Back when it was released in Japan as the Vita TV, Sony’s PlayStation TV generated a lot of hype: It came out of nowhere and promised us the ability to play Vita games on our TV at a low low price! Why wasn’t this available in America over a year ago! Thankfully, the Vita is a region free system so there was nothing to stop me from importing this glorious budget priced beast!
…then I discovered something horrible: The Vita TV doesn’t play Vita games.
Well, that’s a slight exaggeration. Out of my 11 PS Vita games, it played 3 of them. To those of you wondering, here’s the list:
-Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus (JP)
-Valhalla Knight 3
-Army Corps. of Hell
-Hyperdimension Neptunia PP
-Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
So what was the problem? Was it the touch screen? No because the Vita TV has built-in touchscreen emulation (click in L3 and R3).
Perhaps the VitaTV is region locked? Not quite because my US Valhalla Knight 3 and Dragon’s Crown work on it. However, Demon Gaze is supposed to work on it but apparently the US version (which is ALL region) doesn’t. Something in the translation process broke compatibility.
However, this is the Japanese Vita TV and I’m trying to play US games! Surely the US compatibility list will be better, right? Well good news! It’s here! Check out the whopping list of “nearly 700 games” compatible with the PlayStation TV! The bad news? If you pay attention, the compatibility list is actually horrible.
Checking my list of games that worked and didn’t work on the Japanese Vita TV, there are very few differences. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed works now and Demon Gaze is supposed to work again. However, YS: Celceta, any of the Neptunia games, Army Corps of Hell, Shinobido 2, Gravity Rush, and the rest of them all don’t work. Uncharted is also not on the list.
However, perhaps most distressingly: Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus has lost compatibility on the US system!
Why is this distressing? Well aside from it working on the Japanese system there’s the fact that it launches in the US on the same day as the Vita TV! Now, perhaps because it isn’t out yet however, as we have seen, sometimes the translation process breaks compatibility.
Indeed, glancing at the Japanese compatibility list, Soul Sacrifice and Neptunia are supposed to work on the Japanese Vita TV as long as you’re playing the Japanese versions. I have a feeling this means the US and Japanese Vita/PlayStation TVs have the same compatibility list.
What this results in is only 84 US Vita games work on the system. It also means 4 out of my 11 games now work (or 5 if the Japanese Senran Kagura still works).
According to Wikipedia, there are 774 games total on the Vita. Now mind you that is counting Japanese-only releases so saying only 84 out of 774 Vita games work on Vita TV is a bit untrue…but think about that: 84. That is less than 50% compatibility (US games were somewhere between 250-500 games).
So what are the rest of the “nearly 700 games”? PSP games you can download. If you look, the biggest chunk of the PlayStation TV compatibility list is PSP games. Basically this is a PSP Go you can hook up to your TV that plays select Vita games.
Speaking of which, I need to address the PS1 games on the list. These are the same PS1 game you can play on your PSP and PS3. Infact, you can play MORE PS1 games on your PSP! Why? Because the Vita doesn’t emulate the PS1. It emulates the PSP emulating the PS1. This results in longer load times and decreased compatibility. If you wanted to play Bloody Roar 1 & 2 on your Vita TV, you’re out of luck.
The weird thing is that I noticed no noticeable compatibility issues when slapping my Japanese PS1 games onto my Vita TV.
Oh, and they count Demos as separate games. Because they are desperate to boost that number in any way possible.
So, think this sounds like a complete mess yet? It gets worse.
Chances are, if you’re reading this blog you wanna play Tales of Hearts R on the Vita TV, don’t you? I know I do (though I would rather play the DS one *grumble grumble*). So, is it compatible? Well…you’re not gonna like the answer: it used to be.
Yeah, when Googling around for the answer I found a thread that said that Tales of Hearts R worked perfectly on Vita TV firmware version 2.60, but the 3.00 update broke compatibility with it (and White Album apparently). Ouch. Yeah, that sounds good: updates that break game compatibility. So you can buy a game to play on it, only for it to suddenly stop working one day.
But this is only a temporary problem, right? Sony will fix it super fast and everyone can get back to their game, right? Wrong.
Tales of Hearts R is no longer listed as being Vita TV compatible. Sony isn’t even trying.
Look, let’s just be honest here: Having a Vita you can hook up to a TV and play games on is a great idea! However when that Vita has a less than 50% compatibility rate? That’s not good at all. What happens when a super awesome sounding Vita game comes out but isn’t PlayStation TV compatible? Then what? How frustrating will that be? How much more frustrating would it be when your favorite Vita game suddenly stops working on the PlayStation TV?
People, this is exactly why they changed the name to “PlayStation TV” instead of “Vita TV”. Even still, I find this pretty unacceptable. Perhaps if all you want is to be able to play Persona 4 Golden on your TV and you’re willing to pay $100 just to do that? Then enjoy your Vita TV. It’s Muramasa compatible too apparently and that makes me happy (because of that sweet DLC). But be forewarned: This thing is a mess.
However, there is one ray of hope: Apparently fans have a workaround to force Tales of Hearts R to work on their Vita TV. Perhaps once the system is thoroughly hacked it will be awesome. Either way, I would wait for the hack.
Until then, please, remember to check the compatibility of all of the games you want before buying a PlayStation TV. It DOES NOT work with ALL Vita games!
Oh, and my VitaTV has HDCP protection on the video stream and it’s HDMI only, so you can’t record game footage either unless you have a clever workaround.