PSP Firmware

Darn it, we upgraded our PSP to 3.51 and it turns out that “PSP-Vault.com”:http://psp-vault.com says you can’t go back now and run homebrew above this release without addition hardware. Amazingly there is a special “Pandora’s Battery”:http://www.psp-vault.com/Article1124.psp which unbricks and resets PSPs. You have to run a program on an already hacked PSP that converts a standard PSP into a jigkick battery.

N00bz! – Pandora’s Battery

# You run a program on a homebrew-enabled PSP that will convert a standard PSP battery into a jigkick battery. Note that you can’t then use that battery normally – so you should use a spare one.
# You run a program to generate the unbricker memory stick image, built from the v1.5 update EBOOT (note that this, and the custom IPL, means the release is completely free of Sony copyright materials).
# You run some programs on a PC to install the image to your memory stick.

For us, we probably won’t go to this trouble since the PSP is getting old now, but just be warned, before you update, read this and do the homebrew thing to preserve your options!

PSP Video Encoding

It is very confusing what you can encode on the PSP, it has all kinds of strange restrictions. Like, the file names have to be of in a directory called MP_ROOT/100MNV01 and the file name has to be MV*.MP4. The PSP is really a picky device. Also, when you are encoding, you have to be pretty careful what you use. Here is the data

How to encode a movie for the Sony PSP with ffmpegX (MacOS X)

# If your source is 16:9 sources, you may also use non-standard size of 368×208 . Note that the PSP screen has a resolution of 480×272, but for movie playback, width x height must not exceed 76800 pixels, so the smaller sizes listed above have to be used. Note that no matter the non-standard resolution used, the picture will be always scaled to the full 16:9 PSP screen size.
# If your source is 2.35;1 you must prior reverse it to 16:9 by using black bars.
# For 4:3 sources, always use the standard 320×240 resolution. To gain a little quality if you don’t mind for the bigger filesize, you may use a video bitrate of 400 kbps. And you can use a bit rate of up to 128Kbps

PSP Firmware

Want to really be a geek then get to know all the firmware that is available on the PSP. Sony is a constant battle trying to close up loopholes, but you can easily download hackware, although you can also brick (e.g., destroy your PSP). Pirates! for instance requires version 2.82, so I upgraded, the only note, is don’t go beyond 3.03. I actually took the upgrade but I probably should have used “Open Edition” on 1.5 instead of a hard upgrade. Oh well. Don’t make the same mistake look for “Dark Alex”:

PSP-Vault :: PSP downloads, community, news

Given the current situation, PSP-Vault recommends you do not upgrade past firmware version 3.03. No downgraders are available for firmware versions beyond 3.03. Think of firmware version 3.03 as the “one way door” of homebrew — go beyond this door and you will not be able to come back inside. Going to firmware 3.11, for example, will deprive you of your ability to downgrade.

PSP-Vault :: PSP downloads, community, news

At the time of this writing, there are five downgrades possible for TA-081 or below PSPs: 2.00/2.01 to 1.50, 2.50/2.60 to 1.50, 2.71 to 1.50, 2.80 to 1.50, and 3.03 to 1.50. Necessary files and instructions for the 2.00/2.01 to 1.50 downgrader are offered here. Necessary files and instructions for the 2.50/2.60 downgrader are offered here. Necessary files and instructions for the 2.71 downgrader are offered here. Finally, necessary files and instructions for the 2.80 to 1.50 downgrader are available here or here. Finally, necessary files and instructions for the 3.03 to 1.50 downgrader are available here, though you will need an unpatched version of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories for this particular downgrade.

PSP-Vault :: PSP downloads, community, news

Is there a way I can “sample” the new features offered by 3.10 and above without actually upgrading my PSP?

Yes. If your PSP is running firmware version 1.50, you are able to install “Open Edition” firmware on your PSP, which brings full homebrew capabilities to your PSP while retaining the functionality of the higher firmware version. The current highest Open Edition firmware available is 3.10 OE-B, availabe at Dark_Alex’s site. Dark_Alex regularly updates his Open Edition versions to that they conform to the latest available official firmware release by Sony.

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Logitech Playgear, Sony PSP USB Cable and PSP Games

This lists for $15 and is the best PSP Case apparently. From Pricegrabber, the price is actually pretty bad. Logitech carries it direct for $15 plus $6 shipping. “Mpire”:http://mpire.com/Logitech_PlayGear_Pocket_for_PlayStation_Portable_PSP_-p-30558098.htm had the very best prices which is $10 from Amazon. Of course, bulk up to $25 and shipping is free!

Finally there is the dual “Intec USB Cable”:http://www.amazon.com/Intec-G6750-Sony-PSP-Cable/dp/B0009DPQYI/ref=acc_glance_vg_ai_10_title/103-1802632-5118214 which lets you charge from a computer. Just $6 from “Madcatz”:http://www.amazon.com/MADCATZ-MOV-087250-USB-data-power-Cable/dp/B000CCXLD4/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/103-1802632-5118214?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1179707033&sr=1-3

“Gamespot”:http://www.gamespot.com/games.html?type=top_rated&platform=1024&page_type=games seems to have the best games reviews. Some top ones are listed there, but I also like “Gamerankings.com”:http://www.gamerankings.com/itemrankings/default_psp/1024 as another source. Here are some games to try. Also look at most popular at “Pricegrabber”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_attrib.php/page_id=1936 is another way to do it.
Good ones for kids:

* Sid Meier’s Pirates! One of Calvin and Alex’s favorites on the PC. Don’t know how this translates. But “Pricegrabber”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/p__Take_2_Interactive_Sid_Meier_s_Pirates_PSP,__32366651/search=sid+meiers+psp+pirates/sort_type=bottomline has this list price
* “MLB 07”:http://www.gamespot.com/psp/sports/mlb07theshow/index.html?sid=6167035 which “Amazon”:http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MLB-07-The-Show/dp/B000MIP2VW/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/103-1802632-5118214?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1179709323&sr=1-3 has a $40.

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PSP Games, Nubs and Cases

Calvin got so bored on his last trip that I finally dug out a PSP I had buried in a gadget drawer and gave it to him. Now he really likes it for trips, so time to accessorize. “Pricegrabber”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_attrib.php/page_id=1935 has popular ones and “PSP411”:http://psp411.com has great reviews.

* Memory Stick Pro 4GB. You can now get a 4GB memory stick for $50. That makes the thing into a great iPod nano replacement. The main drawback is that the silly firmware in the PSP only handles directories one level deep, so if you store things as artist then album that’s a pain. Also, it only does mp3, so I need to convert all those audible files .aa to .mp3 somehow.
* “PSP nub”:http://www.psp411.com/show/product/567/0/Analog_Stick_Armour_Kit.html. These are the little nub on the analog joystick. They fall off so you need a replacement. What a pain. For $7, you get a set of five though called analog stick armour. “Games Underground”:http://www.google.com/products?q=Analog+Stick+Armour+Kit&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=qbx&um=1&sa=X&oi=froogle&ct=title has them. “Nakiworld”:http://www.naki-world.com/psp.html also has a set of really big ones.
* “PSP Cases”:http://www.psp411.com/show/news/62. The screens scratch easily and little slip case is pretty useless. They like the Intec Leather Case for $15 and I personally like the clear Logitech PlayGear Pocket Case so it looks like all the clear iPod cases I have. After all the PSP is so good looking why not show it off? “Pricegrabber”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getoffers.php?keyword=PSP%209701600403&search=logitech%20playgear%20pocket%20case has it for $17 and “Mpire”:
* “USB Transfer/Recharge”: . Get rid of that huge charger, with this handy $10 cable, you can both transfer files to your PC and also recharge the PSP

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