The game exploits patched by Vita FW 3.00, and how this will impact future VHBL/TN-V releases

November 6, 2013

You may have heard of different naughty surprises that came with firmware 3.00, and you may ask what the hell this has to do with me? you may also wonder about the future of VHBL and TN-V4, I’m gonna tap on that here, but I’m also gonna explain why I think Sony has made a huge dumb mistake.

What happened?
Basically what happened is that around 4 games, maybe more, were secretly patched by Sony. This isn’t news, they have been secretly patching games for a while, Pool Hall Pro probably being the most famous. What’s new here is that they haven’t patched one game, they have patched 4 so far, and more and more people keep reporting private games being patched, so maybe there’s much more, who knows. But loosing 4 exploits is not much if you take into consideration that there’s probably more than 30 exploits in being kept under wraps. What really hurts the community here is that they made a huge change, a change that will make most exploitable games incompatible with VHBL, AND TN-V4, I’ll address that in a bit.

What did they do?
To understand what they did we gotta understand a crucial part of VHBL: the utilities. Loading all utility modules allowed us to have some important crucial functions available and increased compatibility a lot. What they did now is restrict the use of utilities to only the ones imported by the game, so attempting to load a utility that the game does not import a function from will result in a crash. Basically it all ends up with us not being able to load all utilities as we previously could, and in the end this affects compatibility with VHBL so badly that games that used to have crappy compatibility are no longer working, and games that used to have great compatibility now have a crappy one.

What about TN-V4?
I said this also affects TN-V4, but it doesn’t affect TN-V4 compatibility itself, it affects the amount of games that can now use TN-V4, as TN-V4 initially needs to be able to load certain utilities to access the exploitable function, and as I said, not all utilities are available to us as it used to be. Again, this doesn’t affect TN-V4 or the kernel exploit itself, once you run TN-V4, it’ll be all smooth from there, what this affects is the amount games that will be able to run TN-V4. Of course there are a few games that will be compatible with TN-V4 and we’ll release it when time is due, so TN-V4 will be released as promised.

Now that all that is out of the way, let me explain to you why Sony has done a huge mistake.
First of all, as I already said the amount of games that will be compatible with VHBL has been greatly reduced, this means if before we used to have a Ninja Release every two months or so, now devs will think twice before releasing their perfectly working, private exploit, so we will most likely see a release every 5 months or so.
On top of that they didn’t really do anything to patch CFW, while VHBL requires most utilities to have decent compatibility, CFW will normally require one, or in the worst case scenario, none, so there will always be games for CFW.

Essentially what they did is patch a piece of software that, instead of making losses to their business, it gave the potential for a game to sell thousands of copies, in the end they receive money and loose none. But now all these games that could have potentially sold thousands, will mostly like now sell only hundreds, or nothing at all, cause lets be honest, not everyone would have bought most previous exploits had they not have VHBL in them.

Why they decided to do such a crappy move that will do more harm than good is beyond me, but there’s one thing I know, the Vita is already struggling, and neglecting the amount of money the scene spends buying exploitable games is not the best way to gain revenue.

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