The PSP is a portable, handheld gaming console and multimedia player developed by Sony, Inc., the same company who brought you the PlayStation series of gaming consoles. It has wide screen display which is quite impressive and graphics that approximate the quality of that of its bigger brother, the PS2. From the aesthetic perspective, the PSP is sleek and very attractive from every angle. Right in the center of this device is a 4.3-inch 480×272 pixel wide-screen display with a range of 16.77 million colors. This screen in flanked by controls in positions that PlayStation users immediately recognize (i.e., directional buttons on the left, option buttons – square, triangle, circle and X – on the right and additional action buttons (L and R) on the “shoulders”. The PSP’s “joystick”, located at the bottom of the directional keypad, is not raised like the traditional controllers of the PlayStation or Xbox, but continues to maintain its multi directional characteristics.
The storage media for the PSP games as well as officially licensed movies are Sony’s proprietary Universal Media Disc (UMD). For other personal files, there are also memory sticks. Data can be downloaded from the PC into the memory stick and accessed from the PSP. For communications, the PSP has infrared and a USB 2.0 port (USB cable is optional).
Running on a 333MHz processor with 32MB of built in memory, the PSP’s firmware has undergone several upgrades, the latest of which is 3.50. This latest upgrade provides for better security and has several better features vs. the earlier versions, like 1.50. Increasingly, however, PSP users have lamented the new version of the firmware because its high security features have resulted in their inability to play games from the memory sticks, hence, they are looking for ways and means to downgrade the version of their PSP’s firmware from 3.50 to 1.50. The gaming forums and blogs are filled with questions regarding this, and the exchanges are quite extensive.
Officially, the answer to the issue on how to downgrade your PSP from 3.50 to 1.50 is, “You can’t!” Sony has obviously introduced version 3.50 with the end in mind of “locking” the unit so that only authentic Sony games are played on it, and so that illegal downloads can only be stored on memory sticks which are not the allowed media for playing games. It would certainly not be in their best interests to allow a downgrade in firmware to 1.50. Because of the high demand for downgrades, however, several sites have begun to offer solutions, which are largely “backyard” in nature and may not have considered the impact the proposed solution on the integrity and functionality of the PSP.
Considering that the price tag is still a respectable amount, it is not advisable to allow those who are just experimenting to touch your PSP, either directly or through their solution. It is certainly better to buy authentic, follow advice from the bona fide experts, and purchase only those that are official products of Sony for your PSP.