23 Jun 2005, 05:58

Have ROMs, will travel

Today is the day that I’ve been waiting for ever since I got my PSP (which I don’t believe I mentioned before but Jolayne got it for me as the Most Awesome Wedding Gift Ever. She gave it to me the day before the wedding and its a good thing it didn’t come with a game or I probably would have been playing it at the altar). Anyway, it’s a gorgeous piece of gadgetry on its own merits and the screen is just amazing (no dead pixels on mine, thank goodness) however as with nearly all Sony devices it’s burdened with a ridiculous amount of DRM features, namely its restriction against running unsigned code. I just don’t understand Sony’s fierce desire to keep people from running homebrew apps on the thing, which is obviously the PSP’s greatest calling in life. To that end they’ve been updating the firmware to make it more secure, but as a of today there exists a “workaround” for the 1.5 firmware (the initial version that shipped in the US) to run your own programs off a memory stick which means that I can at long last run SNES and Genesis emulators on my PSP. That’s the only reason I ever wanted one in the first place. Sony is likely to force upcoming games to require newer versions of the firmware to run, but I won’t be upgrading mine unless another way to run your own programs is found. That just seems like a pretty basic requirement to me. Now if the whole PSP Linux thing could just get going, I’d be set.

UPDATE: It’s occurred to me that if I could travel back in time with this and give it to my 13 year old self, I’m pretty sure I could give the younger me a heart attack and cause an interesting space-time paradox.


Comment by Neal on 2005-06-23 11:25:53 +0000

The reason that Sony (and console manufacturers in general) are so anti-hacker is because they make most of thier money off licensing revenue from games sold for the platform. If you could create a game without licensing Sony’s libraries and their “PSP” stamp on your game box, Sony wouldn’t make any real money off of the deal.

It’s very different from the PC game market, where Dell and Microsoft don’t get any royalties when you come out with a cool new PC game. But the console (and now handheld) game markets have a “give you the razor cheap and sell the blades for a lot” business model. It’s a crappy model, but the only way to make it go away is by hacking all our XBoxes and PSPs. Viva la MAME!

Comment by Will on 2005-06-26 09:53:02 +0000

Ah, that makes sense. It’s still dumb, but it makes sense. Aside from the emulators, it wouldn’t be as frustrating if Sony actually bothered to release any software for it. I mean, the thing has WiFi and it didn’t even ship with a web browser!

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