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Device challenges its users



Published: Wed, April 13, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Hacker tips can help you make the most of your PSP.

By VICTOR GODINEZ

KNIGHT RIDDER TRIBUNE

Sony's PSP may not have achieved the total launch-day sellout the company was undoubtedly hoping for, but the device is living up to its billing as a technological wonder.

While the games so far have ranged from the sublime (the puzzle game "Lumines") to the forgettable ("NBA") there's no doubt the PSP has a healthy future as a game device.

What's been more fascinating to watch is the emergence of a cottage industry of hackers discovering all sorts of cool things that can be done with a PSP.

For example, TiVo shows can be downloaded to your PSP (learn how at ZatzNotFunny.com), or iTunes music can be synced to it (PocketMac.net).

Another use

But the most interesting development was the news that there's actually a small Web browser embedded in the PSP game "Wipeout Pure." Learn how to access it at Base2.org.

With a couple of easy changes to the network settings on the PSP, you can hop onto any wireless network to browse the Web.

I tried it and got it to work, but it's not flawless.

Browsing is a hit-and-miss affair, since some sites work and others don't, and the connection is not always reliable. But it's a neat little trick, and it's dumb that Sony didn't offer an official Web browser right out of the box.

That could have gone a long way toward convincing casual buyers to shell out $250 for a system that doesn't come bundled with a single game.

A Web browser might also have stimulated some interest in Sony's online music store, Connect, if music could be downloaded to a PSP directly without having to plug it into a PC.

More and more

In fact, Web browsing capability for the PSP opens the door to all sorts of nifty stuff, such as being able to download free demos of PSP games, as well as movies, TV shows and other applications. An official browser is almost certainly in the works for just those reasons.

But if the developers of "Wipeout Pure," an excellent racing game that all PSP owners should check out, could find time to throw one together while they were making their game, then Sony has no excuse for being so pokey.

Fans of older handheld systems might be feeling a little left out. The PSP is the new kid on the block, while Nintendo's DS is still a pretty swank piece of hardware.

XLearn more at MajescoGames.com.




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