Sony cracks down on exploited Vita titles

It didn’t take long for hackers to figure out the workings of the PlayStation Vita, with one clever sod creating an exploit which allows unsigned code to run inside the handheld’s PSP emulator. In a word, that means: Homebrew.

PlayStation Vita: Firmware Update Required

PlayStation Vita: Firmware Update Required

Predictably, Sony isn’t too keen on the idea, and the company has started cracking down on compromised games already hosted in the PlayStation Store. Last month, Everybody’s Tennis and MotorStorm: Arctic Edge were removed, with Sony claiming “software stability improvement”.

Allegedly, the problem was that those two games can be used to run Wololo’s Vita Half-Byte Loader (VHBL), which then happily executes homebrew code and games.

Now, we can add another title to the banned list: Super Collapse 3 was discovered to be vulnerable to the exploit and was quickly removed from the store. We haven’t heard whether or not any of these titles will return to the PlayStation Store any time soon.

Piracy runs rampant on the PSP, so it seems Sony is trying to avoid a repeat on its new platform – even if it is simply removing the symptoms rather than fixing the problem.

At this stage, creator Wololo claims VHBL “cannot” be used for piracy, as it only allows unsigned code to run in “user mode”, and not at the root level. Running inside the built-in PSP emulator, the hack can only access 32MB of RAM and is kept well away from the Vita’s operatin system.

Still, the hardware giant is taking things seriously. If you’d prefer to jump into the Vita from a development perspective, sign up for the Developer Program, for US$99.

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