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Custom firmware 3.30 OE-A now available

Homebrew users are celebrating today: custom firmware 3.30 OE-A is now available to the masses. As predicted, there are no major upgrades to be found in the latest revision of Dark_Alex's custom firmware. Those with homebrew-capable PSP systems will be able to install 3.30 OE-A, which enables both homebrew and legal PSP games to play on one machine.

Interested individuals can go to PSP Gen to download the upgrade file.

3.30 OE won't have new functionality; reprogramming necessary

Dark_Alex was debating whether or not to release an OE firmware with or without additional functionality. It looks like he chose the latter. Previous versions of Dark_Alex's homebrew-enabling firmware allowed users to watch full-resolution movies, remove region-encoding, and overclock their systems. The upcoming OE version of 3.30 will not feature any additional upgrades, because it appears that a major reprogramming is necessary for the increasingly unstable code. PSP Spot translates a forum post by the coder:

"3.30 OE at first will not have any innovation except the fact of being 3.30. It will take time due to problems with the hardware. Right now the priority for the future is to radically change the core of OE, to eliminate the instability of the programming (that is especially evident in 3.10) and to gain some more space for the ram. But this probably will take several versions before it is finishing, due to the complexness of the process."

While homebrew users wait for the "next big thing," will Sony be able to provide a truly worthwhile feature in their upcoming official releases? Free wi-fi was just one step in this continuous battle between Sony and the homebrew community.

[Via PSP-Vault]

[Update: DCEmu reports that Dark_Alex may have broken his PSP. Whoops--he's purchased a new one and is going to continue working soon.]

To release 3.30 OE or not to release 3.30 OE

Ever since firmware 3.30 was decrypted, many fans have been wondering: when will a new version of Dark_Alex's custom OE firmware come out? OE firmware typically contains all of the functionality of Sony's official firmware, but with a few additional perks. Obviously, the ability to run homebrew is a must. However, previous renditions of the OE firmware have included the ability to play full-resolution video and play ISO files (regardless of legality).
3.30 OE may not be as fully-featured as previous editions of the custom firmware. It appears that if Dark_Alex's team prepares the OE within the next 72 hours, it will be void of any extra functionality. Working on a more fully featured release will take a longer time--but the team notes that they are running the risk of running out of internal flash memory if the firmware becomes too large.

So, the homebrew coders are asking: to release 3.30 OE or not to release 3.30 OE? Some may want it now, but others may want a better version in time. We believe that, because 3.30 isn't supported by any retail games yet, that the team take their time to make a stronger, more feature-loaded firmware.

[Via DCEmu]

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]

The battle continues: firmware 3.30 decrypted

Once again, Team C+D has decrypted Sony's latest firmware. Although this doesn't provide anything tangible for end users, this is a crucial first step in creating new custom firmware. While the decryption was expected, the poem written by the team was not:

3.30 Decrypter!
* From Team Create+Destroy.. *

Some thought we failed - or had disappeared,
But $ony beware - your last hour is near.
In spite protections and multiple locks,
In spite busy lifes and - unwashed - socks,
For you to enjoy but for $ony to fear,
3.30 decrypter is ready, so cheer!

Why do these people seem to hate Sony? They've made an impressive piece of hardware for us to enjoy, yet somehow that's seen as an evil thing? Regardless, 3.30 has been decrypted: feel free to celebrate/mourn in however way you choose.

[Via DCEmu]

Homebrew users banned from upgrading [Update 1]

Members of the QJ forums seem upset that they can't upgrade to Sony's latest official firmware. Why? Because they've been using custom firmware on TA-082 PSPs. The 3.30 firmware installer doesn't seem to run on these modified systems, giving a mysterious 'DRNffffffd7 error code." These glitches seem to mirror the many found when Ratchet & Clank was released. So much for respecting the homebrew scene, huh?

Firmware 3.30 gives users some important functionality, such as official support for full-resolution videos and free internet access at T-Mobile Hotspots nationwide. For now, it seems as though users of custom firmware will have to wait until Dark_Alex and the rest of the homebrew community work their magic again.

[Via PlayStation]

[Update 1: A patch has been released for those with TA-082 motherboards. You must restore your system to 1.50, then run this patch, in order to run Sony's official upgrades. Via PlayStation.]

T-Mobile offers free wi-fi with latest update

Reluctant to update your PSP to the latest firmware? You may want to reconsider. The latest firmware offers PSP users the ability to access T-Mobile's wi-fi service for free. T-Mobile HotSpots can be found at over 8,000 locations across the US, and can be found in Starbucks, Borders, FedEx Kinko's, Hyatt, Red Roof Inns, Sofitel and Novotel Hotels, and select airports. Now, you'll be able to frag friends through Infrastructure almost anywhere in the US ... for free! How sweet is that?

I went to a Starbucks to test it out, and found the process is quite easy:

  1. Bring your PSP® system to a location that provides a T-Mobile HotSpot. (Refer to the T-Mobile HotSpot U.S. Location Map.)
  2. Select (Network Settings) under (Settings).
  3. Select [Infrastructure Mode].
  4. Select [New Connection].
  5. Select [Use Wireless Hotspot].
  6. Select the T-Mobile HotSpot icon.
  7. If you have an existing T-Mobile HotSpot account, select [Enter User Credentials].
    Enter your user ID and password, and then press the right button.
    If you do not have an account, select [Use Promotional Access] to sign up for a complimentary six-month T-Mobile HotSpot account. (To qualify for this promotional access, you must authenticate your PSP® system to the T-Mobile HotSpot network prior to March 28, 2008.)
  8. Check the contents of the settings list.
  9. Save the settings.
[Via PlayStation]

PSP Video 9 introduces beta converter for 3.30 users

Full resolution PSP videos problematic? Not anymore! Red Kawa has quickly updated their PSP Video 9 software to support 480x272 resolution video for PSP. It was put together so quickly that not everything has been checked. With only two profiles to choose from, don't expect a full-fledged program. However, it's great to see that independent developers are already working hard to serve the needs of avid PSP fans.

Download the beta at Red Kawa.

[Via IGN]

Full resolution videos prove to be problematic

One of the most exciting features of the new 3.30 firmware update is the ability to play back video with resolutions as high as 720x480 (DVD quality). However, many PSP users have found it nearly impossible to create files that will play in the system. As it stands, Dark_Alex's custom firmware still appears to have better video capabilities than Sony's current official firmware.

However, Chipxsd of has been able to use Sony's Vegas video application (which starts at $90) to create a 480x272 video file that works on his system. It's unclear what that program does differently from other free programs, such as 3GP Converter and PSP Video 9, but hopefully all PSP fans will have access to full-resolution videos in time.

To download the test file, click here.

[Via IGN]

Firmware 3.30 now available on Network Update

What big Microsoft news? Sony sneakily snuck out a new firmware upgrade for PSP: the first in almost two months. Here's the list of the improvements for this firmware revision:
  • Support for displaying thumbnails for items has been added under [RSS Channel].
  • Support for PLAYSTATION Network titles has been expanded.
  • The size of videos that can be played under [Video] has been increased.
  • Support for displaying thumbnails for content saved in the "VIDEO" folder of a Memory Stick has been added under [Video].
Update 2: For those without wi-fi access, the update can be downloaded here. Save it on your PSP under this directory: PSP/GAME/UPDATE. IGN is reporting that the video profiles have expanded to include 720x480 (DVD), 352x480, and 480x272 (native PSP) resolutions. However, it does not appear as though they've been successful in converting video files either. Stay tuned for more updates.

[Thanks, Reuben!]

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