At the time I’m writing these lines, HENkaku, the first Native Homebrew ENabler for the PS Vita, will be released in about 8 hours. This tool will let you run homebrews (including emulators) on any PS Vita running firmware 3.60. Here’s how you can get ready for this release.
1. Charge your Vita, get your memory card ready, and update to firmware 3.60
I have to admit I haven’t touched my vita in ages. If you’re on the same boat as me, your Vita might be out of battery, and it’s possible you’re not running the latest firmware. If you want to run HENkaku on the day of its launch, you’ll have to be running PS Vita firmware 3.60, so you might want to update now (more on that below).
HENkaku also requires a memory card with at least 10MB on it to be installed. Realistically, you’ll need much more than that to accommodate for all the emulators you’ll put in there, so make sure you have enough room on your memory stick.
Should you really update to firmware 3.60 though? That’s the one question that people seem to ask the most since HENkaku was announced. If you’re running PSP homebrews through one of the ARK or TN-V Homebrew enablers, you’ll lose that (until a new VHBL or PSP kernel exploit is announced), so you’ll have a tough decision to make here: for the first time in its history, the Vita scene has a credible chance at blooming for real, but as of today there are still way more PSP homebrews that run on the ePSP on a Vita, than there are native homebrews.
An alternative for you would be to wait until HENkaku is ported to lower firmwares: YifanLu has confirmed it would be possible, but also gave the precision that the Molecule team, behind the release, would not port the exploit to other firmwares than 3.60. He stated such a port would probably not come within a year (based on the reactivity of the scene so far? The complexity of the hack? That is unknown)
2. Decide if you want to use your real PSN account or not
As with any scene release, there is some level of risk that Sony could detect, then later on ban, people using the HENkaku exploit. The actual level of risk of such an event is completely unknown at this point, although in the past PS Vita users have not been banned for using Rejuvenate or any of the ePSP hacks. PS vita users should decide if they want to create a new “fake” account on their PS vita to reduce their risk, of if they are fine using their actual account.
3. Get your homebrews ready and your FTP client in place
To enjoy HENkaku you’ll need homebrews. There aren’t that many Native homebrews for the PS Vita yet, but according to Yifanlu all Rejuvenate compatible homebrews will run on HENkaku. Below are a few download links:
Once you have homebrews, you’ll also need an FTP client to copy them from your PC to your console. The Molecule team recommends Filezilla, but technically any FTP client will do.
4. Drink some coffee, and don’t panic at launch time
There are lots of PS Vita users, and this is a big release for the scene. I don’t know how much computer power is running behind the scenes on the henkaku official website, but there is a significant chance the amount of people trying to reach the hack could take their site down. Don’t freak out if this happens.
Also, if you’re me, the release is happening at 2am on a work day. Get ready to go to bed late or wake up early, then to have a *** day at work 🙂
5. Problems after the release?
The scene will have lots of questions once HENkaku is released. We’ll do our best to answer those as soon as possible, but please use the following resources as well for more details:
The official site should be the first place you visit for help. In particular check their usage page which has a troubleshooting section (reproduced below for convenience, in case their site goes down)
Below is a FAQ about the issues you could run into at launch:
Error C1-6775-5 when launching molecularShell
You must run the HENkaku installer again. Follow the directions above.
The web browser shows grey “Please wait…" screen
This is normal. Just wait for it, eventually it should load the page and trigger the exploit.
The web browser crashes and an error report dialog appears BEFORE “Welcome to HENkaku" pops up
Press “OK" and try again. If the browser crashes more than three times in a row, you can quit the browser (Press the PS button and swipe the LiveArea page from the top right corner or hold the “O" or “X" button depending on your region). Then you can re-attempt installation.
The web browser crashes and an error report dialog appears AFTER “Welcome to HENkaku" pops up
Press “OK" and try again. If this happens more than three times in a row, you should reboot the system and try again.
The device freezes after trying to install
The installation has failed. Make sure you have a memory card inserted with at least 10MB of free space. Hold the power button for 15 seconds to manually power off the device and then press the power button again to restart the device. You can then attempt to install again.
The web browser automatically closed after installation
That is the expected behavior. HENkaku should now be installed. You can launch homebrew applications including molecularShell (see usage directions below).
The screen becomes black after the installation
Press the home/PS button and close the browser manually. Installation should be successful.