22:38 25th Jun, 2012
Sony Nukes Homebrew-Enabling Game Downloads For PS Vita
But Hacker group Wololo claims it will come up with more such exploits.
Earlier this month, the PS Vita hacker collective Wololo.net claimed to have run homebrew on the device with the Vita Half Byte Loader (VHBL). The proof of concept reportedly ran the PC classic FPS Doom on the handheld console. This was achieved by harnessing an exploit found in the downloadable PSP game MotorStorm: Arctic Edge. Sony had immediately responded by pulling down the game altogether from PSN; much to the consternation of gamers who have upgraded from the PSP to the PS Vita, at the same time also lending credence to Wololo's claim.
Sony's decision is in violation of its promise to provide discounted PSN downloadable versions of PSP titles, which gamers had purchased on the proprietary UMD format. This is in itself a travesty, because that's essentially charging gamers twice for the same game. However, Sony's anti-piracy move has effectively deprived gamers from playing their PSP games on the PS Vita in absolute terms.
According to the Wololo hackers, the VHBL isn't meant to run pirated games, but homebrew titles consisting of emulated versions of very old-school games, which constitutes a legal grey area. However, Sony has exercised caution and severed all means of exploits, even if it means depriving genuine gamers of their favourite titles.
Just a few days ago the Wololo hacker group had revealed that another game available on the PSN Store, Everybody's Tennis, could also be exploited for installing the VHBL. Sony, in turn, responded by nuking the game off PSN. Unfortunately for gamers, Sony's tug-of-war with the homebrew community spells bad news. The Wololo group now claims to have created an "exploit factory" of sorts, streamlining the process of finding new exploits (PSP game downloads and such) for porting the VHBL to the PS Vita.
Let's just hope Sony doesn't kill all PSP downloadable games to stem the homebrew movement. Considering how it severed backward compatibility with PS2 titles and Linux support on the PS3, I won't be surprised if it did.
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