Consoul's Blog Consoul Games: Sony Power Vs. Mod & God

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Sony Power Vs. Mod & God

Sony have finally officially announced the impending release of a new battery pack for PSP. This is something I've been anticipating since April, as it seemed like a key part of their strategy to unlock PSP's full clockspeed. The new battery will retail for 5300 Yen (around US$45 or AU$60) and should provide an extra 20% battery life. Not exactly a giant leap in battery technology, but it's a start. An official standalone PSP battery charger has also been released in Japan, reducing chargetime from over two hours down to around 90 minutes.

As expected, in response to the recent PSP downgrader hack, Sony Japan released firmware version 2.01 this week, blocking the exploit that made the downgrader possible. Considering that the voluntary update contains no new features, uptake will likely be low.

The Australian High court has upheld the prior ruling of the Federal court, concluding the four year battle that was the Sony vs. Stevens case. Essentially the ruling states that mod chips are legal. The key argument was that they can be used for the legitimate practice of bypassing region coding, allowing Australian Playstation owners to play genuine Playstation games purchased in the USA or Japan. Furthermore, the judiciary and ACCC found that the mod chip itself does not infringe copyright, rather the act of illegally reproducing a game by way of a CD/DVD burner is where an infringement occurs. The consumer's legal right to circumvent region coding in Australia is not likely to change, but nor is Sony's practice of region coding their games.

Perhaps somebody up there doesn't like Sony at the moment. The Vatican certainly thought so when they expressed their disapproval of Sony's recent Italian advertising campaign to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Playstation. The campaign features a man wearing a crown of thorns bearing the trademark Playstation symbols: the cross, circle, square and triangle (below). The slogan reads "Dieci anni di passione" - Ten years of passion (a clear reference to "The Passion of the Christ"). Sony withdrew the campaign after the Vatican's objections.

Image Hosted by

Leading anti-virus merchants Symantec have listed the first PSP Trojan on their website. This is being widely reported as a "PSP Virus" (!!!) on news sites, but it isn't a virus at all. What Symantec are referring to as "PSPBrick" is just one of the fake downgrader programs available on the internet. It uses the 2.0 TIFF exploit like the real downgrader does, but simply deletes core system files instead of downgrading the operating system, so the the PSP will no longer boot up. It's not a virus, and it's not capable of infecting your PSP through the PSP's web-browser. The only way this fake downgrader poses a threat is if you're stupid enough to download it on your PC, transfer it to your PSP and launch it via the picture viewer.

In vaguely videogame related news, CEATEC (the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) has kicked off in Japan. Toshiba, who co-developed the Cell microprocessor (PS3's CPU) with Sony and IBM, are displaying an amazing tech demo exhibit being referred to as a "digital mirror". The "mirror" captures live footage of whoever sits in front of it, and seamlessly mixes their image with a 3D model that mimics their movements and facial expressions in real-time. Utilizing the power of the Cell, different clothing, make-up, tattoos and hairstyles are all able to be applied to the sitter's "reflection" in real-time.
If you're finding it hard to visualize what I'm on about, just watch this Japanese news report (right-click to save - 60 secs, 2.9MB).

Image Hosted by


Post a Comment

<< Home