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...