The Possibilities Behind the Vita’s Only Publicly Available PSP Emulator Kernel Exploit

Over the past few week or so the PlayStation Vita scene has changed drastically. We’ve seen the leaked work of former developer, Coldbird, and the released work that is TN-A, a HEN equivalent for the Vita’s PSP emulator, but what really can we do with a sand-boxed PSP emulator kernel exploit. In it’s most basic form, the recently released HEN allows homebrew, plugins, and PSP UMD backups to be run, but what really is the purpose of a kernel exploit? After all, it’s not all that common as you would think.

Many of you who are long time members of wololo.net recall the past 9 months of vHBL releases, and possibly even before the PlayStation Vita, back to the original PSP 1000, 2000, and 3000 series. The constant cat and mouse game of exploits and updates has been going on for nearly 7 years, beginning with the launch firmware on the PSP 1000. In this time period, nothing has really changed. A usermode exploit allows for homebrew, created with the SDK, to be run, as well as other unsigned code. Furthermore, escalating higher than just usermode, we have the kernel mode exploit we are presented with today.

A kernelspace exploit allows for anyone to have access to the flash0 of the PSP, or in the case of the Vita, the sandboxed flash0, memory. This allows for custom firmware to be created and deployed, homebrew to be run, PSP UMD backups to be played, cheats to be used, themes to be changed, plugins to be installed, and so on. A kernel exploit in it’s highest form is one of the best forms of access to any given console. Once you have the kernel exploited, you can do pretty much anything.

How about in the case of the Vita, how far is too far? Sure, we’ve all seen Davee play ISO’s back on the Vita in March, and “Tony” play PS1 games in the same fashion, but what really can be done? The answer lies in the form of the PSP 1000. You see, Sony decided that it would be best to effectively emulate the PSP 1000 in terms of software and ram, inside of the Vita’s own user interface. The PSP emulator on the Vita is launched with any game that you have downloaded from PSN or transferred from your PS3. When the game is launched, the PSP is technically being emulated, such as it would if it was running in an emulator on your computer. Emulators have been around for years, this is no different.

By not having to allow a lot of ram to the PSP emulator, the Vita can continue to process everything it needs to in the background. This is good for the average user, but perhaps not so much for the developer.

I write this article purely on theory at this point, as I have to wait until Tuesday like the rest of you to get my hands on a kernelspace exploit, but I have come to an understanding of what really can be done inside of this sandbox Sony has lent us.

Perhaps the ram allowed for the emulator isn’t enough, but what I do know is that the entire system’s firmware is present, this is evident in the flash dump we had quite some time ago.

With all of the required files in place, I strongly believe that the PSP emulator inside of the Vita can be used in the same way a PSP you buy can be used. This means all the things you’ve grown to love as an original PlayStation Portable user, and everything mentioned above. Whether it be the Cross Media Bar (XMB) or anything else under the sun, I’m willing to bet we will at some point see it in the emulator on the Vita.

You might be asking yourself, does this mean we could see a full fledged PSP customer firmware running inside of the Vita’s PSP emulator? The simple answer to that very detailed question is fortunately a solid, yes.

Just as the PSP 1000 has it’s fair share of CFW, I believe the Vita will too inside it’s PSP environment.

Think about this. What if you were able to launch any PlayStation Portable game from PSN and be presented with the XMB you remember from the PSP’s golden days? From here you could watch movies or play games, and even homebrew. All this could very soon be possible.

Simply by having this one kernel exploit, and the many games that can be exploited to launch it (read: Monster Hunter, Urbanix) we have a whole world of opportunities.

As we approach what is soon to be another update, by definition of the cat and mouse game between Sony and us developers, I urge you not to update to whatever the newer firmware may be (be it 1.82 or 1.9) no matter the cost, as the only publicly available kernel exploit will be gone, forever.

Participate in the upcoming HEN release of TN-B and be involved in the ninja release by signing up for the /talk forums right here on Wololo.net, and get ready for an exciting future with the days that are to come.

Don’t let the opportunity pass you up this time, get involved.

 

 

  1. senas8’s avatar

    So it began. :D

    Reply

  2. vcb04’s avatar

    First, lol But seriously…speaking of anythig running in sandboxed psp, has anyone got pmpplayer to work, or even tried?

    Reply

    1. Telgar’s avatar

      I would imagine when this release finally comes out and people start focusing on the possibilities and not the releases, then we will start to finally find out the full extent and power of the sandboxed psp. If all we know the cpu could be throttled in the sandbox, or there could be ways to juice it up past the psp’s old limits. Same with other aspects of system resources. Only time will tell.

      Reply

  3. Rafael707’s avatar

    Long live hbl xD

    Reply

  4. thecoldest1’s avatar

    That would be very cool to use full capacity of the psp onto the vita

    Reply

  5. C_4evaspeaks’s avatar

    Well put!I thought of it as it was when the very first psp was released and the dev scene was forming.Now that it is formed and growing it’ll be sooner than later to have all the benefits we once had on the first portable sony gaming system.

    Reply

  6. Betwene’s avatar

    Before we get some real ps vita games, we can enjoy the psp games for a while. That is my point.

    Reply

  7. senas8’s avatar

    The XMB would be by far the greatest.

    Reply

  8. Omar’s avatar

    HBL will never die!, Believe it! l XD

    Reply

  9. janbee’s avatar

    What if sony focre us to update firmware tonite? then most of us cant download the game on tue , waaaa thats a bummer >_<

    Reply

  10. yu8hai’s avatar

    wo…..how a amazing news from you guys. bring back the golden memory we have on pap 1000 since several years ago.. good job.

    Reply

  11. Abdou007’s avatar

    Is it possible to get faille to access to the psvita ram through the emulated psp ram ??

    Reply

  12. flynn’s avatar

    Whaouuu!

    Actuellement détenteur de la faille monster hunter(merci wololo) est il conseillé de passer sur la nouvelle faille prévu demain ? Sera t il plus simple d’utilisation ?
    Merci.

    Reply

  13. qwikrazor87’s avatar

    I’ve looked into the Vita’s PSP emu flash files and noticed that there was quite a few *.prx and *.rco files missing, mainly for the VSH.

    Reply

  14. Vitality77’s avatar

    I was just wondering ……

    Which PSP (1000) firmware is Sony emulating in the Vita ?
    It’s not 1.50, is it?

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      6.60 with a few additional security fixes

      Reply

      1. Vitality77’s avatar

        Ah ok ….. thanks for your extremely fast reply ;-)

        Keep up the good work :thumbsup:

        Reply

  15. tonyuk73’s avatar

    Nice read.thanks :-)

    Reply

  16. Rac’s avatar

    hi what is wrong when i click on the activation link i have this

    Information
    The requested user does not exist.

    what should i do??

    Reply

  17. Six’s avatar

    Man o man I can’t wait!!!

    Reply

  18. SofaKing™’s avatar

    thank you again for this hard work,got SC3, didnt want to spend $20 on MH , missed urbanx (excecpt on EU accnt, as it was a free game a few months back) and thank you for this, i have tried with pssuite to make RADIO PLAYER from psp to vita but to no avail, i miss my SDHOUTCAST and urge someone to try to port it over . thank you all

    Reply

  19. Chaosruler’s avatar

    I bought the Vita solely for the purpose of Persona 4 Golden..
    since I won’t be able to get a physical copy of it I will have to get it via PSN, which requires me to update… therefore I am out of the league of keeping the kernel exploit in the near future (20th of November).. but I do understand the amazing work of this exploit, I just don’t understand how you can sign an XMB via Urbanix’s kernel exploit (or any kernel exploit), it will still be up to loading a save file to load the exploited security, the XMB will be more of a loaded menu to that exploit than the real XMB which we really liked

    Reply

  20. BuZz’s avatar

    Cant Wait………. Very exited

    Reply

  21. BuZz’s avatar

    Cant Wait Very exited

    Reply

  22. osamatyan’s avatar

    salut wololo ,
    je ne veut pas etre rabajoie mais c’est certe une excellente avancee ce kernel exploit pour l’emulateur de la psp mais qu’en es-t-il d’un hack de la vita elle meme , apres tout pour 99 euro on peut tres bien avoir une psp street avec un full hack . la question est pourquoi s’obstiner a hacker l’emulateur de la psp sur la vita si celui ci n’aurais pas de suites vers un hack de la vita ?.

    Reply

  23. shades’s avatar

    Can’t wait to see what else is to come, SUPEr exited for the XMB to be ported :D

    Reply

  24. natsu’s avatar

    that is why i am desperate to have a psn card… but the problem is, i can’t because its not available here in my town… grr.. even game retailers here dont have it.. and second, its exams week….

    so if anyone has a kind soul to help.. i would really appreciate it… even just the smallest amount available which is $10,..

    if i don’t get the chance to get this game this time and sony puts a firmware update, i just hope that we see more developments after this kernel exploit is patched…

    this coming semester break, i wanna try looking for exploits.. :)

    Reply

    1. natsu’s avatar

      contact me @ mystogun.jellal@gmail.com.. and i will do anything for you.. even clean your house.. lol… just kidding..

      Reply

  25. solala’s avatar

    welll this is nice and all but the basic thought is why schould i do it on such a much more expensive device when i can have all of this much cheaper …

    the scene will get intresting once full vita acces is possible with alll its aspects(yes this includes a real iso loader)

    Reply

    1. Gadorach’s avatar

      Don’t get me wrong with this, as I personally don’t promote piracy for any device but those that are discontinued, but as the PSVita has cartridges rather than disks/enclosed disks for titles, would it not be more proper to call any rips “ROMs”, instead of “ISOs”? Therefore, it would be a full “ROM” loader, not an “ISO” loader.
      Just my two cents. ;)

      Reply

      1. solala’s avatar

        touche,
        thanks for correcting me and also for not not starting a “piracy kills the vita” comment

        Reply

  26. V’s avatar

    Wololo, I’m a newbie and still extremely new to the Vita.. so far emulation of a PSP is still not perfect, are we saying that we can now somehow get the full potential “PSP” & “PS Vita” emulation created? (is this question even legal)

    Reply

    1. MacksG’s avatar

      Freedom of speech my man. But what he’s saying is this will open your Vita open to Any and all options that come out. (because most work will be using this most likely)

      The vita Will probably be openned up before the end of the world (Mayan calender harhar) Have faith these Devs Are Geniuses.

      Reply

  27. Mr.Dave’s avatar

    I’ve been waiting for Ragnorok Odessy for months now. Here’s hoping they stay on 1.81

    Reply

    1. MacksG’s avatar

      Agreeeddddd I’ve had that poop on preorder for months! STUPID PUSH BACKS!

      Reply

  28. francis’s avatar

    yes!! finally ill wait for ninja! soooooo excited…. wanna use my psvita 1.81. flexibly! i havnt got the urbanix and monster hunter..better these new “ninja”.. see you soon..harigatu!

    Reply

  29. Thecobra’s avatar

    wololo, sorry to inform but not EVERYTHING is there from psp side. for example the USB storage driver is not there but the USB system is there so theory indicated that we can make our own version of it and implemented it. I am sure there more stuff like so ;)

    Reply

    1. MacksG’s avatar

      Cobraaa :D i was wondering if we’d be able to implement our own flash0 and flash1 files to make the XMB exsist, like this and other “MUSIC” ideas ;) or is that just making it sound easy? lol

      Reply

      1. Thecobra’s avatar

        in theory, it possible but it take a lot of work and patching for it work. I don’t think a lot of developer would waste their time on it unless they really want to

        Reply

  30. Z3N’s avatar

    Brilliant, just brilliant! I got the new exploit game thanks to Wololo and enjoying playing FIFA online until this exploit is released and Sony releases an update. I was on the 1.80 MHFU exploit but I figured I should update while I can.

    One question, does having kernel access in this exploit allow us to use more RAM for emulators? I am basically asking if Daedalus64 will work better. Great work everyone!

    Reply

    1. GBOT’s avatar

      I think it’s more about processor speed than RAM..

      Reply

  31. gonolo’s avatar

    this is great.
    but are there any news about a team working on hacking ps vita games? i don’t care about online gaming, i just wanna play ps vita backups!

    Reply

    1. MacksG’s avatar

      Why? I;d like to be able to use the ones i own (EX; the gamecarts) and play them without a card in the system, but thats it. i buy and sometimes import games i like. so why want Vita backups..? .. i’d rather have freeroam to use the vita as a tablet / computeing system to help at schools or in offices.. not just as games. but as a tool :)

      Reply

  32. eric264’s avatar

    The logical move here for any PS Vita enthusiast is to just suck it up and buy another Vita. That way you’ll have a way to play legit releases, keep supporting developers, play online, etc, while still being able to stay on the cutting edge of the homebrew scene at the same time. You’ll also be helping out the Vita community by doing your part to increase Vita sales.
    It’s expensive, but I’m willing to do it to show my continuing support for both sides of the fence.

    Reply

    1. Sorun’s avatar

      My thoughts exactly, take a look at craigslist and you can find used Vita 3G’s for only $200 with games. So many people are giving up on there Vita’s it’s the perfect time to buy used.

      Reply

      1. MacksG’s avatar

        OR Get the white One from gamestop with new assasins creed; and hack this one you currently own :D (my game plan)

        Reply

  33. jamesssss’s avatar

    Was looking at VGZ charts and noticed that the Vita in the last 7 days was up by about 20% globally, I wonder if that might be due to the CFW? I know I nearly sold mine to just go back to my PSP as it was annoying me but now I am happy :)

    If you look week on week apart from the launch of Project Diva F (that sold nearly twice as many Vita’s in Japan in a week than the rest of the planet for that week) the Vita has not had a boost like that since its decline post launch.

    Will be interesting to see this weeks as well to see if this trend has continued.

    Reply

  34. b2p1mp’s avatar

    Wololo can you speculate whether UMD video backups will get support? If you have no clue that is fine, if you have a definite NO because of certain hardware issues then I would love to know. I know that they started allowing a file to be mounted as a UMD file and it would appear on the XMB like you placed the UMD disc into the system. At first it required a working UMD drive and 1 UMD video in the drive. They unlocked it so that NO UMD drive was needed as well as not needing a real UMD in the drive. This would be a nice feature since I own so many real UMD of Videos.

    Reply

  35. james way’s avatar

    so to get this straight, it’s a psp kernel exploit we have, not a vita one right?

    Reply

    1. chingon’s avatar

      RIGHT.

      Reply

  36. Mr MaGoo’s avatar

    Ok, I am curious whether to update to 1.81 and wait fir tomorrow for the kernel exploit or will I have the same access with urbanix? I am currently on 1.80 with monster hunter and urbanix

    Reply

    1. chingon’s avatar

      UPDATE ASAP and waight for the game tomorrow…

      Reply

      1. Mr MaGoo’s avatar

        After going over several posts and making sure I was doing the right thing by updating, I realized that urbanix is a user and this is a kernel. Huge difference. Once I made that awareness, lets just say I wasted no time getting ready to download it. I think there may be a problem with the upcoming release and Charles proxy. I have a feeling that it will not recognize the game and therefore will be forced to update to download from the store. Read into it…

        Reply

  37. Charls’s avatar

    i know a little bit about c++, visual basic and its hard make simple programs to me, i wish you luck guys you make a great job doing this for us.

    Reply

  38. cvs2fan’s avatar

    it is really nice to have a ps vita homebrew scene to start growing … unfortunately as a ps vita owner and as everybody knows ps vita developers ad sony offers nothing but useless patches … patching the trick for saving youtube videos was the worst .. it was not even a hack it was an script trick for java … so i will say it once … only and pardon my french but FUCK SONY!!!!!! …

    Reply

  39. jok3r0314’s avatar

    how do i know if open cma installed correctly i dont want anything to jepordize my chance at this exploit

    Reply

    1. thecoldest1’s avatar

      Don’t worry if you don’t install open cma correctly nothing bad will happen but how to check if you installed it wright is if you can open cma without being connected to the internet.

      Reply

  40. MacksG’s avatar

    So Personally; i’m Glad we have just the PSP . I’d really like to see a plugin or Homebrew made to remoteplay SEEMLESSLY WITHOUT LAG from ps3. Without restrictions; because i want it to be seen as a psp (running HB or Plugin) but be able to run using both Analog sticks..or even the touchBack as R2 and L2 (changable settings) Not to much to wish for eh?

    Reply

  41. lol’s avatar

    still, wouldnt sony have signed up for the ninja releases long ago?

    Reply

  42. 0ver4ual’s avatar

    If we pull some files using PSPFiler, like, a BUNCH of files, and compare them as what they were before they were encrypted with CMA, then after, what do you think the odds are we could crack the encryption? Then eventually make something that actually mounts the Vita like the PSP did, while still making the CMA on the Vita think it’s trading data with CMA. I think that would be crazy useful. Then we wouldn’t have to overwrite the save data for our exploited game of choice

    Reply

    1. wololo’s avatar

      What you suggest is impossible. Read a bit about how encryption work, good encryption algorithms are especially designed to not be vulnerable to that type of “brute force” comparison.

      Reply

      1. 0ver4ual’s avatar

        That’s too bad. I guess I should have known it wasn’t possible after vHBL had been out for so long and it wasn’t suggested previously. Anyway, thanks for your (and your team’s (Not to forget TN)) hard work. If I have anymore questions or ideas, I’ll pop in here. If we’re lucky, we’ll see full out CFW :)

        Reply

  43. Mateogodlike’s avatar

    Now all we need is a dump program to dump the PSVita game cards and ill be set.

    Reply

  44. Andre’s avatar

    Wololo, sorry if this is a bad answer, but stop to show the exploited games even in ninja releases or leaks, see how much person would like to have cfe tn cfw in their psvitas and tell then to send to you (by email), and to other persons that you know who don’t will tell to everyone about the exploited game, to send their psn accounts (off course with the amount of money of that game will cost) and buy it and inform then by email that you have bought the exploited game, so much more persons will use that game…is an idea

    Reply

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