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Friday, April 01, 2005

Sony PSP Dev Kit

I thought this was good. raiser on published this 'open letter to sony. Here is a snip:

FACT #1) SONY as a company has always been pro development. They released dev consoles for both the PS1 and PS2. SONY has never to my knowledge pressed legal action against anyone in the homebrew scene, except for persons making copyrighted SONY software or bios files publically available.

FACT #2) SONY wants desperately to gain a foothold, if not stranglehold, on the handheld gaming side of the industry which has been completely dominated by Nintendo for 10 years.

FACT #3) SONY PSP users want to be able to use the PSP in ways perhaps not even dreamed of by SONY. And the user base will figure it out on their own if they have to.

FACT #4) The device literally begs to be put to greater use by way of advanced features like a hi-res/hi-contrast screen, wifi, flash memory, usb, stereo sound, and an extremely powerful CPU.

So to any SONY executives, or developers listening. You can take control of the handheld gaming market. You can take Nintendo out of dominance once again. How? By "inadvertently" releasing key pieces of development information to the general public. Say a PSP compiler, or documentation on how to run executable code from wifi, USB, or memory stick. How about just making a devkit publically available? SONY still has control over what gets pressed to UMD and can therefore still control the retail market.

The sooner you make homebrew available to the masses, the more units SONY will sell, the more games SONY can sell, and the more profits SONY will make. Why would anyone buy a Gameboy if they can emulate it perfectly on their PSP? That alone could be the deathblow to Nintendo. I know SONY can't condone emulation of their competitor's systems, but I believe they will secretly smile once the PSP is able to play every portable game published by their competition. It will happen eventually, why not just help it along a little bit? Give the users what they want. PR can call it a slip-up, being hacked, a rogue employee, or whatever, just get it done.

Read the full post here
Needless to say the thread was locked shortly after. I'd like to add my opinion...

First let me say that even if they don't promote a dev kit, people are going to figure out how to run their own software on it. In the process they will learn many things about the psp hardware, filesystem, and os. I think it is the discovery process that drives the whole homebrew scene and in the end many people will benefit from the wealth of knowledge they will have learned in teh process.

Sony has nothing to lose. There will always be a need for their hardware, their licencing fees to create umd's and the money they get for selling expensive memory sticks. Since they control the storage medium they have the potential to still make a lot of money.

I was at a restaurant tonight, and I had a crowd of little kids behind me watching me play a game. This device attracts so much attention. The only thing it's missing is the right software. Sony has the ability to release some code and within a few days people will have built software that requires their hardware. Sony won't be able to make PSP units fast enough. The problem is, Sony probably wants to sell their own software and create their own content channels. They can charge people to use their VOIP software while some guys on a message board compile a skype app that they release for free. If people start seeing other people using PSP's as their cell phone with some sort of PSP VOIP software it would create a massive demand for PSPs everwhere.

I truely believe that open source has the possibility to sell hardware. If any manufacturer out there can figure out a way to make money off just selling hardware in massive quanities, they would have a successful product if they release an open sourced core to their product.

Plus it would be helping out the small businesses out there, software programmers and freelancers who don't have the cash to build their own system and create games for it. They can just do what they do best and create innovative software for an already established platform with a widespread, worldwide user base. They coudl charge anythign they want for it, and can pay sony if they wanted to burn the software onto UMD's and to be sold in ebgames and the rest of the stores sony has it's products in.

The Microsoft Xbox is a great example of this. There is a short supply of Xboxes now. Why? because people are using them for other things than what Microsoft intended them. I own multiple Xboxes, I subscribe to Xbox Live, Microsoft made a lot of money from me.

Have you seen all of the software that has been created for the Xbox by the community? It is crazy, there are emulators of every kind, apps that play music, homebrew games, you name it and it's being done somewhere with an xbox. While Microsoft may lose a few software sales because people are ripping all of their games from blockbuster, they still make money when people log in to xbox live, start purchasing extra content online, and when my friends all bux xboxes because they see how cool it is.

Tivo was ready to die, besides some help from comcast the only thing that is keeping Tivo goign is their new SDK. Now people can surf ebay, buy crap on Amazon and look at Google maps on their TV. Damn that's pretty cool you say, as you head to bestbuy to purchase a tivo and lifetime subscription. Tivo just made money. Why? because they created an SDK that owners of their box can use to make the software they need.

Sony, if you do this early enough, you will set the standard for portable entertainment devices for a long time to come. In the meantime you can cook up the sequel to your hot-selling enterprise which hooks into your content selling ventures.

This post was not intended to cause any harm. It is simply my opinion. I buy all of the software that I use, and pay for all of the content that brings me enjoyment. I'd like to hear other people's comments on some of the things pointed out in this post.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are living in a dream. The only thing that happens when a SDK is found by hackers, is that games get ripped, and the developers suffer because their income is reduced greatly. With the mestick in the PSP, this makes ideal data container for copying/sharing ripped games. The other "extremely small" minority of homebrew developer rarely (if ever) produce anything of value to the gaming community - look at PS2 for examples. The Xbox is now ripped so badly that developers are moving away from it in droves!! You are being very niave if you think by releasing an SDK its going to help Sony - that is just plain wrong.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heh... it WILL be hacked. we wont rest. i, for one, have every intention of using a psp as my laptop for work. sony aims to touch on more than just the gamer market with this device, its an all inclusive media hub... games, music, video... it has multiple data sources... this is a palmtop pc optimized for gaming. sony has two choices at this point... ride the wave and embrace the open source attitude that the homebrew community embraces (and they develop on linux, so it should be in their heads somewhere), or get hacked wide open anyway. in the end, the difference will be the perception of their corporation by the power users. i would have a lot more respect for them, and be willing to throw more money toward the sony nsme if they made it easier for me to do what i want with my hardware.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe if someone like Sony would just create an open source platform that is similar to the PSP (maybe something with an Embedded linusx OS) we would not need to worry with hacking and modding. I like the idea of being able to run whatever apps I want on whatever device I own. It seems like I try to "MOD" every new toy I buy. So far the only portable device I have that does whatever I want it to is my Ipaq which is now running Linux. I have modded my PSP as well, and I for one have never used pirated games, nor do I intend to. What people really want is a more personalized device that suits thier needs, and they wont stop hacking and modding until they get it. So Sony if your listening, it's time to give the people what they want. Stop being so greedy for a little while and think about the people that are giving you all of their hard earned cash. Open Source is the future, and I would think you would want in on it.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to reply to the first post of these comments.
Hackers won't rip games with SDKs. That's stupid.
Actually, there isn't an official SDK for the Sony PSP and there are a lot of images from the UMD disks.
Look at the success of the PsOne... piracy gave Sony the power that they've now.

And developers don't care about piracy, only producers and marketing people.


1:27 PM  

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