Vita Scene Chaos: Short FAQ and Help Guide.
Well, where do we start?
So as you guys may have heard there has been a massive train of chaos that has plowed into the Vita hacking scene. Tons of exploits and hard work that has been worked on extensively for some time have been “released” recently. Right now we are letting things cool down and discussing everything together. There is a lot of crossfire happening and some internal issues among some key players. We’re working to calm things down and get things back to normal as soon as possible. For now, we need to have a serious discussion about the implications of everything and answer some frequently asked questions.
Q: So *** happened???
We explained shortly some of what happened here. It’s a lot more complicated than that and for now that’s all we have to offer as to what happened. The situation and everyone involved needs to cool down right now and pointing fingers at this time and moment isn’t going to accomplish much. What is more relevant is what this means for you and moving forward.
Q: Ok then. What all got released/leaked?
- Multiple usermode and kernel exploits
- PSX sound working in full
- PSX exploited games (instead of the general PSP/Mini exploits these exploits allow you to run full PS1 emulation with sound, only)
- ARK 2.0, TN-V 10 for various games up to 3.18 and PS1 Loader( PSX exploits for full PSX emulator support).
- A native method to install Vita packages via the PKG Installer.
Q: Wait what exactly is that PKG Installer!??
It is a hidden application that can be accessed using a retail PS Vita. It allows the installation of foreign PSN store content (as long as the content is DRM-free). One of many methods to access it can be found here.
It can not install: PSP demos, full PSP games, full PS1 games, full PS Vita games, any kind of PS2, PS3 or PS4 content.
It can install: PS Vita demos, PS Vita applications and other DRM-free content – Regardless of the PSN store region!
Q: But wait I heard Katsu found a native way to enable piracy via an exploit using the PKG Installer. Is it legit?
At this time its not believed to be real. He claims to have found a way to convert trial games to full games via patching a PKG. The video evidence he provided doesn’t show anything at all in that nature. We’ll follow up with that story but take that news with a grain of salt.
Q: Well is everything else announced on here legit?
Yes. All of the exploits are real and not a hoax. This isn’t some trick to get people to” buy the wrong game” or “*** off Sony” as some have asked before.
Q: What exploit should I get out of all of these?
*That is completely up to you, some of the game exploits out of the many released in the archive were already patched on some firmwares. The safest thing to do is to get Gladiator Begins (PSP GAME) which is confirmed to work on 3.18 with TN-V10 and is in many regions. Gladiator Begins files for JP will be released some time in the future for those interested.
*All of the PSP/Mini game exploits released can take use of an eCFW though if it can VHBL. We are going to have to port eCFW and update bugs/glitches and release them so it may take some time to do so.
*The only exceptions to the above rule are the PSX exploits such as Tekken 2 or Sports Superbike 2. These are recommended if you want the ability to load an play PSX games in their entirety ONLY. They’re are required to do so. TN-V does NOT allow PSX sound. The PSX games are exploitable and do not require PEOPS. Again, the PSX games do not run any eCFW or VHBL. You’ll also need another full exploit with TN-V to transfer your games over for the PSX exploit. For more info and a tutorial please go here>
IMPORTANT: It’s important to note against getting any PSP Mini exploited games. Most of these are useless on 3.1x and above. Fieldrunners 2 for example has another exploit but has a file size limit and can not load ISO or larger files because they it has no network modules. These games are not very good for exploits especially with the 24mb file load limit. Get something else!
Q: Im new to this all. I keep seeing the terms VHBL and eCFW/CEF thrown around. What are those exactly?
In layman’s terms:
- Usermode>VHBL>Limited access so Homebrew/Emulators ONLY (No PSX either)
- Kernel exploit>CustomEmulatorFirmwares or emulatorCustomFirmwares (Primary ones are ARK and TN-V)>PSP backups, PSX games, Plugins, homebrew ect.
So to reiterate, all the exploits released today have the ability to use kernel exploits.
Q: Where can I see a list of exploits and/or their regions?
We have a list of recent ones here. I started an exploit chart awhile ago that encompasses every release; The Z, has been kindly keeping that chart up to date with every new release. Check it out at his site or check out the chart directly here.
Q: Can I get TN-V and then just download a copy of one of the PSX games and launch that exploit inside?
N0. Simple as that. You need to have BOTH a TN-V (or VHBL) exploitable game and a PSX game purchased from PSN.
Why? Because when you start a PSP game the PSPemulator runs a near 100% copy of a real PSP but without the media engine which PS1 games use for audio. The Vita disables certain aspects depending on whether you are running a PSP game or PS1 game.
If you start a PS1 game from the live area the Vita runs the PSPemulator but this time enables the media engine. If you start a PS1 exploit from within TN-V the Vita will never be able to set the flag and thus no ME and the reason why you need both.
Q: Can I share these exploitable games Ive bought with my friends?
No. You have to have bought the game through PSN on your own account. There is no way to game share.
Q: What if Im on a lower firmware with an exploit?
My suggestion is just to update to 3.18 and get a new one. You’ll get the benefits of the new firmwares and selection of exploits with vastly better homebrew compatibility to chose from including some new stuff. Or alternatively wait for a kernel exploit port to older exploits.
Q: What sources should I be downloading from that are safe?
Wololo.net and Zload.net. You’re also more than welcome to download links and fixes provided by trusted and known scene developers too. This is big news right now and its a guarantee that scam artists and fakes are going to reupload this stuff with surveys or other phishy material. You’ll probably see an influx of very stupid youtube videos by 12 year olds claiming native hacks and other preposterous stuff thats not true at all. Please visit official sources!
Q: Im having issues loading TN-V/VHBL. What do I do?
Don’t fret. We will be posting tutorials and updated files in the coming days for everything. Bombarding us with hey “where are these files for (insert game here) at???” wont help either. Please be patient. They will come and you will experience some bugs at the moment. The important thing right now is to get the games. There is a lot of stuff happening right now as you can imagine and we were not in any way, shape or form prepared for what happened.
*Quick tip: If you’re using Gladiator Begins, transfer the files and do the following: Load save > on the next menu, press X on Item Box. Here is a tutorial guide The_Z wrote before the rest of the drama happened that explains further what to do for GB.
Q: Whats the best way to transfer files and homebrew to the Vita?
Q: What will Sony’s response be?
There is a lot for Sony to do here. Its a game of chess for them and they’re going to play defense to keep the Vita secure. What happened made it easier for them.
Sony will undoubtedly take various measures to address whats going on. They will most likely take the usual steps they always take when we release an exploit: remove the game and update the firmware. They’ll have their security teams push an update to fix all of these as soon as possible. It’s not a matter of if they are going to; its a matter of when. Id advise you to be quick in getting an exploit. In the past we’ve seen them respond to exploits within 24-48 hours with some exceptions on holidays where it took them a bit longer. Considering the circumstances of what has happened though it could honestly be anytime. My best bet is that it will take them a few days at most to push an update out. They will take down all of the games too at some point. They could even completely shut down PSN in the mean time to deter anybody from obtaining any exploit games. Right now its a waiting game to see what happens.
So what does this mean past the next update? Well, there is a lot for Sony to do here in terms of future security. We’ve seen Sony hunt exploits on their own. Those efforts may be ramped-up in the future. They’re also going to do everything in their power to make 3.18 a completely irrelevant firmware. Sony may go nuts and do something drastic to do so. What could that be? Who knows. Its probably a safe bet to say that any future retail Vita games will require an update above 3.18 however.
Q: What happens after the new update is out?
You will no longer have access to PSN. The games will be patched on any firmware after 3.18. They will not work after updating!!! Anything else beyond 3.18 is unforeseen.
Q: What are the long term release implications?
First of all let me just bluntly say it again: if you want an exploit at all get one NOW. Considering the amount of exploits that got released it is highly and most likely possible we may not see anymore exploits released anytime soon (unless someone else gets mad and releases more). Kernel exploits are already something you see happen once a year at best and with a couple released today it could be a good while for another release.
What happened yesterday and today is a huge loss for the Vita hacking scene. It is not a complete loss for the Vita scene but is extremely damaging. There are indeed more exploits left but you can bet that anyone with any are going to be reluctant to release them after what just happened.
3.18 is going to be a very relevant firmware for a long time. There is a strong chance there will NOT be a release on 3.30 as was previously talked about. There is a reason and very precise plan as to why we release these exploits over time: so that everyone can get new firmware updates with new features and games via PSN. With a lot of these released on one firmware it makes that plan null. Sony will have one fell swoop at knocking all of these out in one update.
Q: Where can I stay up to date will all this craziness going on?
Right here on the blog. We will be keeping you up to date with everything happening. Following the majority of us on Twitter is also a good place to keep up to date. Wololo, The Z, and myself (Jd8531) will be tweeting everything going on and posting helpful tips if you’re interested.
Q: Where can I get further support, news and discuss whats going on?
Head over to the Wololo.net/Talk forums to do so. Feel free to post below as well!
Please check back regularly for information, we are going to have a lot of important news in the coming days.