PSP/PS Vita release: ARK 4.20.68 a.k.a. ARK-X introduces improved way to load PS1 games
ARK, the Custom Firmware for PSP (compatible with both PSP/Vita) is now renamed ARK-X. This latest release by Acid_Snake introduces a new way to sideload PS1 games onto your PSP/PS Vita, making use of the official PS1 emulator embedded within the PSP OS.
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):
Coresystem heavily updated from traditional CFW with new exclusive features.
Inferno 2Driver compatible with all formats (
Popcorncontroller for custom
PS1games. Compatible with
PopsLoaderV3 and V4i.
Stargate, fixes many anti-CFW games. Compatible with
VSH(XMB), including the ability to enable and disable plugins
Region Freeplayback of
UMD Videoon all PSP models. Change the region of your
Compatible with all
PSPmodels on firmwares
Compatible with all
PS Vitamodels on firmware
3.74, either official firmware or via
Testing ToolFirmware and
Development ToolFirmware and
Can be fully installed and booted on memory stick in compatible models via
Can be used to unbrick compatible PSP models using
Despertar del Cementerioin combination with a
Minimalistic: only 6 files installed on PSP flash, CFW extensions are installed on memory stick.
soft-bricks, easy to recover from bad configurations with a new and improved
Custom game launcherwith built-in game categories, file browser,
FTPserver and client, modernized look and more.
Fully configurable via the
Compatible with Legacy Homebrew via
Leda. Compatible with the KXploit format.
Infinity 2bootloaders for permanent CFW.
OTAupdates. Fully updateable via the internet.
What’s new in ARK 4.20.68 (ARK-X)
This release in particular introduces a new way to sideload PS1 Games. From the changelog:
On earlier PS Vita firmware versions (as late as 3.18/3.20) it was possible to exploit
PS1games via crafted savedata, in pretty much the same way that
ARKversions would use exploited
Using this crafted
PS1savedata it was possible to load a minimalist
PSP Custom Firmarewith the only goal to sideload
This worked because the PS Vita doesn’t really have its own PS1 emulator, it rather used a modified version of the PS1 emulator for PSP, with sound processing being handled by the native Vita (since the PS Vita lacks the PSP’s ME coprocessor that the original POPS used for audio emulation). PS1 games on the PS Vita are ultimately running on a PSP environment, albeit a heavily limited one.
PS1 CFW on Later Firmwares
On later firmware versions the PS1 emulator was limited even more to prevent us from running a CFW in it, however with Henkaku now bieng both a reality and a common software, it has been possible to code a simple plugin to bring back
PS1 CFWfunctionality, named
With this new plugin, it is now possible to load ´ARK´ in
ePSXmode once again, and use it to load custom PS1 games using the Official PS1 Emulator of the PS Vita.
From a user perspective,
ARK-Xfunctions essentially the same as a regular
Standalone ARKinstallation, with the main difference of it being primarily focused on
Instructions for installation can be found in the readme.
Acid_Snakefor the original discovery and implementation of
thefl0wfor his implementation of
TN-X PS1CFWwhich served as a base for
SilicaAndPinafor her work on
ps1cfw_enablerthat allowed this release to exist.
Other changes in this version include:
- Fixed bug in
FasterARKthat would corrupt taiHEN config.
cwcheatnow displays correctly in
ARK-Xinstallation is now handled by
FasterARK, making it considerably easier to install and use.
- Added patch to prevent crashing in TwinBee Portable when the system language is not set to Japanese or English.
- Lots of code cleanup.
- Fixed bug in
Download and install ARK for PSP/PS Vita
To get Ark 4V20.68, go to this specific release.
Alternatively, if you want the latest and greatest (automated builds with each commit), head over to the release section of the developer’s github to get the latest release.
Installation instructions in the readme.