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December 01, 2005

Why is the PSP Closed?

If Sony opened up the PSP for development, it would be great for everyone.

More people would buy the PSP
If people knew they could install the programs they wanted on the PSP without fear of Sony coming around with a new firmware to break functions, then more people would buy the PSP. Imagine if your Palm would only run software sold by Palm Inc. Or imagine your PC only running software by Microsoft. Crazy!

More PSPs = More Games
If more people own PSPs, more developers will make games for the PSP. When a development team sits down with 5 million dollars and decides to make a game, are they going to put that 5 million into a PSP game and hope that the tiny minority of people that have a PSP will buy it, or will they make a PS2 game where their audience is 50 times larger?

More games sold = more money for Sony
Sony makes money on the sale of the games. Every game sold means Sony hears little cash-register sounds. Just like UMD movies (those are worth more than Gold to Sony.) So the larger the audience is, the more potential for blockbuster games and the richer Sony becomes. Don't they want that?

Memory Shticks!
Sony makes a KILLING on Memory sticks! There's a reason Memory Shticks cost more than an equivalent SD card. That extra cost goes to line Sony's dwindling profits. If people make great software for the PSP you can bet that more people will be buying memory sticks to run it off of. Even 3rd party companies have to pay royalties to Sony if they make thing Memory Stick Compatible so Sony wins anyway.

It is a bad business decision for Sony to try and break homebrew with every patch. Additional "features" such as RSS newsreaders, web browsers and email programs should come from the community while the folks at Sony spend their time trying to excite developers into making games for the dying platform.


At December 02, 2005 11:52 PM, Anonymous Frank said...

I think Sony's just trying to avoid headaches from inexperienced people accidentally messing up their PSPs, and any legal repercussions of hacks. Sucks for people that are into it though.

At December 05, 2005 4:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't belive it's a fear of having people writing some cool little music maker or browser or whatever for the PSP. Sony has to know that that would be good for the system. They just know that it will lead to the theft of games. And that's where they get their cash. Don't blame Sony, blame the guys who steal games.

At December 07, 2005 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could this be a problem? Don't PCs, Macs, Pocket PCs and Palm Pilots all allow people to run custom code AND games? Why should the PSP be any different?

At January 07, 2006 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

psp a dying plataform? lol

At January 09, 2006 8:37 PM, Anonymous innovation killer said...

PCs, MACs, PocketPCs and Palms are all meant to be used as computing devices, that's why they can be programmed right out of the box. Pure consumer electronics goods, such as the PSP, are meant to be used in the way their manufacturer designed, not what end users eventualy figured out how to get away with. This is like asking why a speaker company doesn't just sell their components separately since a few people may have had some luck or enjoyment in building their own custom enclosures. Simple, the speaker company does not want to! If they intended for you to take their speakers apart, they would have built them that way in the first place. Having said that, I do think the PSP should have some kind of hobbyist path, but obviously, Sony has not figured out how to accomodate that yet. It's actually to Sony's advantage right now to leave this kind of programming unsupported because it means one less bank of tech support operators. Perhaps they can address this properly in the future when they are a little less attached to the newness of their baby.


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