Tuesday, November 28, 2006

being unloved: the story of my psp

yes, i feel a bit sad some-days for him. since my ds lite purchase, my psp has sat dormant and charging on his charging cradle. i remember getting my psp on the US launch date and drooling over his amazing 3d graphics and gorgeous display.

but after a few weeks he started to get less and less attention and more gripes (dang battery life! where are the games? not another FPS!) however, it seems things might be changing soon  it appears that some good games are starting to show up on the PSP (MGS: PO, Lumines II, goode ole GTA) and tempting me to make a purchase. for a while there i had given up on the PSP and its game lineup, which sony seemed to have too.  things seem to look a little brighter (mind you nintendo ds game/hardware sales are still killing the PSP in most regards).

however, things looked even brighter than ever for the hacker/modder community w/the anonymous release of the PS1P Alpha 1 PS1 emulator (source DCEMU )!  i really have always wanted to play my Final Fantasy VII on the go (and yes, i still own these games but no PS1, :( ).

again, i do not promote piracy or warez but this is an amazing accomplishment for any coder/hacker.  sony has not even itself come up with a valid solution or even a proof of concept (at least i have not ran across any demos of an actual PSP running a PS1 game, however its promised now w/the PS3 but a pretty steep start-up cost for most).

i personally have refused to upgrade my PSPs firmware and still run the same launch firmware, v1.50 which allows me to run every piece of homebrew software available. after playing through my launch psp titles, i got into the homebrew/emulator very early scene and released a compilation of the best emulators available w/custom icons (seamonkeyPack, most of the time emulators were either only v1.00 ready and or did not have any cool icons or had the kxploit icons).

the psp's homebrew history is never-ending battle type story with hackers finding exploits and sony releasing firmware updates to fix them (see wikipedia entry on psp homebrew). it started w/a coder running a very simple helloworld type app on his psp firmware v1.00.

 the next coder then ran the same app on a v1.50 psp by using what would become known as the swapploit.  basically you loaded a folder on your main ms duo card and then the emulator/homebrew eboot.pbp on a second ms duo and then once you selected the game in the PSP menu, you had to pop out the first duo card and put in the second, thus swapploit.  however in a mere matter of weeks, the hack was refined to using a two folder system on one ms duo card and was dubbed the kxploit.  later hacks w/firmware v1.51 and up included tiff exploits; the battle between unsigned code and sony was a constant fight.  more dubious hacks were also made such as running PSP iso images of games/movies off of a ms duo card and even making your psp run w/later firmware to avoid having your psp's firmware updated to play newer games (you bought). i did that for GTA since i loved having my (of course!) mario allstars and chrono trigger (snes) on the psp.

in my opinion, the psp was a born portable emulating system (PES, haha!) just by the raw power in it (333mhz cpu, comparable to a ps2s) and the amazing screen it was given.  however, this lead up brings me to my next prediction in for gaming (a pretty obvious one too): the PS3 will become the hackers/modders next fave system to hack (even more so than the xbox was, i modded mine!)

its obvious since it already can have Linux installed onto it. hackers have already dumped a blu-ray game to iso via linux and a basic command line. it is a mere matter of time before someone figures out how to run iso dumps from their PS3's harddrive.  in my opinion, i think nintendo purposedly went with a smaller internal size to avoid having such problems that the xbox then and ps3 now may have w/game piracy.  one cannot fit a full wii game onto a SD card (since i think the wii only sees up to a 2GB card) or internal memory (512mb).  however usbs could be a different story if its only activated by a firmware update and can take hds.

also, from (what i dub as..) the 'next-gen' handheld war, it seems pretty obvious so far that games sell systems more than power and specs.  its sad that the reason i will be dusting off my psp and putting the ds lite to rest is not for a game being released but a homebrew emulator.  but my psp will take whatever loving he can get it and my ds any rest she can get. :P

so this upcoming console war could be a good one for everyone including the hackers/modders of the world and us consumers with so many choices.  i have already made my choice; Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!