PSP Blender Newbie Guide

| April 14, 2007

The Following guide is for newcomers to the PSP and is to give you as much knowledge as needed to use the PSP

NOTE: Please refer to your PSP Manual for detailed instructions for playing UMD-related games/music/videos as well as Music/Videos on your Memory Stick.


Background of Sony in Handheld Market:

The PSP (Playstation Portable) is Sony’s first handheld gaming device. Sony has created many handhelds before, but not in the gaming industry. Sony’s most popular line of handhelds are the Sony Cliés. Sony Cliés are a Palm-powered handheld and vary in many different handheld structures. Sony isn’t new to handhelds, but they are new to the famous industry of “handheld gaming”.

The PSP Unit

The Playstation Portable is what many refer to as the PSP. The PSP has the greatest graphics of any current handheld. The graphics are comparable to the PS2. Although it is not as powerful (graphics-wise) as the PS2, it yields better graphics than the PSOne, partly due to the smaller screen size. The PSP offers less buttons than the first Playstation Dual Shock Controller (Missing buttons include: L2, R2, and the Right Analog stick), but it does offer many more features than the PSOne had to offer. The PSP is slightly larger than the Nintendo DS and other handhelds in thickness, but the screen makes up for this. With a screen of 480×272 pixels, this screen is the largest handheld screen to date. The US price for the Sony PSP is retailed at 250$.

Firmware

The most important part of the PSP is its firmware. Many owners refer to the firmware as the PSP’s OS (operating system) or BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). The firmware of the PSP is located in the PSP itself and not on your memory stick. The firmware on the PSP is replaceable/ upgradeable. Sony issues updates to the firmware every few months and adds new features. With these new features usually come security updates. These security improvements fix up holes in the firmware that may be accessible to the user. Sony does not like homebrew due to the piracy of UMD games on the memory stick and would stop it at almost any cost (Piracy/Isos/Loaders are discussed in a few sections below).
The Updates are downloadable on Sony’s PSP website (Playstation.com) and only allows you to download the latest update. Once you have the update downloaded, move it to your PSP/Game/UPDATE folder (the eboot file) and it shall update your PSP. Once installed (the update) you can delete it from your memory stick

1.0 Firmware:

The first firmware version that was installed on a PSP is firmware version 1.0 (Japanese PSP’s only). This firmware version was pre-installed on the first PSP’s released. The 1.0 firmware is unable to be downloaded since it was never released as an update. You can find various dumps of the firmware, but these dumps are not complete. (Dumps are basically files from the 1.0 firmware that were dumped onto the memory stick). The 1.0 firmware allowed for unsigned code to be ran on the PSP, and all that was required was an eboot.pbp compiled file. This file was run straight from the PSP/Game folder located on the memory stick. (Homebrew code is described in the section: Memory Stick located under Games on the PSP)
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1.5 Firmware:

This firmware was the first update to the Sony PSP in Japan. This version was also pre-installed on the US PSP release. This update changes from 1.0 JP to 1.5 JP include: Support for German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Russian language options on the PSP menu (it will not affect in-game menus), a setting to retain the screen mode on videos, and a quick-resume function to resume playback of audio and video after coming out of the PSP’s sleep mode (it won’t automatically keep playing the media file, but you can jump right into the track or movie exactly where you left off before sleeping.) Download the 1.5 update here: [Click Here to download] This update, however, did not allow for the execution of eboot.pbp files from the memory stick like the 1.0 firmware did

After a few months of the US PSP release there were rumors of people finding a way to run homebrew on this new 1.5 firmware. Many did not believe this at first, but a few days later, on June 15th, they had to. You can find this news-breaking coverage at the following link: [Click here to view the PSPUpdates.QJ.Net Article] Two days after this hack of the 1.5 firmware, a safer exploit was produced. The previous exploit required two memory sticks that you switched once the PSP booted the split eboot (The file is split using the KXploit program that PSP-Dev created.). The new method does not require this and only requires the original MS1 folder contain a % at the end and the second folder to remain the same name. This was a major accomplishment.

To find out how to install these 1.5 homebrew, please read below for further instructions.
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1.51 Firmware

The second update for Japanese PSP’s (first for the US) was the 1.51 update. Update changes: The new Firmware update fixes various security issues in the PSP’s v1.0 firmware which effectively fills holes to stop unsigned code from being executed.

As stated above, this new firmware does not allow for unassigned code to be run on the PSP (same as 1.5 but with heightened security). At the current time homebrew code is unable to be ran on this firmware; read the section on 2.0.
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1.52 Firmware

The third update for JP PSP’s (2nd for US) was the 1.52 update. Update changes include: UMD Music to be run from the main menu and higher security.
Once again, homebrew can not be run on this firmware version; read the section on 2.0.
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2.0 Firmware

This is Sony’s first major update to their Sony Playstation Portable. There have been numerous changes in this version and all are very significant.

Update: 2.0 PSP’s can now run homebrew This is done by updating to the 2.0 firmware and then using Fanjita’s eLoader or downgrading to 1.5 via the MPH downgrading method.

For a list of all the changes and any question that you might have, please go to [this link]I have compiled this complete guide for the 2.0 firmware that lists all its features and includes a large…a very large FAQ section on the new firmware.
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2.01 Firmware

This is Sony’s response to the overflow exploit found in 2.0. Aside from this “security patch,” nothing else was added to this firmware package.

Update: 2.01 PSP’s can now run homebrew using Fanjita’s eLoader.
Update: 2.01 PSP’s can now be downgraded using the noobz downgrader.

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2.50 Firmware

This firmware version was released only a few days after the 2.01 firmware patch was released. This contains a new major addition (Location Free Technology) and other small changes.

Update: 2.50 PSP’s can now run homebrew using Fanjita’s eLoader.
[UPDATE July 1 2006] At this point in time, you can downgrade on a 2.50 PSP!

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [LocationFree* Player] has been added as a feature under [Network].
  • [Auto-Select] and [Unicode (UTF-8)] have been added as options to [Encoding] under [View] in the [Internet Browser] menu bar.
  • Settings for [Text Size] and [Display Mode] in [Internet Browser] can now be saved.
  • The input history of online forms accessed through [Internet Browser] can now be saved.

  • Copyright-protected video can now be played under [Video].
    • (This applies to video saved on Memory Stick Duo* media).
    • For details, contact the video content provider.
    • Note that fees may be charged to obtain or use copyright-protected video.
    • Downloadable copyright-protected video may not be available in all countries

    and regions.

  • [Set via Internet] has been added as an option to [Date and Time] in [Date & Time Settings] under [Settings].
  • [WPA-PSK (AES)] has been added as a security method under [Network Settings].

  • Korean input mode has been added to the on-screen keyboard.

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2.60 Firmware

This firmware version was released on November 29th, 2005.

Update: 2.60 PSP’s can now run homebrew using Fanjita’s eLoader.
[UPDATE July 1 2006] At this point in time, you can downgrade on a 2.60 PSP!

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [RSS Channel] has been added as a feature under [Network].
  • [Simplified Chinese (GB18030)] and [Tradition Chinese (Big5)] have been added as options to [Encoding] under [View] in the [Internet Browser] menu bar. (Characters may be indistinct in some cases when these encoding options are selected.)
  • [Volume Adjustment] has been added as a feature to [LocationFree Player]
  • You can now download video data that supports copyright protection using the [Internet Browser].
  • WMA has been added as a codec that can be played under [Music]. (This applies to music data saved on your Memory Stick.) Note: You must adjust a system setting to enable playback of WMA format music data. A connection to the internet is required to adjust the setting.

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2.70 Firmware

This firmware version was released on April 25th, 2006. At this point in time you cannot downgrade or play homebrew on a 2.70 PSP! read the section on 2.71.

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [Internet Browser] now supports Macromedia Flash contents playback.
  • You need to enable the Flash contents playback in the [System Settings].
  • The version of the flash player is Macromedia Flash Player 6 (a part of the functions is not supported).
  • The settings of the [Internet Browser] is added into [Settings] -> [Connection Settings]
  • The audio contents from channels in the [RSS Channel] section now can be saved into your memory stick.
  • [Auto] option added to [Rate Change] in [Location Free Player].
  • [Music] Added file extension to playable AAC format.
  • Added [Enable Flash Player] in [System Settings]. To change this option, you need to connect to the internet.
  • “Simplified Chinese” and “Traditional Chinese” added to [System Settings] -> [System Language].
  • Added [RSS Channel Settings].
  • Added [UMD Video L & R Button] into [Video Settings].
  • Fixed some issues when using a memory stick with more than 2GB free space. This problem has not happened among the memory sticks sold in Japan until April 24.

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2.71 Firmware

This firmware version was released on June 01st, 2006.

Update:you can downgrade, or play homebrew (Homebrew Enabler or eLoader) on a 2.71 PSP!

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [Internet Browser] can now be used to download demo version of games to memory stick.
  • [LocationFree Player] now displays correct image when selecting the external tuner.
    • This affects users using LocationFree base station model LF-B1 (North America/Taiwan/Korea model) and LF-X11 (North America model). To know your hardware model number, just check you user manual.
    • LocationFree base station models for Japan/Europe are not affected.
  • The icon “Goto Network Service” has been added into the “Network” column.

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2.80 Firmware

This firmware version was released on July 27th, 2006.

[UPDATE NOV 15 2006]: 2.80 PSP’s can now run usermode homebrew using the latest eLoader.
[UPDATE DEC 23 2006]: 2.80 PSP’s with TA-079 to TA-081 motherboards can now be downgraded.
[UPDATE JAN 03 2007]: FW2.80 DownDate to FW2.71 for TA-082~086 PSP.

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [RSS Channel] You can now download video and image content.
  • [Location Free Player] You can now register devices via a wireless LAN access point.
  • [Music] You can now play AAC files with the .3gp file extension.
  • [Settings] [Automatic] has been added as an option under [Network Settings] > [Infrastructure Mode]. Select this option when using an access point that supports automatic setup.

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2.81 Firmware

This firmware version was released on September 7th, 2006. At this point in time you cannot downgrade or play homebrew on a 2.81 PSP!(UPDATE: see 3.03 section below)

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [Security Patch] A patch has been added to address a security vulnerability in the system software. Namely, to block the libtiff exploit.
  • [Memory Stick] The ability for the PSP to correctly recognize high-capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo* with more than 4 GB of free (recordable) memory space.
  • [Other] Support for the playback of content stored in [MUSIC], [PICTURE] and [VIDEO] folders at the root level of Memory Stick Duo* media has been added.

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2.82 Firmware

This firmware version was released on October 26th, 2006. At this point in time you cannot downgrade or play homebrew on a 2.82 PSP!(UPDATE: see 3.03 section below)

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [Security Patch] Added security strengthening revisions. Details unknown.

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3.00 Firmware

This firmware version was released on November 20th, 2006. At this point in time you cannot downgrade or play homebrew on a 3.00 PSP!(UPDATE: see 3.03 section below)

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [Network Remote Play] Remote play is a new feature in Firmware 3.00 that allows you to remotely control your PlayStation 3 from your PSP. This also includes the display of PS3 content on the PSP. “You can display a PLAYSTATION®3 system screen on a PSP* system and play content that is on the PS3* system. To use this feature, you must adjust the necessary settings on the PSP* system and the PS3* system.” Using this new mode of playback, one can control the Photo, Music, Video, and Internet Browser features of the PlayStation 3 from a remote location via their Playstation Portable.
  • [Video Compatibility] In this updated version of the Playstation Portable firmware, you are also able to play a few new video formats. The Motion JPEG format (M-JPEG), is an “informal name for multimedia formats where each video frame or interlaced field of a digital video sequence is separately compressed as a JPEG image” (Wikipedia). The PlayStation Portable plays both the Linear PCM and the ?-Law versions of the Motion JPEG video format. In addition, you will now be able to access the Camera (functionality) from the photo option menus, for quicker easier access when taking photos or video. Another nifty function is the ability to finally turn off Auto Play for inserted UMD Discs via UMD Auto Boot.
  • [PS1Games] Here’s the big tip you’ve been waiting for. Finally, Sony is going to drop their highly anticipated PlayStation One emulator onto the PSP. From the manual however, there seems to be a unavoidable catch. If you don’t have a PS3, your not going to be enjoying PlayStation One games emulating on Sony’s PlayStation One emulator for PSP anytime soon. From the manual it states that you must connect to the Playstation Online store with your PSP connected to the PlayStation 3 in order to download and play the games. In addition, they mention that you can in fact share the games, but you must activate the other system in the Friends menu as a PS3 Network Account.

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3.01 Firmware

This firmware version was released on November 21th, 2006. At this point in time you cannot downgrade or play homebrew on a 3.01 PSP!(UPDATE: see 3.03 section below)

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [Bug/Issue correction] Fixed an issue found within the title: Jeanne d’Arc.
  • [Security Patch] Added security strengthening revisions. Details unknown.

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3.02 Firmware

This firmware version was released on December 5th, 2006. At this point in time you cannot downgrade or play homebrew on a 3.02 PSP! (UPDATE: see 3.03 section below)

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [Security Patch] Added security strengthening revisions. Details unknown.

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3.03 Firmware

This firmware version was released on December 19th, 2006.

[UPDATE] As of January 28th, 2007 3.03 Firmware can be downgraded using the GTA exploit.
[UPDATE] As of January 28th, 2007, Homebrew Enabler is now supported using the GTA exploit to run homebrew on 3.03.

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [The PLAYSTATION Network] Titles which can be played from the PSN have been increased.

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3.10 Firmware

This firmware version was released on January 30th, 2007. At this point in time you cannot downgrade or play homebrew on a 3.10 PSP!

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [The PLAYSTATION Network] Network tie frames and the function for was strengthened.
  • [LOCATION FREE]Function to record MPEG-4 AVC from LocationFree Player. Model LF-PK20 (Japan) or LF-B20 and LF-B10 (United States) LocationFree base stations are required for this.
  • [SETTINGS] Memory economy function added to Web Browser settings. When using the Web Browser, it uses less memory. However, picture quality decreases.
  • [SETTINGS] Dynamic normalizer function added in Sound settings.
  • [DYNAMIC VOLUMIZER] The volume level for playing music is regulated.

Undocumented updates to PSone/PS1 emulator settings:

  • Added [Assign Controller Ports]
  • Added A “Zoom” Screen Mode
  • Added [Black Level Adjustment]
  • Added [Volume Adjustment]
  • Added Support For PAL Games

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3.11 Firmware

This firmware version was released on February 7th, 2007. At this point in time you cannot downgrade or play homebrew on a 3.11 PSP!

Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [The PLAYSTATION Network] This update fixes the freezing bug found in the downloadable-for-PSP title R-Type.

Undocumented updates to PSone/PS1 emulator settings:

  • [Reset Game] feature

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3.30 Firmware

This firmware version was released on March 28th, 2007. At this point in time you cannot downgrade or play homebrew on a 3.30 PSP!
Updated parts of the firmware include:

  • [The PLAYSTATION Network] Expanded support for PlayStation Network-downloaded PSOne games.
  • [RSS Channel] Support for thumbnail images of items has been added under.
  • [Video] Support for thumbnail images of videos that are stored in the “VIDEO” folder of Memory Stick Duo* media has been added.
  • [Video] Added Playback of MPEG-4/H.264 AVC Main Profile (AVC CABAC) video files of the following sizes: 720 X 480, 352 X 480, or 480 X 272
  • [Network Settings][Use Wireless Hotspot] has been added as a feature under

The Memory Stick

The memory stick/storage that the PSP uses to save saved game files is called the Memory Stick Pro Duo (The regular Memory Stick Pro will work, but it will stick out of your PSP since it is much larger in length). This flash media format was created by Sony for use with their handhelds (Including their PDAs and Ericsson phones). The MSPD varies in allowable size. The maximum storage size of these memory sticks at the current time is 2 gigabytes (bigger than the UMD’s allowed size). The memory stick can be used to play movies, save game files and play music on your PSP (able to play games on select firmware versions of 1.0/1.5).

Important: When you first obtain your memory stick you must format it using your PSP. To format it, please go to system settings and select format memory stick. Formatting will erase all data on your memory stick. Be aware that due to discrepancies in calculations used by memory and hard drive manufacturers, as well as formatting requirements, means that your actual, useable space will appear smaller than the listed size of the memory stick. This is normal.

Games on the PSP:

UMD:

The main way of playing games on the PSP is via the UMD disc. This disc is the game format that is playable on the PSP. UMD’s can not be burned or copied as there is no way to do this via regular hardware. These discs hold up to 1.8 gigabytes (that is approx. 1,800mbs). To play games that are on the UMD: Read the instruction booklet that came with your PSP. Just insert the UMD game that you bought and scroll over to the Games section of your PSP’s “OS” and click X. This will launch the game and you will then be able to play games J

Memory Stick (Can only be used on 1.5/1.0/Custom firmware version PSP’s)

The second way of playing games on the PSP is via the memory stick. Like gaming consoles, save game files are stored on memory cards/sticks (this is the same with the PSP). The memory stick is both versatile and user-friendly. The only games that can currently be played on the PSP via the memory stick are made by PSP owners and licensed game companies. These games that can be run off of the memory stick are referred to as homebrew. Homebrew is any application that is made at home :P All of the current PSP emulators, PSP games and such that run off of the memory stick are called homebrew. The installation of these games can be found in the Installation of Homebrew section. Recently, Sony has released several game demos, such as LocoRoco. These games require higher firmwares, and are available at dl.qj.net

What is Homebrew?


According to google, hombrew is: Homebrew video games are video games written by hobby programmers. Homebrew can be thought as games for the PC that are refered to as Freeware. Homebrew shares the same general concept: be free, be fun. Some examples of hombrew games for the PSP include: Squarez , Various emulators (eg. SNES TYL is a SNES emulator) and other homebrew applications.
Emulators are basically:
An emulator, in the most general sense, duplicates (provide an emulation of) the functions of one system with a different system, so that the second system appears to behave like the first system. (Contrast with simulation). ROM files are the “games” that are emulated on the system and are universal in a way with all emulators of that console/unit.


Music on the PSP:


UMD:

With the Playstation Portable Handheld and the UMD format disc, users are able to place Music UMDs that they buy and play the music on their Playstation Portable. To play UMD Music:

1.)Buy a Music UMD
2.)Open up the package and take the UMD out of its case (remove according to manual instructions as removing in a different way then told may damage the disk
3.)Place it in your PSP (disc side forward facing the laser)
4.)Close the disc draw and go and select UMD from the Music menu and enjoy
5.) Please be sure you have the proper firmware before purchasing the UMD music or opening its package.

Memory Stick:

One of the most used aspects of the PSP, besides its games, is its ability to play music on your Memory Stick Pro Duo. The PSP will only play a select few formats (types of music) on the system with the firmware. As firmware updates come, we might see support for different/new types as well.
Here’s a list of supported song formats for each firmware:

1.0/1.5/1.51/1.52: MP3 and Atrac3 and Atrac3 Plus

2.0: MP3, Atrac3, MP4 and Atrac3 Plus (Atrac formats only work with 2.0 on Pro Duo sticks)

For information on how to convert to these formats, please visit [here] and download Sonic Stage and follow the necessary instructions (if it asks you to update your PSP, do not!)
Place songs that have been converted in the PSP/Music folder

Videos/Movies on the PSP:


UMD:

UMD videos (also known as movies) can be played on your PSP. These movies are purchasable at almost any store that sells DVD’s. These UMD Videos contain full-length movies with a possibility of extras as well. To play the UMD Movies/Videos: Follow the same steps as with the UMD Music except select the UMD from the Video menu.

Note: Most movies are region-coded. This means that in certain countries, if you imported your PSP you will be unable to play your country’s movies. JP and EU (European) share the same region code but the US shares a different region code.

UMD Movie prices have been found to vary widely in range. Shop around for the best price.

Memory Stick:

The memory stick also allows movies/videos to be played via the PSP. At the moment only a few formats are supported and they are listed below.

Supported formats: MPEG4 (all firmware), AVC (requires 2.0+)

To convert videos to MPEG4 format, I would suggest downloading: PSP Movie Creator and then download PSP Video9 to encode/format for AVC/MPEG4.

Install MP4 videos in the: MP_ROOT folder (F:/MP_ROOT).

AVC videos go in the 100ANV01 folder, in the format MAQxxxxx.MP4 i.e MAQ10018.mp4

MPEG4 go into the 100MNV01 folder in the normal way.

Homebrew Installation
Read more here

Misc. Homebrew Questions (Commonly Asked Questions)

1.) What is fileassistant?
File assistant is a homebrew application for 1.0/1.5 PSP’s that allows you to view the contents of your memory stick and allows you to delete, copy and paste files and folders on your memory stick. This program can also view some internal PSP files and can run ISOs (some) and flash the firmware with files.
2.) —More to be added at a later date–

Firmware Hacking/Cracking Section for “Noobs”

Possible methods of allowing homebrew on non-hacked firmware:
Downgrading:

Downgrading refers to the installation of a previous firmware version over your firmware. Basically it allows for users to literally un-update to a previous firmware. The only problem with this is that Sony’s Updates are encrypted and once edited they can not be viewed properly and we can not create our own updates. The PSP also recognizes your firmware and will tell you that you can not upgrade to a lower version. The only theoretical way to create a working downgrader is to:

A.) Somehow hack the Sony official updates (the ones that you want to downgrade to) and place the firmware number higher than your current firmware); this would require a way to modify an update without corruption which isn’t possible at the moment.

B.) Create an exploit that will skip security checks and firmware checks (ie: folder names, eboot splitting, file renames etc.)

At the current time it is only possible to downgrade 2.0, 2.01, 2.50, 2.60, 2.71 and 2.8 to 1.5.
Ultimate Downgrader Guide

Exploits (Cracking/Hacking)

All hardware is theoretically “hackable”. The PSP is of no exception. Sony has released many security updates with every firmware update and in doing so indirectly told us that the security on the previous firmware version was insufficient or “just not good enough”. It took a team of very skilled developers (PSP-Dev.1emulation.com) to crack the 1.5 firmware (the first PSP firmware to be actually exploited/cracked). An exploit is (Google definition): …a common term in the computer security community to refer to a piece of software that takes advantage of a bug, glitch or vulnerability, leading to privilege escalation or denial of service on a computer system.

This is the most logical way of being able to play homebrew (rather than downgrading) because it allows you to keep all the features of your current firmware and still be able to play homebrew. The PSP is one of the most secure handhelds ever made for a few reasons: The UMD format is only made by Sony (and can not be made any other way) and the security on the PSP is extremely high.

A possible exploit may be using the new 2.7 internet browser flash player and finding a bug in it. Once the bug is found, hackers could find ways of using it against the firmware security. This, though, is not very likely, but it may be possible if Sony rushed on the creation of the firmware. There is no guide to hacking a PSP, but it is more of a trial and error sort.

ISO Loaders/Memory Stick Launchers

What are they?

The two terms in the title of this section describes the execution of UMD files from the memory stick. These UMD files were obtained through a program executed on the 1.5 firmware and dumped the files onto your memory stick. Once dumped, with these programs, you are able to run the files without the UMD.


Where can I get the files to run them?

PSP Blender offers access to all files needed. Not only does PSP Blender offer access to loaders, they offer downloadable games, movies, music, and more!

Category: PSP Hacking, PSP Q and A

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