How To Install PSP ISO and CSO Game Files on the Vita
The discontinuation of the PlayStation Portable (PSP) left some of the fans of classic games like GTA a bit disappointed. On top of that, the PlayStation Vita has also recently been discontinued after failing to catch on.
However, this doesn’t make either of the portable consoles less enjoyable, and there is a way you can play all the old titles in full resolution. The entire process requires a few hacks, some time, and an emulator. But once you get the hang of it, all the steps should be pretty straightforward.
PSP ISO and CSO Installation Basics
The following steps require you to have the TN-V emulator installed on your Vita.
Go online and download CSO/ISO backup files for PSP games onto your computer. Rename downloaded files in all caps, extension included, and make sure not to go over 8 characters.
On the computer, navigate to the folder which contains the data for the game. This is the same folder which contains the 660.PBP file. Once you are there, copy and paste the renamed CSO/ISO file.
Download and install qCMA, the application that allows you to transfer files between your Vita and PC without an active internet connection. Launch the app on your computer and get ready to move the files you PS Vita. It is advisable to use a USB cable rather than Wi-Fi because CSO/ISO files can be very big.
Go to Content Manager on your Vita and choose PC > PS Vita System from the Copy Content menu. Then select Applications and click on ‘PSP/Other’ under ‘Saved Data’.
Now, you will be able to see the saved file for your game. It’s almost the same size as the one you are about to copy. Select the file and hit copy. If there’s an option to overwrite it, do it.
Run the TN-V emulator to see the game you’ve just copied. To install the game, use the XrossMediaBar to navigate to the game and use the “triangle” button to reveal more options. Hit Install and wait for a while. Upon installation, Vita will ask you to delete the file, which you should do.
The game will no longer appear in the XrossMediaBar, but rest assured it’s there. Press Select to bring up the VSH menu and choose Restart VSH. This gives the PSP emulator files a refresh, after which you will be able to see the game as it’s installed on the Vita memory card.
As a PS Vita fan, you’ve probably already heard about TheFloW emulator. It is among the most popular pieces of software that allows you to enjoy your favorite PSP titles on Vita.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume you are a GTA fan and take a look at how to install this game in Vita’s native resolution. The entire process should work similarly for other games as well, though you might need to spend some time looking for all the right patches/emulators.
Before You Start
There are a few things you need to consider before you use the emulator and install the latest patch.
First, the patch works with GTA Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories. The resolution you’ll be getting is 960×544, with four times more pixels compared to the PSP. However, only the U.S. 3.0.0 (or 1.0.3) versions of the games are currently supported.
You should know that the color depth dropped to 16-bit, so you can expect minute dithering. The reason for this is 2MB Video RAM on PSP which is not enough to support the increased rendering. You may also notice some performance issues because the plugin allows for rendering at around 20 FPS.
This doesn’t mean the games are not playable, but you might see a bit of a lag here and there.
Note: Your PS Vita needs to run on Adrenaline 6.9 to use this plugin.
Start by updating the Adrenaline version. You can either replace the modules or do a VPK installation.
- To replace the module, go to: ux0:/app/PSPEMUCFW/sce_module.
- To install VPK, provide PSP’s FW 6.61 PBP and reinstall PSP’s FW.
You need to make sure that the Force High Memory Layout option is disabled. You can find it in the Recovery menu under Advanced Configuration. Since this feature is not enabled by default, this step is optional.
Get the GTA Native Resolution patch, copy it to ux0:/pspemu/seplugins. Add ms0:/seplugins/gta_native.prx 1 to the SEPLUGINS folder (game.txt file), and you are good to go.
The era of portable handheld consoles seems to be dying out. Admittedly, Nintendo Switch seems to have had a good start, but the number of games for this console is still very limited.
On the bright side, Sony’s portable ecosystem remains well-supported despite the fact that the consoles have been discontinued. Developers keep coming up with new ways to install different games on Vita. You just need to find the right emulators and take time to tweak the game files before sitting down to play.