A few days ago some dude who goes by the name of Mr. Gas released instructions to the world that would allow all 24 PSTV owners to download and play pretty much every PS Vita, PSP and PS1 Classic to their PSTV.
The way it works is that it overrides the in-built list of approved games that will run on the system. There’s a fair few native Vita games that work, but there’s also a sizable chunk of the Vita’s library that, for reasons unknown, aren’t available despite being very playable on the system.
Take Wipeout 2048 as a prime example: it uses the face buttons and analogue sticks for gameplay and only uses the touchscreen features to navigate the menus. The PSTV allows emulation of the touchscreen with the DualShock 4’s touchpad whereas the DualShock 3 can do the job by bringing up an on-screen touch-cursor. Obviously, the former is the most preferable and easier to use, but either can do the job just fine.
However, Wipeout 2048 isn’t an approved title. Why? Haven’t the foggiest, but it’s perfectly fine to play and looks pretty bloody good on a high-definition telly. I recorded a short clip of the game in action on the big-screen which you can watch down below. Apologies in advance for the extremely amateur filming. There’s a reason I’m not in the movie piracy business.
Then we have Unit 13. This one’s a little more tricky as the touchscreen is used during gameplay, but again, with the DualShock 4’s touchpad it’s no bother getting into the game and having a play. During some gameplay sections you’ll have to use the touchscreen to disarm a bomb, steal some documents or hack a door, but they’re not really time-sensitive interactions, so the extra second or two that it takes to use the touchpad isn’t really an issue. That being said, DualShock 3 users would have a bit more trouble as the on-screen cursor is – in a word: shit. Perhaps Sony could patch this one into the PSTV’s approved list of games and just add a note to the store description that it’s best played with a DualShock 4? It’s a nice idea, but don’t expect the Japanese giant to do anything; the platform holder has all but abandoned the PS Vita and it’s screen-free cousin.
Again, there’s some footage down below showing that the game functions perfectly fine. Though, and this will be immediately obvious, the game’s graphics don’t hold up as well on the big telly, but it plays great with some decent analogue sticks.
Lastly, I tried out Gravity Rush. Sony recently announced that the PS Vita exclusive would be re-releasing on the PS4 and that a sequel will also be hitting the home console at some point. I’m not the biggest fan of remasters, but I do see the appeal: people who don’t own a Vita and never intend to get to play a great game that they otherwise wouldn’t have ever touched. Personally, if I can save a few quid, I’ll happily skip the remaster in favour of playing Gravity Rush on my TV. I tested it out on the PSTV and I was thrilled to find that it works a treat.
Gravity Rush on the PS Vita require use of the touchscreen, but not extensively. It’s mainly used to navigate the game map and perform rolling dodges from enemies. This one is fine for the DualShock 4, but if you hope to play (and be able to dodge) using the DualShock 3 controller, you’re gonna’ have a bad time.
What about movement? Gravity Rush uses the PS Vita’s in-built gyro sensor for when you’re floating around and want to aim in a direction in which to travel.
It also lets you do the exact same thing with the right analogue stick. So why isn’t this one available on PSTV? Again, Sony could easily stick a warning in the game’s description that it’s best played with a DualShock 4, but there’s no chance of that now, especially when the remaster is on its way.
Once again, there’s short clip down below showing the game in action. It doesn’t look too bad, either, but it will obviously be a better graphical experience on the PS4. I’m not too fussed about graphics, though, so I’ll probably find myself playing through Gravity Rush on the PSTV. I’m ashamed to admit that it’s been sat in my download list for months and I’ve never completed it. Now I can do it on my nice big telly with my PS4 controller. Happy days.
So what about some other games? Well, there’s a few big hitters that I’ve yet to try out, but I know that Need for Speed Most Wanted works natively, as does The Amazing Spiderman. Killzone Mercenaries was also given a patch to do away with all the touchscreen controls, so that’s a handy one to get on the TV.
However, even with the new PSTV exploit, you shouldn’t expect every game to work, well, at least be fully playable. Uncharted: Golden Abyss makes extensive use of just about every input method the Vita has to offer, so you’ll get so far, but you’ll soon hit a brick wall (or a slippery log) and won’t be able to progress any further without using the PS Vita.
It’s a real shame that Sony has failed to support the PSTV as it’s a great little device. It’s cheap, it’s tiny and it’s a genuine pleasure to play on, but with some cracking games that should work on the unit not being made available, the library of games is considerably weaker than it should it. It’s almost as if Sony doesn’t want more money…
The PSTV is currently being sold on Amazon for a mere $37, so if you’re up for giving the tiny device a go, it’s not that expensive.
Have you been giving some “unplayable” games a run on the PSTV? Any that you’d like us to test? Give us a shout down in the comments section below.