Friday, November 20, 2009

thoughts of a launch psp owner (post 4 1/2 years)

Well, I just realized today that I've owned my Sony PSP for almost 4 1/2 years! I originally purchased my PSP on launch day way back in March 24th, 2005.  The PSP's superior screen and hardware (running nearly a full ps2 processor) impressed me from the start but would that alone make the PSP a competitor to the already successful Nintendo DS?  Would Sony get a foothold in the portable gaming sect?

After 4 1/2 years, I thought I'd recap on my experience with the PSP (being that I have also owned a Nintendo DS) and my thoughts and reflections.  Keep reading for the full scoop.Sony launched the PSP in March 2005 in the USA.  The initial sales were very good and ended up being in the 500,000 unit sold range.  The homebrew/modding scene really took to the PSP due to the amazing hardware it was running.  The first few hacks ranged from using a dns spoofer and wipeout browser to browse the web prior to the browser being added, to the first helloworld app, to the swapploit and kxploit hacks that spawned the current Custom Firmware (cfw) scene.

Being an early adopter, I was lucky that I had not upgraded my firmware from the original launch 1.50 and in turn was able to run homebrew/emulators the moment the hacks were released.  Up to this point, the PSP really did not have much a software backing from the major publishers.  Most games were really just dumbed down, ps2 ports.  And we all know that a ps2 port on a psp doesn't always translate so well due to the fact that you didn't have the 2nd analog stick on the psp (and thus the cries of angst when the pspgo did not have the 2nd analog).

By about June/July of 2005, one could run ISO games from a memory stick or SNES, NES, Genesis emulators given you had the older firmware running.  Eventually, a few groups of amazing psp hackers/modders got serious and created the infamous Pandora battery that allowed one to restore a psp w/a custom made battery.  At the same time, the underground scene was busy at work on creating custom firmwares.  Basically they would take an official Sony PSP firmware update and allow it to run unsigned code/homebrew but still allowing the user to retain the new features of the firmware.  This never-ending cycle of homebrew/hackers and sony twarthing them continues to this day and probably will until the PSP is replaced.

I really did not use my PSP as much as I expected myself to.  I bought about 10 games for it and did enjoy them but really did not find any of them a defining PSP game.  They all felt like ported ps2 games.  I used my PSP mainly to run emulators; nothing is greater than having the ability to fire up Super Mario World on a SNES emulator on the bus and have it run lag free!

However I did eventually buy a PS3 and also in the meantime acquired a LocationFree TV setup too.  These two items were always a challenge to get working on a CFW PSP.  Locationfree client on the PSP firmware was usually removed when you installed the 1.50 add-on and remoteplay would not work via PSN since it checked the actual firmware versions (adhoc connection to the ps3 did work though).So today I looked at my psp collecting dust and asked myself, "Is it time to real firmware?"  I haven't touched my PSP in two months and realized that the main uses of it when I do are related more to actual PSN/PSOne games, Remote Play via my PS3 and Locationfree viewing.  All of which is much easier to do on official sony firmware vs cfw.  I use my PSP more for media/music/tv viewing than playing games and the only games I've been playing lately have been PSOne classics i get from the PSN store.

And yes, it is time.  My PSP is going legit with official Sony firmware today.  Did I sell out? Nope, Sony finally convincing me its time to go legit with the features I gain by doing so (comic book reader, locationfree client over the internt, remoteplay to ps3). Plus, I have money enough to buy games and prefer supporting publishers with said money.  I am in no way condoning homebrew but have realized that the benefits of the official firmware outweigh the benefits of cfw for my uses.

....Update downloading....