If you’ve been living under a rock, TN-V4 is Total Noob’s upcoming hack for the Playstation Vita. Now before those not in the know get too excited, this is a kernel exploit inside the PSP emulator of the Vita, not a vita hack per se. But it offers a lot already, and is probably the most awaited release on the Vita scene for this year.
I had the opportunity to have a great little chat with total Noob, to discuss his work. He was nice enough to disclose some cool new features for his exploit, as well as his planned release schedule.
wololo: For those who don’t know you yet, can you quickly introduce yourself and the things you’ve worked on for the PSP and Vita scene?
Total Noob: Hello Community! You all know me from the PSP scene through my useful plugins such like xmbctrl, DayViewer or Download Manager and other famous works. Also, I was the first to publish a HEN [Homebrew enabler, a kernel exploit hack combined with homebrew launching functionality] for 6.XX and for the PSPgo…good old 6.20 TN-A Patapon times
wololo: Can you describe what TN-V does? Can you share a list of features?
Total Noob: TN-V is a project I’ve never spent so much time on, compared to my other projects. I know that my work cannot break out of the sandbox [the PSP sandbox on the PS Vita] and therefore it may not appear as an awesome hack for some people. Regardless, it’s the biggest event in the PS Vita scene until now I guess.
Also, it is lots of fun for me as the inside of the PSP (Emu) is so great, there are still plenty of things to explore and discover. My aim was first to have the complete PSP environment on the PS Vita and second the best CFW core.
(the Video below showcases the previous version of TNV, TNV-3, running, among other things, the PSP XMB, MP3 Player, etc…)
wololo: Any secret or new exciting feature in TN-V 4 that you can share with us?
Total Noob: The extra memory is of course the most exciting feature of TN-V4 (myself, I cannot even benefit of this feature xD) With this ability almost all homebrews (especially emulators), which have been designed for the PSP Slim, are now supported.
Furthermore, TN-V4 exploits all the possibilities of the PSPEmu. For example, there will be a feature where you can apply PS Vita settings such like PSN account, Button Assign, language, date, to the PSP Emulator. This is a practical feature when you lost the PSP settings for example.
As many users wished, I’ve added the possibility to change the button combo to simulate the HOME and NOTE button. ISO games can now also be categorized with GCLite.
wololo: You said a while ago you would release TN-V after the PS4 is out (to guarantee the Vita will have the necessary firmware to interact with the PS4). You also asked the community to help by porting existing usermode exploits to your upcoming kernel exploit. Now that this is mostly done, do you have a better idea of when you plan to release?
Total Noob: It is expected that TN-V4 will be released between November and January. In my eyes, TN-V4 is already good for a release
wololo: Typically a kernel-mode psp exploit also requires a usermode exploit to activate it. We have the usermode exploits from past VHBL releases, but do you also have your own usermode exploit to release as part of your TN-V release?
Total Noob: No I don’t, I am looking for the cheapest and widely available user exploit. If someone of you has got one, you can contact me about it [if you can help with that, you can PM Total Noob on /talk here].
wololo: You said you ran into issues with the extended PSP RAM on recent Vita firmwares. Did you find a way around this issue, or is it still a problem?
Total Noob: On FW 2.60 the extra RAM is no longer available, because now the RAM from 0x8A000000-0x8B000000 is now an alias memory of 0×09000000-0x0A000000. This makes the rest of memory from 0x8B000000-0x8C000000 unusable for homebrews, because the extra memory must be appended to the normal user memory.
wololo: Some people have been using your previous eCFW on Vita’s firmware 2.02 for a long time. Would you suggest these people to stay on 2.02, or to update to 2.61 (or above) once you release. In other words, do you think your new TN-V is better than your previous version of the eCFW?
Total Noob: If you have a preference for PSP homebrew s and emulators, then I advise you to stay on a FW below 2.60. TN-V4 is way better than the previous revisions. I’ve fixed tons of bugs made by Sony but also my own bugs made in TN-V3. hackinformer, my betatester, reported that no Custom Emulator Firmware has ever run as fast as TN-V4.
wololo: Several former psp hackers have access to psp kernel exploits, but you are the only one who shared yours for the Vita. How would you explain that? Are people afraid to release their exploits?
Total Noob: I always wanted to publish a CFW by myself. 3 years ago that was even my dream xD.
I guess that people are simply not interested to spoil the scene with their Kernel Exploits. Me I’ve got 4 Kernel Exploits, that’s why I can offer you guys one.
wololo: Would you have some piece of advice for people who want to give a try at console hacking? Maybe a list of tools you use regularly?
Total Noob: I use most prxtool and PSPDecompiler. PSPDecompiler to have a quick overview of the code and prxtool to reverse engineer.
wololo: Have you looked into the possibilities of Native Vita hacking? If so, did you find anything interesting you can share with the community ?
Total Noob: Until now, I’ve only worked within the PSP Emu.
wololo: Will you be getting a PS4, and if so, do you have plans to look into hacking possibilities for it?
Total Noob: Not trying to sound overly modest, but I’m really just a PSP hacker
wololo: Any final words, people you would like to give credit to, etc… ?
Total Noob: I want to thank Dark_AleX. He was the biggest inspiration in my PSP “career”.
So that’s it guys! A release somewhere between November and January, increased speed, even better homebrew support. And of course, all of this will be available on the latest and greatest Vita firmware (2.61 as of this writing). Oh, and TN still has 4 freaking psp kernel exploits, this is crazy!
Thanks a lot for your time TN, I can pretty much guarantee a lot of people are looking towards this release. I know I am! It goes without saying, but stay tuned for Ninja releases…
(Thanks to TN for the interview, TNV-4 screenshots courtesy of hackinformer)