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PlayStation Vita Hacked To Play Genesis Games

The PSP version of the Sega Genesis emulator picodrive is up and running on the PlayStation Vita

In what seems like no time at all, the Playstation Vita has already been hacked! See also PS4 release date, specs and rumour round-up.

Well, sort of. In a video uploaded to YouTube a few days ago, experienced PSP hacker Wololo demonstrates that it’s possible to run the PSP Sega Genesis emulator, picodrive, on the new Sony PlayStation Vita hardware. But don’t get your hopes up for a treasure trove of pirated or homebrew software on the Vita any time soon; there are a few caveats that will probably keep you from playing all your favorite Genesis games on your new Vita.

First, this is the PSP version of the picodrive Genesis emulator actually running on the Vita’s own PSP emulator, which implies that any Genesis game ROMs you (legally) owned would probably play better on the original PSP anyway. Second, Wololo makes it clear that this demo is meant to be seen more as a “ray of hope” than any kind of significant advancement in hacking the Vita; according to the video’s description, Sony’s security measures on the Vita (including the notorious Content Manager) will probably render this exploit unusable almost as soon as its made available to the public.

Nevertheless, this hack should serve as a ray of hope for homebrew enthusiasts. The game being played in the video is none other than one of my own personal favorites, Sonic & Knuckles; while the game itself seems to run rather well, the sound is clearly not being emulated correctly. Wololo attributes this to the Vita software updates that Sony implemented which differentiate the Vita from the PSP in some highly technical ways, and it’s unclear if these issues will ever be fixed.

Exactly what this exploit means for the future of Vita homebrew is still unknown (to anyone other than Wololo, that is), but the fact that people are already hard at work, plugging away at hacking Sony’s latest portable, is sure to give pleasant dreams to those hoping to exercise greater control of their Vita and perhaps even play some classic games while they're out and about.

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