We've known for a while that Sony was going to be updating the firmware on the PSP, so its handheld game console could link better with the PS3 and play downloadable PSone titles. Well, that day has finally arrived, and here's the message you get when you actually go to download the update:
"This update includes the following changes:
> Revisions to strengthen security have been added.
> Playstation Network titles are now supported under [Game].
> [Remote Play] has been added as a feature under [Network].
> [Online Instruction Manuals] has been added as a feature under [RSS Channel].
> A visual player has been added as a feature under [Music].
> 3-speed fast forward and fast reverse has been added as a feature under [Photo].
> [UMD Auto-Start] has been added as a feature in [System Settings] under [Settings]."
In another sign that anti-Sony sentiment is running fairly high, Kotaku is already blasting the PSP firmware upgrade as pretty worthless. If you read The New York Times, you may have also noticed that a reporter played with the PS3 over the weekend and came away unimpressed.
Perhaps because my expectations weren't all that high, I didn't have as negative a view on the PSP firmware upgrade. The ability to stream video, music, photos to your PSP from your PS3 isn't all that exciting, but it is a feature that wasn't there before. The same goes for the PSP's new built-in PSone emulator (included in the firmware upgrade).
The only thing that is a little mystifying is why you have to connect your PSP to your PS3 to download the online-exclusive titles (think XBox Live Arcade) and PSone titles, which cost anywhere from $6 to $11. In an earlier meeting with Sony, I was given the impression that you'd be able to download these games straight onto your PSP using its built-in Wi-Fi connection. Alas, that feature is probably on the way, but we'll have to wait for another firmware update. Until then, Sony's leaving money on the table, as there are millions of PSP users out there who don't have access to a PS3--and probably won't for a while.