A few days ago, Yifan Lu posted on his blog his thoughts about the current status of the Vita in terms of hacking, why we are not seeing any significant progress, and why we are in a very different situation than we were a few years ago with the PSP.
In many aspects, Yifan Lu’s article echoes what I said 6 months ago (although I was much more hopeful back then), and what the fail0verflow team (famous for hacking the PS3) wrote in may as well.
Yifan Lu first summarizes what’s been said a lot recently, that the interest of hackers towards the Vita is not comparable to what we had when the PSP was pretty much the only valid portable device available for tinkerers. The rise of smartphones has changed the rules: hackers and indie developers are not focused on dedicated portable gaming systems anymore.
He then develops 3 main points that explain why the Vita is harder to hack than its older sister, or than smartphones: the fact that the PSP had flaws on day 1, which the Vita doesn’t; the fact that the Vita is a very specific piece of hardware making it difficult for hackers to “borrow” ideas from previous hacks; and the fact that hardware hacks, which have proven in the past to be the most effective, would be extremely hard and costly to achieve on the Vita (something that I also pointed out a while ago).
All these points may sound obvious to some of view today, but it’s something the hacking scene had been foreseeing for a few years now… did you see how many “scene” websites have transformed into “regular” gaming websites in the past few years?