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Blu-ray to PSP movies about 1GB in size, DRM protected

Want some more details on the upcoming ability to transfer movies from Blu-ray? Gizmodo got some. According to the site, "the movies are around 1GB (standard def and PSP-optimized) and take about 3-5 minutes to download via USB to the Memory Stick Duo in your PSP." Obviously, DRM will be utilized when a movie is copied to the system, although exact details haven't been worked out yet. We're assuming it'll work similarly to the DRM used for downloadable games from the PLAYSTATION Store.

Unfortunately, there isn't an exact timeframe set for this feature. It's some time this year -- and that's all we get. [Update: More images can be found at Watch Impress.]

[Via Digg]

DRM-free music stores ideal for PSP use

With Connect disconnected, there hasn't been a music download service that has supported the PSP. Thankfully, a variety of DRM-free services are popping up everywhere lately. The best for use on PSP must be's new service. You can easily browse the site using your PSP, and although the site will insist that you download their MP3 downloader, you can bypass the warnings and download the songs directly to your PSP from any wi-fi connection. Sweet. Click here if you're browsing on your PSP.

To try it out for free, check out this week's free MP3, Ripe from Ben Lee. One of the great things about downloading music directly to your PSP is that it includes the album art for the song -- a nice touch that we can appreciate.

Another service you may want to consider is the Zune Marketplace, which recently added the largest collection of DRM-free music to its library. However, that requires downloading the Zune program, and connecting your PSP to your PC and transferring files manually.

[Thanks, Dan!]

PSP store development held back due to DRM

So you've been moaning for an online store for your PSP, maybe not exactly the same as the PS3's store, but something to let you grab some games, trailers, or whatever without forking out the big bucks for the handheld's big brother. You're not in luck, we're afraid. Sony representatives claim they're working on the store which will feature "short-form" games, but maybe not music or movies. However, they wouldn't put a release date down for the store. Why?

Digital Rights Management concerns. Sony doesn't want their movies to be pirated and with the awesome homebrews and custom firmwares floating around on the PSP, it's an almost impossible task. This isn't to say that a store for the PSP isn't coming, they just need to work all this stuff out first. We'd be happy with a store even if they don't have movies put up there immediately. Then again, we can't assume movies are their only pirating concerns. Oh well, we'll just keep waiting until Sony gives us a firm release date!

[via N4G]

EMI deal allows PSP users to use iTunes?

As reported on Engadget, Apple and EMI today announced their plans to offer music files without DRM protection on the iTunes Store. Although the new files will cost 30 cents more ($1.29), they will come at a much higher bitrate (256kbps) and will no longer have copyright protection. PSP-Vault intelligently points out that these unprotected files should work in PSP systems, as most firmware revisions allow the playback of AAC audio files.

For now, the option to purchase unprotected files will only apply to artists under the EMI label. Wikipedia lists many of the artists signed to the record giant. While it'll be great to have fully unrestricted access to music in the future, this is a great first step for PSP owners that want to purchase their music legally from a service other than Sony's failing Connect store.

See also:
Comprehensive guides for making your PSP a better music player
Stream music from your PC to your PSP

Overheard at GDC 07: Disney's to blame for no downloadable movies

Sony was supposed to offer full-resolution downloadable movies for the PSP, but the service has never come to fruition, citing "DRM problems." On the GDC showfloor, I overheard one Sony employee talking about how there's one giant stumbling block for Sony's potential movie download service: Disney. The giant media corporation doesn't want to make its catalog of movies available to Sony, most likely due to restrictions caused by their deal with Apple's iTunes Store.

But, why not go forth even without Disney's backing? Surely, Sony Pictures' vast library of movies would be more than enough to satiate a PSP-owning movie lover's tastes. However, as Connect proved, a half-assed attempt at digital distribution usually ends up quite fruitless.

PSone games hacked in custom 3.02 firmware

It looks like Dark_Alex has done it again. His latest custom firmware release will allow your PSP to emulate the 3.02 firmware while running homebrew as if you have a very homebrew-friendly 1.50 PSP. Of course, the custom firmware goes even beyond that: it'll strip region encoding off of UMD movie playback, and more importantly, it'll get rid of the DRM protection of the current lineup of downloadable PSone games. The 3.03 firmware most likely protects the system from such vulnerabilities, but it's clear that the homebrew community is furiously fighting Sony.

There's no doubt that this is a very huge and crippling blow to Sony's anti-piracy efforts. While we don't support piracy here at the Fanboy, we can understand the huge frustration of the gaming community with Sony's PSone download efforts: stop making a PS3 required, please?

[Via Opposable Thumbs]

Homebrewers create DRM to prevent homebrew theft

The homebrew community isn't all about stealing and emulating games. There are tons of original applications developed by hard-working coders all the time. In a somewhat ironic move, a programmer at called Xart, has created a DRM (digital rights management) system that encrypts his games, so they can't be altered. DRM is the technology behind services like Apple's iTunes store, or Sony's PSone download service, which allows downloads to have more security. With encryption in place, developers can be more confident that their work won't be toyed around with, and they'll get the credit they deserve.

[Via Set-Top Cop]

Japanese gamers want TV on their PSP

While us PSP Fanboys want the ability to play PSone games on our PSPs the most, it appears that Japanese gamers (according to ITmedia) want to watch TV on their's. Support for electronic money (ala PayPal) and the upcoming camera attachment ranked pathetically low at 3% apiece, while the GPS functionality garnered 14% of the vote. The rest of the votes (78%) favored the ability to tune into TV using the crazy technology called "1seg" which allows mobile devices to access television signals. The Nintendo DS already has a 1seg peripheral in the works, so shouldn't Sony's multimedia wonder jump on board?

If Sony does support 1seg in Japan, it makes you wonder when the rest of the world will get their hands on such cool tech. I mean, Japan already has P-TV (downloadable TV shows), while the rest of us wait for Sony to "figure out" a DRM.

[Via Gamespot]

Zune & its impact on PSP's identity crisis

Rocky Mountain News recently sat down with senior marketing manager and friend John Koller about the current state of the PSP, and how it faces an identity crisis. "We looked at (the PSP)... as a strong portable game system with multifunctional limbs... It's still a gaming system at its heart." The article notes that Sony wanted to highlight the games of the system first and foremost, and with an excellent library of launch games, the gaming critics and community at large embraced the handheld.

However, with a lack of consistent high-profile original games for the system, many PSP users demanded the media functions of the system to be up to snuff. With the failure of UMDs, and cumbersome media restrictions, the PSP has failed to reinvent itself as a defining media platform as well: "The PSP consumer has turned out to be a different consumer in many ways than what we have targeted," Koller admits. By focusing on firmware upgrades, the upcoming GPS and camera peripherals, Sony has a chance to redefine itself. Some other highlights of the article include:
  • As mentioned before, Sony is working on a DRM that can deliver video and music to the system. They are considering how to deliver content, whether it be through Connect, or even a third-party service.
  • "Future iterations of the PSP are likely, Koller said, but Sony is counting on the current version to be around for 10 years, much like their consoles. Sony typically releases a new console about every five years, while continuing to support previous models for another five years."
  • While Nintendo will be Sony's direct competitor, Microsoft's upcoming Zune appears to worry Sony. "I am assuming, we are assuming, that the Zune will eventually have game play," Koller predicts. He expects Zune to have "a huge impact" on the industry.
[Thanks steve, Via Kotaku]

Comic-Con: new firmware, new demo and new connectivity [Update 1]

Comic-Con shouldn't be such a hotbed of video game news, but this year, it's proven otherwise. Sony revealed some crucial new features of the PSP today:
  • PSP will work as a remote for the PS3.
  • Advertisements for the budget Greatest Hits collection will be released on July 25.
  • PSP's firmware update next Thursday will offer RSS Video feed support for its web browser.
  • Thursday's firmware update will also have a demo of World Tour Soccer 2.
  • There are no plans to improve text entry on the PSP and no plans for a first-party keyboard.
  • Sony's in talks with wi-fi providers to make it easier for PSP owners to connect. (Similar to Nintendo's deal with Wayport?)
  • Video-out (to connect to a TV/computer) is a feature that they're working on.
  • Connect wants to provide video content to the PSP, but can't seem to find the right way to implement DRM. (But doesn't firmware 2.6+ offer DRM video support?)
[Via IGN]

[Update 1: Removed bit about UMD movie support.]

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