Developer TheFlow, known for an insane amount of PS Vita hacks and tools, just teased an upcoming feature on PS TV: the support for USB Mass storage (external USB Drive).
For owners of a PS TV, this could dramatically reduce the costs of owning the device, as the only storage media for now are Sony’s proprietary memory cards.
Note that this is different from a feature previously released by TheFlow, which let you access the content of your PS Vita via USB Mass Storage. This is technically stating things can be done the other way around, where the PS Vita TV would be able to access content from an external usb disk.
TheFlow’s screenshot (below) obviously shows the feature running on a PSTV, however people are wondering if support for external usb keys could ultimately work on “regular” PS Vita. Although TheFlow hasn’t disclosed anything on that, it sounds slightly unlikely: The PS TV already natively supports connection of external USB keys, if only for firmware updates. The PS Vita does not do that, neither does it have a regular USB port. It is likely the regular PS Vita does not have the hardware support for such a feature.
Given TheFlow’s track record, there is no reason at this point to question that this is real. However the developer has not given any release date, and people who have asked for details without thinking twice about their question have been met with funny (if sarcastic) replies. Nevertheless, once released, this could make the PS TV a very interesting device to own in one’s living room.
In the screenshot shared by the hacker, one can see a new partition named uma0 (which theFlow stated stands for usb mass storage) with, in his example, about 8GB of space available.
TheFlow shared a screenshot showing access to an external USB Drive on PS TV
It goes without saying, but this hack will require a console running HENkaku, on firmware 3.60 or lower.
The PS TV can still be found new for a reasonable price on several electronics retailers, and any PS TV purchased new will ship with firmware 3.60 or lower, ensuring compatibility with HENkaku. However Sony has discontinued the device last year (which is also why we know they ship with a low firmware), so ultimately stocks will run out.