A few days back, a Japanese developer named Teck4 posted a picture of Hello World running on the PS Vita via the PSP Emulator. Hello World is often used as a proof of concept of homebrew on consoles due to the ease of which it can be programmed even by a complete amateur. A writer of Wololo.net got in touch with Teck4, and he got enough information to port Half Byte Loader to the Vita.
Just for references sake, a recent firmware update for the Vita does not patch this exploit.
Half Byte Loader is a tool used to run fangames and homebrew on the Sony PSP, and is simpler to work with than the Pandora battery if you don’t know about it. Anyway…
The video below shows Sonic and Knuckles running on picodrive, a PSP emulator for the Sega Genesis. Yes, a Genesis emulator running inside a PSP emulator, anyone who makes an Inception joke will be promptly shot. The 10-day hack is shown to a degree in the video below.
You can see that the sound is heavily distorted and that the framerate is slightly laggy. This is to be expected of any form of emulation, as emulating hardware is a very processor-intensive task, which is why a PSX emulator requires a PC several times stronger than the console itself. It took several months for HBL to run smoothly on the PSP, but on the Vita it only took him three days to get it to run to a very usable state sans the sound effects. The sound’s distortion is caused by sounds of one kHz value being played at another kHz value which utterly destroys the quality beyond recognition.
There are security-based issues with the PS Vita that could make this a very unreliable form of running homebrew however. For example, Sony is capable of seeing what you’re up to on the Vita with the content manager, and the manager doesn’t run if the PC client isn’t connected to the internet, and the console will not run if you’re not up to date on firmware. Even if the PS Vita is perfectly hackable, it’s not likely to persist at all without the entire BIOS of the system being rewritten from the ground up. This is perfectly possible but would be a huge feat.
I guess we just need to wait for a homebrew that circumvents those measures now, wont we?