The race is on. Proving that no gadget is hack-proof, homebrew developers have discovered an exploit in the PS Vita and have used it to get Sega Genesis games running on the handheld.
On the market (Asian) for a little over two weeks, the PS Vita got its first "Hello World" just before the end of 2011 and now, the next level of hacking has begun.
According to frwololo's YouTube video, the hack uses an exploit in the PS Vita's PSP emulator. Combined with Half Byte Loader and and an emulator called "picoemulator", frwololo can spoof the PS Vita into play Genesis games like Sonic & Knuckles albeit without properly synced audio.
Bear in mind, PS Vita hacks are still in their infancy, and frwololo even warns that Sony has tougher security measures in place on the handheld, so a public release of the exploit might not be made soon.
As they say "where there's a will, there's a way."
The exploit does however open up the PS Vita to possibilities of custom firmware and homebrew applications down the road. The exploits could also lead to more rampant piracy, which is not something Sony's security team would like to see happen.
When the original PSP was released, Sony played a cat and mouse game for years with hackers who kept decrypting the handheld's firmware. History looks set to repeat itself with the PS Vita.
Meanwhile, the 3DS has done a great job of keeping flash cart pirates away. Whereas the DS Lite was hacked in a matter of weeks with working "R4 cartridges" the 3DS remains firmly locked, nearly a year into its release.