Rumor: Sony Suspends Two PSP Games Over Vita Homebrew Exploit

Rumor: Sony Suspends Two PSP Games Over Vita Homebrew Exploit

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Hot Shots Tennis and MotorStorm: Arctic Rift have apparently fallen foul of Sony's mission to protect the Vita from hackers.

Having spent considerable amounts of time chasing the technology enthusiasts it deems responsible for a variety of hacks into its gaming hardware (including the infamous Geohot, who was arrested earlier this month for driving through Texas with a goody bag of organic sweeties) over the past few years, Sony released the PlayStation Vita with a little more anti-hackery fanfare than usual. While this vigilant standpoint can be seen in a few firmware updates and press releases, the suspicions detailed by one gaming and homebrew blogger on Wololo.net, if true, would seem to show them in action.

Here's the skinny: Over the past two weeks Sony pulled a pair of PSP games called Hot Shots Tennis (lovingly dubbed Everybody's Tennis! in Europe, insert joke about Communists right here) and MotorStorm: Arctic Rift from the PSN, ostensibly for, as the company explained to Eurogamer, "software stability improvement."

The unofficial version of this story, however, is that both games contain features which allow players to run unsigned code in the Vita's PSP Mode, which could be used to play homebrew titles on the Vita. In an open letter to Sony, Wololo.net's writer explains how this loophole "could allow people to run software that would be extremely dangerous for [Sony's] business, such as 20 year-old 8 bit games and 154 different versions of Pong."

While the word "suspended" suggests that Sony intends to restore the games once their software is suitably stablized (and, perhaps, the homebrew exploit hole removed), the two remain offline at time of writing. According to details of the exploit on Wololo.net, the hole does not allow for any incursions into hackery, crackery, or any other kind of criminal activity.

While Sony's official response is to be expected within the next few weeks, we've a window here for a little chat about what its treatment of these games signifies for the company moving forward. Will moves like this deter hackers, or only entice them to spend more time fiddling with firmware in an effort to defy Sony? Does Sony really have a choice, given how rampant piracy was on the PSP? It's worth remembering at times likes these that the Sex Pistols' manager was beside himself with glee when the British government banned God Save the Queen on its release; he was correct then in suggesting that making something harder for people to get only makes them want to get it more. Humans are fickle creatures, and pirates more fickle still. Of course, the entire conversation is nullified somewhat if it does transpire that Hot Shots Tennis and MotorStorm: Arctic Rift are simply suffering from software problems unrelated to homebrew exploits. Do let me know what you think, Escapists.

Source: Wololo.net via Joystiq

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As long as Gravity Rush isn't affected.

I don't play sports games anyways.

Why bother with 154 different versions of Pong if the original was uninteresting (in my opinion)?

Im banking on Sony shutting down possible Homebrew opportunites.

I doubt Sony can keep hackers off the Vita for as long as they kept them off the PS3, but im damn sure theyre going to try.

Why would people wanting something more the harder it is for them to get make them fickle? Wouldn't that be more true in the reverse?
'Predictable' seems more accurate.

Hevva:
Here's the skinny: Over the past two weeks Sony pulled a pair of PSP games called Hot Shots Tennis (lovingly dubbed Everybody's Tennis! in Europe, insert joke about Communists right here)

In PlayStation Network, brewing lands you in hot water!

So they don't want features added to a device so people will buy it? This is there marketing strategy?

LOL

good luck with that, the hackers will, again get into it and break it open and then, 20 year old 8-bit games on the go!! maybe even 16-bit o.0

And in a few months there will be a hack for custom firmware on the Vita that lets you play every game under the sun on it. It's like the war on drugs, stop wasting money on a battle that can not ever be won

what do you mean piracy was rampant on the PSP? I thought only the PC had pirates? what is this madness of which you speak?

Oh Sony, keep on delaying the inevitable. The Vita will fall to the hacking community soon enough and go the way of the PSP. (Which if I might add becomes the best handheld console ever if you load it up with emulators, homebrew and all the eboots and ISO files you can find.)

Darkmantle:
what do you mean piracy was rampant on the PSP? I thought only the PC had pirates? what is this madness of which you speak?

I really hope you are being sarcastic, the whole appeal of owning a PSP is downloading some custom firmware and playing all kinds of free downloaded content. Right now my PSP has a GBA Emulator, Cave Story, regular PSP games and many Jap Imports that are impossible to get.

Sylveria:
And in a few months there will be a hack for custom firmware on the Vita that lets you play every game under the sun on it. It's like the war on drugs, stop wasting money on a battle that can not ever be won

Yeah, just like every human being should give up the war to remain alive, since they're gonna die eventually.

....wait.

Toilet:
Oh Sony, keep on delaying the inevitable. The Vita will fall to the hacking community soon enough and go the way of the PSP. (Which if I might add becomes the best handheld console ever if you load it up with emulators, homebrew and all the eboots and ISO files you can find.)

Darkmantle:
what do you mean piracy was rampant on the PSP? I thought only the PC had pirates? what is this madness of which you speak?

I really hope you are being sarcastic, the whole appeal of owning a PSP is downloading some custom firmware and playing all kinds of free downloaded content. Right now my PSP has a GBA Emulator, Cave Story, regular PSP games and many Jap Imports that are impossible to get.

That was entirely sarcastic my friend :p be at ease.

Darkmantle:

Toilet:
Oh Sony, keep on delaying the inevitable. The Vita will fall to the hacking community soon enough and go the way of the PSP. (Which if I might add becomes the best handheld console ever if you load it up with emulators, homebrew and all the eboots and ISO files you can find.)

Darkmantle:
what do you mean piracy was rampant on the PSP? I thought only the PC had pirates? what is this madness of which you speak?

I really hope you are being sarcastic, the whole appeal of owning a PSP is downloading some custom firmware and playing all kinds of free downloaded content. Right now my PSP has a GBA Emulator, Cave Story, regular PSP games and many Jap Imports that are impossible to get.

That was entirely sarcastic my friend :p be at ease.

Ah, sarcasm is hard to interpret over the internet.

Darkmantle:
what do you mean piracy was rampant on the PSP? I thought only the PC had pirates? what is this madness of which you speak?

Tell you what - you find a single instance of a developer saying they are abandoning the PC to work solely on the PsP and only the PsP after the PsP's piracy became an issue, and I'll concede thats a valid point. Otherwise, you concede its the stupidest fucking point in the world.

I'll give Sony the same advice I gave for the PS3: only worry about controlling online content through PSN (or SEN). Then it is fairly easy to checksum system code and make sure everyone is playing by the same rules. Outside of that, it is okay to make it somewhat difficult to root the device, but accept that it is going to happen and plan accordingly. For people who aren't planning to connect to PSN, their device is their own. There, Sony, now send me your address and I will send you my consultation fees.

Foolproof:

Darkmantle:
what do you mean piracy was rampant on the PSP? I thought only the PC had pirates? what is this madness of which you speak?

Tell you what - you find a single instance of a developer saying they are abandoning the PC to work solely on the PsP and only the PsP after the PsP's piracy became an issue, and I'll concede thats a valid point. Otherwise, you concede its the stupidest fucking point in the world.

After you find me a story of Ubisoft putting incredibly intrusive/always on DRM on their PSP games, of course. As that was my point, not this strawman "OH THE DEVS SHOULD GO TO PSP" shit you're trying to construct my statement as.

I do not concede either point, this isn't the ME3 ending, I can choose whatever option I want.

Ehhhh...even if all that is indeed true despite Sony's lack of info about the matter, pirates are still gonna find a way to hack the Vita. Somehow. We'll all be surprised, then we'll find it quite normal.

Such is the circle of life. Gaming life. Whatever, you get the idea.

What Sony SHOULD'VE done was make a mandatory firmware update to play any subsequent games that release-wait that didn't work. Well, what if Sony made you "sign" a contract that required you to update the firmware to continue the use of the system, and at the last resort, bricked any Vitas that ran unsigned code, and installed an "update" firmware that rendered any other function of the system outside updating completely blocked off until you updated?

Also, the first thing hackers should put in is a way to connect the Vita to cloud storage so that we don't have to buy the now fucking pointlessly security-encoded and expensive memory cards.

Oh, and here, let me fill in for Sober Thal so he(?) doesn't have to post in this thread:

Sober Thal:

And all the little 14-year old boys are thrilled, blah blah blah, pirates are either irresponsible little kids or fully grown adults that can't grow out of their "irresponsible little kid" phase, yadda yadda, companies/police officers/governments are always justified and in the right, no matter what vile, inhumane atrocities they may wreak, yibbidy-skibbidy, work 8 hours play 8 hours sleep 8 hours.

Another Escapist:

Blah blah blah.

Everything you have ever known is wrong.

There, I think that covers it. Wonder how long it's going to take him (?) to quote me/get a warning for this post, lol.

--

Well, to tell the truth, I waited until some decent CFW was released on the PSP before I bought it.

I'll probably do the same with the Vita.

they will not be able to stop hackers forever, it just wont happen. What they need to do is start providing content to people at reasonable prices and a better method then the pirates, this is why there are so many ex-pirates on steam now, because its a better service that they will pay for.

having prices up to $80 for a portable title (and remakes of older titles) is rather ridiculous (I got skyrim on launch for $9 more), I wonder how many vita's they would sell if they started advertising that every game is $10-$20-$40 and just told people that the vita's an investment in gaming, they wouldn't be able to produce it fast enough. Hell, if they kept the memory sticks at their high price and sold games digitally for $10-$30, they would make a mint on the memory sticks.

 

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