We remember the halcyon days of firmware 1.00 for the PSP. It was wide open to run any code you wanted. Once the handheld game console was released outside Japan, Sony locked it down and began an arms race to prevent any sort of homebrew usage of the device. Nearly four years later and we’re at firmware 5.00. The hackers are on top of their game though. It’s only been a couple days since the official release and a custom firmware has already been published. Sony has traditionally supported development on their home consoles and we hope they’ll take that approach on their next portable instead of this stupid back and forth.
If you absolutely feel an incessant need to see the innards of every new piece of equipment out there, you’ll probably be excited to see that the PSP 3000 has been disassembled and photographed. Apparently there isn’t much new here. The screen has been replaced with one that has 5 times the contrast ratio, twice the color range, and a refresh rate that is twice as fast. Other than that, there’s a built in microphone and a mystery “PS” button.
Follow along with this project and you could use your PSP as a display for your computer. The software, available for download on the site, gives you a 960×544 display. The data is compressed, sent to the PSP, then decompressed for display. Though that sounds clunky, the video after the break shows it working pretty smoothly with some Winamp visualization. Only 32 bit Windows XP or older is supported currently.
Continue reading “Use a PSP as an extended display”
Pitchfork.tv is showing the documentary Blip Festival: Reformat the Planet for one week only. The Blip Festival is an annual chiptune event in New York City featuring musicians who use video game consoles as part of their production. The documentary has a ton of artist interviews and music from all across the spectrum. Most of the initial featured artists are using the Game Boy LSDJ tracker cartridge. [Nullsleep] has put together a tutorial for the device. You’ll see a lot of other old hardware and hear discussions of coveted mods like adding backlights as well. [Mark Denardo] is shown using a PSP as part of his performance. Other people are using software like Fruity Loops to build tracks with Nintendo samples. Honestly, our favorite part was a clip of the loud objects doing a live soldering circuit bending performance on top of an overhead projector at the Bent Festival. Although not musical, Element Labs’ Versa TILE makes a fairly mesmerizing backdrop throughout the film too. You can find links to all the featured artists on last year’s festival page.
Blip Festival 2008 happens December 4-6 in Brooklyn, NY.
[photo: ziggy fresh]
[Codejunkie] has written up a great explanation as to why we mod. He’s specifically talking about the Sony PSP, but many of the points he makes carry over to any modding. Though the “why” question may seem like a no brainer to most of us, we do hear it a lot. We strongly suggest you take a few moments to read his article.
Who hasn’t been asked this question? We all have different reasons to mod things. Some people do it to make improvements, some people do it just for the fun. He lists some of the more practical reasons and makes some insightful comparisons.
For example, he likens some modding to making personalizations to your car. Has anybody asked why you put a custom shifter knob on? No, because we are used to this, just as they are used to being locked out of their electronics. He also talks about products that are crippled from the factory. We’ve covered this situation on Hack a Day before. Is it wrong for you to want your product to function to its built in potential?
He covers a few thoughts on homebrewing software for the PSP as well. There’s no reasonable explanation for why you shouldn’t have full control over something you own.
DSPmusic.org has just released the latest version of its homebrew PSP music sequencer PSPSeq 3.0. With PSPSeq you can create songs with up to 16 independent audio tracks, use WAV audio clips of your own and then modify them with a number of settings, or even use some of the built in synthesizers to generate sounds. There are strong looping and recording features as well. If you are into homebrew music apps on the PSP, then this will give you a strong offering of features. We had a chance to catch up with the author, [Ethan Bordeaux], and ask a few questions. You can check out the short interview after the break.
Continue reading “PSPSeq 3.0, PSP sequencer release and interview”
This is quickly becoming an unintentional “game controller Saturday”. We haven’t been covering the PSP much lately, so this is a treat. AcidMods forum member [Electro] put together a quick guide for adding two missing shoulder buttons to the PSP. The L2 and R2 buttons are used while playing Playstation 1 games and are usually mapped to directions on the joystick. This mod jumps the joystick’s contacts an relocates the buttons to the shoulders. The switches used in the post seem kind of bulky, but you’re free to use anything that fits.