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The Beginner's Guide to a Homebrew-Enabled PS/Vita TV

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:16 am
by Radhew
This guide was created for the sole purpose of helping a new user mod their Playstation/Vita TV and teach them the basic workarounds they need to know. It mainly focuses on the major procedural differences between the Vita and TV, but it also functions as a step-by-step guide to get the user started. For this reason, I have attempted to keep things as simple and newbie-friendly as possible.

WARNING: Do NOT update to firmware 3.61! There is only one difference between 3.60 and 3.61: HENkaku no longer works, meaning you'll lose access to all homebrew and most Vita games. Only use the update procedure mentioned in this guide!

What You'll Need:
  • A Playstation/Vita TV running 3.60 or lower. (They cost about $20-$30 USD online, but watch out for refurbished ones, as they're usually updated to the latest version. Try to contact the seller to confirm.)
  • A controller for Playstation 3 or 4.
  • A PSVita memory card of any size. (This is not optional. Internal memory won't work.)
  • A Windows PC with an FTP client, such as FileZilla.
  • A Playstation 3. (You'll need this if you want to download items from the Playstation Network.)
  • A USB drive. (Not required if you're already on 3.60.)
Your PSTV should also have been registered with a PSN account. You had the opportunity to do this when you set up the PSTV, regardless of which firmware version you're using. If you didn't, you'll need to reset your system by going into Settings > Format > Restore This System. Don't worry, it won't reformat your memory card unless you agree when it asks you to.

Step 1: Getting your PSTV to 3.60
If you're already on 3.60, skip to the next step.
Download firmware version 3.60, located here. Simply follow the instructions on that page to update.

Step 2: Installing HENkaku
Installing HENkaku is easy! Simply go to http://henkaku.xyz in your PSTV's browser. If you get an error when trying to install, make sure your memory card is in the PSTV, as HENkaku won't work without it. If the problem persists, restart the device and try again. Occasionally, you'll need to retry a few times before it succeeds. You'll know HENkaku is installing once you reach this screen:
Image
Once the installation has finished, the browser will close.

Note: You'll need to repeat this step every time your PSTV reboots if you want to continue using your homebrew.

Step 3: Getting your Vita games working with the PSTV
A big issue with the PSTV is the limited number of Vita games it can play. By modifying the whitelist, we can enable all Vita games. You will also use this method to install any vpk files in the future.

First, download Rinnegatamante's Anti-Blacklist and place it somewhere easy to access on your computer. Then, from your PSTV, start the new bubble on your home menu labeled, “molecularShell”. (Remember, if you've rebooted your PSTV after installing HENkaku, you'll need to install it again.)

From molecularShell, press the Select (Share for PS4) button on your controller to start up the FTP server. A box should pop up on your screen giving you an FTP address and port. If you don't know what that is, the information you want is structured similar to “xxx.xxx.x.x:xxxx”. Everything to the left of the colon is the address, and the port is on the right.

Open up your FTP client (FileZilla) and connect with the address and port molecularShell is displaying. Transfer your newly downloaded Anti-Blacklist vpk to the PSTV's ux0 folder. If you're having trouble, make sure to read your FTP client's documentation.

Once you have successfully transferred the file, feel free to disconnect the PSTV's FTP server. You can now use molecularShell to navigate to the area you sent the Anti-Blacklist file. Once you've found it, simply select it to install it to your home menu.

After the installation finishes, return to your home menu and start the Anti-Blacklist. You might notice that you have two versions of the whitelister to choose from. V1 was the original way to whitelist games, and while it works with most games, some still refuse to run. V1 also has to be reinstalled after every reboot. There's not really much of a reason to use V1 anymore, as V2 directly modifies the app.db, making it permanent and compatible with more games. You can uninstall V2 at any time.

Once you've selected your whitelist version and followed the instructions, your PSTV should now run all of your Vita games.

As for actually playing the games, many will require touch controls at one point or another. You can emulate touch controls by holding the PS button until the PS menu pops up and checking the "Use Touch Pointer in Games" box. Once checked, touch controls can be activated by tapping or holding L3 and R3 to control the front and rear touchscreen, respectively, or simply by using your PS4's touchpad.

I should also note that there are advantages to using both a PS3 and PS4 controller. While it would be better to use a PS4 controller most of the time for its superior touch controls, some games (i.e. Persona 4: Dancing All Night) experience weird, half-second long input delays with them. If the delays affect your gameplay, you might want to switch to a PS3 controller.

Finally, games that require gyro controls to progress (i.e. Uncharted: Golden Abyss) cannot be completed and will most likely require you to complete that section on an actual Vita before progressing further.

Step 4: Downloading/Copying digital content to your PSTV
Easily the biggest issue with not being on the latest firmware is the inability to access the Playstation Store. Luckily, if you have a PS3, you can still download titles from the store, albeit with a little more effort. As a bonus, you can also use this method to copy other files to your PSTV, such as videos and PSP save data.

Note: Your PS3 must be using the same PSN account that the PSTV was set up with.

You'll need to download the 3.60 update blocker for this one.

First, download or otherwise copy the data you want to your PS3. (If you want a title to follow along with, grab the demo of LocoRoco Midnight Carnival from the Playstation Store. You can use it to install VHBL later and use PSP homebrew!)

Once the title has been downloaded, run the 3.60 update blocker. It should, again, give you an address and port. Leave this application open. From your PSTV, go into Settings > Network >Internet Connection Settings. Select your network and pick “Advanced Settings”. Next to “Proxy Server”, select “Use”. Fill in the new boxes with the information the update blocker gave you, and select “OK.”

Once the Update Blocker has been set up as your PSTV's proxy, attempt to access the Playstation Store. You should get a message telling you to update your PSTV. This is supposed to happen. When this message appears, check to make sure the update blocker has successfully spoofed the latest version. You will know it succeeded if you see this screen:
Image
If you didn't get a message telling you to update or the update blocker didn't do anything, check your proxy settings. Also, if you've never signed in with the PSTV before, it'll show a login screen instead. This is fine.

Once the blocker succeeds, you no longer need it until you reboot. The PSTV will now think that 3.60 is the latest firmware. While this is no longer enough to access the Playstation Store, we can still use it to access the content manager.

With your PS3 still logged in, start Content Manager on your PSTV. Select “Copy Content”, “PS3 System”, and register your PS3. Once connected, copying data from your PS3 to your PSTV should be pretty self explanatory.

This pretty much covers the basics of using your newly modded PSTV. You can now use other guides to install homebrew and do other cool stuff. From here on, homebrew guides for the Vita should more or less be identical to the procedure for your PSTV. Enjoy!