Homebrew is where the Heart is

[Originally posted on 1Up.com]

Back in September I wrote I doubt Sony will be making very much licensing money off of me. I'm primaraly using it for watching movies/series and playing my favourite SCUMM games. This still holds true, for several reasons.

To start with, I still haven't seen very many interesting titles come out for the "PS2-in-your-hand". I've only bought two games so far, one of them I gave away, and the other I've lent to a friend. My PSP's been collecting dust for several months

Secondly I've enjoyed the rich diversity of free homebrew available for the system. I can't see why I should buy a mediocre UMD-game that has iritating load times and costs as much as a console game, when there are lots of excellent free games like Squarez and PSP Revolution available for free, and with next-to-no load times

Then there's the split-personality of the PSP, a double-edged knife which on the one hand creates more insentive to buy the system, but on the other hand, it also gives the owner more choices, making gaming only one of several options for what to do with the sleek power house in your hands.

So besides playing games you also have the option of watching movies, listening to music, viewing photos, or browsing the internet. This is all strait out of the box, when you factor in the plethora of homebrew applications available, you could be doing anything from checking your calander to remote-controling your PC or reading an e-Book

There's no denying that Sony has a problem here, they keep releasing firmware updates to twart the homebrewers, but so far each one has been cracked so there is no end in sight when it comes to new free applications.

This of course didn't have to be a problem, many consumer devices are of the one-off purchase variaty, when you buy a microwave oven, just to take an example off the top of my head, the dealer doesn't expect you to buy the food that you put in it from them, and if you decide to thow a spoon in there... hey, that's your buisness! This is because it's sold at a profit, but Sony has a different buisness model when it comes to the PSP, from what I've gathered, they're following Microsofts Xbox model, selling the units at a loss and plan on making it up in software sales... so if the software is not of interest, because there are cheaper and often better alternatives, then Sony is not making any money

As I see it Sony has two options here, either cash in on this market, by making these types of applications available for purchase. Much like Apple is doing with the iTunes Music Store, Sony needs to dedicate resources to creating a controlled environment that provides these kinds of applications and media in an easy and afordable way directly to the customer's PSP:s. Or put a lot more effort into producing AAA-games that PSP-owners just won't be able to resist... either way, we win. ^_^/b

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