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Not using your PS Vita? Turn it into a retro console emulator


PS Vita Doom Hack

The PS Vita console never quite fulfilled its promise and, although it gained new life with PS4 Remote Play, many of them have probably been consigned to the old tech drawers alongside old iPods and obsolete cables.

Thanks to the handiwork of some determined hackers, you can now free the handheld from Sony’s shackles and reinvent it as a console emulator.

The relatively simple jailbreak (via ArsTechnica) from the group dubbed Team Molecule comes through the console’s web browser.

All Vita owners (who have the v3.60 of the firmware installed) can simply browse to the HENkaku website and tap install.

See also: Sony PS Vita review

Users will then be able to use FTP software (like FileZilla) in order to transfer unofficial ROMs onto the PS Vita’s memory card.

As the exploit is extremely new there aren’t that many games compatible with the Vita as yet.

However, Team Molecule has a version of Doom for PSP, while there’s also a programme that enables Game Boy Advance ROMs to be played on the device. There are also emulators that enable some Mega Drive (Genesis) and SNES games.

The only drawback to the experience is that the method must be repeated every time users power the Vita on and off.

Also, in order to continue using it Vita owners won’t be able to download any new firmware beyond v3.60.

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August 2, 2016, 8:53 am

Another problem is that many of the emulators currently available (for example, SNES9x) are actually designed to run on the PSP. So the Vita is first emulating the PSP and then the emulated PSP is emulating another system. This reduces performance significantly, so not all games on the emulated system are playable. Hopefully developers will be able to create new versions of the popular emulators that run natively on Vita.


August 3, 2016, 4:45 am

Actually the Vita has a PSP built into the Vita's CPU itself, kinda. I'm not sure on the details, but YifanLu said the Vita can play PSP games native since in has the PSP's CPU on die.


August 3, 2016, 8:36 am

Thank you, I stand corrected. Unfortunately native PSP functionality doesn't do anything to improve the performance of the SNES emulator on the Vita. Maybe the PSP was just too slow in the first place.


August 3, 2016, 8:40 am

Yeah, it's kinda weird so I wouldn't expect people to know just by looking at a Vita since the company itself (Sony) has all the documentation and can most likely create profiles for select games released through PSN which would make emulation a breeze for the Vita for normal PSP games if the Vita didn't host the PSP on die.

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