TN-V4: Clarifications on firmware 3.01, 3.00, and the recently patched exploits

December 12, 2013

A few days ago, Sony released firmware 3.01 for the PS Vita. As the Z mentioned already, this kind of disrupted some of the release plans for TN-V4, but not too much. If, at this point, you are completely lost about the upcoming TN-V4 release, about usermode exploits, about what firmware you should update to: don’t panic, it’s perfectly normal. So many things happened over the past few days that pretty much everybody is confused. Let me try to clarify a few things:

If you are on firmware 3.01

So, you upgraded to the latest firmware? Don’t worry. As The Z stated, TN-V4 has been confirmed to work on firmware 3.01, and so does the game exploit that shall not be named from the Ninja release. Basically, you’re good to go. Don’t know how and where to get the ninja release? Check this thread.

If you are on firmware 3.00

You’re on firmware 3.00 and are not sure if you should update to 3.01, stay at 3.00, or throw a coin, sacrifice a cow, and decide based on the answer of the gods? Well, here the choice is up to you: Firmware 3.01 patches several game exploits that are potentially compatible with TN-V4. In particular: if you are on firmware 3.00, it appears you will be able to run TN-V4 through game King of Pool.

What does that mean? It means you have here a game available on the PSN, that will work with TN-V4 as long as you stay on firmware 3.00. If you upgrade to firmware 3.01, you’ll have to get the game from the ninja release (see paragraph above), but if you stay on firmware 3.00, you can get King of Pool. That’s basically useful if you already own that game, or do not want to wait for the ninja release. In order to be able to buy the game (and therefore, access the PSN) without updating your firmware, follow the guide here.

Some people have claimed that a new exploit in Urbanix would also work for TN-V4 on 3.00. Our resident hacker qwikrazor87 says no, so I’ll side with him on this one. Also the new urbanix exploit is real, it seems it will not let you run TN-V in firmware 3.00 and above, only lower firmwares.

The above feels too complex/unsure? Then upgrade to 3.01, and you shall grab the ninja release game when the time comes

If you are on a firmware below 3.00

There are several exploits that have been confirmed to be compatible with TN-V4, depending on your firmware. Staying on a low firmware has benefits: TotalNoob has stated that 2.12 and below give you access to 64MB of Ram in the PSP emulator, while any firmware above will only give you 32MB  (For those of you born after 1990, MB is the unit of Ram that was used on electronic devices in the nineties, and on Sony’s devices 5 years ago).

On the other hand, if you are on a low firmware, accessing the PSN to get one of the exploitable games can be a challenge. Again, try the technique mentioned here if you want to give it a shot.

But more realistically I’d say: if you are on a lower firmware and already have one of the exploitable games, you might want to stay there. In any other case, I’d recommend to go to 3.00 or 3.01.

An incomplete list of the older firmware exploits compatible with TN-V4 can be found here (thanks to The Z). Again, what exploit runs for you highly depends on your firmware.


Why the hell are we talking of user mode exploits? I thought TN-V4 was kernel??

Yeah, this is confusing for a lot of people, yet it is simple: in order to trigger a kernel exploit, you need a usermode exploit first. Think of the PSP kernel as some jewel protected in a safe. The safe is locked, and is in a house. The house has many windows, all locked. in order to reach the jewel, you need to break into the house through one of the windows, then break into the safe itself. The windows are the exploitable games, and breaking into a window is what the usermode exploit does. Opening the safe, the second layer of security, is the kernel exploit. You can’t open the safe when you’re not inside the house.

hgoel0974 also has a detailed article on the subject: “should you update or not for TNV?“. Please note that the article was written before the release of firmware 3.01.

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