Calling all coders: We need you to help create an open Vita SDK!

One of largest barrier to native PS Vita homebrew is the lack of an open toolchain and SDK. Essentially, we need something like pspsdk for the Vita. The reason why we don’t have it is because there are people who have an understanding of how the Vita’s executable format works but lack the time to code up the tools and there are people who have the time and ability to create such tools but lack the knowledge of Vita’s internals. The solution, I believe is to publish a comprehensive document detailing how the Vita’s executable format is laid out and the requirements for an open toolchain. Anyone with coding skills can now work on an open SDK; no Vita knowledge required!

For those who want to help with this endeavor, there are only two prerequisites. First, you must understand how the ELF format works. It is a very simple format and this document gives all the details. It would also be advantageous to understand the ARM extensions to ELF. Once you are caught up with that, you should be able to understand the SCE ELF format that I detail in the attached document. The actual tools that we need can be written in any language as long as it supports the three major platforms and meet the requirements detailed in the specifications. However, if you want a place to start, I would recommend libelf and portable C. I hope that the community can get together to work on this. Once someone makes promising progress, I will update this post with a link to the project so others can contribute. Please post any comments or suggestions you have for this document below. #vitasdk on FreeNode will be for developer discussion on the SDK.

PS Vita Open SDK Specifications

P.S (in an unrelated subject): Did you get a PSM license? If not, don’t fret, we got you covered. Just make sure you have the developer assistant installed on your Vita.

Update: Follow the progress here vita-toolchain


  1. cmbeke

    I don’t have a vita myself, but I glad to see some progress. I can’t wait to see this take off and see what sort of fun things the community comes up with.

    Thanks for all the work you’ve done so far.

  2. kregano

    I wish I could contribute something more than moral support and a retweet, but I would love for this to effort to make actual progress, especially for all the PS TV owners who could get the PSM dev assistant, but not the demo.

  3. Vesper

    Yifan, you who are so knowledgeable on Vita stuff, do you think it’s possible to develop a firmware spoofer? I’m still on 3.18 and there’re some games I’d like to play, but I guess the most recent carts will force me to update…

  4. Joe150

    +1 to Vesper’s comment. Alternatively, could it be done by editing the list at which minimum firmwares the games can be run? #noob

    Anyways, your move to unite coders to create an open SDK is really worthy of praise. Keep up the good work, Yifan Lu!

  5. JhormanC

    my biggest problem is that only speak Spanish and most of the documents and files are in English ncesarios and use google translator (as I do at this point) becomes a headache: / I hope you can help the cause .. of course I already have my license and running several demos waiting for something big :D

  6. Yatto

    I guess I wouldn’t be of any help for the coding part, nonetheless I would be happy to help for a French translation.

  7. Chris5258

    You don’t need to update to download anything on the vita. Go to your download list on the playstation store through your computer and add it to your queue. Completely power off your ps vita, power it back on and connect to wifi and bam your done.

  8. h4ve2bn1

    I wouldn’t be of any help for the programming part, nonetheless I would be happy to help for a Dutch translation.

  9. amin.rko

    I know how to program for pc with c# but i dont know anythings of this platforms.and beside i know how to program for avr micros but not arm controlers.i would be so glad if anything i can do

  10. Seroczynski

    I’m not experienced enough to assist writing a SDK, but I’m sure as hell excited to use the SDK once it’s done. Been waiting for a method to start coding for the VITA ever since it’s realease.

    Good luck.

  11. wonre

    Compiled and executed BallMazeDemo on both PS Vita and Sony Tablet P. I notice both PSM Dev assistants remember BallMazeDemo in their starting window, with a little difference : Sony Tablet P requires systematically a network access to check the license in order to run it. PS Vita accepts to run it without network access for around 24 hours, after that it requires it again. I wonder if some ‘magic’ proxy could serve license again once Sony servers will stop serving them…

  12. DoCtOrWhO05

    CSIN, i would say yes but it would need said SDK to make a linux driver based on said hardware and a Linux kernel built custom based off hardware. So yes very possible just need SDK to get ball rolling.

  13. I’m interested in the PS section because like a dum***** I didn’t applied for the PSM license. I thought it was still a paid license… Last time I checked it was 2 years ago. But meh, still got my psm developer account, C, C++, C# skills and some free time ahead for the next couple of months. I might give it a try.

  14. NoneSoFar

    DoCtOrWhO05, linux is still impossible. This SDK will only leverage user-mode exploit, sorry to burst your bubble.

  15. TimeGoneWrong

    NoneSoFar, I am sorry to pop yours, but it is in fact possible. With the PSVITA SDK which is planned, someone could compile qemu. It would just be very slow, because I compiled for android and the psp, I could only run DSL linux which is more or less useless.

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