Atari 800/130/5200 Emulation for your PSP!

Matt Barton's picture

PSPPSPIf anyone has an extra Sony PSP sitting around, please consider shipping it to me! Everytime I turn around there's something like this Atari 800/5200 emulator out for it. How cool would it be to play the original M.U.L.E. on your PSP? By the way, if anyone tries out this emulator, let us know your thoughts!

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Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
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Joined: 12/31/1969
I just play commercial games

I just play commercial games on my PSP. The PSP's firmware is a moving target and it's simply not worth it (to me) to bother with the emulation. If you want a portable emulation machine, get a GP, otherwise I think most of us are better sticking with the DS and PSP for commercial programs.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection - http://www.billandchristina.com/vgamecomp/vgamecomp.htm ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Firmware?

I'm not sure what you mean, Bill. Are you saying that running non-commercial programs can damage the unit? I guess I'm just not sure how "firmware" works.

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Cecil Casey
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Joined: 01/16/2006
PSP firmware and emulation.

It seems that in Sony's view emulation is a dirty word. Why do I believe such a statement is true? Well let’s look at the history of this little console.

Set your way back machine to March 24th 2005, that would put you in line to buy the PSP on the North American launch date. Your shiny new PSP system would have firmware V1.5. The reason you do not have 1.0 firmware like the units from Japan is simple, you can run unsigned code in supervisor modes on v1.0. This means that anyone could write software and use it with these 1.0 systems. Sony had to stop that quickly as hackers soon were able to read UMD disks off to memory sticks and run the games with out the disks.

So along comes firmware v1.5, and the hackers are not far behind. They find a way to place their own code on a memory stick and run it in user mode. Now unlike the unlimited access software had to the system under v1.0 this code could not emulate the UMD or run commercial games at all. All it was good for was for homebrew and porting emulators to the PSP. Now this I would think would be a good thing from Sony's point of view. Thousands of people writing code and software for your system for FREE! Especially since Sony's launch line up of PSP titles was pretty pathetic. Of course Sony decided it was time to launch a war on the hackers. So they release V1.51 of the firmware that blocks the emulators from running.

That stopped the hacking for a few weeks, but 1.51 soon was cracked and Sony launched V1.52. It managed a month or so before it was worked around. Plus if you didn't go out and download the update you could stay at 1.5 forever. That was just too much for Sony once again, so they decided to try a stick and carrot method to get people to upgrade.

The way this little beauty worked was when you bought a new game Sony placed the v2.0 update on the UMD and would not let you play the game with out the update. Also along with this Sony decided to also add functions to the PSP to encourage others to upgrade, the big feature in v2.0 was web browsing. Well the hackers went to work and found a way to fool the new games into thinking that a firmware v1.5 PSP had been upgraded when it had not, so the new games would run. And they ran just fine, as the entire base PSP OS code did not change a bit between 1.5 and 2.0. Sony quickly sent out updates to v2.01 that got those holes fixed up. And like usual the hackers were a month or so behind.

But this time they gave Sony a kick in the shorts. They released a program that would take the PSP all the way back down to firmware v1.5! This must have really tweaked someone back at Sony because v2.5 was released with both Location Free player and RSS feed readers in the basket of carrots. It was a while before someone found a bug in GTA that allowed extremely limited homebrew to run on V2.5.

Since then I know that Sony has answered with v2.6 and v2.7 which added auto rate playback in location free and limited flash media in the web browser, but it also plugged the GTA bug hack. Finally Sony has added v2.71 that adds the ability to download demos of games from the internet, everyone is busy working on a way to hack that I am sure.

Bottom line is if you want your homebrew and emulation on the PSP stay with V1.5 and do not upgrade, and do not plan on playing any newer commercial games.

-Cecil

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Essentially the PSP has an

Essentially the PSP has an operating system of sorts, much like the Xbox and Xbox 360, that can be flashed to add functionality. This of course also enables Sony to plug "security holes", such as exploits that allow users to run homebrew software. These firmware updates can either be willingly downloaded by the user or, depending on which commercial game you put in, that game will refuse to run unless you use the update from the UMD.

Frankly, no mainstream manufacturer has ever really allowed homebrews to run on their systems, save for Sega unofficially allowing it on the Dreamcast. It opens up the possibilities of piracy and cuts into software sales profits (potentially). With that said, at least Sony is supposedly removing the region lock from the Sony PS3, so that's a nod to the pre-NES era of consoles.

Every device really doesn't have to be made to run homebrews and especially so-called "backups". To me, you buy a commercial mainstream system, you know what you're getting into. It's simply not implied that you have the "right" to be able to run homebrew software and pirated titles. Again, if you want that, there actually are open source options like Gamepark's handheld, which Mark and others are quite into.

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection - http://www.billandchristina.com/vgamecomp/vgamecomp.htm ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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