June 18th, 2012, 13:00 Posted By: wraggster
As our forum member The Z revealed recently some videos from an anonymous hacker showing PSX games running on the PS Vita, I tried to get in contact (through intermediate people) with that hacker for an interview. The hacker first refused, but Iím kind of a tough guy (j/k) and I insisted a bit. He accepted at my second request via an intermediate person, and shared some of his info on the hack with me.
The mysterious hacker (let me call him Tony, I donít know his real name as we chatted on IRC) recently published a dump of the PSP emulatorís (on the Vita) internals, a breakthrough that was followed by a video showcasing PSX games running on the Playstation Vita (A feature that the console does not have officially, for now).
Despite these two events being some of the most major pieces of news in the young PS Vita scene, Tony is not your typical scene hacker: a 16 year-old enjoying ďParkourĒ and playing the piano on his free time, he told me in an introductory comment: ďNone of my friends know that I have skills in programming. I havenít written any code anymore since the video showing PSX on PSVita. I neither need respectability nor fame. Thatís why I initially refused the interviewĒ
As I emphasized the importance of this hack for the scene, Tony was very humble on the subject: ďWell, my exploit isnít something special. Yes, kernel exploits are very rare, but I donít feel like a hacker, as some people do. What I do is sharing all my work. I hate people who show off with their work [then don't release]ď. As I asked if he would release his exploit, he answered: ďIf you guys want, Iíll release the kernel exploit with all the source codeď.
We however discussed the external pressure hackers can get from such exploits. On the one hand, concerned gamers (ďOh no, an ISO loader is the last thing we needď), and on the other hand, hackers themselves (ďSony will patch this exploitď). ďGUYS! Where is your real life? Sony will patch this exploit, I know, but do we really care? kernel exploit are here to enjoy the consoleď, Tony said. When discussing the impact of hackersí work for Sonyís business, he told me ďVHBL is harmless, but of course people wouldnít buy any PSP games on the PSN anymore with a PSP kernel exploitď.
Tonyís exploit is actually a fully functional CFW running on the PSP emulator of the Vita. ďI just wrote my own CFW on it. Itís just a normal CFW, nothing special. It does everything a typical CFW doesÖplugins, ISO games, increased CPU speed, PSX games, homebrews..etc. [For PSX Games,] I just emulated all POPS modules. Itís not really difficult to get that running. Theoretically I can emulate the whole VSH too Ē
As I asked if he was looking deeper into the Vitaís internals, to hack more than the PSP emulator, Tony showed no interest in the Vita itself. ďEmulators and PSP games on my PSVita are enough . I donít have any Vita game . I spare my money for disco, clothes and alcohol =P Ē
I asked Tony if he wanted to add something, he replied: ďI donít need to show you guys how cool I am. I just ported the CFW to my PSVita in only 4 hours in the night, when I didnít have anything else to do. But look at these guys, who are so proud with their skillsÖplease?! I am proud that I play the piano and do Parkour. But these nerdsÖlook at them, they really have no life. You guys may be now angry at me. You guys may hate me, but I donít care. I care about girls and friends. I care about my family and about school. If you are now angry, do yourself a favor, shut down the pc and go swimmingÖ
I know what I talk about, I used to be a real nerd too, but now, everything has changed Ē
If anything, itís humbling to me that a 16 year-old guy has already achieved bigger hacks than Iíll ever achieve in my life, and has already realized that thereís more to life than being a geek
At the time of this interview I didnít have access to the hack itself, but got sufficient proof that the person I talked to had the skills to code a CFW for the PSP (and, by extension, for the emulator on the vita). Letís just hope for the best for the scene in the near future
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