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.

Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Mobile

Think iPhones can’t get viruses? Our expert explains why it could happen

If your iPhone has been acting strangely, then you may be concerned about the possibility it is infected with a virus or some malware. We take a look at just how likely that is and explain why iOS is considered relatively safe.
Gaming

Here's what we know about the Dark Souls developer's next game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software. Here is everything we know about the new game, including its setting and combat changes.
Gaming

Upcoming zombiefest Days Gone boasts 30-plus hours of story-driven content

Days Gone, the first PlayStation 4 title from Sony's Bend Studio, looks to offer a different type of zombie game. Here's everything we know about the forthcoming title, from the setting to its gameplay.
Gaming

Is Google launching a game-streaming service? Watch our GDC livestream to see

Google is presenting its 2019 GDC keynote on March 19. Here is how you can tune in to watch the event, as well as what could be shown during the presentation. Google's Project Stream service could be on the agenda.
Gaming

Need to perform a factory reset on your Xbox One console? Here's how to do it

Whether you're upgrading to a One X and giving your old console to a friend, or troubleshooting a technical issue, sometimes your Xbox One needs a clean slate. Here's our quick guide on how to factory reset an Xbox One.
Gaming

New character Octane makes an entrance with the first Apex Legends Battle Pass

Apex Legends' first season kicks off March 19 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The Battle Pass comes in two versions, with the base version costing around 10 bucks. Seasonal rewards include a bevy of new loot such as legendary skins.
Computing

The Unevn One is a portable desk that brings PC gaming on the road

Bringing a gaming PC outside your usual setup can be a challenge, but the Unevn One is the first all-in-one, portable gaming desk complete with a computer chassis and integrated monitor mount.
Gaming

How to get the most out of agent builds and specializations in The Division 2

The Division 2 has an intricate loot system to let you fine tune your agent to fit your play style. In our builds and specializations guide, we'll walk you through all of the stats you should pay attention to when tinkering with gear.
Gaming

Transport your Nintendo Switch in style with these nifty cases

The Nintendo Switch, which boasts both wired and handheld modes, needs a good case to ensure it doesn't get beat up while you're on the go. We scoured through dozens of Switch cases to bring you the best ones.
Gaming

Here's how you can control your PS4 right from your phone

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.
Gaming

Here's our guide on how to progress through The Division 2 endgame

Your mission as an agent doesn't end after taking out the three main factions in The Division 2. The endgame brings the Black Tusks, a dangerous new faction, to D.C. Our endgame guide will help you on your quest for the best loot.