions I got over the past 3 days
Do I really need to have Motorstorm Arctic Edge in order to run VHBL?
For now, yes. Later versions of VHBL (if any) might rely on other games, but for now, MAE is required.
I don’t have Motorstorm Arctic Edge, and I can’t find it on the Store, where do I buy it?
You can’t. Sony removed the Game from their store on March 2nd.
Is there a way to install Motorstorm Arctic Edge even if I didn’t buy it in time? By sharing my account with somebody, or downloading it from somebody’s server?
No. Each copy of the game is tied to the account that bought it, and Sony made it so that the game cannot be re-downloaded for now, even for those who bought it.
I tried to copy the exploit savedata, but The Vita tells me the data is corrupt, and refuses to copy it?
This seems to be happening mostly with the JP version of the VHBL exploit. Some sites have reported that if you mark all files in the savedata to not be read only, this will work. I’ll see if I can fix that in a future release.
I put a homebrew in “install.zip” as you explained, but the HBL menu isn’t able to install it. I’m pretty sure I did things right the “install.zip” file has to be a zip with “no compression” (also known as “store”. This option is available in most compression tools. I recommend 7zip.
I installed an emulator (or a Book reader). Now I want to install roms (ebooks) for it, do I have to reinstall the entire emulator?
In theory no, if you put the full path in your install.zip archive. For example, if you have a rom named “wololo.bin”, and want to put it in PSP/GAME/Snes9xTyl, just create all those folders, put the rom in it, and create an install.zip that will contain your rom (install.zip/PSP/GAME/Snes9xTyl/wololo.bin).
Practically, that can be difficult to remember, in which case the best is indeed to re-install the full homebrew with the roms in it. The benefit of this technique is that the HBL menu will detect the EBOOT file in your archive, and automatically understand where you want to install your stuff.
Note: you can have many homebrews in one install.zip, as long as they are in different subfolders. I personally simply zipped my entire PSP/GAME subfolder from my PSP Go, and installed the result on my vita)
How do I delete homebrews?
The easiest way is to go in the CMA on your Vita, and delete from there. Unfortunately it makes it difficult to know what you’re deleting. An alternate way is to install PSPFiler and use it to delete. I’m hoping to see some volunteer devs out there to provide alternatives if possible
Stay tuned for more PS3 Hacks and PS3 CFW news, follow us on Twitter and be sure to drop by the PS3 Hacks and PS3 Custom Firmware Forums for the latest PlayStation 3 scene updates and homebrew releases!
Below is another update on how the PS Vita HBL release will happen from wololo via: wololo.net/wagic/2012/02/03/vita-hbl-how-the-release-will-happen/
To quote: As the release of the PS Vita in the US and the EU gets closer, I’m getting an increasing amount of requests from people about HBL on the vita. I did post a FAQ a few weeks ago, but people still seem to have questions. When will it be released? Will it allow to run PSP isos? Will it work with a demo like for the patapon 2 exploit? Does it support this or that homebrew? etc…
Let me try to answer some of these questions, with more up-to-date answers.
First of all, the easy ones: VHBL (that’s the super new cool name of HBL on the Vita, I’ll let you guess what the V means, I know, I’m super original) will not support loading PSP isos. Basically VHBL will have the same limitations and features as HBL on the PSP, and, last time I checked, running psp isos was not possible through HBL.
The same HBL limitations apply to compatible homebrews. In a general way, user mode homebrews should work for the most part, while homebrews that require kernel access will not work. For now (but that could change), homebrews requiring network access might not work (or at least, the network part of them will not work).
Like in the patapon exploit era, it is possible, depending on the success of VHBL, that we progressively increase compatibility if we (as a community) keep improving the HBL code in the weeks following the release. Oh, and I am talking about PSP homebrews, running in HBL within the PSP emulator. So, for now, don’t dream about a full speed N64 or psp2 emulator. What we’ll get are the PSP homebrews that you already know.
Second, the vulnerability we rely on to run VHBL is a vulnerability in a PSP full Game, not a Demo. This means you will have to buy that game on the PSN in order to run VHBL (just like in the good old days of GTA:LCS for the first eLoader on the PSP). This also means that as soon as we reveal the name of that game, Sony can probably remove it from the PSN and/or patch it.
This leads to the most asked question: when and how will this be released? Well, I have a basic idea on how the release will happen. Nothing spectacular but it should hopefully be enough to guarantee that people who are really motivated in getting their hands on HBL on their Vita will get it. I’m hoping that constantly reminding people that this doesn’t allow the to run any pirated content will attract the right people to this exploit, and not the 95% of pirates that define any console hacking scene these days
In the past weeks I’ve been polishing the release process, and I can’t predict the future, but hopefully it will go well.
Nevertheless, getting access to this exploit for you guys will be a matter of being at the right place, at the right time.
For now I’m thinking Sony’s reaction wil be to remove the game from the PSN within 24h of the public announcement. Worst case scenario, Sony is already aware of the vulnerability and have already patched the game. This is unfortunately not something I can test without getting any more guinea pigs... these guinea pigs will basically be you when the release happens, I can’t really do any better than that.
Obviously, the release will not happen like your typical hack release (a dramatic article on every news site of the planet copying the hacker’s initial blog post). It will be, I expect, a bit more subtle than that.
Anyways, I added a page (wololo.net/wagic/vhbl/) on this blog where the VHBL downloads will be available, so if you’re waiting for HBL on your Vita, just check that page (and our /talk forums - wololo.net/talk/) regularly for updates.
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.