Latest update and status of the Vita “bubble” hack
Yesterday, Katsu posted a series of steps and screenshots on how to create your own “bubble” on the PS Vita.
The technique requires to have a PS Vita running VHBL (or a custom firmware such as TN-V), and a PS3. After a series of manipulations involving renaming some files, adding a few others, backing-up some content from the Vita to the PS3 and vice versa, one is able to change the icon and name of a game they own on the Vita, as can be seen in katsu’s screenshots. You can find all the details here.
For now this technique only seems to allow to change the icon and “name” of a game you purchased from the PSN, but katsu promised “homebrews” would be coming soon.
I’ve myself been in touch with Qwikrazor87 on his own work with these “bubbles”, and rumor has it that Total_Noob is also working on some similar feature for a future release of TN-V. Qwikrazor87, in particular, has been making steady progress on this: over the past few weeks, Qwikrazor87 has found that he can do much more than was initially thought with his technique.
Although some of his work involves file manipulation similar to what katsu has been showcasing, Qwikrazor has also been hard at work testing a variety of homebrews with his work, a step which required lots of tweaking to be widely compatible (static ELFs support, etc…). He’s also found techniques that allow a “duplication” of bubbles: the initial technique required to “waste” a PSP Mini for each homebrew you’d want to run. This wasn’t a big deal, people would just choose to run TN-V or VHBL as their “psp mini”, then run their favorite homebrew or isos from there. But now the possibility to run all homebrew directly from the Live Area sounds like even a better deal.
Long story short, I’ve seen with my own eyes this technique running PSP isos and homebrews directly from the Live Area screen. Not only an icon and a name change. But there’s still work ongoing, and releasing “explanations” like what katsu has done today could run the risk of Sony patching this trick prematurely.
Qwikrazor’s technique also requires an exploitable game. Installing the bubbles requires an initial “hack” that can only be run with an exploited game. That game is only needed to install the bubbles initially, but not later on to actually launch the bubble games. In a sense, it means making the method public could also be seen as a waste: if it requires an exploit in the first place, why wouldn’t people just use the exploit to run homebrews with the regular VHBL, instead of using this technique (I mean, true, it is convenient…)
The video below showcases Qwikrazor’s bubbles running a few homebrews on my 3.35 vita: FTP Vita, PSP Filer, and Wagic.