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PS Vita and PS TV finally hacked, can now run homebrew software

by Ron Duwell | August 1, 2016August 1, 2016 1:00 pm PST

It took a while, but Sony’s PS Vita handheld has finally been hacked, allowing an entirely new generation of homebrew software to make its way to the handheld market. No doubt, the Vita is going to start getting more unofficial support from the homebrew scene than it has official support from Sony in recent years.

The hack can be downloaded through a dedicated website in the Vita’s browser, and users must be updated to the most recent 3.6 firmware for it to work. After that, the installation process is very simple.

The new HENkaku hack opens many doors for the PS Vita. It allows all games to be played on the PS TV and not just specific ones like before, including some of Sony’s most popular titles like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Ratchet & Clank Collection, and Ys: Memories of Celceta.

Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, NES, Super Nintendo, SEGA Genesis, and NEO-GEO emulators are now available for play, but a good many of them are still early in development. PSP-emulation is available as well, allowing all of the PSP’s homebrew software to be playable. Of course, DOOM and Quake are already up and running because what’s easier to port than DOOM and Quake these days?

And no, the hack does not allow for the piracy of Vita games, so don’t even try it.

We are all developers by trade and we understand the problem of piracy that usually arises from breaking the security features of a device. The usual response from hackers is “not our problem” but we believe we can do better. We carefully designed HENkaku to be as permissive as possible for developers to write homebrew supporting private APIs and the option to bypass sandboxes. However, we also made sure to make it as difficult as possible to repurpose our tools to enable piracy. While piracy is always inevitable, we will not make it easy.

Go ahead and give it a try. Someone call me when I can play I play SaGa Frontier or Brave Fencer Musashi on a Vita, whether legitimately through Square Enix or through homebrew software, whichever comes first.

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...