Several people have pointed to me that I shouldn’t talk about “PS Vita hacks” when what I’m really talking about are hacks inside the PSP emulator running on the Vita. But I’ll have to say in my defense that with each iteration, the PSP emulator on the Vita is going further away from the actual PSP firmware, with its seemingly endless series of security features (that are probably really here to avoid a stupid crash happening on your Vita, but also have the convenient side effect of delaying hacks inside the psp emulator).
Take the recent firmware 2.10 for example. It blocked the possibility to create subfolders within the /PSP/GAME folder from within the PSP emulator itself. The Vita system of course can still do it (and needs to do so when you purchase and install a psp game on your Vita), but the emulator can’t do it anymore on its own. Which, in all honesty, is probably fine, and avoids the emulator deleting your games by mistake.
But what it really means to us is the impossibility to install homebrews in the PSP emulator on the Vita.
This new “security” feature comes in addition to the mysterious disappearance of the “.” and “..” folders, or the impossibility to create files named EBOOT.PBP inside the GAME folder (things that I discovered a bit more than a year ago while working on the first release of VHBL), or to the strange 8.3 file naming enforcements that were added in firmware 1.80.
Yes, although Sony doesn’t seem to care enough about the PSP to really shut down VHBL and other hacks, they do seem to enjoy adding delay to our work. If I were a conspiracy theorist I’d say they enjoy the cat and mouse game as much as I do, especially when the scene boosts the sales of a random PSP game high enough that it becomes the best selling psp title for 2 months in a row, beating AAA titles such as GTA.
But hey, fear not, hackers are resourceful too, and The Z already found a way to bypass the limitation that prevents us from writing into the PSP/GAME folder. The trick is simple enough: rename the PSP/GAME folder into something else, add your content in there, then rename it back to PSP/GAME. Sounds like a pain in the A##, but when all is said and done, the Menus running through VHBL or other hacks will probably just do that transparently for you.
Enjoy the video showcasing how he’s doing it, manually for now, in PSPFiler: