When I first purchased my PS Vita, it came with firmware version 2.60. I had the following options:
1. Stick to offline, manually upgrade to 3.18, buy Hatsune Miku Project Diva Final, get TN-V and play the PSP games.
2. Upgrade to latest firmware (3.51 right now) and go online.
I chose the 2nd one. To put it in the words of an awesome person whom I respect more than anyone: “You bought this knowing that you’ll have to buy your own games, right? So you already know what to do.” Simple thought. Yet very true. I had bought the PS Vita so I could play PSV games on it, games made to take advantage of that gorgeous 5″ OLED screen, and I was mentally prepared to go this route. Oh, and I also have a PSP so I can play those titles anytime I want.
I also knew that sticking to a lower firmware and/or looking for and running exploits would mean playing a cat-and-mouse game. I buy an exploit game for firmware x.xx, and run PSP games on it, and then it is patched in the next firmware upgrade. So I’m cut off from PSN at that point on. Again till the next one comes. I’d rather not be involved in such a stressful game, and just enjoy my games while taking advantage of the latest and greatest it has to offer. Also, I have a PS+ subscription that literally makes this moot.
So I’m happily sitting on 3.51 and busying myself playing Minna no golf (came with the pack), followed by Atelier Totori (from PS+) and then NFS: Most Wanted further down the line (it’s 497 JPY in the JP PSN Store, so couldn’t resist). Much more peace-of-mind than worrying about blocking updates or spoofing versions etc etc.