I got a new PSP a few weeks ago. I was actually looking for an mp3 player, but thought PSP was a better value given the new low pricing. Now, its sound quality is not up to par with other medium to high end audio players. It lacks organization options, volume is a bit low, and there is no equalizer. However, I’m still satisfied with what it can do and I actually spent more time playing games on it. ^^;
Naturally, I’m not satisfied with default limiting firmwares of any device, and PSP was no exception. It took a fair bit of reading, comprehending, and experimenting to grasp the nature of hacking PSP. I thought I might make it easier for those of you who are interested in doing the same thing.
What you can do with a hacked PSP
- Install plugins that enhance the PSP functionality.
- Play ISOs and CSOs from your memory stick, so you don’t have to insert the UMD disk everytime you want to play a game.
- Whether your ISOs are backups or pirated is not by business. Please don’t ask questions like, “Where can I download ISOs?”
- Use homebrew (applications that are unsigned by Sony) applications and games.
What do I need?
- Memory Stick with enough free space
- USB cable (any generic USB to mini USB cable works. I’m using one that came with a GPS)
- Or a memory stick reader
How do I do this?
Now, there are many sites with forums and tutorials that do very good jobs of explaining how to do this. I’m going to try to point you to the right pages. But first, there are things you need to find out about your PSP.
There are broadly, three generations of PSP: 1000, 2000, 3000. Then, there’s PSP GO, a smaller, more portable version of PSP. If you bought a new one recently, you more than likely have a 3000, which is what I have. Different series have different motherboards and hackability, which determines what custom firmware (CFW) you can install on your PSP. You can’t completely hack a 3000 and some 2000s, but like me, you can use a ‘partial’ cfw. Practically, this just means that you have to reactivate the hack every time you reboot your machine. It’s not much of a hassle though.
Here’s the simplest guide for newbies
Read that guide to identify your PSP and to get comfortable with the subject of hacking, but I don’t recommend downloading from links in that post as they are outdated.
I’m going to try to keep things as simple as possible, so I won’t go into what CFWs and PCFWs are available. Rather follow this guide. It’s got the latest information (well, almost the latest as the scene is busy releasing new versions frequently). Even if this is not the latest when you read this, you’ll understand how to install, upgrade etc, so you’ll be able to manage things on your own.
To stay updated on new releases and discussions, follow these three sites and their respective forums.
Brief summary of steps (for 3000)
- Determine your PSP’s model # (ie. 3000) and the currently installed original firmware (ofw).
- Upgrade to the appropriate ofw (6.20 or 6.35).
- Connect your PSP to your PC via USB cable or memory stick via card reader.
- Download and copy over the latest cfw to the memory stick.
- Run the updater you just copied over to the MS.
- That’s it.
If you have questions, you should probably post in one of the forums I listed above. But you are welcome to post it here. I’m no expert but I’ll try to help.