Update 2: Though this will perhaps disappoint those TalkBackers who felt that I had somehow "made a lot of money posting [this] article," CNET user yammer2002 appears to have shed some light on what happened with this patch today. If you check his message at the bottom of the comments, you'll see that following the link from my original post (via Engadget), then entering a certain username and password will give you access to the v2.0 firmware download site. It seems that the update briefly went live, but then somebody at Sony reconsidered and slapped a login prompt in front of the page. So while it's doubtful that this in any way constitutes an "official" release of the v2.0 firmware, if nothing else, the American version of the patch is now available for download. This time, I even took a screenshot.
Update: Wheeeew.... OK. If you check the link in the entry below or the comments following that, you'll notice that something has gone horribly wrong. Here's what happened: earlier today, Engadget posted an entry saying that the PSP update was maybe coming today and that SCEA had put up a temporary "staging site" for the patch. Now, if you go to that entry, you'll see that the link is still there and that it resolves to the same "stage-us" PlayStation domain that I link to at the top of this post, although now it asks you for a logon and password. But earlier, here's how we got that info: I opened a new Firefox tab, pasted the link, and proceeded to refresh it roughly every 15 minutes starting at 11 a.m. ET. Lo and behold, at 12 p.m. my time, the link resolved to a download page for the official release of Sony's v2.0 firmware, specs included. Did I take a screenshot? No. But was the page up? Yes, and the download worked, and it was working at least up until I went to get a salad, when all hell appears to have broken lose. I've spoken to an SCEA representative, and I've forwarded them the URL; hopefully, we'll have an official statement for you (and, honestly, for us) shortly.
This just in: the American release of the PSP's v2.0 firmware has arrived.
Unfortunately, the additional week of waiting time didn't result in any bonus features; this update contains the same Web browser, WPA support, and homebrew-stifling goodness as its Japanese counterpart, which many savvy PSP owners have already installed. This begs the question: why did Sony wait a week to officially release an upgrade that 1) added significant functionality to its product; and 2) was already, for all intents and purposes, done?
It's a mystery until you think about what the competition has been up to this week. Yesterday, both Advance Wars: Dual Strike and Nintendogs launched for the Nintendo DS, each garnering high critical praise and arguably giving the PSP's archrival its first two killer apps. Remember how Microsoft is going to launch Halo 3 the same day as Sony drops the PlayStation 3? Seems like SCEA isn't above adopting the same subtle tactics.
Do you think Sony's firmware delay was deliberate? Are you planning to upgrade now that the update is official? Have you gotten so into Nintendogs that you don't care one way or another? Let the TalkBacks commence.