PS Vita exploit discovered by hacker. Can pirates be stopped from plaguing Vita like they did on PSP?

half byte loader vita

“Vita is bridging a gap between the PS3 and the PSP, not only from Sony’s point of view, but also because hackers from both the PS3 and the PSP are interested in the new device,” Half-Byte Loader creator Wololo told us back in April, “For now there, there is no Vita homebrew, just PSP homebrew made compatible with Vita. People are excited to try and use the full power of the Vita though, but that hasn’t happened yet.” Sony’s reprieve is over, though. As of Thursday, the PlayStation Vita has been hacked. The homebrew is on its way, but will Sony’s aggressive anti-piracy measures stop basement tinkerers just as they’re getting started?

Yifan Lu, a capable hacker that’s built tools for jailbreaking Amazon’s Kindle as well as Sony’s first PlayStation certified smartphone the Xperia Play, discovered an exploit in the PlayStation Vita that could be used to make the device’s first homebrew loader—a tool for launching unsigned applications like homemade games, apps, and, yes, pirated games.

Eurogamer reported on Thursday that work on that first loader, the Userland Vita Loader, has started up at github. Userland is “based heavily” on Wololo’s Half-Byte Loader for PSP.

Back in April, a couple of PSP games available in the Vita’s PSN Store could be exploited to launch Half-Byte Loader so at least PSP homebrew software was running on Vita. Sony immediately removed Everybody’s Tennis and Motorostorm: Arctic Edge from its storefront in Japan and the US to block even PSP homebrew from its platform.

Sony’s great fear of course is piracy. Software pirates savaged publishers that supported the PSP. Dissidia: Final Fantasy for example was downloaded illegally an estimated 5.2 million times during its first year on shelves. Publisher support for Vita is already so weak, that Sony is naturally paranoid that this handheld will suffer the same fate as PSP.

Indie developer Wolfgame confronted Yifan Lu on Twitter saying that the exploit he’s discovered is an “open door… for people who want to destroy us.” Lu responded, “I apologize, but what can I about what others may possible do in the future?” That’s a familiar response from hackers when they’re hassled by the makers of software and hardware that don’t want their goods tinkered with.

What else can they say though? People are naturally inclined to tinker with gadgets for no other reason than the joy of it. “Jailbreaking” a device to run homebrew software is also perfectly legal according to the US government. It’s the responsibility of users not to steal things.

Gaming

PlayStation Classic powered by open-source emulator made by fans

The PlayStation Classic will be powered by the open-source, fan-made PCSX ReARMed emulator. The move is an unexpected one for Sony, particularly because it has not entirely been friendly with the emulation community.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Home Theater

PlayStation Vue adds more local channels, bringing the total to over 600

PlayStation Vue is Sony's answer to live TV without the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription. To help you understand the service, its plans, and numerous features, we've created this handy guide.
Deals

The best cheap-but-awesome PS4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for November 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles as well as bundles that feature games like Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Gaming

Got an NES Classic? Here’s how to hack it to play more than 700 games

The NES Classic is terrific for what it is, but Nintendo's discontinued device remains limited in what it can play. Here's how to hack your miniature console and render it compatible with more than 700 games.
Gaming

‘Fallout 76’ day one patch is 52 GB, bigger than the 45 GB game

Fallout 76 is a 45 GB download, but its day one patch is even bigger at a hefty 52 GB. The contents of the patch remain unknown, but it will likely incorporate feedback from the game's beta testers.
Gaming

Fired Treyarch tester spills ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies’ secrets

A former Treyarch employee revealed numerous Call of Duty: Blacks Ops 4 Zombies secrets. Among the unraveled mysteries were the Viking Boat puzzle in IX and the purpose of the Engine Room valves in Voyage of Despair.
Mobile

Get your gaming on the go with this list of the 25 best Android games

The Google Play Store is loaded with both terrific and terrible gaming titles. We vetted the store to bring you some of the best Android games available, whether you're into puzzles, shooters, racing games, or something else.
Gaming

Sony could be working on a screen-equipped PlayStation controller

A patent recently granted to Sony seems to point to the company creating a controller with a touchscreen. The patent was filed in 2017 and granted in October 2018, which could mean it is planned for the next PlayStation.
Gaming

Xbox gaming chief has sights set on improving Microsoft Store experience

Xbox chief Phil Spencer acknowledged that the Microsoft Store still has a ways to go to become a solid platform for PC gamers. Microsoft promised to work toward improving the frequently buggy experience with gamers in mind.
Gaming

The plug-and-play PC Classic joins the retro console bandwagon

Gaming company Unit-e is creating the PC Classic, a plug-and-play retro console that will come bundled with around 30 of the best DOS games. The system will support gamepads and keyboard setups.
Gaming

Everyone’s favorite Pokémon turns gumshoe in ‘Detective Pikachu’ trailer

The first Detective Pikachu trailer has arrived, and it looks like a video game movie could actually be good? Voiced by Ryan Reynolds, Pikachu is undeniably cute in what is shaping up to be a family-friendly buddy comedy.
Gaming

Here are the best Black Friday deals you can get for Xbox One, PS4, and Switch

If you're in the market for a new video game console, there's no better time to pick one up than Black Friday. These are the best video game console deals for Black Friday 2018, including PS4, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.