PSP To Do Away With UMD Drive?

ISO loader uncovered in latest firmware suggests Sony has finally seen the light...

Is the PSP finally about to do away with the cursed UMD disc? The latest firmware release suggests that could well be the case…

One again the tell-tale is firmware v3.50 – an update that already made headlines for secretly upping the console’s CPU speed – which has been found by renounced hacker Dark_Alex to contain an official ISO loader.

Such a tool would enable the device to run encrypted full disc images directly from a Memory Stick bypassing the need for UMD discs. It would also greatly expand the PSP’s functionality from the game demos and PlayStation One emulations that its Memory Stick modules are currently limited to. Detected in the ‘np9660.prx’ file this is no Sony experiment either since it also features in the v3.50 firmware tweak: v3.51.

So what does this mean for the PSP? Potentially everything and nothing. On the one hand moving to Memory Stick would mean games run off flash which would reduce power consumption, increase content delivery options, greatly decrease load times and enable any future streamlined PSP to do away with its largest and most annoying component. On the other this is Sony we are talking about and it could have missed this wonderful opportunity completely and simply plans to deliver more complex game demos.

The world is a much more interesting place however if we believe the former…


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