74w ago - Following up on the rumor from last week that a PlayStation Vita Hello World was achieved through a PSP Save Game exploit, today established PSP hacker wololo has confirmed it and stated that a Half-Byte Loader (HBL) is incoming!
To quote: Last week, an exploit on the PS Vita through the PSP emulator was announced by Mamosuke. The exploit was found by Teck4, and, we won't stress it enough, is a PSP exploit that gives us user mode access within the PSP emulator on the Vita. So this is not a Vita exploit per se, but it's still very cool.
Mamosuke confirmed this with a video a few days ago, and today I was able to confirm the exploit myself as shown in the video below (and I must admit that I spent way too much time working on that basic flame effect). The video below shows the exploit running on both a PSP 1000 and the PS Vita.
Here's also a screenshot since there is not autofocus on my stupid camera.
I spent a good amount of time today confirming some of my hopes that it will be possible to run HBL, at least to some extent, with that exploit. It doesn't mean I have ported HBL to the Vita yet, but I have strong hopes this will be possible. A handful of hackers are working on bringing HBL to the Vita (I won't mention their names here as I don't know if they want to be contacted on the subject), and it should be "relatively" easy to get something to work fairly soon.
(It should be noted though that the Vita is quite sensitive and crashed on me several times when it went into "sleep" mode from the exploit screen from there - am I just paranoid? - it seems it is impossible to reboot the machine for almost 10 minutes, which made me think I had bricked my vita could it be a anti-hacking security? If the console detects several crashes, it takes longer to boot, in order to prevent brusteforce types of attacks?)
I won't discuss any release yet, it doesn't depend on me only (this is, after all, Teck4′s exploit), but if I have my opinion to give on the subject, I would suggest to wait until the Vita is released in Europe and in the US. This gives us some time to polish HBL on this device, and hopefully the vulnerabilities we use to run HBL won't have been patched by then.
This is of course just a challenge with little to no practical interest once we publicly reveal the exploit (in particular, the game used in it), it will be extremely easy for Sony to patch it (or remove the game from the Playstation Store), so probably only a few people will be able to benefit from it but only time will tell, there is still hope, after all, that Sony doesn't care about a tool that allows us to run user mode psp homebrews in a sandboxed emulator.
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Following up on the previous update, today PS Vita homebrew developer wololo has revealed the game used for the PlayStation Vita Half Byte Loader (VHBL) is Motorstorm Arctic Edge (Motorstorm Raging Ice in Japan) and shared a video of it in action below!
As a result, Sony has officially removed the Motorstorm Arctic Edge title from PlayStation Store.
To quote: "Ok, so, since the PSN maintenance is being postponed, there is no reason for me to not give the name of the game used by Teck4 for his exploit:
The Game is Motorstorm Arctic Edge, also known as Motorstorm Raging Ice in Japan. It is available for 19.99 euro on most European Playstation Stores, 15.99 Pounds in the UK, and for 3800 yen on the Japanese store.
Note for North American readers: that game, despite being available on the US Store, is marked as not compatible with the Vita in the US. People who have bought it in the US and tried to transfer it to their vita have failed as far as I know, which is why a few days ago I recommended people in the US to get a European PSN account.
Now what's next?
Well it's simple and stressful at the same time: I'm giving you guys a couple days to buy a copy of that game if you think VHBL is worth it (and assuming you trust that I'm not lying), and then I'll release the VHBL files. There are pros and cons to this "2 steps" release. The cons are that you have to trust me, and there's a possibility Sony actually patches/patched something without me knowing it, the pros are that I don't think Sony will remove the game from their store until they actually have something to patch, so I think this gives you guys a couple days to buy the game.
Or, you can wait until I release the files and other people confirm it works, at which point you run the risk that Sony patches the exploit and/or removes the game from the store before you can even buy it.
Now, let me be clear once again: buy the game if you want to play it, I have no way to guarantee VHBL will work for you, I can just tell that a few days ago this was confirmed to work by a few testers.
Also keep in mind that VHBL gives you no iso, no special access to the Vita hardware, just a limited PSP homebrew experience on your vita. If like me you think it's fun, then you might be interested. Or, if you think that 20 euros is a fair price for one of the best PSP games, then, well, just consider VHBL as a "bonus".
VHBL has been confirmed to work on firmware 1.61. If your console asks you to update to firmware 1.62 or something, I cannot guarantee it will still work. It is also recommended, after you bought the game, to be paranoid and disconnect your console from the network, and to install openCMA. Again, there are lots of unknown things going on with the Vita, it is impossible for me to tell if this will work for everyone.
As far as I know, there are 5 versions of this game out there. I ported VHBL to 4 of them, and I am sure the fifth one is vulnerable too, but I couldn't find any place selling or "distributing" it, so I couldn't port the exploit to it. That being said, it should be "doable" if somebody can get a copy, to port the exploit to that version as well.
Finally, for those who want proof, here's a video:
I want to thank the people who made this release go as smoothly as possible, especially Teck4 and Mamosuke, HBL devs (in particular m0skit0 and JJS, thanks for lurking on the scene for so long, you guys are the real deal!) the mods at /talk who have helped a lot over the past week, the handful of devs/testers who know how to keep a secret (you know who you are), but also the thousands of /talk users who, for some of them, have been knowing the game's name for several days now, and haven't leaked anything.
You guys are truly an awesome community, you can of course now go ahead and let your friends know, or brag about how you've known about the game for a while and hold the secret. It was so far an awesome experiment, let's hope the result will be worth it!"
Too bad my Vita will arrive in 9th March (international delivery) hopefully someone find another exploit by then.