At a time, one of the PlayStation Vita's biggest selling points was a "Remote Play" feature that would essentially allow people to play any PlayStation 3 title on the shiny new handheld. As it turns out, the feature is maddeningly restricted to a paltry selection of games (Peggle? Bejeweled 2? Really?), which is carefully managed by a series of mandatory firmware updates. However, a hacked version of the PS3's 3.55 firmware highlights a very interesting loophole.
Joystiq reports that the hack actually reclassifies the PS Vita as a "mobile phone" rather than a gaming system, enabling Remote Play to recognize quite a few higher-profile games. If such a thing can be done with the 3.55 version of the PS3's firmware, there's no reason to think that the hacker and homebrew collective won't be able to catch up to later versions. (Currently, the latest version of the PlayStation 3's system software update is 4.00.)
From the source:
The Vita appears as a "mobile phone" in this configuration, and offers up a wider variety of choices than the normal Vita Remote Play. The videos in question, uploaded by YouTube users [sic] homer49, feature Batman: Arkham Asylum, Battlefield 3 (shown above), Alice: Madness Returns, Mortal Kombat and Red Dead Redemption. The games display a hefty amount of input lag.
Even with input lag, the hack is a welcome sight. If this unofficial method can reproduce PS3 playback on the PS Vita without any console-breaking drawbacks, then Sony shouldn't have much problem officially opening up the rest of the PlayStation 3's library to Remote Play. Of course, that's the most optimistic assumption.
McKinley Noble is a former GamePro staff editor, current technology nerd and eternal mixed martial arts enthusiast. He also likes Japanese sports dramas and soap operas. Follow him on Twitter or just Google his name.
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