We’ve been a bit quiet on the hacking front recently, but that’s not the case of hackers who have been hard at work to port our beloved VHBL to more exploits. Although VHBL does not offer the same level of functionality as TN-V, it is still a great tool for those of you who want to run homebrews (in particular emulators) on your PS Vita.
What is VHBL?
VHBL (a.k.a. Vita Half Byte Loader) is a homebrew loader for the Playstation Vita, running within the vita’s PSP emulator. It lets you run PSP homebrews and emulators on your PS Vita (check here for a list of emulators you can run on your Vita). In order to achieve that, VHBL requires an exploit in an official PSP game: people who want to install VHBL need to buy a legit license of the exploited game from the PSN Store, and typically install a crafted savedata for that specific game. The crafted savedata tricks the game/vita into running unsigned content, in other words, homebrews and emulators.
We’ve done dozens of VHBL releases on this site in the past, and the pattern is always the same: people who want to get VHBL on their Vita need to act fast, as usually within hours of announcing the exploitable game on this site, Sony takes the game down from their store, until they can announce a new version of the firmware that patches the vulnerability, at which point they usually put the game back on the store.
Long story short, VHBL is a cool piece of software for your Vita, but releasing it is kind of a pain, and there is no saying if all these VHBL ports floating around will ever be released. Nevertheless, here are the ones I’ve spotted so far:
Famous Japanese hacker 173210 is showing a proof of concept on ABCanG1015’s exploit. The picture shows it running on a PSP, but that’s usually the first step before a full port to the Vita: