I decided to go all out, and purchase possibly the best media device out there. The Sony Playstation Portable.
Don’t get me wrong, the thing that appealed to me most about the PSP was the fact it could connect to the internet via WIFI.
My first question was “I wonder what else this can do”.
After a quick search I began to find lots of details on the PSP, including details on homebrew applications.
I soon discovered that the homebrew software would only run on certain firmware versions of the PSP.
I checked out the firmware version on my PSP and discovered it was running firmware ‘2.50′.
One thing I quickly learned was NOT to upgrade to the latest 3.11 firmware provided by Sony using the Network Update. In fact if you wish to use any homebrew software ever, its recommended that you do not upgrade past 3.03 of the regular firmware provided by Sony.
I also discovered that someone under the name of “Dark_Alex” had written a homebrew firmware known as “open edition”, which is effectively a modified version of the official sony firmware.
I discovered that to install the very latest (which is 3.10 OE A’ at the time of writing) I needed firmware 1.50 installed on my PSP. I discovered that the reason for this is that this firmware is the most flexible, known in the PSP homebrew scene as the golden firmware.
I began investigating various “downgrading” methods. It seems that there is only one way to downgrade from firmware 2.50/2.60 and that is to own an unpatched version of “GTA: Liberty City Stories”, which contains firmware 2.00, which you can downgrade to. Unfortunately I do not have this game.
I discovered that there was another way. I could use a game I have which contains firmware 2.71, and downgrade using an auto installer from that firmware to firmware 1.50, this was the best option.
The game I used was called “The Ark of Napishtim”, which contained “PSP Update ver 2.71″, that allowed me to upgrade from firmware 2.50 to firmware version to 2.71.
Once I had 2.71 successfully installed I simply located a copy of “Downgrader2.71FULL.exe“, run this and follow the on-screen instructions. (PS, the part that talks about the red screen, if you don’t get the red screen, restart your PSP and keep trying, it works eventually).
Once I had successfully downgraded to firmware 1.50, I was able to use “3.10 OE-A Winstaller.exe” to upgrade to the latest open edition homebrew firmware.
The great thing about the open edition firmware is it allows you to run any PSP homebrew software under the latest firmware by putting it in your regular GAME folder, or as the 1.50 firmware by placing it in a folder named GAME150. This also means you are always able to downgrade from the latest homebrew firmware to firmware 1.50.
The next thing to do was to upgrade to 3.10 OE A’ (rev A2) homebrew firmware, which has some minor bug fixes. Its simply a case of downloading this, extracting, placing the directory in the GAME folder on your PSP/flash card, and running it on your PSP.
Also see PSP-Vault.com for more information on PSP firmware and homebrew. They have some fantastic graphs and more useful information.
Thanks to this I was able to try out the following homebrew software:
- PSP Radio - I have so far been unable to connect this to my WIFI
- PSPVNC - This thing is great, I can view my PC from anywhere in my house!
- Pimp Streamer - This thing is amazing! You can stream your media from your PC onto your PSP
One thing I must point out is that I DO NOT support or promote piracy, if you like the games buy them.
Piracy is the reason Sony has locked down their recent firmware so you are unable to run homebrew software. It’s a real shame that Sony’s paranoia about piracy means that PSP owners are unable to write or use homebrew software applications on devices that run the latest firmware.