It was only a matter of time.Sony’s Playstation Vita handheld has come face-to-face with its first robustly engineered hack, allowing users to run unofficial “homebrew” games and apps on the device.
As is always the case with hackers, this one, Yifan Lu, is facing some heat from developers who worry their games will become rampantly pirated.
Through a congenial public conversation with independent developer Wolfgang Wozniak on Twitter, though, Lu assured that his solution will in no way allow for official retail games to be pirated. It is “physically impossible to decrypt or load retail games with my exploit,” he said.
His hack merely makes it possible for other people like Wozniak to get their software up and running on the device without needing to go through the official Sony channel – at least in theory, this is for enthusiasts who want to develop for the Vita, just for the joy of developing for the Vita.
Wozniak was not completely reassured by that, however. “When the exploit goes public, it could be used as a stepping stone to analyze the system for farther exploits, including the more desirable kernel exploit, which if found would open the system up entirely (mods, CFW, maybe even Linux/Android, and unfortunately ISO loaders),” he replied.
It makes sense that developers would be uneasy. It was because of rampant piracy that Sony’s PSP was seen as poison to many small developers because there were millions of players gaining access to any game they wanted without paying for them. Sony has taken extreme measures to try to prevent that from happening with the Vita.