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Fully Equipped: Will PSP Go keep pirates at bay?

Like all of Apple's portable devices, the PSP Go will have a sealed in battery that's non user-replaceable. An integrated battery helps save precious space, but in the case of the PSP Go, it was also designed to thwart pirates.

In recent days, a few blogs have picked up on the fact that the battery on Sony's upcoming PSP Go will be sealed into the unit and not be user-replaceable, just as it is on all of Apple's latest portable devices and plenty of other new gadgets. The integrated battery isn't new news. But what caught people's attention was an old quote from John Koller, Sony's director of hardware marketing, which PlayStation Insider recently ripped off from a June Ars Technica article that had Koller explaining that the move to a built-in battery was a least partially designed to thwart pirates.

The PSP Go's embedded battery is a security feature.

In case you don't know the history behind PSP piracy, it goes something like this: For the original PSP-1000 and second-generation PSP-2000, Sony had a secret "backdoor" system for resuscitating frozen or "bricked" PSPs. The process involved replacing the common PSP battery with a special one that unlocked the system.

Alas, the secret didn't last long, and hackers developed their own custom battery (the appropriately named Pandora's Battery) and firmware that allowed anyone to run illicit "ripped" versions of UMD games along with home-brew applications and PSOne titles that had been converted to run on the PSP. Those in the home-brew community maintain that they're just interested in fully accessing the products they've purchased and that pirating games isn't what their creative efforts are about. But the offshoot of the whole movement has been a flourishing trade in pirated games.

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