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[Release] Experimental ARK-4 CFW port for PSP.

Pro Team's PSP Custom Firmware for the Vita. ARK can be downloaded here
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[Release] Experimental ARK-4 CFW port for PSP.

Post by Acid_Snake »

This might come as a surprise to some, but after lots of coding and research I've been able to port ARK eCFW to the PSP!

What is ARK?
ARK is a CFW that started as a port of PRO CFW to the PS Vita (named PROVITA) created by the original Team PRO members (Coldbird, Liquid Snake and Neur0n).
After the original team left, the source code of PROVITA was handed over to me (Acid_Snake) and my long time scene friend qwikrazor87.
We quickly began a huge process of rewriting and restructuring code, more specifically a much more robust dynamic patching algorithms that would work on any 6.6X based firmware (including all Vita's ePSP firmwares). Thus ARK-2 was born.
Soon after, qwik, thefl0w and I began working on PSX exploits, which resulted in TN-X and ARK-3 (never publicly released).
Because the original PRO CFW hasn't been updated or maintained in a while, and it has become a little bloated and hard to work with, I decided to start working on porting ARK to the PSP since the core elements of the CFW are compatible with PSP 6.60 and 6.61 with minor changes.
After lots of work getting the same ARK binaries to properly work on both PSP and Vita, I am proud to announce that the first (EXPERIMENTAL) release of ARK-4 is finally here!

What are the features?

- Loading ISO and CSO using the inferno driver (no other driver available since M33 hasn't been updated in a long time and inferno is pretty dang robust and fast).

- Loading homebrews.

- Loading PS1 games.

- Loading plugins.

- On PSP, it patches VSH so you can launch games (ISO, homebrew, PS1) directly from the XMB.

- On Vita it allows you to install your favorite menu launcher (gMenu, ONEmenu, vMenu, etc), with an experimental arkMenu mimicking the XMB (including game miniatures) being in the works (not stable for now). Vita compatibility has not yet been tested, though I will get to it very soon.

- Very minimalistic CFW. Only a few files installed on the PSP's flash0 with no risk of bricks (unless you do something stupid with flash0 outside of ARK's installation).

- More readable, robust and structured code that is still being maintained (it's also open source).

- Legacy support for PSP game exploits and PSX exploits on PS Vita (includes TN-X patches): this is however useless nowadays, but still kept in there for legacy and conservation purposes.

What are some drawbacks?

- For now it only works on PSP 1K since that's what I have been testing it with. DO NOT USE ON OTHER DEVICES UNTIL IT HAS BEEN TESTED. PS Vita should work but I haven't yet tested and fixed it for 3.60, same as other PSP models, please wait for that.

- No permanent patches (FOR NOW), this is a live CFW and needs to be launched for REAL OFW (a permanent CFW in OFW mode doesn't work as it's not real OFW: ARK needs to be able to override rebootbuffer, which is already overwriten if you use Infinity, even if launched in OFW mode). Please wait for this to be stable and I will make a CIPL and Infinity installer so you can use it permanently.

- Minimalistic with the XMB: ARK does not include a VSH menu or recovery menu (recovery menu is useless, if your CFW doesn't work recovery won't work, but people seem to feel more "safe" having it despite the fact that it can barely recover from a CFW bug). ARK doesn't really have anything to configure so it doesn't make sense to have a VSH menu either. You can just use your favorite plugins to extend the functionality and look of your XMB.

- There's still many bugs to fix, I've found some ISOs don't work well (probably need to update Inferno and other things).

And now, the download:
Compiled binaries: ... sp=sharing
Source code: ... sp=sharing

How to use:
Download the precompiled binaries and extract them to the root of your memory stick (you should now have ms0:/PSP/GAME/ARK_Live/).
Use the XMB to launch ARK Loader. The first time you run it, it will extract necessary FLASH0.ARK files into flash0, this process is fast and poses no risk, after done the file FLASH0.ARK is deleted to it doesn't get installed every time you boot up ARK. If for some reason you need to install flash0 files, just copy the FLASH0.ARK file back into ms0:/PSP/GAME/ARK_Live/ and it will install it again next time you launch ARK Loader.
Once FLASH0.ARK is installed, the launcher will go back to the XMB and you should be able to launch your games from there.

- The original Team PRO members: Coldbird, Liquid Snake and Neur0n.
- Total_Noob/TheFl0w for his advancements and research in CFW development and overall contributions to the scene.
- qwikrazor87 for being such a genius and all his hard work with kernel exploits and ARK-2. I miss you bro, come back to the scene!
- Every other giant shoulder I am standing on.
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