It’s no secret that Sony has been trying to kill the PS Vita for years. It started subtly: expensive storage, just fewer spots on presentations, fewer games on sale. But then, the dominoes started to tumble. A wonky store that sometimes doesn’t work, cutting multiplayer servers only to activate them again without a statement, removing the ability to buy Vita games on the Playstation website, the list goes on. In 2021, the Vita is very much a legacy-status device for Sony. But fans like you and me are rabid. We love the Vita. But should you hack your Vita in order to better enjoy it? I did, and here’s why.
The main reason I hacked my PS Vita is the storage issue. I’m very fortunate to own many digital games. Even though Vita games are relatively small, my complete ditigal collection requires almost 200GB of storage. That would cost me, at the very least, US$400 in memory cards alone. I find this intolerable.
Hacking my Vita has allowed me to use a third-party adapter which fits a MicroSD card in it (or in the case of my PSTV, a USB thumb drive). With around US$15 in adapters and actual storage, I can fit all of my games (which I legally own), without it costing me 2 months of mortgage payments. This alone would have made hacking my Vita worth it, but the benefits go far, far beyond it.
This applies to the Vita a bit, but more so to the PSTV. For some dumb reason, Sony required devs to explicitly instruct the store that their games were PSTV-compatible. Even when they were, some were simply never whitelisted.
Hacking your Vita and PSTV will allow you to whitelist any and all games to play on your devices. Once again, these are games you legally own, which due to Playstation’s backward attitude, you couldn’t just play on your device. But wait! There’s more.
Now, I don’t want to get into the “playing ROMs from the Internet” argument. It’s not my thing, but I’m not your mom. However, homebrew goes far beyond playing gray-market (or black-market) ROMs. The Vita homebrew scene is amazing, and has given us plenty of reason to hack our Vitas to access their content.
In fact, I like the homebrew scene so much that I’ve featured some of their work on this very site before. From the rebirth of the VitaDOCK (a Raspberry Pi-powered device which turns into a dock for the Playstation Vita) to the amazing work done by VitaHEX, developing bespoke games, there’s a hell of a lot to enjoy.
Should You Hack Your Vita in 2021?
I cannot answer this for you, I’m afraid. Only you will know. But I can tell you that it’s now quite easy (almost idiot proof, as it’s all done from the Vita’s browser). It has brought me great benefits, and has allowed me to enjoy my (legally acquired) games anew. It makes the Vita a practical device in 2021, and more than a match for anything Nintendo can throw at it in terms of portable gaming.
I don’t know if you should hack your Vita. But I did, and I’m glad.