Hacker-friendly PSP games return to the Vita

hacker friendly psp games return to the vita vitahack

Throughout the lifespan of the PSP, Sony was forced to wage an unending war with hackers. Almost from the moment it launched, users were finding exploits that allowed them to force the machine to do all kinds of things Sony never intended. Most prominently, to run ROM files of classic games, lending the handheld an unpublicized reputation as the gaming device of choice for those who wanted to enjoy Super Nintendo games on the go. Though this did boost the PSP’s popularity, Sony adamantly opposed the nascent hacker community it had inadvertently spawned, and continually released patches to plug holes in the system’s various vulnerabilities.

Thus, when it came time to build a new handheld, Sony pulled out all the stops to prevent hackers from gaining a foothold on the Vita. From the system’s omnipresent online connectivity to the automatic updates pushed to both games and the system itself, Sony is ruling the handheld with an iron fist.

Of course, one can never truly stop a determined hacker, and recently the hacking community discovered vulnerabilities in two downloadable PSP titles (MotorStorm: Arctic Edge and Hot Shots Tennis: Get A Grip) that allowed users to force the Vita to run unsigned code. Proof of concept exists as this video of hacker-favorite PC shooter DOOM running on a Vita.

Sony immediately pulled both PSP titles from the PlayStation Network Store until it could patch the flaws. As of yesterday, both titles have returned to the Store and the Vita has received a new firmware update (1.67 for those keep score at home) that purportedly removes the exploitable code contained in each.

As we said before however, you just can’t keep a good hacker down. In response to Sony’s new firmware, the Vita hacking community at Wololo.net (the people responsible for the above-pictured hack) have released a new video of DOOM running on the handheld, only this footage comes from a Vita running the new 1.67 firmware. The hackers claim to have found another game that allows them to exploit the Vita, but for the moment they’re keeping the specifics of this particular hack to themselves.

Regardless of your opinion on this kind of hacking, this episode highlights the fact that Sony is unable to escape the grasp of users who will go to great lengths to co-opt the company’s latest gaming machines. While it would seem reasonable for the company to simply turn a blind eye and enjoy the added functionality these hackers add to the Vita, Sony, as a multi-national media and electronics conglomerate, just can’t abide by anything that reeks of IP infringement or unintended electronics usage. Sony has to fight back against these kinds of efforts, even if doing so is as pointless as that time Sisyphus tried to push a rock up a hill.


Is your PC safe? Foreshadow is the security flaw Intel should have predicted

Three new processor vulnerabilities have appeared under the 'Foreshadow' banner. They're similar in nature to Meltdown and Spectre, only they steal data from different memory spaces. Here's everything you need to know.

The N64 was an all-star console with a line-up of all-star games. These were the best.

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.

Want to play SNES classics on your PC? These emulators make it easy

Emulation can be a tricky subject to nail, especially when you don't know where to begin, but you can explore your favorite Super Nintendo classics from the comfort of your home with our guide to the best SNES emulators currently available.
Emerging Tech

Police body cams are scarily easy to hack into and manipulate, researcher finds

Nuix cybersecurity expert Josh Mitchell has demonstrated how it is possible to hack into and potentially manipulate footage from police body cams. The really scary part? It's shockingly easy.

Blazer5 Gaming has dominated the NBA 2K League. Now they prepare for the playoffs

We spoke with Blazer5 Gaming, the NBA 2K team that currently tops the professional 2K League, about their journeys to playing the basketball sim for a living. We also played a little game of overrated or underrated with NBA 2K19's ratings.

Blizzard wants to see Diablo characters join fray in ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

With Diablo 3 coming to Switch later this year, is it possible that we could see Blizzard characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate down the line? Blizzard would very much like to see Diablo characters in the Nintendo brawler.

Blizzard changes its tune, says ‘Overwatch’ could run on Nintendo Switch

Blizzard's hugely popular multiplayer shooter Overwatch isn't available on Nintendo Switch, but one of the studio's senior producers says that it could technically run on the hybrid console.

‘Warframe’ adds a trio of minigames, including a 2D fighting experience

Digital Extremes has added a new 2D fighting mini-game to Warframe, its free-to-play science fiction title. The game can be unlocked by using the Standing resource and features a surprising amount of depth.

New 'Fortnite' challenge is among the most difficult yet, but we know the solution

Where are the Stone Heads looking? That's the challenge posed by Fortnite's sixth week of season five. It's an easy challenge in concept, but difficult to manage in execution. If you don't want a hassle, no sweat. We've found the solution.

The PlayStation 5 rumors are heating up, and the console may arrive by 2020

Recent rumors suggest the launch of the PlayStation 5 is closer than you might expect. Predictions range from 2018 to 2021, and some reports are already making definitive claims about the hardware.

Federal judge puts the brakes on ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ mod that allowed cheats

The GTA series brought us the lawlessness of Los Santos, but U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton handed down an injunction against David Zipperer of Georgia, maker of the Menyoo and Absolute mods.
Home Theater

They’re not just for gaming: Watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X

While the Xbox One S and Xbox One X boost the visuals of your games, they also can pull double-duty as Blu-ray players, but there's a bit of set up needed. Need help? Here's our guide on how to watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and X.
Product Review

'Battle for Azeroth' lets you play Warcraft without canceling evening plans

‘Battle for Azeroth’ promises to put you in the middle of a new war between the Alliance and Horde. The plot too quickly unravels into dull fetch quests, but the game’s variety keeps you itching to log in it even as the story…

Relive the glory days of arcade games with hot deals on Arcade1Up cabinets

Looking for a way to enjoy classic arcade games the right way? The new Arcade1Up machines have you covered. They're surprisingly affordable, too, with an MSRP of $400, but if you pre-order now, you can score one for only $300.