Despite us being super clear about what VHBL is and what it is not, I constantly get questions about it, in particular about the upcoming port that we plan to release for Vita’s firmware 1.80.
Those of you who have been following this website for several months will probably think that I repeat the same things over and over again, but we get new people on a regular basis… and if your friends ask you about VHBL, you can send them to this post. Also, I’ll summarize here the lists of compatible/incompatible homebrews that we have tested so far (many thanks to our beta tester).
1. What is VHBL?
VHBL, a.k.a. Vita Half Byte Loader, is a homebrew loader for the Playstation Vita. It runs through a hack in some specific PSP game (yet to be announced) in the Vita’s PSP emulator. More specifically, it allows you to run PSP homebrews on the PS Vita, including a range of popular emulators.
2. This is great. Where do I get this?
Because the whole thing relies on an exploit in a specific PSP Game, we will announce the exploit through one of our Ninja Releases. Basically, we progressively announce the name of the game to the people we trust (members of our forum on /talk) in order to minimize the risk of a leak. We do this because in the past, Sony has been extremely fast to remove the exploited games from their store, preventing people from “buying” the entry point to running VHBL.
3. So, unless I refresh your website’s homepage every 5 minutes, I won’t Get it in time?
No, members of our forums will all have a chance at getting the release a few days in advance. It’s still time for you to join.
4. Why don’t you find an exploit in a UMD rather than a PSN game, that would be much more convenient for me…
UMDs don’t run on the PS Vita
5. Then why not a PS Vita cartridge?
We don’t have the knowledge to exploit PS Vita games.
6. Will this allow me to run PSP or PS Vita isos?
Short answer, no.
Long answer: This will definitely not let you play PS Vita games for free. As far as PSP isos are concerned, the tools we distribute here will not enable iso loading directly, and as far as I know no tool has ever been made available to run pirated games on VHBL. That being said, the game exploit we rely on could be leveraged in the future to access more functions in the PSP emulator.
7. I read on [insert here the name of any gaming website] that piracy kills a console. Aren’t you guys ashamed of ruining the PS Vita?
Read this whole article and make your judgement again. People who pretend that VHBL will bring piracy to the Vita, and even worse, ruin the console for everyone, have actually no clue what VHBL does and what its limitations are. VHBL has been around for 3 years now, and was never the vector of PSP or Vita piracy.
8. Painful release process, and no iso support, so what’s the point?
If you’re asking this question, you are probably not the targeted audience for VHBL. Our release is for people who want to enjoy old school games and emulators on the best portable device out there.
9. The emulator for [insert here the name of your favorite console] is super slow on the PSP. But because this runs on the vita, it will run better, right?
No. VHBL runs inside the PSP emulator, and has the same limitation as a PSP
10. The PSP did not have an emulator for PS2 or Dreamcast, does this bring more chances at seeing such emulators on the Vita?
No. read the paragraph above
11. Does this give us access to the touch pads and the 2 analog nubs?
Touch pads: no. Analog nubs: yes, indirectly. The left nub can be used, the same way the PSP had a left nub. The right nub can be configured and mapped, for example, to one of the 2 digital pads. This is not real analog, but it makes some FPS homebrews much more playable on the Vita than they were on the PSP
12. I have [Motorstorm Arctic Edge / Everybody's Tennis / Super Collapse 3] on my Vita. I tried to install VHBL but it says my data is “corrupted”. What does this mean?
There’s a reason we do “new” releases of VHBL regularly. The Motorstorm exploit and the Everybody’s Tennis exploit only run on Vita firmware 1.61. The Super Collapse exploit only runs on Vita firmware 1.67. If you have firmware 1.69, don’t even try to run VHBL for now, you will have to wait for this upcoming release.
13. How do I install VHBL and homebrews on my Vita?
All of this will be explained on the download page when VHBL is made available. And if you have more questions, our community at /talk will be more than happy to help you.
14. So.. what games are compatible?
Check The second part of this article for a summary of compatible homebrews so far.
The next release of VHBL is scheduled for “sometime after Vita firmware 1.80 is released”. The exact release date will of course depend on many factors, and in particular, the schedule assumes VHBL actually runs fine on 1.80. I cannot predict if/when VHBL will be definitely patched by Sony. Sony’s 1.80 firmware will be released on August 28th