Sunday, December 6, 2015
Take This Console and Stick It
Merry almost Christmas and happy currently Hanukkah, kids! I just thought I'd stop by and inform you that I've had a complete change of heart about the Playstation TV, Sony's ill-conceived micro console. After you're done puttering around with your library of (some) Vita and (most) PSP games, you discover that it can't really do anything else, and it just sits there gathering more dust than Yahoo Serious's career. (No, that's not Carrot Top, but I understand the confusion.)
Yes, there's technically a way to hack the Playstation TV, but it's a long, arduous process with unsatisfactory results. You have to create two "custom bubbles" for the system, one for official PSP games and the other for homebrew, and that requires a complicated series of steps that would leave even Rube Goldberg gasping for breath. If you've logged out of your PSN account for any reason, you'll be constantly hounded by the system to update the firmware if you try to do half the things the hack requires. And if you update the firmware, you won't be able to finish the hack anyway!
Look, I get why the firmware updates exist. Sony's got to keep people from pirating decade old PSP games on its twenty dollar console. (As far as I know, there's no way to run pirated Vita games on the PSTV, but why the hell would anyone bother when Sony practically gives them away during monthly flash sales?) But it doesn't make the misbegotten Playstation TV any more fun to use, and it doesn't make the system's wasted potential any less frustrating. The console is pretty powerful, especially for the price. It's just a pity that Sony will never take advantage of that power, and has gone to such lengths to prevent anyone else from harnessing it.
So I'm switching to an Android stick; specifically, a CX-919 II I recently purchased on eBay. I can't vouch for its performance, but I do know from my past experience with Android products that it will be a lot easier to customize. It may even run PSP software better than the PSTV can, since the PSP emulator on Android enhances the resolution of games and cleans up their chunky textures. Admittedly, the CX-919 might be disappointing too, but it's hard to imagine how it could be any worse than what I've already got.