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PSVita Hacked, Native Homebrew Loader Coming Soon

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the but-not-to-a-theater-near-you dept.

Portables (Games) 50

Busshy writes "Since the release of the PSVita, sales for the portable console have struggled, particularly in Japan. There, the PSP was selling more units until this week, with the release of Hatsune Miku Project Diva F, which has seen PSVita sales quadruple. For the rest of the world, sales are still slow thanks to a dull selection of games. This could soon change, as Yifan Lu, coder of the Kindle Hack and PSX Xperia, has revealed he is now working on a native loader for the PSVita. Basically, it's a Userland Vita Loader for loading unsigned executables on your Vita — in other words, a Homebrew Loader for the PSVita. To calm Sony fears, he claims it is physically impossible to run 'backups' with the exploit. The exploit cannot decrypt or load retail games. At this time, the exploit is unreleased; naturally, he doesnt want Sony to fix it."

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50 comments

Shot a fart (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41267733)

Whilst reading the summary, something odd happened; I shot a fart directly out of my very own asshole (read: not someone else's asshole). This surprised me, because before this happened, such a thing would be unthinkable! It's inconceivable that this happened to an esteemed individual such as myself!

Therefore, the summary is false.

Re:Shot a fart (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41268667)

Did you fart on your keyboard with enough force to depress the keys in the pattern of your post? I'm guessing so.

It couldn't have happened to a nicer company (0)

Mahldcat (1129757) | about 2 years ago | (#41267755)

Wonder how soon Sony is going to take legal action against him, and I wonder how fast additional exploits are going to surface.....

Re:It couldn't have happened to a nicer company (4, Informative)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 2 years ago | (#41267779)

Sony didn't sue dark Alex. Or the guys who did the HBL. just geohotz. Because he's a grand standing prick

Re:It couldn't have happened to a nicer company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41267885)

Couldn't agree more with you. Not surprised he is some stoner kid with a holier than thou attitude. He stunk of it a mile away.

Besides, this is a homebrew hack. If it remains that, it might increase sales. That is a good thing for Sony. They'd probably want that.
It is only until it gets full-on hacked will it become a problem.

I sometimes wonder why companies don't do this on purpose to increase their own sales, actually.
Homebrew is a big seller for quite a lot of people.
Stealth release a homebrew app, don't explain how it works, "fix it", but then release another one a month later or something. (meanwhile make huge sales of games at the same time and watch people come in droves)
Scummy? Pfft, its business. Companies have done far worse. I'd do it if I owned hardware that wasn't selling very quickly.

Re:It couldn't have happened to a nicer company (2)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | about 2 years ago | (#41270973)

Well what they do is take a loss on the hardware and try to make up for it with software sales. So the game companies do not want competition from homebrew developers.

Of course I'd rather have the option to pay full price for the hardware with full ability to reflash the firmware to anything I want.

Re:It couldn't have happened to a nicer company (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 years ago | (#41286209)

Most game platforms are loss leaders with the profit being made off the licenses for game developed for it as well as any sort of merchandise network that may be in place.

I suspect that the problem with homebrew is that it generates additional sales that have a low probability of purchasing further games or content. This would cause homebrew to be a significant cost with no real benefit to Sony.

Re:It couldn't have happened to a nicer company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41268169)

At he's not one of those laying down pricks.

Re:It couldn't have happened to a nicer company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272581)

they sued graf_chokolo one of the guys thar worked hard to bring us otheros++ (linux/BSD) on the ps3slim... =X

Re:It couldn't have happened to a nicer company (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41268233)

Hey faggot. Go choke on a dick and die.

Whoop-dee-doo (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41267769)

Well, whoop-dee-doo. I'm sooooo excited that the homebrew community will port a couple emulators to the Vita, call it a day, and we'll never hear about Vita homebrew development again. Just like every other fucking homebrew hack in the history of video gaming (beyond the founding of Activision OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO).

No, seriously. Someone show me some major homebrew developments that aren't just crap ports from elsewhere (oh boy oh boy! I can play FreeCiv using a control scheme quite horribly ill-suited for the job!), are clever new games supposedly "held back" by draconian licensing, and are AFTER the Atari 2600, just to shut up the smartasses who will note that's how Activision and the entire concept of a third-party developer started. Maybe then I'll give a shit.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41267823)

Emulators are the only reason I still use my PSP. Aside from the odd game of Lumines, none of the native titles are really worth playing.
I'm going to assume the situation is the same on the Vita.

Vita - Great hardware crippled by the stunted management of Sony.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#41268985)

But isn't that the problem of Sony in a nutshell, great hardware with fuck all for games, which is why they don't sell? well that and them acting like its 1996 with funky cards instead of using SDHC of course.

Personally I think Sony has burned too many bridges, fucked over too many people, for them to pull out of the nosedive unless they come out with a Halo style "ZOMFG you HAVE to play this!" supermega game. As it is now they simply release God Of War 326, Resistance 29, and then are shocked when nobody buys.

My youngest bought a PSP, it sits in the closet, why? After he had beat the handful of games that were good he really didn't have anything he wanted to play on it and he doesn't feel like fucking with emulators because he's not big into nostalgia. If Sony doesn't come out with a real blockbuster the Vita will end up another PSP Go, not to mention they are mistreating their customers bad enough you have Internet pundits that love the system saying Sony is begging for piracy on the Vita [escapistmagazine.com] simply because compared to the iPad "click and get game" they make buying from them a PITA.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 2 years ago | (#41273947)

Emulators are the only reason I still use my PSP. Aside from the odd game of Lumines, none of the native titles are really worth playing.

What? There's a fuckton of good games on the PSP.. SOCOM? Personal? Wipeout? Star Wars Battlefront? Crisis Core?

This doesn't even take into account all the PSone games or stuff on PSN.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (3, Interesting)

Whatah1 (2651417) | about 2 years ago | (#41268449)

On a modded original Xbox I use the unleashX dashboard and from it I launch XBMC as well as "a couple of emulators" and other standard stuff. XBMC as created on the original Xbox is a homebrewing accomplishment I have greatly appreciated.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (4, Interesting)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#41268589)

The great thing about XBMC is that its still going, STRONG. Im running a customized XBMC on Raspberry Pi, and its fantastic. I plan on rolling them out to my family for Christmas.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 2 years ago | (#41269369)

Now that I've completely given up cable in favor of 100s of collected DVDs and downloads, maybe I should take another look at XBMC. Ever since .25, MythTV's been showing its cracks...

OTOH, the xbox's hard drive is so blessed tiny

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41269975)

XBMC is no longer being developed for the XBOX, unfortunately.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (2)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 2 years ago | (#41270117)

A lot of features are still being ported

http://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/ [xbmc4xbox.org.uk]

The latest release was July 25th, 2012

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (1)

Whatah1 (2651417) | about 2 years ago | (#41270095)

The hard drive is very tiny; I use shared folder on a 1TB external hard drive streamed over wireless via a win7 desktop.

Of course these days it is better to run XBMC via other platforms but if you grab what you want in the correct resolution the original Xbox still plays it very well.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41270129)

It's a pain to use except I think it has some remote control support and such things but honestly I found it just got in the way of multitasking so I stick with media players and windows explorer. It made it harder to browse files, open different formats in different players such as having mp3s playlists playing while browsing other media, do typical file management/conversion etc. stuff.

Like say you want to pause a movie to look up a file on the computer or you release you want to watch something else but it's stored somewhere else, or maybe play a game and listen to a mp3 simultaneously, then watch some porn on your other spare media player while your movie is paused... etc etc.

Maybe it's better and I could give it another chance but it honestly seemed better suited for someone who uses their computer differently than I do I guess.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41270409)

Maybe it's better and I could give it another chance but it honestly seemed better suited for someone who uses their computer differently than I do I guess.

You probably still won't like it. I've been on both sides of the fence. Sometimes I want a TV to just be a media device so XBMC is good. Other times I'm looking for a workstation in the living room. If that's you then don't bother with media player apps as they'll always get in your way.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 2 years ago | (#41286383)

I'm with you. I don't use any of that on the computer-computer. I'm actually looking for something to replace my HTPC. I might consider an Ouya + USB HD, assuming it ever actually sees the light of day.

Maybe I should stop waiting and snag one of those android media player boxes that are $60-80 on dealextreme.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41268645)

excited that the homebrew community will port a couple emulators to the Vita, call it a day, and we'll never hear about Vita homebrew development again. Just like every other fucking homebrew hack in the history of video gaming

The PS2, xbox 360 and PS3 had interesting architectures. Higher performance is possible on cheaper hardware via optimization, as noted by the PS2 and PS3. It is nice to see and experience hardware for comparisons.

But yes, I am not interested in coding for the PS Vita, because of its generic hardware. Heck, why even bother hacking it at all, except for piracy?

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (1)

anomaly256 (1243020) | about 2 years ago | (#41269037)

I'd hardly say the PS3 is 'cheaper' hardware or very performant. It had potential but was just too limited by the reserved+disabled SPUs and the abysmal architecture. A modern mid-range and inexpensive i5/i7 cpu + kepler gpu can run rings around it in the ways that matter. 360 is nice and cheap *now* but when launched it still cost me over $1k far more than a decent gaming rig at the time. The PS2.. well I can't argue there. It was a thing of beauty under these terms

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (3, Informative)

anomaly256 (1243020) | about 2 years ago | (#41268983)

XBMC

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41270003)

Running a media center on your handheld sounds like such a brilliant idea.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#41269471)

emulators are not the only thing available, and it does open up a new world to people. How many XBOX or PSP games have you developed? Me 3 of each, and yea they were shit, but I found them fun and I learned a lot about the systems worked.

SO quit bitching about something you will never do, get off your ass, crack a system and get writing... obviously you are desperate to be the new turd party developer, so get going and stop pissing your pants.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41270467)

You're right but there are a few exceptions. For example PSP has Wagic, a single player Magic The Gathering game. I've played that more than all the other PSP games I own combined

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 years ago | (#41272017)

Wagic is awesome... I've been playing it (on Linux) quite obsessively for a month now.

The portable versions are the main dev platforms and it shows, but that is also the reason (IMO) that the game is single player, so I accept the tradeoff.

I had never so much as seen a single Magic: The Gathering card before playing this game, but I can say it's probably something a lot of the /. crowd would like, with the near infinite complexity in deckbuilding and rules.

Great free game. :)

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (1)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | about 2 years ago | (#41270979)

The original Xbox was a pretty nice media player with XBMC on it. Also gave it the ability to play DVDs without paying for that silly remote.

You also could run straight Linux on the Xbox.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (1)

Dopefish_1 (217994) | about 2 years ago | (#41270987)

How about the Nintendo DS? Speaking from personal experience here--I've written (or ported) several DS homebrew projects.

Sure, there's plenty of emulators, and ports of popular (and less popular) classic games. And the obligatory linux port, not that it's useful for much besides bash and ssh.

But there's plenty of original games too. There's also ebook readers, music and movie players, utilities to backup retail game saves, drawing/coloring apps*, music creation tools, and more.

* One of these, Colors!, later became a rather successful commercial title for the 3DS.

Re:Whoop-dee-doo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41271033)

You don't seem to get what homebrew means for serious indie developers.

The requirements for an official dev kit are really high and unreasonable for anyone that doesn't already own a mildly successful company. The price per developer is so high that unless you have a very successful game, your company has more unlicensed developers than licensed developers and uses abstractions to keep unlicensed developers from seeing the actual calls to the official API.

With a homebrew SDK, or at least tools to put together an SDK of your own without going through official channels. You can develop a game at minimal costs, and actually have something to show when you apply for dev kits and licenses later on down the road. Greatly improves your chances of being taken seriously when you show you persevere through the clunky homebrew tools, also helps to justify the costs involved to your boss if you work for a game development company that's got room for a new project.

There are a lot of us out there whom are serious about putting a game on the shelves for the various consoles, but have to save up for a long time while making sacrifices to our way of life. At least with a homebrew SDK it gives us a chance to work on the game while saving up and skipping out on a lot of things that make life fun. I've been through it before, went 5 years without any excess spending just to have a game barely break even. I don't know if you realize just how much you have to sacrifice to get over the money wall to release a game on store shelves, but for people with ordinary jobs it's very painful and often depressing.

Wonderful timing! (1)

Maquis196 (535256) | about 2 years ago | (#41267891)

I'm still waiting for my 1ghz pandora to turn up but my vita isn't doing much which is a shame, the hardware on it is quite simply amazing, now to have that running homebrew... I could see this being the best thing to happen to the Vita

Homebrew is harmlessit alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41267955)

[quote] If you want to help, just fork the code and send me a pull request when you’re done. [/quote] Sony should leave it alone

Sony needs this... (1)

crossmr (957846) | about 2 years ago | (#41268555)

Despite Sony's protestations they knew very well that piracy was a big mover of hardware. I think a lot of people over-estimate the draw of homebrew though. While a few certainly use it, I think it's more of a geek's wet dream that hundreds of thousands are clamouring for a PSVita simply to run homebrew. The homebrew hack however, will likely lead to piracy at some point down the road. You will probably see a large upswing in sales at that time.

Serious question (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41269499)

Does anyone actually think they would sell FEWER of these devices if they opened them up to the developer community?

I'm wondering how they can expect any return on their investment in obscurity, given how they get hacked every time. They don't seem to be very successful at keeping out the prying eyes, if anything they end up with more of their technology revealed.

Whoever at Sony is giving the financial green light to this strategy is MESSED UP. It's costing them fortunes all around with no discernable return on investment.

More profit margin from games than consoles (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41270445)

Conventional wisdom is that console makers make a lot more profit margin from professionally developed games than from consoles themselves. So the console makers want to shut out amateur games, on which they make no money, in favor of professional games, on which they do make money. In addition, it was hard to sort the good games from the bad on the Atari 2600, which led directly to a recession in the North American video game market in 1983-1984, and people weren't buying consoles or games because they had realized the implications of Sturgeon's Revelation: 90 percent of everything is crap.

Re:More profit margin from games than consoles (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#41270485)

Opening the platform up doesn't exclude professionally developed games.

There are plenty of commercial games on IOS and android

Last I checked, open compettive markets produce BETTER quality.

Today we have the Internet to share game ratings, we don't need the game companies to sort them out.

Their model is DEAD

Re:More profit margin from games than consoles (2)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41270579)

Opening the platform up doesn't exclude professionally developed games.

The problem here is like you said "Their model is DEAD". But that doesn't mean they won't try to hang on to it for dear life. The thing is they want a cut of every game sale and they want to keep the prices high. iOS and Android have numerous professional games but the prices are usually low. The PC has a slew of pro games but MS isn't making a dime on the purchase price for the vast majority of them. So Sony, Nintendo, et al want an iOS style cut with high AAA game on PC like prices and they think if they clamp down hard that's what they'll get. There's also the issue of the console hardware pricing being artificially low to the point of losing on each sale on the assumption that they'll make up for it in game revenues.

Bear in mind that it's just a business model and it has produced fairly predictable and profitable results for a number of decades. I don't think Nintendo and Sony want to go the app store model since even Apple says they only make a pittance off theirs. The way I see it is if I'm going to try to make a game I'm not going to try to homebrew something on a hostile platform. I'll just fire up Eclipse and work on something for Android and be done with it as at least on there if I come up with something good it's little trouble to put it on the Play Store for sale. Obviously some people don't see it that way.

Re:More profit margin from games than consoles (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41271153)

So Sony, Nintendo, et al want an iOS style cut with high AAA game on PC like prices

Trust me, 30% is a pittance of a cut - while the license fee per game is around $5 or so per copy for the PS3 and Xbox360 for disc-games, the actual split for DLC or downloadables is MUCH higher. 30% is nothing - it can easily be 50% or more to the console maker.

Heck, Sony used to (maybe they still do?) charge by the gigabyte in hosting the game and its demos.

Anyhow, Sony's already scared of anything that could possibly be used for piracy - even unfeasible ones. After all, OtherOS was eliminated because of a purely theoretical hack to the PS3 (that wasn't even used to get the PS3 master keys). And earlier in the year, Sony removed several Vita downloadable games because they had various homebrew loader flaws. Sony's going to close this hole no matter what because it may be a vector for piracy,.

(And really, once you can run unsigned code, you can look for flaws to get full access to the system, so while you may not be able to do it NOW, it greatly enables analysis of the system to find other flaws).

Phones come with no gamepad (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41272229)

I'll just fire up Eclipse and work on something for Android and be done with it as at least on there if I come up with something good it's little trouble to put it on the Play Store for sale. Obviously some people don't see it that way.

Possibly because the video game designs that they have prototyped on a PC need a gamepad. Touch screens have trouble emulating a gamepad [slashdot.org] , and not enough people who might be interested in a game own an Xperia Play phone or something like an iControlPad or iCade product.

Re:Phones come with no gamepad (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41273117)

That's very true. I guess when I think homebrew I'm thinking something primarily for my own use and I would have no problem just requiring an external gamepad. My wiimote works great on my Android tablet and phone for that purpose.

Going beyond the freeware level of detail (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41277199)

I guess when I think homebrew I'm thinking something primarily for my own use

If someone is developing an original video game in an original universe with no way to recover the cost of time and materials, there's a limit to how much detail he's willing to put into the game. That's why ports of simple block puzzle games have tended to dominate the homebrew scenes. I've gathered that going beyond that level of detail requires quitting one's day job. But self-publishing isn't viable if your design is in a genre associated with gamepads, which in turn are associated with Sony and Nintendo platforms. So that means breaking into The Industry(tm) somehow. This leads a programmer to carefully consider how each of his projects will fit into his portfolio and make him look good to HR.

and I would have no problem just requiring an external gamepad.

I guess that depends on whether you want to demonstrate your skill in programming or your skill in both programming and basic marketing. In the former case, you can require whatever peripheral, as long as someone in HR is likely to have the right hardware. In the latter case, you had better target a popular platform and either rely on the peripherals that came with a device or make it dead easy to acquire the needed peripherals. It's too bad the iCade 8-Bitty appears discontinued.

What is the point? (1)

ikaruga (2725453) | about 2 years ago | (#41271399)

What is the point? The only people who may take advantage of this hack are the pirates.

Any serious homebrewer may want to use the Playstation Mobile SDK. Not only you will be able to publish your games and apps on the Vita(and future devices), but any other PS certified devices, including nonsony devices(ASUS and HTC are some of the partners). And of top of that you will be able to potentially make money through the PSN and your product will have far more exposure than uploading it to some obscure homebrew community site.

Developers are already scared of the Vita due to the low sales and sony's bad marketing strategy. At this point of time, this will only worsen the problem, to the point it may even kill the product. So even the pirates won't have any games to pirate as a result. So seriously, what is the point?

Re:What is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272565)

Does using PS Mobile not involve paying $99 a year.

(Paying for anything other than Apple's $99 does not make any sense if you are trying to make money from mobile. If you are doing it for fun only makes sense to use Android.)

Companies should understand just because Apple can do something doesn't mean they can with the same effects.

PS Mobile (1)

Teknikal69 (1769274) | about 2 years ago | (#41271613)

Sony will never allow this they have already announced PS Mobile which will let Indy devs write their own apps/games, plus the games on the Vita have the ability to refuse to open until you update to the latest firmware I've had this happen a few times when a new Firmwares released. So everyone will have to update to the fixed Firmware anyway or leave their bought games useless and unplayable.

Vitas a great system by the way and there are tons of games on PSN if you take into account the PSP and PS1 games it also runs, Just for the record though I have over ten Vita only titles and they are all good games.

Re:PS Mobile (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41272993)

So everyone will have to update to the fixed Firmware anyway or leave their bought games useless and unplayable.

Sounds like a great way to discourage a lot of people from paying for a lot of games.

Boo hiss. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41272969)

I own a Vita and a PS3. The reason I bought the Vita was sony said youwe would be able to stream using remote play ANY PS3 game to it. As of today with firmware 1.8 you still can't. Many other people did the same... I refuse to spend a cent more on anything sony until they live up to the market promises they made.

There is woeful depth of reasonably priced content for the Vita.

To be very frank I am the end of my patience with Sony. They have such a great platform with so much potential and it is so utterly screwed over by poor vision and market control paranoia. Not that I'm a fan of Apple, but at least their kit just works as you would expect and is easy to use. The latest with Sony and me is that I can't even enter my CC details into the playstation store, the store says my CC details are invalid, whereas every other online store I use, apple, amazon, ebay, all accept the same credit card.

I AM OVER IT.

Different Scene (2)

bobbutts (927504) | about 2 years ago | (#41274289)

The original PSP was the most capable portable device, so it was widely owned and hacking it actually meant something. With the proliferation of capable IOS and Android devices PSP's seem far less important.
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