PSTV Blacklist still not taken down on Vita firmware 3.61
Aug 9, 2016 — It has been brought to my attention that with the latest update, Sony still hasn't removed the blacklist. If you update to firmware 3.61, games like Uncharted Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush and SpyHunter won't load.
It seems we are back to square one, and yet better off than we were before. Previously Mr.Gas' whitelist hack could only be installed up to 3.52, and as such we couldn't play games that required 3.55 or higher. Now thanks to HENkaku, the library of games that a single PlayStation TV can play is much larger. On 3.60 with the HENkaku whitelist hack installed, we can play all our previously blacklisted games and any new releases that require 3.55, 3.57 or 3.60. I still have not yet tested any new releases that are blacklisted, but I cannot imagine any reason why they shouldn't work with the whitelister app.
Unfortunately, staying on 3.60 means that we are again locked out of the PlayStation Network via the PSTV. For now at least, we can use Vita Update Blocker to access the network. If you are on the penultimate firmware, you can use Vita Update Blocker to trick your PSTV into thinking it is on the latest firmware and access the store, remote play and so forth. But this effect only lasts for about a week or two. Afterwards, it's back to using Vita Update Blocker for making transfers from your PS3 to your PSTV.
It's very disappointing because the PlayStation Store on the PSTV is perhaps the most well organized and user friendly online service that I've ever seen. Even better than the online service provided by the PS3 and PS4. All the games and applications you can buy are all listed alphabetically and categorized so neatly. There's a place for PSP games, for PSone classics and PSminis. And of course, everything you can purchase through the PSTV's store is compatible with it.
Another cool feature of the PlayStation TV is its PS4 remote play. The reason why the PSTV didn't sell well is because Sony primarily marketed it as a streaming device for the PS4 first and a Vita second. Why pay $100 to stream my PS4 to another television? Well if you don't like playing PS4 games with the Dual Shock 4, the PlayStation TV provides a perfect and inexpensive workaround. The PSTV is compatible with both the Dual Shock 3 and the Dual Shock 4. So if you'd rather play PS4 games with a Dual Shock 3, just use the PS4 remote play using the PS3 controller and you're in business.
Unfortunately, in the long run neither of this can be done using outdated firmware. The Vita Update Blocker will only allow you to access the network directly for a couple weeks and then you're locked out again.
So ultimately, it would be wise for now to continue using two PlayStation TVs. Keep one device on 3.60 for the HENkaku whitelist hack; and the other on the latest firmware to access the store directly, do PS4 remote play and of course play any new release that will require 3.61 or higher. Of course, while you'll be able to directly purchase games via your ≥3.61 PSTV, if you want to play them on your 3.60 PSTV you'll need to download them to your PS3 and then transfer them to the 3.60 console using Vita Update Blocker.
While I'm sure HENkaku opened the doors things you probably shouldn't be doing (I doubt Nintendo would be too happy with people playing Mario, Zelda and Pokemon on their rival's console!), in the case of the whitelist app you aren't doing anything malicious. You're just restoring compatibility to the PSTV that it should have come with out of the box. Could you imagine a scenario if, back in the day, Nintendo released the GameBoy Player attachment for the GameCube and it didn't play all the GameBoy games? Or if Sony programed the PSP 2000 and 3000 models to disable certain PSP games if you tried to play them while outputting to a television? Nobody would want to pay that! Well, that's exactly the scenario we have with the PlayStation TV. The incompatibility was initially a deal breaker for me. But, ironically enough, what drew me to the PSTV and compelled me to put it on my Christmas list was Mr.Gas's whitelist hack.
Sony, I speak directly to you here: what is illegal about being able to play virtually any Vita game on the television?