For anyone who owns, or is thinking of buying a PlayStation TV, there are many aspects of the micro-console that still remain a mystery. There are questions surrounding the PS Vita’s baby brother over just what it can and can’t do, the many quirks that the device has and just how to get the best out of the PSTV. Rather than leaving those of you visiting Vita Player to struggle we wanted to bring you this FAQ to try to help answer as many questions as possible that you might have about Sony’s smallest – and cheapest – console to-date…
PlayStation TV FAQ – updated 26th April 2015
Q. I am looking at buying a PlayStation TV. What set-up would you recommend for beginners?
A. This depends on what you want the PSTV for. If you are buying it to accompany a PS4 and it’s primary function is to be used as a Remote Play device then all you will really need to start off with is the PSTV itself and a cheap ethernet cable and you can get these from most discount stores. As a PS4 owner you are likely to have a PlayStation Plus subscription though so we would recommend getting a memory card of some sort to download the free PS Vita games (many of which you’ll already have access to by way of Cross Buy) so we’d suggest at least an 8Gb memory card. They’re quite durable so second hand would suit your needs easily enough.
If you’re planning on using it as a PS Vita system then you’ll need a more elaborate set-up. As well as the PSTV you’ll need to invest in a controller (we’d advise opting for the DualShock 4 as we’ll go into more detail about below), a memory card and games beyond the three included. Also, the aforementioned ethernet cable as well.
Q. What controller should I buy to use with the PSTV?
A. While the console can use both the DualShock 3 and DualShock 4 controllers, we would advise using a DualShock 4 with the system for several reasons. First, if you are planning on using the PSTV for Remote Play, then the functions of the DS4 will be a must for full PlayStation 4 compatability. Secondly, there are PS Vita games that are compatible with the PlayStation TV that do require touch controls and while both the DualShock 3 and DualShock 4 offer emulated touch controls, some titles require simulated multitouch functions and the DualShock 3 can not provide this meaning that games won’t function properly without the use of a DS4 controller.
One thing we must stress with the DualShock 4 is that it does not come with a cable for charging so this is an additional purchase you will need to make. However, a DualShock 4 charger lead can be picked up for around £5 with a little hunting.
Q. The PlayStation TV has 1Gb of internal storage so do I need to buy a memory card for it?
A. It depends on whether you already own a PS Vita or not? If you own a PS Vita then you can simply remove your existing PS Vita memory cards and use them in your PSTV and swap the cards in and out freely (just remember to turn both devices off before removing the cards). This also has the advantage of allowing you to use your existing digital games collection on both machines. If you don’t then you will need a card as the internal storage is insufficient for anything other than basis save data, game patches and a couple of small downloads. We’d recommend buying the largest card that you can but ideally a 64Gb card if you opt for a single memory card.
Q. What games work on the PlayStation TV?
A. Most PlayStation 4 titles will run via Remote Play on the PSTV. As a rule, the only titles that don’t are ones that need the PS4’s camera or make use of other functions specific to the PS4’s hardware. The PSTV has been marketed in the West primarily as an accessory for the PlayStation 4 but in reality it is a PlayStation Vita that can be connected to a television and as such it has access to the same library of software that the PS Vita does but there are some things that need to be taken into consideration with games.
Despite making use of the DualShock 4 as one of it’s controllers and having emulation for both the touchscreen and touchpad, it doesn’t offer touch controls as standard so some Vita games are not compatible with the PSTV. Equally, games that are dependent on the Vita’s motion sensors, microphone, camera or other features may not work. While many have been dismissive of the PSTV for not being able to run many games, the reality is not as bleak a picture as some would want to paint.
We have a PlayStation TV Compatability Guide here on the website which details not only native PlayStation Vita titles but also downloadable PSP, PS One, Minis and PlayStation Mobile games and indicates which do and don’t work on the PSTV. This is not an exhaustive list but it is being expanded daily as we verify more titles.
Q. I have been playing a game for a while on my PSTV but now the console says it’s not compatible. Why is this?
A. We have noticed that this has happened on a few occasions with PS Vita titles and we believe that part of the issue may have been caused by the updates that have been made to the PlayStation TV’s System Software. While these are essential to fix bugs in the PSTV’s system or to add/improve features, there have been instances where it has affected compatability of certain titles. As we do discover which games are affected we will update our compatibility guide.
Q. I have noticed that some games work in America but not in Europe. Why is this?
A. To be quite honest, we don’t know why this is the case but there are a large number of titles that are compatible in America but not here in the EU and vice versa. Whether this is down to the publishers or Sony we are not certain. We don’t believe that it is a licensing issue with the games though, because that would affect the games being released completely.
Q. There are games on your compatibility list that I can’t find in the store on my PlayStation TV. How can I get them?
A. This is a common issue that gamers are finding. The PSTV version of the store is missing a lot of titles and the only way to access these is to use one of the following methods:- 1) purchase and download them on a PS Vita and then swap the memory card into your PSTV; 2) purchase and download the game on the PS3 and copy it across using Content Manager; or 3) purchase it using the web-based store (or PS3) and download it to your PSTV from your Download List.
Q. I have a fast fibre optic broadband at home but Remote Play is still slow. Why is that?
A. Remote Play is unaffected by the speed of your internet connection unless you are genuinely using Remote Play remotely i.e. a distance away from home over the internet. With the PS Vita, it connects via wi-fi either to the PS3 / PS4 or through your home router. In the case of the PSTV, this again connects via your router or directly to the PS4.
Q. How can I improve performance of Remote Play with the PSTV?
A. There are several things to do here. First we would suggest that you ensure that the PSTV has been updated to the latest version of the System Software. Version 3.50 has improved performance of Remote Play significantly, both reducing lag times and also offers options for picture and video performance and many gamers have found that this update has made the system far more enjoyable to use. Secondly, we would suggest that you check your home connection. Depending on your home set-up, if you are using wi-fi to connect the PSTV to the PS4 signal strength and distance between the two systems can affect performance. A wi-fi signal booster could be of benefit. Rather than connecting through your router for wi-fi we would also suggest linking the PSTV directly to the PS4 via wi-fi for improved performance.Our preferred method would be to use the PSTV’s ethernet port and connect the console through your home router that way. If your PSTV is in another room in the house then we would advise using a powerline network adaptor. These are relatively inexpensive and provide the best networking solution without the need for messy cabling around the house.