Homebrew denied! Sony closes Vita piracy loophole by removing games from the PlayStation Store

Sony has removed PSP title Everybody's Tennis from the PlayStation Store after hackers discovered it contained an exploit that allowed them to run PSP homebrew applications on a PlayStation Vita. It follows the removal of MotorStorm: Arctic Edge which was taken down shortly after the new handheld was launched. We can confirm both games have indeed disappeared from our download list on not only PlayStation Vita, but also PSP Go as well, despite having been there for re-downloading last time we looked. It is a shame as both are rather good.

Above: Everybody's Tennis and MotorStorm Arctic Edge - both gone from Vita's store

Let's be clear that the exploit does not allow hackers to run pirated Vita games, or even pirated PSP games, for that matter. All it does is allow savvy programmers to access the PSP emulation program in the Vita and use it to run their own unsigned software - namely all the homebrew people made for PSP a few years back. So you could, for instance, play a SNES emulator or a home-made PDA application.

That in itself wouldn't be so bad for Sony (though still illegal). It does, after all, simply allow users to create programs for a computer device that they have bought, although the end user license agreement with Sony expressly forbids it. But, more importantly, it is the first step towards cracking the Vita and running 'backups' of full-blown retail games without paying for them, so it's little wonder Sony is clamping down as soon as anything like this arises. The PS3 took years to crack, but it happened eventually.

Hopefully the two PSP games will be patched and restored to the PS Store, although we wouldn't bet on it. In the mean-time, if you have PSP games that you haven't re-downloaded, perhaps best to get them on your memory card now in case this happens to more titles. Or in case Sony patches out the PSP emulation altogether as it did with PS3's Other OS. Don't say it'll never happen...

Source: Wololo




  • zheive - November 9, 2013 4:28 a.m.

    A new versión of homebrew enabler for PS Vita will be avaliable
  • reaperman22 - March 30, 2012 11:48 p.m.

    i can see the appeal of homebrew but it is a bit worrying, as soon as hackers start tinkering that just opens up a door for piracy which is only going to lead to a constant stream of updates which just becomes a massive pain in the ass :/
  • Noman679 - March 29, 2012 4:35 a.m.

    Homebrew =/= Piracy Nor is It illegal, it is like installing a secondary desktop on your wii/psp/psv/whatever. You own the hardware the second you buy it.
  • carl-burns - November 3, 2012 7:50 p.m.

    According to the EULA you never own the system its sort of lease to you for use and there in lies the legality issues that arise because i feel the same way you do if you paid for the system you own it but according to what you have to agree to so that you can use the system you never really own it.
  • jmcgrotty - March 27, 2012 11:59 p.m.

    Non-issue. Here is a list of literally every good homebrew game ever: Pretty slim pickings, huh?
  • Fruitbat - March 28, 2012 5:22 p.m.

    Be fair now, there are some decent emulators for PSP that are only going to work more smoothly on Vita; I use my PSP-1000 for emulation, and I'm hoping to pick up a 2000 model soon to double the memory and iron out some of the lingering performance issues with the SNES and GBA emulators. Plus the Vita has twin sticks now (and no hideous nub), making it a much better proposition for N64/PSone emulation, with enough power for decent Dreamcast emulation.
  • PReNDeL21 - March 27, 2012 2:32 p.m.

    So I guess it's not Everybody's Tennis anymore? That probabaly won't stop most hackers anyway as they may have those games installed on the PS3.
  • Desann - March 27, 2012 10:53 a.m.

    Weird. They take down these two games for that? Seems like it would hurt more than it would help, considering you can only run home-brew stuff with these glitches. "That in itself wouldn't be so bad for Sony (though still illegal)." Illegal? More like "against the end-user license agreement." You make it sound like the cops are going to get involved.
  • Spiderman - March 27, 2012 1:15 p.m.

    I think it's more likely that lawyers would get involved. Which, honestly, is more worrying to me than cops. They don't have to show restraint.
  • Whit - March 27, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    SWG was the last SOE game I will ever play. And the PS/3 is the last piece of Sony hardware I'll ever buy. Why people continue to support Sony, I have no idea. If Sony was the only company producing games and/or game systems--I'd stop playing before giving them another dime on my money.
  • jmcgrotty - March 28, 2012 12:03 a.m.

    What has Sony done that other companies don't? You could use a "find and replace text" function with this story and replace Sony with the name of any other company and it would still be accurate. (not taking into account the name-specific games)
  • therawski - March 27, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    Recently I got Mario 64 to run on my PSP without any hacks (or knowledge of how). All you need is signed code, I don't have a vita so I can't test it, but homebrewers will find a way considering how early of start they got. I use a "hack card" for my 3ds so I don't have to lug around my ds games and I use a homebrew drum machine on it. You probably shouldn't say "curse you pirates" when you are talking about homebrewers, I'm hoping that you were being sarcastic.
  • bigwill1221 - March 27, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    Good news everybody. Vita got worse!. ... wait... or did it get better for only sony=S
  • FOZ - March 27, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    That doesn't sound like an adequate solution.
  • BladedFalcon - March 27, 2012 6:29 a.m.

    Hrm... Not sure I like this, at all. To me, one of the most attractive features of the vita is the amount of games available for download online. Since I live in Mexico and retail stores here often don't supply more obscure titles or get rid of older ones. Fortunately, i don't really care about either of the games that have been removed so far, but I still don't like feeling that any of the other games I want could disappear at any moment just because Sony's being a paranoid little bitch.
  • Kermit1970 - March 27, 2012 6:14 a.m.

    I don't get why homebrewers do it on any console On the PSP it was "To unlock the full potential of the machine" Are any of them sitting in on the planning meetings for these devices? How do they know what the bigwigs have planned for the device?
  • CrashmanX - March 27, 2012 2:13 p.m.

    There's a lot of reasons behind Homebrew. One of them being custom games. Another being emulators. Also like you said "unlocking the full potential of the machine." Hell the PSP was constantly clocked down from it's full 333Mhz speed. Also putting all your games on a Memory stick is pretty nice. There's a lot of reasons to make Homebrew. Piracy is usually just an unfortunate side effect.
  • jmcgrotty - March 28, 2012 12:07 a.m.

    I was going to criticize your statement, then I re-read it and noticed that you didn't say the word "good" ever. "Lots of reasons behind Homebrew?" Yes. "Lots of good reaons behind Homebrew?" Umm......... No. Not even 1.
  • Fruitbat - March 28, 2012 5:29 p.m.

    Not even one? 1) Portable emulation of older consoles, with many more options opened up by the Vita's better specs and improved controls 2) Disable the PSP's underclocking and run the console at full speed 3) Break through region encoding, if there is any 4) Run custom or customised front-ends 5) Re-enable features that were taken out in firmware updates 6) Add extra functionality, like remote PC access And last but not least: 7) It's fun, and people like to tinker with their gadgets Not one good reason? There are plenty of good reasons, I think you'll find.
  • ParagonT - March 27, 2012 6 a.m.

    I'm not really sure how it helps either. Maybe It's just not clicking yet.

Showing 1-20 of 28 comments

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