The PlayStation Portable comes with firmware with a graphical user interface that allows the user to go through various menus and change settings, etc. Today there are five publicly released official firmware updates, one update was replaced without any public announcement.
The firmware is updatable through the PSP WiFi, direct transfer or through a UMD. When the PSP was launched in PAL regions, it included a Sampler UMD containing several game movies and demos as well as the V2.00 firmware. Various games also force a firmware update, one of which is Madden NFL 06.
- When the PSP was released in Japan, all PSP units came with the very first firmware version, V1.00. This firmware was quickly exploited within a few months time causing Sony to update the firmware version.
- The first firmware update for the PSP, this firmware update provided a security update, fixing the exploit that was found in the first firmware version. This is the most homebrew friendly firmware.
- When V1.50 was cracked, Sony quickly retaliated with a security update and V1.51 was conceived.
- June 15th marked the release of the next minor update to the firmware, it didn't promise anything new except for a security update and the ability to play UMD music.
- Japan received the next major firmware update on June 20. Sony realized that not many people were upgrading to 1.51/1.52, so they had to give them an incentive to to update. Firmware 2.0 introduced the PSP Web Browser. The USA release date for V2.00 was originally August 12, but it was delayed until August 24. On the same day of the release of the US 2.00 firmware, Japan also had a silent firmware update, this update was the same as the US version, it is assumed that Sony had fixed a minor bug with the semi-update. As of September 24, an exploit in libtiff has allowed people to execute unsigned code, using the Image Browser.
- October 3rd, 2005 marked the release of the firmware V2.01, this firmware corrects the libtiff issue and thus does not allow the downgrading of the system or use of any homebrew applications. So 2.01 is only a security update and nothing more.
- On October 12th, 2005, Japan saw the release of the V2.50 firmware update. This update allows a user to watch television (with the LocationFree Player peripheral) as well as adding several unnecessary updates to the firmware just to persuade people to update.
- November 28, 2005 marked the day that Sony released the V2.60 firmware. RSS Channel, Chinese Language to the browser. Copyrighted videos can also be downloaded. Volume Adjustment added to the LocationFree Player. WMA playback support added to the Music player.
- Released on April 25th, 2005 2.70 adds support for Macromedia Flash v6, AAC music file support and the ability to stream RSS from a Memory Stick. Some settings have also been changed to make room for the new features.
- June 1st, 2006 saw the 2.71 firmware update. Allowing game demos to be downloaded from the Internet and transferred to Memory Stick for playing on your PSP, the second newest feature allows the video output to be displayed properly when "external tuner" is selected in LocationFree player.
- Sony had promised to release a new firmware on July 27, 2006 and they delivered. 2.80 features a download function for downloading images using the RSS Channel, the ability to play AAC files in .3gp format and compatability for another demo. Due to the previous firmwares being cracked, 2.80 also features new encryption.
- Released on the 7th of September, 2006, as a security patch. On the same day 2.80 was decrypted and using the same method, 2.81 was also decrypted.
- Released for the Loco Roco Halloween Demo on October 26th, 2006, this update is just another security update with no new real features.
- On the 21st of November, 2006, Sony released the long-awaited 3.00 firmware; Added is the ability to play Playstation games, via the optional use of a PS3, the remote play function, ability to control the PS3's browser, new playback options as well as support for the PSP camera. It will also not allow UMD discs to autoload on start up.
- A small security update strengthening the internal flash security that was released on the 22nd of November, 2006.
- Another simple security update released on the 6th December, 2006.
Important Firmware Hacking Dates
- September 27, 2005
- The exploit in libtiff has really been exploited. MPH released a downgrader for people who no longer wish to use firmware 2.00. The downgrader has a high success rate, and returns the PSP to the homebrew-friendly 1.50 firmware. Owners of a PSP with 1.51 or 1.52 firmware can upgrade the PSP to 2.0 and then run the downgrader.
- September 29, 2005
- Sony has commented on the hacking of the PSP. They have stated that there will be an update in the near future. Their reasoning is that the PSP was NOT designed to run homebrew, and that actually running homebrew voids the warranty. Obviously Sony does not appreciate the hard work being done by home users to get THEIR PSPs doing things the way they want.
- November 14, 2005
- There have been claims in recent days of a possible exploit for firmware 2.5. While no solid proof of it being anymore than a means to crash the PSP, it may be promising. Currently, no one is even sure if this is an exploit (in the form of a buffer overflow in libtiff, considering thats what firmware 2.01 was released to fix), but debate rages on. We'll see in the coming days whether or not this is a hoax or a reality.
- November 29, 2005
- There are reports that an exploit is now available to downgrade firmware 1.50 PSPs to firmware 1.00. The exploit is in very early beta stages, and seems to have a less than 50% success rate (with the failures resulting in bricked PSPs). Downgrading to 1.00 can open the door to totally custom firmwares, thereby allowing people to have full control over the PSP, while at the same time allowing people to "emulate" newer versions of the firmware, to retain compatibility with newer games. More information will be available as time goes on.