PS Vita Is Finally Getting PS1 Compatibility, And Possibly Some New Security Holes

The PS Vita will be getting a firmware update soon which will allow for a bunch of new features, including the long-awaited PS1 game compatibility. However, by opening the doors to older classics, Sony could potentially be exposing or creating new security holes to hackers who would eagerly exploit them.

The new system update, version 1.80, will be available on August 28th by jumping over 1.7 will be adding several heavily anticipated upgrades from the current version 1.691. The new features will include:

• Compatibility with PS1 games (It is still uncertain whether the PS1 archive games already out will be Vita compatible, or if Sony will be releasing a Vita specific lineup)

• Added use of button control for certain applications where previously only touch screen interface was allowed

• Speed control and repeat function for video

• Playlist compatibility with PlayStation 3 and iTunes playlists (Ver 10.6.3 or newer for iTunes)

• Increased cross-platform functionality with a "Cross Controller" feature to control specific PlayStation 3 software with the PS Vita through the Remote Play LiveArea

Hot on the heels of the new firmware update, the hacker, wololo, who developed one of the first executable custom software (Vita Half Byte Loader or VHBL for short) for the Vita, has announced he will release a new VHBL on the same date as the firmware update release, or shortly after in September, which will probably annoy the Hell out of Sony. Wololo's original hack utilized a weakness not in the Vita's firmware itself, but in games run on the PSP emulator in the Vita. This means that by enabling a PS1 emulator to run on the Vita, there could be a whole new batch of potential security holes that could be used to run custom software on the Vita. No doubt there will likely be several subsequent updates to follow.

PlayStation Vita 2012年8月28日(火)のシステムソフトウェアアップデートバージョン1.80により、新機能追加 [SCEI]

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Comments

    "This means that by enabling a PS1 emulator to run on the Vita, there could be a whole new batch of potential security holes that could be used to run custom software on the Vita."

    What PS1 homebrew possibly? Is that even worth while. I am also highly doubting chances of cracking into the Vita through it's PS1 emulator will be high if existent at all. I mean after all the PS1 emulator is most likely a modified version of the PSP's PS1 emulation so it should be simpler than PSP emulation and much more limited so there won't be much room to play with.

    These Vita updates are pretty sweet sounding though. Finally adding physical controls for menu and video navigation, a much needed feature. Also by the looks of it Sony will be ahead of the WiiU by allowing the Vita to be used as a touch PS3 controller.

    I can't wait!

      yeah this has finally sparked my interest in the Vita, while it's a very pretty handheld.... it doesn't do much for me, but if I can use it with my PS3 as a controller and potentially play all the old PS1 classics I might just have to shout myself one for Christmas :)

    If anything, it'll be a vulnerability that allows access to the PSP emulator inside the Vita - not the Vita itself. Like the older one.

    So you'll be able to do something with the emulator, but not the Vita software/OS.

    Sony has been very ignorant latly, waiting this waiting that, making their contests only available in usa, it's starting too sound like they are becoming another greedy company just out for the money... I might start buying nintendo if they dont pick it up and start adding canada in there contests

    Do you have to buy the ps1 games? Kinda new to this.

      When as sooooon as 1.80 drops VHBL will be revived. I GUARANTEE this, I have my sources.

      Yes, you can buy them off the Playstation Network store. They're pretty cheap though I think.

        Thanks.

    Its people like wololo that are messing things up for the majority. Most people don’t care about homebrew, or whatever else excuse hackers use for being able to get free games.
    By hacking systems wide open and exploiting weaknesses, they are making sony and other game makers spend more time and money on security than bringing out games. PSP was a prime example. I loved that system, had some really great games, but ultimately, (yes sony is part to blame) it was ruined by piracy.
    Wololo could possibly slow/stop the progression of vita users accessing a large library of PS1 games . . sony could simply go “oh fine then, we might as well not do this and just only give Vita versions of a few PS1 games instead of the whole library because our products are being disrespected”. I’d sure as hell feel that way if I ran the company, trying to bring something good to the public, and it all gets messed up by a few that want to hack the crap out of something that I worked hard to develop. It would make you just not trust the public anymore.
    I actually feel sorry for sony for this reason.

      ...but but but.. the homebrewz man.. think of the homebrewz... Atari 2600 emulator on my Vita... SNES games on my Vita... Come on man.. the homebrewz

        VHBL as it runs on the Vita currently is incapable of giving you free games (even free PSP games let alone PS Vita games). It doesn't have kernel access even in the PSP emulator.

        As far as I can remember wololo hasn't released anything that would let people run free games on the PSP either, VHBL for the PSP also lacked kernel access, it was someone else who worked out the escalation privilege used in the 6.00+ firmwares.

        It'd be kind of nice if people who didn't care about homebrew wouldn't accuse all of the people who do of wanting to burn down the world, and attribute actions correctly, it doesn't actually take much effort to figure out who did what.

        I'm quite happy to buy my games (and a buy a lot of games) but there's lots of useful features to modding a PSP like not needing to carry around a huge pile of UMDs*, being able to use the PSP PSX emulator to play any PSX games (which you can use to play PSX games you actually have the discs for), being able to play fan translations of games that will never make it to the US in translated form let alone our god forsaken shores as well as actual homebrew games, utilities (like being able to sort your games into folders) and emulators.

        *In fairness to Sony they have started releasing pretty much all PSP games (Birth by Sleep is the only exception I can think of) on the PSN as of late 2009ish, and they've made some reasonable (but not outstanding) steps to get some of the back catalog up there, but there's still a massive chunk of back catalog they haven't released and they probably never will.

    No * offence* Wil but people like you piss me off. Don't be such a educated dumbass. Wolo's VHBL doesn't allow people to download free games, it allows emulation and hombrew, allowing you to customise stuff like the UI for people that don't want to be stuck with whatever Sony locks us into. Im hombrewing my Vita as soon as I can, I love being able to customise my Vita like a PC. Don't come here in here with your uneducated Banter and Trash Wololo like that, he has more brains then a hundred of you put together..

    Yay I have so many ps1 games like over 130 my ps1 is dead and i hate playing them on ps2 so i am going to be buying a vita for this.

    I like how you all regergitate exactly what the post says and speak like you know what it means. The PS1 emulator has never given anyone full system access in the past, so there is no reason to make "doubtful" comments about it now. The older psp's all worked on a sandbox platform with an integrating menu interface. This psp takes sand boxing to the extreme, so yeah the emulator WILL BE very limited. That goes w/o saying. I'm curious to know how much brain power that took for you to figure out that tiny itty bitty morsel of logic. If you don't know what sand boxing is, look it up, it would be impossible for me to explain without being able to draw examples and stuff. I'm still very much impressed Sony was smart enough to think the shit up. Actually I take that back, Apple thought it up, Sony only solidified it for everyday use.

    As annoying as I find Wil to be as well. He has a point, If hackers/modders push too hard too quickly, Sony will change focus and we all will suffer a slow down in entertaining titles. Does anyone remember how long it took them with the original psp before the games really started coming out? It was an update every 2 weeks... With new hardware comes a zillion updates whether because of hackers and modders or not.

      I lost focus on my last post. I meant to say he is right and wrong at the same time. There will be a zillion updates regardless of hackers/modders abusing programming loop holes. It's just how it is.

    YES! Finally reduces the reliance on touch screen to navigate!

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