Simple PS Vita homebrew exploit gives access to hobbyist-created games, apps

ps vita hacked to enable homebrew support playstation tv vitahack header
PlayStation Vita owners now have access to a suite of hobbyist-created games and apps thanks to a recently discovered exploit that enables support for homebrew software. The hack is also compatible with Sony’s PlayStation TV, greatly expanding the device’s catalog of compatible games.

Describing itself as “akin to jailbreaking your iPhone or rooting your Android device,” HENkaku is a simple homebrew exploit for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV devices. In its current state, the exploit is surprisingly easy to use — players simply need to visit the HENkaku website via the PlayStation TV or PS Vita’s web browser, then click an “install” button to enable homebrew software support for their console.

HENkaku requires 10MB of free space on a PlayStation Vita memory card, and users must also have access to a PC running an FTP client in order to transfer software over to the portable console. Unlike similar hacks for Sony’s PlayStation Portable, HENkaku requires no custom firmware, and is compatible with the PS Vita’s latest Sony-issued system software.

The exploit has its drawbacks, however. HENkaku support for the PlayStation Vita is automatically disabled when the device is powered off, requiring players to re-enable it via the software maker’s website. HENkaku also requires Vita firmware version 3.60; it’s likely that Sony will issue updates in the coming weeks to address the console’s recently discovered exploits.

“It is important that you never update your Vita past 3.60 if you ever wish to use HENkaku now or in the future,” creator Team Molecule explains. “If you do update, all your installed homebrew will no longer work and you cannot install any homebrew in the future.”

HENkaku’s creators also emphasize that the exploit can’t be used to play pirated PS Vita games. The hack does not bypass Sony’s DRM restrictions, and players need to own legitimate physical or digital copies of Vita games in order to play them, regardless of whether HENkaku is installed.

Despite its limitations, however, HENkaku stands to benefit longtime fans of Sony’s all-but-abandoned portable console. The exploit enables support for emulators originally coded for the PlayStation Portable, giving users access to complete software libraries for the Super NES, Game Boy Advance, and Sega Genesis, among other supported legacy consoles.

PlayStation TV owners will also want to give HENkaku a shot if they own any Vita games that aren’t compatible with the device. PlayStation TV support is an option that normally requires software updates and Sony licensing, rendering many early Vita games incompatible with the microconsole. HENkaku removes these restrictions, effectively making nearly all PS Vita games compatible with the PlayStation TV.


New Xbox consoles are reportedly code-named ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Lockhart’

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox plans reportedly consist of two separate consoles. One, called "Lockhart," is a more affordable machine, while "Anaconda" is designed with more horsepower.

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu? We’ve got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.

‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.

‘Fortnite’ update 7.10 brings a rotating selection of modes big and small

The latest update for Fortnite introduces 14 Days of Fortnite, an event that brings back large and small battle royale modes as well as brand new ones to enjoy during the holiday season.

Who needs a Switch? These 25 games prove there's fun to be found on 3DS

The 3DS is home to a large library, including some of the greatest games Nintendo has ever published. We've compiled this list of some of the best Nintendo 3DS games currently available.

Gifting a PS4? Avoid long updates and start gaming right away with our guide

The PlayStation 4 makes a great Christmas gift, but there are quite a few things you need to do before you can play. Here's how you can prepare a PlayStation 4 for gifting in advance.