Will PSP Hacks Work on the PS Vita?
Mamosuke, who has some fame from the Japanese PSP scene, claims to have run a simple Hello World program through the embedded PSP emulated on a Playstation Vita. This is rather impressive, since it means that PSP hacks might very well work turn into PS Vita hacks. Naturally, this isn’t a true Playstation Vita hack, and it has some very strict limitations. It does not allow one to actually hack a PS Vita and gain direct access to the hardware. Moreover, it leaves the door open for Sony to issue patches that would prevent fans from doing anything else with the hack.
One of the most serious issues when trying to hack a PS Vita is the fact that the PSP saved data being copied to the Vita from a PC has to go through a specific tool. This tool, called the Contents Management Assistant, could easily block any saved data that it would wish to. Copying any files to the Playstation Vita’s PSP emulator requires the use of this tool. Therefore, they will probably have to follow an extremely specific format.
Many homebrew games run from the PSP/GAME folder. Half byte loader software expects to be located in the root folder. People are now limited to the savedata folder for their storage, and this could break many hacks apart. Individual fans will probably develop tools to overcome these limitations in short order, but Sony could patch the system so that such tools become obsolete quite quickly. This might spark an endless game of cat and mouse as both sides try to develop tools that can counter the other’s ingenuity. There might be ways around the loading software after all.
The most promising thing, though, is that this Playstation Vita hack was announced only shortly after the unit actually came out. If people are already discovering that the system can be exploited, then it might mean that underground developers already have a jumpstart on everything. Some fans have said that Sony might not be able to work around this hack too much. Messing with the emulation software too much might simply render the PSP emulation mode ineffective. Of course, that isn’t to say that Sony might not simply deem the backwards compatibility officially unnecessary. That sort of thing could dampen sales though, so there is nothing to suggest that they would do it. At the moment, anything of the sort should be considered pure speculation.