Ps1 games and hacking the Vita: Why it won’t work

I once read a user post asking if it was possible to hack the vita using ps1 games. While the answer is simple and small: it’s possible but useless, I want to give people a more in-depth view of the pros and cons of doing so.

First, lets start with the pros:

- Back then the security measures in games were not even close to what they are now.
- Ps1 saves are not encrypted, so just hex edit the save and pop it back in.
- Making such hacks could be a lot simpler to perform (once you know how the system works)
- Such hacks will be compatible with all sony’s consoles out there: psx, ps2, ps3, psp and ps vita (partially), even xperia play.
- Ps1 is MIPS, so psp coders can easily make the jump.

So, with all this pros you might be saying: “hey this is nice, why won’t you do it? it will help get homebrews on the vita and the ps3″. The answer to is found by looking at the cons. For the cons I will go a bit more in-depth, which is the goal of this thread.

Cons

- Power:
This one is obvious, the ps1 is a 32mhz machine, so the amount of homebrews that can be ran will be a hell lot less than on psp. This of-course does not prevent pretty fun brews to appear, and it’s an unsolvable problem so we’ll just ignore it.

- Memory:
This is got to be the worst problem at attempting this hack. Where will you store the homebrews? ps1 didn’t have a usb and memory cards are way to small, you can create a lot of them and swap them when you need one or other homebrews, but 128kb of space is really small for any decent brew to appear. This two impediments kinda forces you to use the CD drive, which gets to my next con.

- No control over the CD drive:
Imagine the ps1 worked as a psp and it had user mode and kernel mode. Imagined you had a user plus kernel mode exploits and you can do whatever you want with them, that’s nice, right? wrong! As explained above, the only media with a reasonable amount of memory is the CD drive, but you can’t control something that is not even controlled by the system itself. For physical copies of the game it is you the one controlling whether to insert a disc or not, and the ps1 had sensors to detect if you changed the disc or not. These sensors can be overcomed and you can change discs without the ps1/2/3 knowing you had changed the disc, problem solved, right? wrong again! While this fixes the issue for physical formats, used by the ps1, ps2 and ps3, it does not solve it for digital copies, used by the ps3, psp and [b]ps vita[/b]. For digital copies it is the emulating system that takes care of swapping discs, and it will only swap a pre-defined amount of digital discs (i.e. it won’t let you choose what disc to swap it with). This is not much of a hassle since we need to modify the disc anyway so it doesn’t matter if we modify a pre-defined disc, so problem solved? wrong again, and again, and again! Running the modified the disc means we have to get the system to accept unsigned code, which would beat the entire purpose of hacking ps1 games.
This is an endless paradigm, to run ps1 homebrews you first need to have a modified disc where homebrews will be, to run that modified disc you have to hack the emulating system, beating the sole purpose of using ps1 hacks.

In conclusion:

Is it possible? yes, but it’s not of any use. The only homebrews we can run has to be ran on the memory card, which means the homebrew has to be 120kb at most, there is not much that can be done with that, specially when a decent 2d library already eats those 120kb.

  1. criticalmass’s avatar

    first

    Reply

    1. chingon’s avatar

      I’m stickin to my 3.55 kmeaw…heehee.

      Reply

  2. tracer22jhayahr’s avatar

    aw.. First?

    Reply

  3. JmqmOfficials’s avatar

    Raise your hand if you care. You don’t see anybody raising their hands up.

    Reply

    1. Acid_Snake’s avatar

      why are you reading this if you don’t care?

      Reply

    2. Mr MaGoo’s avatar

      I raised a finger to you, do u see it?

      Reply

      1. JMQMOfficials’s avatar

        Nope. Do you see your spelling mistakes?

        Reply

    3. Omg fool’s avatar

      Get off this website u fool its just nice to know about it just cause u lack the brains to figure it out he didnt have to share this

      Reply

      1. JMQMOfficials’s avatar

        You spelled ‘You’ wrong. Capitalization isn’t even good and also, you forgot a period -.-”

        Reply

        1. vicsidious’s avatar

          Talking about periods, I think that’s what YOU are in right now, because all YOU do is piss interested people off, YOU fucking piece of shit. Is the way I spelled “you” is ok or do you have another very interesting comment to make?

          Reply

    4. mlc’s avatar

      Just because some of this reasoning is obvious to people who have read a lot about the scene already does not mean that it isn’t worthy of an article. Additional articles about any useful or informative stuff are always worthwhile, even if some people will know it already.

      Reply

  4. Jd8531’s avatar

    Psone games run in the psp emulator on the Vita too

    Reply

    1. Mr. Awsome’s avatar

      Doesn’t count.

      Reply

  5. najmico’s avatar

    today i have gain some knowledge

    Reply

  6. GouRuft’s avatar

    Why not find exploits in vita games ?

    Reply

    1. FZFalzar’s avatar

      If it were that easy, the vita would have been hacked to bits by now :>

      Reply

      1. Mr MaGoo’s avatar

        Or the simple fact that piracy hurts could be preventing those that have found exploits from releasing them. Ex gta

        Reply

    2. Aces’s avatar

      its not that easy, with psp we have psplink and pspsh for crash dumps, the only such way for vita is for hardware to take crash dumps, aaaand vita saves are encrypted, and need to be decrypted before changes can be made to the file, and reencrypted again before its loaded and the crash analysed, then it has to be reinjected using a modified content manager.
      because the psp had 1.00 security problems and 1.50 Kexploit, crash exploits were able to be taken very early and GTA liberty was born.
      just look for vita game exploits is not that easy when you look at whats actually needed

      Reply

  7. miguel angel’s avatar

    yo esperare a que tengan un VHBL corriendo sin tener que usar algun juego , como paso con el demo de patapon en la psp, seria mas facil asi como ahora existen CFW para psp sin tener que usar un demo o juego, y claro que para eso falta tiempo, pero confio plenamente en el trabajo e inspiracion que wololo pone para que pronto sea posible su desarrollo y explotar al maximo la Vita, saludos ….

    Reply

    1. Ramn’s avatar

      Sony ha pensado en eso pues aprendió muy bien de sus errores en sus consolas anteriores. La tenémos muy dificil.

      Reply

    2. xoombie503’s avatar

      lo que pasa en la psvita que no puedes bajar un demo del internet sino que de la playstation store…y si fuera un demo, sony lo quitaria rapido tambien

      Reply

    3. VitaBoy’s avatar

      Es una pena realmente , espero ver mi Vita algun dia como mi PSP corriendo todo los juegos full sin problemas

      Reply

    4. Acid_Snake’s avatar

      Urbanix fué lo más parecido a un demo que hemos tenido en la Vita.

      Reply

  8. I was born’s avatar

    Wow!

    Reply

  9. Thecoldest1’s avatar

    Nice job explaining that you rock Acid_Snake

    Reply

  10. Gerry’s avatar

    Acid snake you are a legend man thanks for the info respect and kudus to you

    Reply

  11. Mr MaGoo’s avatar

    Thank you acid_snake for your incites. However disappointing, its better than trying and spending countless hrs and $ for something that wont help.

    Reply

  12. HaHussle’s avatar

    Nice Explination

    Reply

  13. Nemesis`Q’s avatar

    How bout the one that plays PS2 games? I think the link to youtube was posted from CB asia version release comment section. please enlightened me :)

    Reply

  14. mypengpengli’s avatar

    I hpoe PS1 GAME

    Reply

  15. soad26’s avatar

    good article acid_snake. good read :)

    Reply

  16. NEO’s avatar

    I’ve kissed the PS vita hackiing goodbye, last night i got rid of my ecfw , formatted my vita’s memory card and bought new games, i just didn’t see the point of going backward, playing psp vita on the vita somehow look out dated, i’m happy with my choice and i’m looking forward to Black ops declassified, yeahhhh!!!!,

    Reply

    1. criticalmass’s avatar

      yeah look forward to your one quality title every 3 months or so. Why would you ever do this? if you really want a game why not just buy the physical copy? The only thing I miss is Hot Shots online play, and I’m sure LBP online is sweet too, but not as sweet as emulators and home brews. I guess congrats, but I hope you don’t regret your choice, if this is a legit comment.

      Reply

    2. why?’s avatar

      Why not both, I play new games and eCFW, I didn’t understand there was a conflict.

      Reply

  17. Minimur’s avatar

    okay, but why doesnt the ps1 emulator have sound?

    Reply

    1. Acid_Snake’s avatar

      because pops (the ps1 emulator for psp) used the Media Engine (the psp second CPU) to emulate sound, and the Vita does not emulate the Media Engine.

      Reply

  18. quetz’s avatar

    thanks for the post, now i understood..
    beside, any news about PS1 games into TNCFW?
    there’s a lot i want to play again on PS1..

    Reply

  19. jamesssss’s avatar

    Stupid question…

    I know that it is pretty useless to hack the PS1 because it has such little resource available to it BUT as we can’t use the PSP eCFW with the PS1 due to the media engine not being emulated, can we not blow open the PS1 emulator and then use that in a similar way we do a PSP game.

    I know we won’t get more resources but do we need more resources? you could have 1 game for PSP based games like we have now and 1 for PS1 with a very basic game loader for PS1 games only then we get the best of both.

    Or am I missing something stupid here!

    Reply

    1. Acid_Snake’s avatar

      Like I said, the ps1 emulator has no control over what disc is “inserted”, the vita OS does that, so the other option would be loading the game through memory card, which is impossible (you can’t fit 700mb in 128kb)

      Reply

      1. jamesssss’s avatar

        Gotcha I misunderstood that bit! damn shame that we have no control over that drive to load an ISO.

        I bought the PS1 games I like to play anyway and just loaded them on my Vita so no big loss for me.

        For some reason when I play SNES and Megadrive I don’t find the graphics offensive but for some reason I find the PS1 game graphics quite jarring nowadays. Maybe I just prefer 16 bit classics :)

        Reply

  20. Ali’s avatar

    Hey wololo can we hack the vita with PlayStation Mobile games?

    Reply

    1. Ronald’s avatar

      No cause its made with sony sdk.

      Reply

  21. huz’s avatar

    333mhz won’t “seplugins pops.txt” psx for ps vhbl
    might that ps1 emulator tekken.bin test slow? for ps vhbl

    Reply

  22. Gerry’s avatar

    Any psp emu for ps3?

    Reply

    1. Acid_Snake’s avatar

      it already exists, but sony has restricted it to minis only (most likely because a psp game o a big screen would look horrible)

      Reply

  23. tehe loulzy’s avatar

    I guess we have no other option than to release UVL RIGHT, I MEAN EVEN THE PSP KERNEL HACKS ARE USELESS SINCE THERE IS LIMITED PSP GAMES AND HOWEVER DOESN’T EVEN WORK FULL SPEED TO ADD TO THAT IT LOOKS LIKE CRAP ON THE PSP EMU BECAUSE OF THE RESOLUTION BEING LOCKED AT 472X240 :( WE NEED UVL PLEASE YIFANLU WE NEED IT TO TRULY UNLOCK THE VITA, BETTER HOMEBREW, FASTER SPEEDS, FASTER EMULATORS, FULL VITA NATIVE RESOLUTION AT 960X544 (EVEN IN PSP GAMES!) ,

    Reply

  24. Darenvy’s avatar

    I would like to see an exploit for the PS1 and have it be just something simple like PONG. Then see if sony blocks it for kicks haha.

    Reply

  25. g00fy’s avatar

    Hmm, sounds challenging! a PS1 homebrew, loaded via an exploit in a PS1 game, stored on a PS1 memory card… reminds me in 64k demo scene :-D
    but as said: there is no real use of this…

    Reply

  26. gunblade’s avatar

    what about the disk them self .. cd wise that still 750 n i think i remeber sony use to add like data loads to the cd so they load faster or sumthing. still sumwork though. ps1 to ps.p/p.s vi.ta . the digitals seems not to have most of that….

    Reply

    1. gunblade’s avatar

      but i guess i see why still hard for homebew on the ps1 why i wonder on the game shark ofr the ps1 becuz i once played final fantasy tactics with gamshark yeah sum werd disk changing thing but not to much gamecheats for the ps1. but still i guess homebrew would load better onther games.. but the psp saposed to be the ps2 potable. why game like gtA n god of war came out first run for the system.(ps2 final fantasy online,everqest, nice on the vita?maybe.)…..(end note)ooh i if i remeber the ps1 had a adapter that lets u play certain game with for players it also add an extra two memory card but the memroy space was still small at the time..

      Reply

  27. Messi’s avatar

    Para cuando los juegos gratis de vita?

    Reply

  28. Ps vita owner’s avatar

    Doesn’t the vita use the psp mode for the ps1 games? I have 10 different ps1 games on my vita via my old psn acc and im kinda sure they use the psp mode. I can be wrong but why wouldnt it when the psp have am excellent psx emu?

    Reply

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