Consoul's Blog Consoul Games: PSP Piracy Ahoy!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

PSP Piracy Ahoy!

PSP pirates hoist sails, set to take wind out of game sales?

It's now possible to run pirated PSP games off the memory stick. A few days ago a launcher was released allowing Lumines to run from the memory stick. The floodgates opened soon afterwards, and it became possible to run about half a dozen games (including the high-profile new FPS Coded Arms) from the memory stick without the original UMD. It looks like the release of a single universal game launcher is only days away.

I'm deliberately not reporting this in much detail or providing any links, as I personally see this as a disaster for a game platform that hasn't even launched in half the world yet. Homebrew didn't pose any real threat to the PSP (it may have even helped hardware sales), but this kind of piracy could be a critical blow to Sony's handheld. Developers will certainly be wary of investing large budgets into PSP game production when they know that most PSP owners can simply run pirate copies without any modification to their console. Unlike most other methods of console piracy, this PSP method requires no modchip, and no technical knowledge. It's entirely "warez kiddy" friendly. Even Sony's recent mandatory firmware updates in new release games don't stop this method from working. (This method works under v1.50, which so far no games have required the firmware to be upgraded above.)

In the short term, I imagine Sony will make a bit of extra revenue from a boost in sales of their overpriced memory stick duos, but they must find a way to curb this kind of piracy if PSP is to be a success in the longer term.

4 Comments:

Blogger Adam said...

I have already upgraded to the 1.52 software. I suspect that most people will download the network updates like they are supposed to, so the developers should have nothing to worry about.

I am not interested in running emulators and games off of the 32MB card, if I want to do that, I have a laptop and a pc.

9:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I have no problem with upgrading to 1.50. I have no interest in warez but I do like my homebrew software.

I know it may seem a bit silly to play a 15-year-old NES game on a $250 console but I like it (nostalgia *is* a factor in making buying decisions). I paid for my PSP and I will do with as I please. If a game requires me to upgrade to 1.51 or 1.52, I will simply not buy it - period. That even applies to GTA.

So, mandatory firmware upgrade = fewer UMDs sold.

I realize that the homebrew scene is relatively small in the grand scheme of things and most PSP owners probably don't even know what version they're running. But I won't buy a game that forces me to upgrade.

And it's just as easy (if not easier) to run homebrew and warez on the Xbox. I am not sure about the latter but the former helped Xbox hardware sales big time.

10:14 pm  
Blogger ChAoS said...

Wooohooo
Im a warez kiddy

8:26 pm  
Anonymous DiGiTaL_SiN said...

i belive that even if games are going to ask for mandatory updates for the firmware version, crackers will find a way to work around that, like making the game belive this is the latest firmware version, or maybe patching the game's iso to remove the version check. there are always backdoors.

8:43 pm  

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