PS Vita hacker Yifan Lu recently published a writeup about his experience creating an SD Card adapter for the PS Vita. This is not SD2Vita, but another approach that Yifan actually disclosed before SD2Vita became a thing.
What is psvd?
Psvd is Yifan’s hardware mod for the PS Vita 3G models, that replaces the modem with a Micro SD card adapter. Using this hardware mod requires some basic soldering skills (and of course opening the console). Also, similarly to SD2Vita, it requires a hacked PS Vita, as a regular Vita will not have the necessary driver to use the SD Card.
When Yifanlu initially announced the plan to produce 500 of these, his indegogo campaign got funded within 24h.
Experiments in hardware hacking
I’m always stupidly excited when I read Yifan’s blog posts because he is one of the few console hackers out there who’s done the leap into hardware hacking, and describes the experience. This is not a given. Many hackers already know so much about their craft that they will forget that what they’re doing is magic from the eyes of 99% of their audience.
Yifan’s very precise about his process and train of thoughts, which I feel is a great resource for those of us who want one day to get into hardware mods. Among other things, his post describes what all the “unknown” USB ports of the Vita actually do, as well as how he designed his microSD adapter and got it manufactured.
But to me, possibly the most interesting part is how he found out about a big flaw in his early prototype by thoroughly testing it: the thing was draining the battery. I can instantly picture how any “seasoned” hardware hack company would have simply overlooked that defect, and start manufacturing the device without thinking about it. Instead, the hacker did not accept this, and found ways to fix the defect.
Screenshot of the various psvd prototypes + final product, from Yifan Lu
Auction and the future of the adapter
Yifan lu mentions that he still has 50 of these adapters lying around that he is putting up for auction/lottery. If you have a hacked 3G vita and want to use this adapter, or want bragging rights that you own a piece of PS Vita’s hacking history, feel free to join the auction here.
In his writeup, Yifanlu mentions that he expects some people will manufacture and sell the adapters. I’m wondering how much of that will actually happen: With SD2Vita offering an easier alternative for those wanting to use MicroSD in their Vita, it seems unlikely to me that there is huge interest for psvd at a commercial level. Unless I’m missing something obvious. Thoughts?