Hackers have successfully cracked the copyright protection used on PlayStation Portable discs and the games have begun to appear on Internet sites and file-sharing networks. This is the second time hackers have cracked the PSP’s protection; it was first cracked shortly after its release in Japan last year.
To run the games, all the downloader must do is save them to a Sony Memory Stick. The crack only works with version 1.5 of the PSP operating system. New games will require 1.51 in an attempt to thwart copiers, so users will be forced to upgrade if they want to play the newer games. Sony warned in a statement that downloading games and running them on the PlayStation Portable could damage the machine and void the users’ warranty.
The high-resolution screen has made the PSP a target of software developers who would like to extend the features of the unit beyond what Sony builds in. However, the company appears to be leery of allowing anyone to develop third party PSP software.
According to several fan sites, a program is in the process of being created that will make it possible for any copied game to be played instead of the few that have been successfully cracked thus far.