Massively explains Warhammer Online to the dedicated WoW player

PSP gets incredibly slow Dreamcast emulator

The PSP homebrew scene continues to expand to new, uncharted territories. This time, it appears drkIIRaziel of DCEmu has created a Dreamcast emulator for the PSP. Considering how powerful the hardware is, this seems like a rather futile effort, as evidenced by the first footage (seen above). While it will unlikely prove to be fruitful, this exercise shows the incredible skill and talent found in the community.

[Via Joystiq]

'Why are you hacking your PSP?' asks Sony

Do you use homebrew? If so, do you feel like a rebel? Does it impress your friends? Or do you do it just to see if you can "get away with it"? These are questions Sony recently posed in a survey it sent to various PSP owners. It asks in a very straightforward manner why people hack their PSP systems.

Earlier, we reported some distressing figures on the state of PSP piracy, and we're hoping that Sony attempts to correct the problem in some way. We're assuming the results of this survey will influence some key decisions in the future regarding system security.

[Via PlayStation Boards]

Ridiculous PSP piracy numbers

Piracy is ruining the PSP. Although quality titles continue to come out on the handheld, many have been wondering: where are the software sales? Hardware has done incredibly well since the release of the redesigned PSP-2000, but PSP software still fails to make it to the top of the charts. What's to blame? It's easy to blame pirates, who take advantage of the easily circumventable security of the system. Rlan from NeoGAF took a look at just one torrent site and found the number of downloads of PSP games to be absolutely disgusting.

God of War: Chains of Olympus - 94,154
Patapon - 112,183
Ratchet & Clank - Size Matters - 197,113
Crush - 48,959
LOCO ROCO - 163,904
Wipeout Pulse - 116,965
Castlevania X Chronicles - 102,354
Metal Gear Solid - Portable Ops (Not Including Plus) - 231,054
Burnout Dominator - 269,486

A game like Patapon shouldn't be pirated -- that only costs $20 at retail! God of War has managed to get nearly 100k downloads since its release. That's absolutely shameful. Downloading a torrented game is stealing -- just because it's easy doesn't make it right.

A primer to the world of PSP homebrew

The PSP homebrew scene can be quite scary at times. Technical jargon, confusing instructions, shady websites -- they all seem to be part of a world that many casual PSP users just don't want to be a part of. Thankfully, our friends at Download Squad have written up a simple, easy to follow introduction to the scene. It chronicles the interesting history of the homebrew scene, and how it's developed to this day.

Check it out.

M33 custom firmware catches up to latest 3.90 release

It didn't take too long for the talented M33 team to release a custom version of Sony's latest Skype-enabled firmware. With the new Network Update feature of these custom releases, homebrew users can simply update directly from their systems. However, those that aren't fortunate enough to be near a wi-fi point can simply download the necessary files here. (But, considering Skype is the main benefit of 3.90, we think only those with reliable access to wireless internet will really download this update.)

Custom firmware 3.80 released by Dark_Alex

Homebrew users will rejoice at the release of the newest version of M33. The newest release promises to have most functionality of Sony's latest firmware release, but also gives users the ability to launch homebrew applications and mods. A big new feature in this release is the ability to use a Network Update-styled interface to automatically upgrade to later versions of this CFW. To download the update, and get instructions on how to use the program, visit Dark_Alex's website now.

You will need to download firmware 3.80 from Sony's official website in order to use this installer. Please note that use of any hacks to your system will void its warranty. Do not attempt installing custom firmware without carefully reading all instructions. This update will not work on PSPs with official firmware.

Hackers believe third generation PSP is coming

In addition to the unsurprising news that the M33 team is working on a custom version of firmware 3.80, the homebrew community unearthed an interesting bit of news. Before the release of the PSP-2000, hackers found an interesting file "pspbtcnf_02g.bin." Its purpose was unclear at the time, but it's now understood that it directs instructions to the revised PSP-2000.

So, what have hackers discovered in firmware 3.80? A file called "pspbtcnf_03g.bin." Once again, its inclusion is quite mysterious. But, if this naming convention follows any kind of logical progression, it doesn't take a huge leap to conclude that Sony could be working on a third generation PSP.

This isn't all too surprising. Sony has revised its hardware a number of times. For example, the PS2 received a number of facelifts in its lifespan so far. If anything, the presence of this new file may suggest that Sony is simply considering a new revision of the PSP. Don't expect anything to come to fruition any time soon, however.

[Via Exophase]

Homebrew brings PSP to the blind

In one of the most interesting developments in the homebrew scene, pegasus2000 has crafted a new proof of concept program called "Nanodesktop Blind Assistant." According to the developer: "It is a program that uses PSP for help blind children or blind men. This program is able to recognizes the name of the people that are present in that moment in the room." Fascinating! Of course, the ambition doesn't stop there. "In the future, we'll release more complex version of the program, with a better speed of recognition and with network support, and support for GPS and collision avoidance." Certainly, if the program can deliver on even just half of what it promises, it will be incredibly helpful for those with the disability.

[Via DCEmu]

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]

Cable allows easy hook-up of third party GPS systems

Tired of waiting for SCEA to bring the official GPS peripheral to the States? A cable manufacturer is trying to ease the pain by allowing you to connect standard third party GPS devices to the PSP. Obviously, it'll require a bit of tricky "haxz0rzing," but there's plenty of documentation on how to make your PSP an affordable GPS device. With a new upcoming cable, it'll even work on the new PSP-2000 systems.

[Via Engadget]

Homebrew endows PSP-2000 with full screen TV output

Once again, the homebrew community is teasing and taunting Sony by adding key features missing in their official firmware. This proof-of-concept "TV Out Example" will let your homebrew-enabled PSP-2000 the ability to output games content full screen, no borders! Even more surprising is that it'll even work with the composite cables, allowing those without ED/HDTVs to enjoy the wonder of playing PSP games on the TV. Certainly, if this ragtag team of enthusiasts can do it, Sony can as well? We're hoping that the official firmware development team doesn't take this lightly and follows pursuit as soon as possible.

[Via PSP Hacks]

Homebrew lets you play while USB charging

The biggest flaws of the PSP-2000's USB charging feature is the inability to use the system whilst charging. Well, that's no longer a problem with a new homebrew plug-in from N00bz. The PSP Slim USB Charger plug-in will allow you to charge the battery AND use the system at the same time -- an obvious feature for the system to support. There are a few questions on whether or not USB can deliver enough voltage to make that possible, but user comments on N00bz's website seem rather glowing. Yet another great product from the homebrew scene. Hopefully, we'll see this feature find its way into official firmware before long.

PSP camera + lasers = awesome homebrew concept

If there's one thing that makes anything cooler, it's lasers. califrag from QJ has developed a proof of concept (seen above) that allows you to point a laser at the PSP screen and have the on-screen cursor follow your movement. Although it requires extra hardware, such as the PSP camera, the potential is really exciting: imagine a light gun game for your PSP, a painting application, or some DS-styled "pointing games." Once again, the homebrew community has thought up something truly innovative and surprising.

[Via PSP Hacks]

Dark_Alex and M33: one in the same?

Remember when Dark_Alex said he was going to quit the homebrew scene forever? And then immediately afterwards, Russian hacking group M33 appeared mysteriously out of the blue? Well, could it be that the two are actually one in the same? Could this post also have something other than a question as a sentence? Hmm ...

With the release of 3.71 M33, the team continues to provide homebrew users with all the features of Sony's recently released official firmwares. According to the Dark_Alex website, though, the main coder for the project is none other than the supposedly "retired" hacker.

Regardless of the drama surrounding the team, it appears that they've been consistently able to provide releases that match Sony's quite rapid schedule.

[Thanks to everyone that sent this in!]

PSP gets a motion sensor for mad homebrewing

We can only imagine what this currently useless piece of technology can do for the homebrew scene. A PSP manufacturer known as Neo has created a motion sensor you can click onto your lovely handheld, but you'd have to have the old PSP -- this thing won't work on the PSP-2000. It's available now, but finding it for sale is a bit more than a challenge. Maybe it's a prank, but we don't think so. A lot of weird do-it-yourself devices and softwares are out there for the PSP, after all.

So what would homebrew people make with this motion sensor? After a lengthy brainstorming section (waiting for coffee to drip), we decided the coolest use of the motion sensor would be a game where you play the leader in a majorette band and you have to throw the PSP into the air, making sure to twirl it a certain number of times before you catch it. If you miss catching it, you lose. For real. That would be a hardcore game, but like with a lot of motion sensing things, you might as well just go outside and do something.

[via Engadget]

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