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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

PSP Zoning: Update

I finally managed to reach someone at Ster Kinekor – Nadine Pillay, Ster Kinekor Games’ Marketing and PR Co-ordinator - regarding this last week, and this was her response:

“Hi Matt,

Thank you for you enquiry.

Unfortunately, we are aware of retailers stocking and selling non-European PSP units. However, Ster-Kinekor is not responsible for these units. All units brought in by us are directly supplied by SCEE (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe). We are the licensed and official distributor of Sony Playstation hardware and Software and various other developers in South Africa.

All retailers are supplied by us, however due to the huge demand of PSP; certain retailers could not get stock from us so took it upon themselves to import their own stock. Obviously, seeing that we are the official distributors, they got their stock from just anywhere they could get it.

This was out of our control and by all means not condoned. We cannot be held responsible for the sale of these units and regret that we were not allowed to warn the end consumer.

I trust the above is in order and should you require any further information, please do not hesitate in contacting me, I would gladly assist.

Thank you.

Have a good day !

Kind regards

Nadine Pillay

Marketing and PR Co-ordinater

Ster Kinekor Games – PlayStation”

Now I understand that they can hardly be expected to take responsibility for retailers bypassing them as official distributors, but I would think it is both in their interest and in the interest of consumers that they make this practice (and it’s consequences) publicly known. I would at very least expect notices on public gaming forums and in NAG, and ideally general notices in newspapers and some kind of ‘keep it official’ campaign (yes, I know this has cost implications-but surely it’s worth it to increase legitimate sales from which they profit?). I have responded with a letter to that effect and am still awaiting a response. Watch this space. In case anyone else wants to add their two cents, contact me and I’ll give you her contact details.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Another comic catastrophe waiting to happen?

The BBC News website is carrying a story about a new Batman adventure that will see the Dark Night take on Osama Bin Laden. Frank Miller, the artist writing the ‘Holy Terror’ story openly labels it as American propaganda, and points out that in the past comic book heroes such as Superman and Captain America appeared in similarly ‘current’ storylines that saw them taking on real-world ‘villains’ of the time.

Considering the recent violent uproar in Muslim communities over a series of political cartoons blasphemously depicting their prophet, Mohammed, as a terrorist bomber, one wonders what the reaction to such a comic book would be. Granted, Osama Bin Laden is hardly a religion icon to all Muslims, and is despised by the vast majority of them for smearing the name of Muslims in general, however the group that do support him and the al-Qaeda terrorist group are decidedly more militant and violent than most.

MMOs are bad for you, mmkay?

Last year the Chinese government imposed a limit on the amount of online play per day, per game that young individuals were allowed, supposedly to limit the harmful effect of MMOs on the populace. Players got around this buy just playing more games, or having multiple accounts or ‘alts’ on their game of choice. Well, it seems the government has decided to take things a little further. As of March 1, teenagers in China will be banned from locales offering "audio and video products and electronic games" which "harm national security and incite hatred toward other nationalities." This ban includes internet cafés; karaoke bars and discos, and is part of a drive by the Chinese government to “limit the immoral and harmful content, especially for young people."

I’m sorry, but ‘Immoral and harmful content’? This doesn’t look like a focused project on particular games, music and other media that glorify disruptive behavior or encourage violence or social delinquency; this is a blanket ban on anything that might just encourage original thought. This is the kind of legislation that will ultimately cause the current Chinese regime to fall. History has shown us repeatedly that people do not stand for this sort of legislative smothering. If China were trying to isolate themselves from the rest of the world in other ways, this might just work, but as it stands, they are trying to be an active part of the global economy and develop a culture of consumerism in their country. Consumerist behavior and censorship are directly at odds and simply cannot coexist.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Flying High

While I was growing up, I spent a heck of a lot of time around airfields and aircraft, specifically microlights. This is because my dad is an ardent (obsessive?) flyer. He is also a microlight instructor, and recently he started offering flying lessons to international visitors. This came about after we met up with a group of German tourists paragliding off the hills near where we were holidaying in Croatia. They got to chatting to my dad, and being the blindly hospitible guy he is, he suggested the give him a call if they ever come to visit South Africa. Well as it turned out, they did call-and the rest is history. He now hosts a couple of tourists every year, and they learn to fly while seeing a bit of the African countryside. Personally I think he should be charging them a whackload of money, and making a living out of it, but as things stand, he basically lets them just get away with a meagre fee.

Anyway, one of the guys he has tought has set up a sort of 'fan site' with photos and info, and it's actually worth a look. It's quite interesting and has some really great shots taken from the microlight. It's all in German, but Google does a reasonably good job of translating it. Visit it at

Google. China. Again.

Well, it’s more of the same, but for the sake of completeness I thought I’d post about another addition to the Official Google Blog regarding the much debated service. Yesterday Google’s VP of Global Communications, Elliot Schrage, presented a testimony to the U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights, and International Operations. Whew! Try saying that ten times fast!

Anyway, the testimony really amounted to the same old schpiel that Google has been repeating since controversy over the service (which is locally hosted in China and submits to local regulations by censoring certain information) first erupted. Once again Mr. Schrage explains that the logic behind the move was that it was better to have an efficient, fast, usable service that was self-censored (and informed users of the censorship) than one which is sluggish and often unavailable do to filtering at an international gateway level.

*sigh* What can I say that I have not already said on the topic, hmm?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Aint living in SA fun!

You know what? People still suck. I may have secured a place to live, even if it is inferior to the one we lost and wedding arrangements may slowly be coming together, but now I’m really pissed off. Last night some asshole broke into my car and stole my PSP out of the cubbyhole. I know, I shouldn’t have left it there, I seldom do. Anyway, on one of the few nights that I actually left it in there, some schmuck breaks in and takes it. I do everything by the book, I pay my bills, insurance and taxes. I speak to people politely, I work for my salary and I save for my future.. Then some lazy bastard comes along and helps himself to the things I have bought with my hard earned money. It’s not as if my car was parked in the street in Hillbrow or Sunnyside either, it was inside a walled complex with wall-top spikes (removed by the thieves) and an electric fence (probably shorted). And it’s not as if they stole food or clothes to survive, or even money to buy food or clothes-they helped themselves to a damned game console!

Welcome to the f*cking rainbow nation, where what’s yours is yours.. and what’s mine is yours too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

PSP zoning catastrophe in SA?

For some strange reason, many moons ago, South Africa got lumped in with Europe as a PAL region. Since then, all of our ‘legitimate’ entertainment products (ie movies and games) have been sourced from that region. An example of this is PlayStation hardware and games. We get Euro consoles and software through Ster Kinekor, who are the exclusive distributors of PlayStation products in this country. Now this has all worked out fine up until now, as the PS products have generally been first and foremost gaming systems, and it’s been relatively difficult to import them in any large number due to their size. Most people go out to retailers and buy a boxed PS2, and go to the same sorts of places for games, no problem. If PS owners really wanted to play games from other regions, they would have to get the machines chipped, and the kind of people that actually imported NTSC machines would typically know where to go to have them repaired if the need arose. Your everyday user could just go back to the store they bought the item from in the event of problems, and that store would deal with Ster Kinekor to get it repaired.

The PSP, however, seems to be introducing a bit of a problem. Somewhere along the distribution chain, someone has discovered that the games are not zoned, and that they can get away with selling import systems at retail. Now this wouldn’t be surprising if we were just talking about your typical grey importers, but I have now come across two cases of this with major resellers of the product. The first was when a friend got a PSP with his cellphone contract through Vodacom, the other is another friend that bought a porcelain white giga pack from Reggies.

The importing in itself is not that big a deal, but three things concern me about this practice. First of all, while games are not region encoded, UMD movies are, and unwitting customers are buying systems that will be unable to play locally distributed UMD movies. Secondly, what happens when one of these consoles is damaged? Will Ster Kinekor accept them for servicing or decline because they are not legitimate products? Finally (and this is the most worrying point), firmware updates are often required by new games, these updates are typically included on the game UMD, and your average user, when prompted to upgrade their firmware, will blindly accept this update. The problem here is that firmware updates are not always compatible with hardware from different regions, so a user running a European firmware update on a Japanese PSP may well turn it into a really expensive plastic brick. In fact, the Sony site specifically warns against using incorrect firmware versions on PSP hardware.

The question is, who is responsible for this practice? Are these resellers obtaining their stock from questionable sources? Are Ster Kinekor themselves unknowingly distributing ‘non-legitimate’ products? Either one is a bit scary, as it’s potentially going to result in innocent consumers ending up with damaged or unserviceable PSPs.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Opera Mini™ for Mobile

Yesterday a friend of mine introduced me to the Opera Mini™ for Mobile browser for cellphones (well, for any MIDP compliant device I suppose). It really is a great replacement browser, as mobile use has really been considered. The default browser on my phone (a Siemens CX65) is klunky and pretty slow, and seems to have trouble storing cookies. It's text is also a bit on the large side, which isn't necessarily a good thing when browsing on a mobile.

Opera Mini on the other hand, has comfortably sized text, as well as an option to use really small text, which works extremely well (I'll be leaving this setting on). Another really great feature is the built in keypad shortcuts, which save you from the painful process of navigating softkey menus. One of the shortcuts switches the browser to fullscreen mode, which really makes a difference on such a small screen. The Opera Min homepage (which seems to be locally stored) includes an address textbox for quick navigation, a google search box for immediately accessibly searching and a collection of bookmarks which you can add to and edit. It also includes a list of recently visited sites, which is extremely useful for someone like me that only really uses their phone browser to visit a sall number of sites.
I have encountered one or two minor rendering issues, but they are neither serious nor persistent. The only major downside is that I don't seem to be able to save images from sites, which my native browser can do. I have not tried downloading anything from actual links, but I assume if they did not do device-specifics, there will be no access to the phone's file system, so that will be out.
The emphasis in designing this browser has definitely been firmly on ease of use, and the result is a really useful little app that has found itself as one of the keypad shortcuts on my phone. I can highly recommend it.

The Hunt..

After last month’s fiasco, Natalie have been desperately trying to find a suitable place to live. Everything that even looks remotely like a property magazine gets picked up and taken home to be studied closely. You would swear we were birds looking for nest lining or something-we could certainly line a nest big enough to house human-sized eggs with all of these mags. As well as the magazines, I’ve been paying regular visits to various property sites, and subscribing to every property notification service I can find, to no avail.

We are constantly reminded by the media that South Africa is in a property boom, and that the rental market is in a slump because it’s so ‘cheap’ to buy that no-one wants to rent. Why is it, then, that there seem to be so few places to rent (in the areas that interest us at least), and when we do find something, it gets snapped up before we even have a chance to look at it. Yesterday I picked up the Junkmail, and found two places that interested me, I called up the agent and arranged to have a look at one yesterday evening (the current tenant apparently only got home at 7), and another this morning. By the time we got there last night - round about 7:45 right after our dance lessons – the place had already been taken!

Anyone that thinks house-hunting is ‘fun’, ‘exciting’ or even ‘romantic’ is seriously smoking something. It’s painful, frustrating and stressful. Bah Humbug!

So if anyone has a nice 2-3 bedroom townhouse with 2 bathrooms and a nice garden in Monument Park or Lynnwood, I’d love to know about it. Anyone..? Pleeeease?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

RIP Don: Sims 2 Mini-review

As I said in my comment to yesterday’s post, I finally got The Sims 2 running, and Maxis have definitely done a good job. I didn’t bother setting up a new family for my first attempt at the new game, rather choosing the eligible bachelor Don as my test subject. The new Sims incarnation (ok, so by now it’s not quite new anymore..) adds the concept of a story to the neighborhood, as well as actual goals (called aspirations) for individual sims. These somehow tie together (I assume it’s possible to set that all up yourself-I didn’t go into it in that much detail), and in Don’s case, he’s the playa that has nailed (or at least wants to) every woman in SimCity-and he’s managed to get himself engaged to the neighborhood’s rich heiress. Needless to say, I spent my first couple of hours hanging out in his swanky pad and throwing raucous parties every day off (yes, the sims get actual days off in this version).. And ‘woohooing’ every woman I possibly could J The relationship system is quite evolved from that in the first game, with different gauges for the current status of your relationship with someone (influenced by recent interactions) and the long term status of your relationship with that sim (which changes slowly over time). The variety of interactions available between sims has been greatly increased, to the point where the interaction menu has now become multi-tiered and still manages to get a bit cluttered at times.

Most of the familiar old elements are still there: you still need to work to earn your simoleans, your carpool still arrives an hour before work (and you can still take an hour getting to the car without fear of reprisal :p) and you still need to advance certain skills to get promotions. Advancing some skills has become very tricky though, for example there is now a ‘cleanliness’ skill, which you advance by doing housework. The problem with this is that individual housework tasks are so short that you don’t get much benefit out of them-it’s not like reading up on mechanics or cooking where you can set aside a couple of minutes for your sim to sit and study until they earn a skill point. I found this a bit poorly thought out, as it can literally put your career on hold, and there’s really nothing you can do about it. I thought the ability to call up a group of sims and throw a house party was a brilliant addition, and being scored for the success of your party is sheer genius. For once you really are encouraged to make sure your visitors are having a good time. Another improvement is the interaction with NPC sims such as the fireman, maid and policeman. I used this to great effect in getting the maid to bed :P

One of the major gameplay changes is that your sims now die, and that as a result they need to have families to carry on their lineage. So this time around children actually grow up to become adults, and adults age and eventually die, leaving behind an urn to be mourned, and whatever genes their offspring inherited. I have unfortunately been unable to play with this element of the game, as poor old Don was struck down in his prime-he suffered a fatal heart attack right after woohooing with the hot blonde from down the street. Maybe too much sex is bad for you after all.. at least he died with a smile on his face, I suppose J

Most (but not all) of the actual objects in the world are not hugely improved on, they still do basically the same as what they used to, with little extra (functional) work put into them. The light system has a useful addition in being able to control all lights on a floor or in the entire house by clicking on any light in the house, which certainly makes a change from explicitly having to send your sims over to do it. Also improved are items like the dresser and mirrors, which let you arrange your sims’ outfits and change their facial appearance respectively.

Graphically, the game has been given a big facelift, while still remaining decidedly ‘The Sims’. The engine certainly won’t be winning any awards for creative GFX use, but it’s been kept comfortably up to date. The character animations seem to have been greatly improved, with far more variety as well, and the exaggerated facial expressions are really comical and entertaining-though the evil grin one of the woohooing partners gets in the sack is a bit freaky :P

Control remains largely the same, though the ability to freely rotate the camera (as opposed to the previous version’s four directional locked system) is a great addition and really lets you appreciate some of the finer details and avoid objects blocking your view. The game definitely needs settings for mouse sensitivity though, I looked for them in the in-game settings menu but couldn’t find them. This is actually a real problem, as rotation is so painfully slow it can actually be a chore to use and I have been tempted more than one to go back to the old rotation model and settle for the fixed directions.

The interface has had a great many additions, due to the complexity that has been added to the simulation, and the additional feedback and input you need to manage that. It’s actually quite daunting after the simple interface of the first game, and I could imagine it will take many Sims players a long time to get comfortable with the changes. The buying menu is just as illogical and strangely arranged as it was in the first game (but then maybe that’s just me), however one very nice addition is the availability of multiple ‘skins’ for many objects, so you don’t have to have an abode that looks like a paint store that got overturned in an earthquake, just to be able to meet your sims’ specific needs. You can choose items based on their needs, and then choose the skin that matches the ‘look’ of the room it’s destined for. I have yet to try the building tool, so I can’t comment on that, maybe I’ll post something on it when I’ve had a chance to play with it.

Sound-wise this game is a massive improvement on the last. The music has definitely been improved over the damned elevator tunes that dominated the original, and the sim language seems to be far more varied this time around (that actually carries through to the topics as seen in speech bubbles). The sound effects in general seem to have been given much more attention, which I for one appreciate is it was definitely one of the weaker parts of the first game.

Overall, from what I’ve seen so far, this is a really successful evolution of the Sims concept, and is well worth checking out.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Like I said..

PC gaming sucks! I went off to BT Games in Brooklyn yesterday to take advantage of their sale. I picked up Serious Sam 2 for R100, and The Sims 2 for R150. To be honest I only really bought Serious Sam to be able to join in at LANs, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered, but I was really looking forward to playing The Sims 2. I have a huge interest in game AI, and the AI in the Sims games has always been interesting.. that, and it’s just so much damn fun torturing the little buggers by walling them up until the wet their pants, or something equally cruel :P

Anyway, I excitedly popped disk 1 (of 4!) into the drive, and munched on some supper while the installer popped up. ‘Oh cool’, I thought, ‘They have a minigame to keep you busy while you install’. I was so naïve, I should have recognized it as the warning it was: a warning that I would spend the next 15-20 minutes playing Memory Game: Sims Edition between swapping CDs. At least the minigame was in there; otherwise I’d probably have fallen asleep. Anyway, at least the installation was over, and the game prompted me to re-insert disk 1 (because, you know, they couldn’t make my life easier by allowing the game to start with any of the four damned disks after copying the full contents of them to the hard drive). So I’m finally watching the intro, which looks pretty cool-despite lagging on my 3GHz, 1Gig RAM machine with a Radeon 9800 on it-quite beefy for the time the game was released. No biggie, surely it’s just a stupid codec issue-it’s not like the game relies on cut scenes or anything. So the intro completes, and the load screen comes up.. and I’m dropped to the desktop to be informed that my GPU has crashed, and Catalyst manager has been nice enough to restart it for me. Ok, cool, thanks.. <Alt+Tab>. So now the load screen is done, and I’m looking at the menu.. choose to start a new game, choose ‘learn to play’, and bang, back to the desktop with the same message. Lovely. I go to the EA Easy system info tool, to see what it has to say.. apparently my 9700 with 128M onboard VRAM actually has 0M VRAM.

Now if this was a console game, I would have popped in the disk and been playing within 2 minutes. No stupid hard drive issues, no damned install times, an no more than 30-60 seconds load time. Remind me again why we play on PCs? In all fairness, Serious Sam was much less painful, it just worked. I played through the first couple of levels, just past where you run into all those giant mechanical spiders while in the hovership. It’s actually very cool, it’s probably the best example I’ve seen to date of translating the hectic “I don’t have a chance in hell but I’m going to fight anyway” feeling from those old 2D SHMUPs to 3D.

It Starts..

On a totally different note, DICE announced yesterday that they are dropping PS2 and Xbox development for their upcoming (as yet unnamed) title. They will continue with PSP and Xbox 360 versions, but do not plan to support the current (or previous, depending on how you look at it) generation of consoles. This is pretty damned significant, as they are the first to show resistance to developing on old and new platforms, and I am sure many developers are keen to follow their lead. It may seem silly to drop support for a machine with an installed user base of almost 100 million, but considering BF2: Modern combat only sold 1 Million copies on the PS2 and Xbox combined, maybe focusing one more ‘niche’ markets where there are less competitor products is a wise move..

See for more.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hot Java Beans

The new version of NetBeans (5.0), the award-winning Java IDE that we use for our J2ME development at smallfry mobile is available from the NetBeans website. NetBeans is an awesome free IDE, including all the good stuff you'd expect from an industry-standard development environment, such as code completion, library based compilation, integrated help, source control integration, a good project system and lots, lots more. When combined with the optional Mobility Pack, it becomes one of the most powerful, fully functional mobile (J2ME) development environments available, with a preprocessor (yes.. a preprocessor in Java, if you need to ask why, you've obviously never tried to develop for the massive variety of resource-limited J2ME devices out there :P), project configuration support for everything from code versions to resources and even a WYSIWYG editor for MIDP2 program flow.
As I said the IDE is free, and you can either download it directly from the NetBeans site or order a CD with the IDE and all the optional components (the Mobility pack, as well as a profiler and application server).

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ménage à trois

The newest buzzword on South African telecoms consumer activism sites these days seems to be ‘triple-play’. This term that has been appearing more and more regularly on articles on sites such as ITWeb and MyADSL refers to service bundles that include high speed internet access, voice telephony and pay-TV. While no such service is currently available in South Africa, a number of companies are currently planning such functionality, with some already in the testing phase.

These developments are interesting for a number of reasons. For one thing, both SA’s fixed line telephony and pay-TV sectors are currently monopolized (by Telkom and MultiChoice, respectively), though a new competitor in the fixed line market has been granted a licence to operate and should begin offering services sometime in the middle of 2006. This interest in triple-play by companies including Telkom, Vodacom and state broadcaster SABC mean that for the first time these companies will be facing serious competition, and strangely enough from companies that each hold a monopoly of sorts in their own sector.

From the consumer point of view, this is great for a number of reasons. On the fixed line and broadband side of things, it’s no secret that Telkom could do with a bit of encouragement to drop prices to reasonable levels, and for Telkom’s IPTV approach, a 3Gig capped sub-1MBps ADSL connection will simply not cut it, and they will be forced to drop these prices (and raise or altogether abolish the cap) to make IPTV viable using their services. Lowering broadband costs will also make VOIP a more viable and cost effective voice telephony alternative. From a pay-TV view, South African’s currently have a very limited choice, with ironically-named MultiChoice’s DSTV being the only solution-and at about R450pm for 100 channels, it’s not a cheap solution. With Telkom, SABC and possibly even Vodacom looking to move into the pay-TV market, DSTV will be facing some stiff competition. There is also a new broadcaster - Black Earth TV - looking to enter the market, apparently with a package that will eventually provide about 500 channels for R100 a month, which will definitely make things interesting.

Another interesting development is that SA’s TV architecture will soon be pulled out of the dark ages. The vast majority of South Africa’s broadcasting is still analogue, but SABC is in the process of securing funds to be able to switch over to digital broadcasting systems, which will not only provide better quality to the consumer and lower cost to the broadcaster, but will free up the very cluttered spectrum for more broadcast allocations.

It looks as if the next two years will be extremely exciting for South African broadcast and communication technology, and it can only benefit us, the consumers that have been screwed over for far too long.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

More on

The Official Google Blog has been updated with a post containing the statement submitted by Andrew McLaughlin, Senior Policy Council for Google, to the U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus on "Human Rights and the Internet -- The People's Republic of China" to be held today. Mr. McLaughlin will not be able to attend the event in person, however his statement details the reasons behind Google’s decision to provide localized (and restricted) versions of their search, news and image services in China as well as some of Google’s views on information controls and how they are handled, and should be handled in future. This statement is basically a rewording of the earlier post on the topic on this blog, so there’s really nothing new. They again defend their position, though state that they do not feel the situation is ideal and admit their approach was an unfortunate compromise.

Take it as you will. I still maintain my stance on the situation.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

More game sharing.. but only a tiny bit more.

Yesterday Biggie and I tried out the game sharing multiplayer built into Burnout Legends on the PSP. After trying out the WipeOut Pure game share available on the MediEvil UMD, we expected it to be quick and painless. Damn were we ever wrong.. Unlike the WipeOut Demo, that apparently game shares all the game data in the initial transfer, it seems as if the Burnout game sharing functionality actually loads the entire level over the WiFi before each game, and doesn’t allow any sort of quick retrying. What this essentially means is that you spend about 3-5 minutes waiting for the level to load before actually getting a chance to race. Of course once the racing actually starts, it’s an absolute blast. There is absolutely zero lag, and the racing is solid. Of course the spectator is great as well.. and I think if it wasn’t for the insane load times (we only got two races in the space of half an hour!), everyone would have enjoyed a go, I’m sure.

While the idea of loading levels over WiFi is great in the sense that as levels and cars are unlocked, you could try them in multiplayer, I don’t think the developers ever really bothered to try the gameshare multiplayer. If they had, they might have tried speeding up the load by compressing the data or something. I suppose it’s a good tactic to get you to buy the game though so you can play multiplayer without the loading hassle.

Irony is..

Using a save game bug in GTA:LCS to bypass the security in PSP firmware.

Seriously, I’m amazed that the gaming press have not been capitalizing on the incredible hilarity of the fact that a game that is all about breaking the law, and belongs to a series that is known for controversy and frivolous blame-shifting lawsuits is the tool that allowed hackers to run uncertified software. Now I don’t by any means support piracy, and unfortunately these developments help pirates as well, but I really wish Sony would wake up and realize that if they just opened up the PSP to legitimate ‘indy’ development, there would be a whole lot less crackers trying to get around bugs in the system to run things. The PSP is an ideal homebrew development system, and there are lots of talented people out there that would love to be let loose on it, but don’t have the funds or inclination to do fulltime dev. Maybe Sony is just trying to protect license-paying developers that are churning out shit games by keeping the free-but-great competition away?

This latest obstacle in Sony’s attempts to keep ‘illegitimate’ software off the PSP is a somewhat unusual in that it does not seem to be at all dependant on security flaws in the actual PSP firmware, but rather on a bug in the save/load mechanism in GTA: Liberty City Stories. I am sure it will only be a matter of time before Sony figures out a way to block this with a firmware update (their developers are probably working on it 24/7) but at least we’ll probably get some cool new add-n. It seems that every time crackers get through the PSP’s current security, Sony release a new security fix and sugar coat it with something cool. Maybe we’ll finally get a working version of the personal organizer and email software that was leaked onto the web last year?


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