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PSP Firmware Versions and Why They Matter
11-23-2011, 12:56 PM
Post: #1
PSP Firmware Versions and Why They Matter
PSP Firmware Versions and Why They Matter

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The PSP has a “flashable” firmware, meaning it can be updated with bug fixes, and upgraded with new capabilities. This enables Sony to support new technologies as they emerge, address vulnerabilities in the PSP software (such as Web browser and buffer overrun vulnerabilities), and keep the product competitive as the market evolves. Unfortunately for us hackers, Sony removed the ability to program the PSP on our own starting with the 1.51 “update,” which featured “security updates”—just another way of saying “we don’t want software developers.” Of course, you don’t have to update to run most games on your 1.0 or 1.5 firmware PSP, and there are utilities, such as the WAB Version Changer to get around such issues.

If you are not going to program the PSP, the upgrades from Sony can be quite a boon.With firmware update 2.0, officially named System Software 2.0, Sony added a Web browser, enhanced wireless network access (supporting additional encryption technologies such as WPA and PSK), and support for MPEG-4, or AAC, audio files. These new features greatly enhanced the PSP’s already impressive media capabilities. If you want to program a 1.5 PSP and still have these capabilities.

1.0 Original Japanese release.
1.5 Original U.S. release. Added copy protection, disabling the native ability to run homebrew applications. The KXploit, covered in Chapter 19, “Running Homebrew Applications,” handles running these applications on this firmware. A notable change in the U.S. version: the X and O button functionality was reversed (O goes back and X is select, whereas it was the opposite in Japan).
1.51 Added “security updates,” which simply disabled the KXploit’s ability to run. No games required the 1.51 update. If you have a game that requires 1.51, and you have 1.5, you can use the WAB Version Changer to trick the PSP into thinking it’s running 1.51.
1.52 Added “security updates” as well as UMD Music support. No games appeared to require the 1.52 update. If you have a game that requires 1.52, and you have 1.5, you can use the WAB Version Changer to trick the PSP into thinking it’s running 1.52.
2.0 Added a Web browser, MPEG-4 audio support and additional image format (TIFF, GIF, PNG and BMP/Bitmap) support. New video playback capabilities were added, including a “Go To” format and 4:3 “Full Frame” video playback mode. Personalization features were added, including the ability to change the color of the background and to add a wallpaper, or background image. Also provided additional “security updates” and some new operating-system functionality. Some games check for the existence of 2.0 firmware. More information about this massive update is available on Sony’s Web site.

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