I’ve recently reached a milestone in my life which I have been working on for approximately 5 years. Since Jillian’s opened two locations in Farmingdale and Westbury, I have been a fan of playing video games and winning small prizes. As Jillian’s was bought by Dave and Busters, I was worried that saved tickets might be lost, but D&B was good enough to honor the previous company’s vouchers. with about 15,000 tickets from Jillian’s as a start, I began saving up for the big prizes. 2 weeks ago, I secured a Playstation Portable for 41,000 tickets (and thanks to a donation of 7000 tickets from Casey, picked up GTA: Vice City too!)
There’s a lot of web sites out there that you can download home-brew or even actual games for the PSP, but in order to play them, you need a really old version of the PSP software. Even my PSP had a fairly recent version so I had to hack it to get the capability. I researched a few sites online and will get more technical below, but mainly, I was able to revert back to the older software and then upgrade to a hacked version of the newer software. Now I am able to play current games that I buy or download, home-brew games and even Playstation 1 games that are ripped from CD and prepared for the PSP.
I picked up a Sony Playstation Portable from Dave & Busters with the 2.71 firmware on it. It also has a TA-082 motherboard which for the longest time could NOT be hacked. There’s infinite warnings on websites saying NOT to run certain firmware updates on a TA-082 system, but some of them are outdated and pre-date the newer hacks which work properly. If you have one of these motherboards, be cautious, but once you downgrade it seems that you’re in the clear.
I found a TA-082 friendly downgrader that could bring me down to version 1.5 of the firmware, but I had to install the Home brew Enabled, HEN-D. Once I installed HEN and the system settings displayed version 2.71 HEN-D, I was able to downgrade the system to 1.5. Once at 1.5 I was able to run most (but not all) downloaded and home brew games. Some games wouldn’t run, including those I had on UMD (Universal Media Disc) but that was fixed by running DevHook.
DevHook is a great application that emulates different firmware versions. While my base system was 1.5, I could emulate up to version 3.11 and access any resources necessary on my PSP. There were some bugs, such as if I didn’t pick the right emulation, I couldn’t use Wi-Fi and some of the Playstation games wouldn’t run properly
Research found that 2.71 could be downgraded to 1.5 after installing HEN, a Home brew Enabler. I installed HEN (I think it was HEN-D) and then ran the downgrader. I admit I was sweating as my PSP reverted to tex-only mode and went through it’s reboot cycle. After a short amount of time, the PSP reboot and started up. System settings showed version 1.5. I was successful in downgrading the PSP!
I installed 2 versions of DevHook so I could emulate various different revisions of the firmware (depending on what I wanted to run). The newer versions couldn’t support the Wifi, but the older versions that could, weren’t new enough to play GTA:VC.
The next step was to install a hacked firmware. After chatting with a few people online, they recommended that I not go for the most recent version but a slightly older one that was more reliable yet had all the features I wanted. I installed Firmware 3.03 Open Edition Revision C (3.03 OE-C).
The hacked PSP now gives me a few benefits:
* Recovery Mode
I could recover if future hacks/updates fail! Previously, if there were any problems downgrading or upgrading firmware, I could render my PSP useless, and since Sony does not warranty a hacked PSP, I would have a $200 paper weight.
* Play ISO images of UMD games.
I could download games from UMDs (Universal Media Discs) or the Internet and play them straight off the memory card. This is much better than carrying around a handful of UMDs and having to switch them each time.
* Play ripped PS1 Games
I can download or rip my old Playstation CDs and encode them to be played on the PSP.
PSP TA-082 2.71 -> 2.71 HEND -> 1.5 -> 3.03 OE-C!