3.61 is now the latest version of vita firmware, do not update through sony. If you have a vita firmware lower than 3.60, you can manually update it to 3.60 (see the FAQ).
What is HENkaku?
HENkaku is the first ever homebrew enabler for PS Vita and PSTV. It is akin to jailbreaking your iPhone or rooting your Android device.
Homebrew are games and other software not officially approved. For example, VitaDoom is a port of the classic game DOOM and mGBA lets you play Game Boy Advance ROMs. You can find more examples in the showcase.
Best of all, HENkaku is 100% free. No cost. No ads. No “donations”.
What are the requirements?
You need a PS Vita or PSTV running system firmware 3.60. Unfortunately, it is not possible to run HENkaku on any device running a higher firmware version and it is also not possible to downgrade your system firmware.
You also need a memory card (any size) with at least 10MB of free space. Internal memory on newer devices is currently not supported. In order to transfer homebrew to your device, you also need a FTP client for your computer. We recommend FileZilla. Finally, you need an internet connection to install HENkaku.
It is important that you never update your Vita past 3.60 if you ever wish to use HENkaku now or in the future. If you do update, all your installed homebrew will no longer work and you cannot install any homebrew in the future.
- Vita on firmware 3.60
- Internet connection
- FTP client on your PC (FileZilla recommended)
- Memory card
How do I Get It?
How to Install Homebrew
The homebrew package you wish to install should be a file with the .vpk extension.
Make sure Wifi is enabled and you are connected to the same network as the host computer.
Open “molecularShell” by launching the bubble.
Press SELECT to start a FTP server. Please note that the FTP server is not password protected. Only run it on a trusted local network.
Note the IP address displayed in a message popup.
Open your FTP client on the host computer and connect to that IP address. (for FileZilla just type in the vita's IP into the box labeled host)
Navigate to “ux0” (this is the root of your memory card) and you can upload the .vpk package here or in any subdirectory.
Once you upload all the packages you wish to install you can disconnect the client.
Back in molecularShell, press CIRCLE to stop the FTP server.
Navigate to “ux0:” and then to where you placed the packages. To install, select the package and press X.
You can also use the above method to copy any files you want to your vita. Just copy whatever you need over like you did with the .vpk.
++++mGBA is the current best GBA emulator (scroll down and grab the nightly) (UPDATE: gpSP under retroarch for GBA is now running really great as well) and RetroArch, an all in one emulator supporting tons of system is the best for everything else (SNES, NES, Genesis, NeoGeo, plus many more) You can read a bit more about RetroArch, including a list of supported systems/what works/how well games run/etc here. For SNES, snes9x2005_libretro is recommended. ++++
+Vita Hacking & Homebrew forum on GBATemp
+HENkaku's statement on piracy
FAQ (thanks Joey Ravn!)
What can I do with HENkaku?
What firmware do I need to use this?
- HENkaku is a native Vita exploit that allows for full control of the system. There is full on vita game piracy because of a program called Vitamin (Discussion of Vitamin is okay, discussion of how to run / install games created with Vitamin or where to obtain them from others is not.). PSP games work as well. There are many emulators available, such as GBA, SNES, etc. Game modding is available, such as Persona 4 Golden & Final Fantasy X undubs. People have expressed interest in translating japanese only games to english (such as Phantasy Star Nova). Moonlight (PC game streaming to Vita via NVIDIA gamestream) was ported as well.
Can I manually update to 3.60 from a lower firmware??
- 3.60. You have to be on 3.60.
Can I use this on previous firmwares?
- Yes. Check out this tutorial.
Can I use this with future firmwares?
Having to reinstall this every time I turn off my Vita blows! How can I make it permanent?
- No, since it's probably going to get "fixed" (i.e. patched) very soon.
Is there a way to get my purchased games onto my 3.60 vita?
- You can't, at least not yet. That's just the way it goes. However, there is an offline installer for when you don't have an active internet connection.
Do I lose access to PSN and the PSN Store by installing this exploit?
- Yes, but it requires a PS3, click here then how to get new content on your vita.
Can I play Vita game backups with this?
- Yes, accessing the PSN store (through the vita) requires you to update the firmware. You have to decide between playing online with the vita and HENkaku.
Can I play PSX game rips with this?
- Yes, a program called vitamin, which is a vita game dumper was released. It dumps games into installable .vpks. Discussion of Vitamin is okay, discussion of how to run / install games created with Vitamin or where to obtain them from others is not.
Can I play PSP game rips with this?
- No, but older vita hacks have allowed it. I would expect it in the near future.
Will Sony ban me if I use this?
- Yes, Adrenaline has been released which allows you to play PSP backups. There is an easyinstaller for adrenaline available here. I used this video guide and had no problems.
Can I use this to get rid of the infamous whitelist on PSTV?
- Short answer: probably not.
- Long answer: probably not, since they have never banned anyone for using ePSP exploits, which were also shown in the Activity Log. If you're scared about being banned, don't install this and wait to see how it all develops in the next few weeks.
- Definitely. Use this guide:
Make sure to disable system updates via Settings -> System -> Auto-Start Settings --> Uncheck Download Update File for System Software