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Touchscreen PSP arrives courtesy of modder

Don't want to wait for the touchscreen device SCEA possibly has installed for us? DCEmu's Pspzproject obviously didn't -- user jube808, a "professional electronic engineer," feels touchscreen should have been part of the PSP at launch and decided to mod a PSP to include the function. The touchscreen works with both a finger or a stylus, with the goal of eventually utilizing it for homebrew gaming. He also aims to add extra battery life and a redesigned control pad into the mix. Check it out in action in two videos after the jump.

[Via Engadget -- thanks, jimb and rockeranimefreak!]

Continue reading Touchscreen PSP arrives courtesy of modder

Hacker creates a real, functional PSP phone

Tired of waiting for Sony to make their own PSP phone, a hacker created his own functional prototype. By gutting out the UMD drive from the PSP, he made room for a fancy touch screen phone. It's impressive, although some may complain that this is nothing more than a fancy piecemeal job, as there's no real integration between the PSP gaming compartment and the phone itself.

[Thanks, NukeAssault! Via Engadget]

Mod makes PSP DualShock compatible

This mod done by Blizzrad of AcidMods lets you use your aging wired DualShock controller and hook it up to your PSP. The controller had its connector replaced for a much smaller one to elegantly fit in with the PSPs slim build. The mod also takes full use of the controller's second analog stick and extra shoulder buttons. The only commands not controlled by the DualShock are backlight and volume control.

If you were one of those looking for dual analog control, then you may remember this older mod which added a second analog nub. This new one would probably be more comfortable to play with than that. Anyway, the only problem with this mod is that it's probably too difficult to do on your own. So don't try it. Instead, just see the thing in action in the clip after the break. Also check out AcidMods for more pics of Blizzrad's hard work.

[Via Engadget]

Continue reading Mod makes PSP DualShock compatible

Details on Phantasy Star Portable, import PSU characters

Finally, more information on Phantasy Star Portable has surfaced. The biggest reveal involves the ability to import characters from Phantasy Star Universe -- the console game that PSP is based on. Players of the PS2 and PC versions of Phantasy Star Universe may import their characters and carry over their character's name and personal data as well as currently equipped cloths and parts. Level, however, will be capped at level 20 and spare equipment, special items, etc. will not be carried over. Those with a 360 PSU will not be able to import any data at all.

Also, the game has an all-new story mode with new missions. A four player co-op mode through an ad hoc connection will also be included. Phantasy Star Portable is currently set for release in Japan on July 31. A North American release has yet to be announced.

Mod for slim PSP adds second analog stick

It is sort of baffling why anyone would need to mod a PSP in order to have two analog nubs. Why isn't one enough? Is playing Me & My Katamari just that difficult? Or maybe there is some sort of massage therapy simulation game out there that requires the most accurate symmetrical touch scheme? Perhaps a Karate Kid game -- wax on with the left nub and wax off with the right nub. Well, whether it's useful or not, someone still made it.

LordNico of AcidMods made this slim dual analog stick PSP. The second analog nub replicates the functions of the regular four-buttoned pad. While it's a neat trick to pull off, it's something completely unnecessary. We suggest just to check out the dual nubs in action in the clip after the break and not try it yourself.

[Via Engadget]

Continue reading Mod for slim PSP adds second analog stick

Sony issues consumer alert: PC PSN illegally accessed

Sony has issued a consumer alert stating that the PC version of the PlayStation Store may have been accessed illegally. Sony said that a small percentage of user passwords may have been changed through the unauthorized access, making it possible for the hackers to view personal information. The company wants to ensure consumers that Sony is taking "immediate measures to rectify this issue and [making sure that] system security is restored."

It is very likely this is just a small incident; however, it is a smart idea to stay cautious. To verify that your account is intact, sign into the PSN with your pre-set password. If you are successful, then your account is not affected by the incident. Currently, Sony is contacting customers who may have been affected. You can find more information about that at Sony's Knowledge Center.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Bluetooth hack doesn't save time or space

Do you really need to use a Bluetooth headset on your PSP? Well, a complicated hack created by N3M3515 (aka Shane-O-Max) will let you do exactly that. The instructables page will give you every step needed for such a complicated surgery. Yes, we're impressed by the hacker's clever ingenuity. However, the final product makes us question if its even worth it ...

[Via Engadget]

Take-Two acknowledges Manhunt 2 hack

After word spread throughout the internet of gamers hacking the M-rated version of Manhunt 2 to unlock its censored content, Take-Two has now confirmed the diabolical deed.

"Multiple edits were made to revise Manhunt 2 for its M-rated version. Hackers apparently have altered one of those edits to produce an illegally modified version of the game that can only be played on an unauthorized, modified PlayStation Portable handheld system," a Take-Two rep wrote to GamePolitics.com. "All of the game material, and especially these specific edits, was submitted to and reviewed by the ESRB in accordance with requirements regarding disclosure that were enacted two years ago and any contrary suggestion is inaccurate and irresponsible."

Because the ESRB approved Rockstar's edits of the game, it will probably be safe from any actual lawsuits, but that probably won't stop some uneducated media members from blowing it out of proportion. We just can't wait to hear from dear ol' Jack.

Rumor: Hackers unlock Manhunt 2's censored content

Evoking bad memories of the past, a group of Russian hackers have reportedly hacked the PSP's retail version of Manhunt 2 to unlock the game's censored content. However, unlike the highly publicized "Hot Coffee" mod, you don't need a third-party device to access the content, only a homebrew-enabled PSP and the modification a few configuration files.

If word of this gets out to the mainstream media, it's possible Rockstar could face yet another row of bad press and costly lawsuits. God forbid anyone dressing up as a scientist turned mental patient and going on a dismemberment spree.

Since GTA: San Andreas had a nifty name for its mod, we've come up with one of our own - the "Hot Man Coffee Hunt."

[Thanks for the tip, Mexa]

Rip open a PSP battery to find Pandora inside

One of the biggest victories for the homebrew community was the development of Pandora's Battery, a device that allows hackers to unbrick and downgrade nearly every PSP on the market. Reverting systems from later firmware releases from Sony allows hackers to exploit the system and run homebrew on the machine.

The usual method of producing a Pandora's Battery required multiple systems and a rather cumbersome software installation process. Quite possibly even more nerve-wracking than the current solution is a new hardware-based one, which requires actual disassembly of the PSP battery. Supposedly, only a single wire needs to be soldered in order for any standard PSP battery to turn into a service one. Quite a fascinating find!

We wouldn't be able to muster up the courage to open a battery and start playing around with its innards. However, for the inquisitive, this is yet another fascinating discovery about the particular workings of the PSP.

[Via PSP Hacks]

Camera gets fitted into PSP innards

Will the Acidmods community ever stop impressing us? Unlikely. Their latest project adds a camera to the PSP. However, unlike all other PSP cameras out there, this is internal, installed directly inside the PSP. The camera is natively supported by the PSP firmware. Neat!

[Thanks, grandpasmurf!]

"Time lapse" video of a PSP being modded

The Acidmods team is at it again, showing off how it's done. These guys are awfully familiar with the innards of the PSP, and they happily rip one apart for you. See how it's done in this new video, and then when you want to see the finished product, click here.

[Thanks, sim!]

Hacked Silent Hill demo smuggled, released to public

The Games Convention in Leipzig is only a few days away, and it appears that Konami's upcoming Silent Hill UMD demo from the show somehow got leaked for public consumption. Unlike regular demos, this must be ripped into a disc image and run off of a homebrew-enabled PSP. We're not sure if Konami is too appreciative of having early code released to the public, and we're going to refrain from linking to places where it's available for download. However, video proof (seen above) shows that this is, in fact, real.

[Thanks, Joe!]

A rumbling PSP, seriously

The ninjas at Acidmods can do anything, right? In the midst of E3-related chaos, we missed this awesome modification, which brings sound-activated rumble to the PSP. F00 f00 explains the magic: "In basic terms what is happening here is the volt amp is sending voltage fed by the speaker to the pic, when it hits a certain pitch the pic turns on the motor."

Obviously, this feature isn't included in the upcoming PSP redesign. However, it's awesome to see the community add interesting new features to our handheld all the time.

Dark_Alex working on 3.30 OE [Update 1]

DCEmu is reporting that Dark_Alex already has a custom firmware version of 3.30 in the works. He's only just begun to decrypt the newest Sony firmware, but seems to think that it will be an easy nut to crack. Dark_Alex seems to think we won't have to wait long for a new custom firmware. This is good news for me and other PSP owners who currently run custom firmware. Let's just hope it comes out before the next big title that requires 3.30 firmware.

[Update 1: Fixed firmware list errors]

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