PS Vita/PSP: ARK (PSP/ePSP Custom Firmware) 9.7r2 released
We haven’t talked about ARK, the Custom Firmware for PSP (compatible with both PSP/Vita) in several years. But the project has been back in activity (thanks to Acid_Snake) for about a year now, so it’s high time we fixed this mistake: ARK is back, it’s been improved, so it’s high time we talked about this new release.
What’s ARK for PSP/PS Vita
The PSP is one of the best homebrew devices. It had a striving community, and a lot of developers pushed it to its limit, in particular with emulators that achieved incredible performance for those days (ok, I won’t pretend it’s the best way to play emulators nowadays though, but it still works great for older generation consoles such as the NES, SNES, GBA…).
Running a Custom firmware on the PSP turned a decent console into an insane beast. And the same remains true on the PS Vita: As the Vita has a full fledged PSP emulator embedded, it is possible (and recommended!) to install a PSP Custom Firmware on the PS Vita.
That’s where ARK comes into play, being a custom firmware that works for both the PSP and the PS Vita. It comes with impressive features (from the readme):
Core system for unsigned code execution on every PSP device based on 6.60 kernel.
Inferno driver for ISO, CSO and ZSO games.
Popcorn controller for PSX games.
Stargate No-DRM engine.
Plugin support for PSP games, PSX games and VSH (XMB), including per-game plugins.
Compatible with all PSP models on firmwares 6.60 and 6.61.
Compatible with all PS Vita models on firmware 2.10 and up.
Minimalistic: only 5 files installed on PSP flash, CFW extensions are installed on memory stick.
What’s new in ARK 9.7r2
To be fair to ARK, we should list everything that’s been added in 2021/2022 since we haven’t talked of the project in a while, but… well that’s a lot. In the past year, among other things, ARK has added the following improvements (from the changelog):
- PSP Go support
- Infinity Support
- Possibility to replace XMB with a custom launcher
- Plugins now work “per game” instead of “all games”
- A ton of bug fixes and quality of life improvements
Download and install ARK for PSP/PS Vita
Head over to the release section of the developer’s github to get the latest release.
Installation instructions in the readme.