Monday, June 25, 2007

Finally Put That PSP To Good Use

The PSP, Sony's little handheld that could but didn't, has led a tough life. Always standing in the shadows of both its older sibling, the PS2, and even its younger sibling, the PS3, not to mention feuding with the more talented handheld that lives down the street, the Nintendo DS, the PSP has never been able to carve out a niche for itself in the mainstream market. Unfortunately, that hasn't changed.

But, today's news does change things for those that believe the PSP is destined for things beyond bad ports of PS2 games and slow, clunky web browsing. To those people, homebrew is the lifeblood of this little handheld, and things are starting to look up on that front. Word is hitting the intertubes that a new exploit will allow PSP users to run homebrew code no matter what firmware their PlayStation Lite is using.

In the past, a PSP owner had to make a choice between playing the latest games and running homebrew code. That's because the homebrew exploits only ran on older firmware, while newer games forced firmware upgrades (in a move to stymie the homebrew community). Usually, that choice was easy - just about all the new games out there suck balls, so homebrew it was. But now, a new exploit called Illuminati (insert your own Tom Hanks Da Vinci Code joke here), enabled through the game Lumines, a title you should own if you already have a PSP, promises to enable homebrew apps on your PSP no matter what firmware you're rocking.

Notice I used the word "promises" - right now, the exploit does little more than launch itself on your Portable Station of Play. But this is just the first step, because if the exploit allows this code to run, it will allow anything. So, get ready to play all those old NES ROMs right along side...whatever the hell is being released for the PSP these days.

It always baffles me how a community can come out and support a device better than a manufacturer can. It's happened countless times before - there's AppleTV, the Audrey, and even the iPod, just to name a few. And now with this mod, the PSP homebrew community may finally be able to break out of the shadows. So don't put that PSP on eBay yet - good things are coming.

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