Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Don't Try This at Home: Hacking the Playstation TV

Sorry this blog hasn't exactly been buzzing with activity, folks. I posted twelve entries- twelve!- last October, but right now I feel like a balloon with most of the air let out. I don't know what's responsible for my current malaise, but I'm hoping the holiday season will lift my spirits.

Anyway! In gaming news, I took a stab at hacking my Playstation TV, since it hasn't been getting a lot of lovin' lately. While I was ultimately successful, I can guarantee you that the "easy to install" TN-V is nowhere near as simple to use as past exploits for the PSP. You can find more information about the hack here if you're curious, but I'll warn you that it takes a lot of hard work and some frustrating trial and error to get it running. "Fifteen minutes of reading comprehension" is all you'll need for a successful installation? Yeah, if only.

You can't argue with the results, though. TN-V gives you full access to the PSP emulator built into the Playstation TV, letting you play any game in that system's library, along with a vast array of emulators. The interface is exactly the same as it is on an actual PSP, as you'll notice from this picture...

While you can connect later models of the PSP directly to a television set, the games are letterboxed, and you'll have to settle for the PSP itself as a controller, unless you've got a PSP Go (and in that case, you'll have to turn on the Bluetooth feature, which quickly drains the system's battery). The Playstation TV is a better way to go, if you've got the patience to install TN-V and transfer games to your memory card.

Speaking of games, here's one you probably won't see on PSN any time, well... ever. This is Salamander Collection, featuring five shooters from Konami's glory days. I've also got Twinbee Collection, Burnout Legends, and Grand Knights History running on my Playstation TV, and they all look fantastic... although with Grand Knights History, that pretty much goes without saying. I haven't tried any emulators yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I get to them.

Is the TN-V hack worth the trouble? For most users, probably not. An Android stick (available online for about fifty dollars) offers much of the functionality that this does, without much of the hassle. On the other hand, if you've got a lot of Vita games to play and just as much time to kill, you may want to look into this. TN-V greatly expands the scope of the Playstation TV, even if it's by giving it games the PSP has had for years.


  1. Yeah, I haven't even attempted Vita hacking yet. I mean the potential is there; I'm leaving it on 3.51 FW and have a couple exploitable games/apps (just in case), and know about the most recent tricks. I've taken a good look at everything involved and I could stumble through it, I think. But it's just not worth the trouble, especially when we have perfectly good (and more user friendly) PSP systems handy.
    My other main gripe (and I know you share in this) is that memory cards are stupid-pricey. I think I'll just stick with my PSP and micro-sd adapters for PSP/PS1 games and Emulators.

    Yes, the Vita TV has its perks, but I decided against getting one.
    No thanks Sony, I'll just take my Vita order to go.

    This might be good news for Sony though. For years, it's kind of been a war of attrition between Sony and hackers. They can't stop exploits from happening, but by making things extremely difficult to do anything unintended, you stop a good percentage of your user base from even trying.
    I don't like it, but it's an inevitable result.

    1. Something I want to add, and forgive the late reply: TN-V doesn't work so well with emulators, forcing you to hack the system AGAIN to add another custom bubble which can run them. It's just not worth it, considering that it only runs as fast as a PSP would. I gave up and ordered an Android stick for emulation instead.