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Homebrew Community Blends Gamers and Hackers

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the do-it-yourself dept.

87

MSNBC is running an article on the gaming homebrew community. They examine the 'do it yourself' attitude of the folks that make mods, knockoffs, and emulations possible. From the article: "So lively is the homebrew scene that some PSP fans -- it's impossible to say how many -- say they don't buy or play new games because they don't want to upgrade their gadgets and lose their homebrew software. There's even a circulating joke slogan: 'Friends don't let friends upgrade their PSPs.' Unable to break through recent versions of the Sony software, PSP homebrewers have moved on to another trick: downgrading their PSPs to earlier versions."

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Blending Gamers and Hackers: What setting? (2, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | about 8 years ago | (#15684814)

Do they set the blender on puree?

Re:Blending Gamers and Hackers: What setting? (5, Funny)

RsG (809189) | about 8 years ago | (#15685138)

For the regular gamers, yes. For the D&D gamers however, they set it to dice :-P

Re:Blending Gamers and Hackers: What setting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15685344)

Agreed. Gamers aren't usually ones to mince words.

Re:Blending Gamers and Hackers: What setting? (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | about 8 years ago | (#15685792)

Now you're just frenching the issue to absurdity.

Re:Blending Gamers and Hackers: What setting? (1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | about 8 years ago | (#15687157)

There are at least two cocks in your mouth right now.

OT, but intended to be "prior-art" aginst patntng: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15703219)

( please mod this up only-high-enough that the search-engines see it, as it's intended to make the method unpatentable, and therefore available to us in what-gets-made, see )

A Method for drastically increasing the dynamic-range of camera ( or video-camera ) imaging-sensors, combining part of the concept behind the Fuji large-small pixel-element and the Foveon multi-layer chip:

Background:
Imaging sensors, as used in digicams, have a terrible/limited dynamic-range, so one must be very careful to not "blow" the highlights when setting the exposure, and even if successful, one often does not have enough dynamic-range in the sensor to /then/ get the detail in the shadows.

Increasing the dynamic-range makes the capability of the sensor more correctly match the Real World it is imaging.

Fuji attacked the problem by making each element in the sensor ( like, say, a single-green element within a "pixel" ) have a large element and a small element, both /together/ making one element, but this reduced the elements/mm^2, thereby coarsening the sensor's resolution & increasing cost, both.

Foveon attacked the /different/ problem of digital-aliasing ( diagonal edge of something not matching /exactly/ the Bayes pattern of imaging elements, a square of Green/Red and below Blue/Green ), by layering the imaging-sensor, colour by colour.

Blue-sensor up top, IIRC, then Green-sensor, then Red.

The Method I'm offering is:
Layer 2 identical-pattern chips on top of each other, differing only by dynamic-range-end.

Therefore, there'd be a sensitive-Green above ( nearer-the-lens ), and a not-very-sensitive-Green below ( under the surface-layer ).

Therefore, the imaging-sensor would have the high-resolution of the small-elements normal in current sensors, with the much-higher-dynamic-range of 2 sensors / element, one low-sensitivity for highlights, and one high-sensitivity for shadow-detail.

Since there are only 2 layers in it, unlike the Foveon design, it should be cheaper than their sensors to make, and since it attacks the single biggest problem with pro-image-sensors, it should increase the quality of the pro camera's capture-capability significantly.

Since this information is released to the public, I'm releasing the Method to Public Domain hereby.

To all would-be-patenters, if I published before you applied, then it is my point, and all of us can now benefit from the technology.

If you applied first, then we all don't-benefit until the patent expires, probably, just as Fuji's high-dynamic-range and Sony's Red-Blue-Green-Emerald system aren't being used everywhere, even-though they'd both increase the image-capture-quality WE get in our cameras. . .

Cheers, and Good Day, eh?

Not just PSP (3, Insightful)

Megane (129182) | about 8 years ago | (#15684815)

It should probably be pointed out that PSP is only one of the many systems that can be homebrewed for. There are many other [atariage.com] systems, such as the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, with a pretty strong homebrew community, and within the next year or three, the NES and Sega Genesis will probably see a rise in homebrew programming.

Not just PSP-Modding sticks and stones. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15684911)

Wonderful. Were can I buy these new-fangled machines?

Re:Not just PSP (1)

Monkeman (827301) | about 8 years ago | (#15685107)

I apologize in advance but...

DDDDDDRRRRRREEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAMMMMMMMCCCCCCAAAAAASSS SSTTTTTTTT!!!

(Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING. Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING. Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING. Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.)

Re:Not just PSP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15686395)

It's sad though. I've heard that PSP sales have dropped and they aren't doing so well. The neatness factor on things like UMDs and other such things has faded and it's not like great games are churning out (for any system) every day (sorry people, but, the fact is that very few are any more than mediocre.)

So what did the PSP really have going for it? With user software, actually quite a large amount. There was a lot that could be done. Not just things like homebrewn games. But, oh no, it makes it theoretically easier to do things like play copies of things with a PSP that can do that! Clearly it's better to sell less PSPs and less games but have less people making duplicates rather than selling insane amounts of both with a few people making duplicates, right? But, seriously, what on earth is Sony trying to pull with this sort of thing anyway? In fact, if they went a completly different direction and completely opened the PSP up for all to use, people would buy them left and right. Heck, I hate handhelds, but, if they did a thing like that I would probably buy one anyway. (I'm more inclined to get a powerful PDA if I were going to waste money on a handheld, but, then a completely open PSP would actually have some PDA-like capabilities among other things.)

Re:Not just PSP (1)

apoc06 (853263) | about 8 years ago | (#15698585)

What are you smoking? The psp is selling very well. In the US the PSP was outselling the original DS [not the DS lite] for the greater part of the year. In fact, if the DS didn't have a lead on launch the two systems would be selling evenly with the PSP in the lead.

http://www.videogamecharts.com/page3.html [videogamecharts.com]

In japan, the PSP was only a million or so units behind. Now that the DS lite is available, the DS is taking a much larger lead, but the two systems are still fighting neck and neck. The DS lite is outselling the PSP by a factor of four, but the PSP is still the #2 selling video game system in Japan.

http://www.videogamecharts.com/page5.html [videogamecharts.com]

These are actual sales numbers, and not shipped.

Given how many PSP gamers have decided to not play any new games, its interesting that PSP software sales is #2 in japanese marketshare.
http://www.m-create.com/eng/e_ranking.html [m-create.com]

When will people on the internet stop assuming that because the ds is doing well, that automatically means that the PSP is failing? Stop listening to the blind fans on both sides and check the facts every so often.

Luminesweeper thread (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 8 years ago | (#15684843)

I am the author of the Luminesweeper [pineight.com] game that the article mentions. If you have any questions about that game, ask away :-)

Re:Luminesweeper thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15685302)

**crickets chirping***

Re:Luminesweeper thread (1)

jamesmacaulay (875797) | about 8 years ago | (#15685366)

Ignore the AC. Luminesweeper looks great and I'm going to have to download it now :)

Re:Luminesweeper thread (1)

Team Zissou (887422) | about 8 years ago | (#15685751)

I just had a play with this on my DS, and I give it a big thumbs up. I've never played the PSP version, but I can see why people rate it so highly - the core gameplay is really addictive.

Your version seems pretty much complete to me. Perhaps a native DS port would be worth considering, considering the current momentum of the DS?

Justify a DS port? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 years ago | (#15686000)

Perhaps a native DS port would be worth considering, considering the current momentum of the DS?

What would the DS have to offer for this sort of game? It's not a 3D playfield, it doesn't really need the extra VRAM, it doesn't need the "analog" [1] control of a touch screen, and I don't know what the second screen would display. The only reason that I can see why a DS port would be needed is if SLOT-2 (GBA) flash cards were to become unavailable as all the Chinese manufacturers shift to SLOT-1 cards using NoPass technology.

[1] Common misnomer for "approximately continuous".

Re:Justify a DS port? (1)

Team Zissou (887422) | about 8 years ago | (#15686055)

I was thinking more along the lines of taking advantage of the higher res screen (ie removing the letter boxing effect you get when running a GBA game on the DS). Apart from that you've convinced me that there arn't any compelling reasons to port it over.

Again though, thanks for making this.

Re:Justify a DS port? (1)

NonSequor (230139) | about 8 years ago | (#15686309)

You could just put the score in a big font across the top display with some sort of colorful/distracting background. It wouldn't really add to the game, but you might be able to come up with something that's aesthetically pleasing.

not a question, but.. (1)

Mr. Memblers (877224) | about 8 years ago | (#15685973)

Congrats! :-D

Re:Luminesweeper thread (1)

AkumaATR (817144) | about 8 years ago | (#15686816)

Nice job Tepples!

Re:Luminesweeper thread (1)

StikyPad (445176) | about 8 years ago | (#15688344)

What's your game called?

Re:Luminesweeper thread (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 years ago | (#15688388)

What's your game called?

[tries to think of the least smart-aleck response]
If you're curious, my other game is called Tetanus On Drugs [pineight.com] .

Press Release (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15684849)

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Why screw around with the PSP? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15684866)

I don't get PSP "hacking" - if you want to write code for a cool handheld, why not get a GP2X [gp2x.org] , which is totally open, easy to develop for (using the standard GNU toolchain), runs Linux, and doesn't have a multi-national corporationa attempting to thwart you at every turn?

Plus, a GP2X is $169 USD, instead of $199, and you'll save a fortune using SD cards over Sony's proprietary (and absurdly expensive) Memory Stick.

For the record, I own a GP2X, a PSP, and a DS.

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 8 years ago | (#15684950)

Have they complied with the GPL yet?

LK

OH NOSE, THEY DON'T FOLLOW TEH GPL!!!! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15685079)

I have to ask, will you slashbots remove the sticks from your asses over stuff like this? A company tries to make something that appeals to homebrewers and open source fans, and you turn your noses up at it because of a simple mistake(not giving the source on a MPEG decoder chip, lest I remeber it). Another question, do all those bitching actually going to use the feature or will greatly benifit from it? I always get the feeling those scraming about it won't really use it, it isn't necessary for the main stuff(running emulators), and those complaining won't contribute much back besides making a fuss about it.

I do find it funny that all the people bitching and yelling about how EVIL Sony is, for stuff like locking down the PSP, don't get a "open" device like this. You would think that after all the raving about running homebrew applications and games they would get stuff designed for this stuff, and not give Sony any of your money or support.

Humm, maybe people here are not being honest about the kinds of "homebrew" they REALLY run on the thing... Warzed ISOs count as "homebrew" these days, right? I know that at least "homebrew" now means lots of emulators running zillions of ROMs of games people probably don't own or have the right to play.

Oh well, I feel the overzealous of Open Source supporters and the GPL 3.0 is going to kill stuff like this system anyway.

Can you answer my question or not? (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 8 years ago | (#15685160)

Have they started to abide by the license that they obligated themselves to when they chose the linux kernel?

Before I get one of these, I'll probably end up with a Zaurus or some other PDA that I can run linux on.

LK

Re:Can you answer my question or not? (3, Informative)

despisethesun (880261) | about 8 years ago | (#15685239)

Actually, they've been in compliance with regards to 90% of their GPL obligations for months. The kernel, uboot, all that stuff is available from their subversion repository last time I checked. The MPlayer source was recently released as well, which as far as I know brings them into full compliance.

Re:OH NOSE, THEY DON'T FOLLOW TEH GPL!!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15685189)

Honestly, I consider people basically stealing code because they can't be bothered to comply with the license to be rather more shitty than Sony shipping a non-open device.

Half the homebrew developers on the GP2X seem to prefer working directly with the hardware anyway - for which, guess what, the damn source code for the hardware is rather a lot of help.

Sony? GPL? Heh. (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 years ago | (#15685268)

Have they complied with the GPL yet?

I don't know whether Sony has complied with the (L)GPL. If I have a rootkitted music disc, can I get a copy of the LAME source code from Sony?

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (1)

Virak (897071) | about 8 years ago | (#15685390)

totally open

That's why. Where's the fun in using something the way it was intended?

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (1)

Ice Wewe (936718) | about 8 years ago | (#15685409)

(Excuse the obvious trolling) People don't get the GP2X cause it sucks. It has almost no 3D accel to speak of, and it looks like it came out of the late 80's. I had some portable Sega thing that was about as good as this thing is. (End trolling) If you need something little than runs linux, look into a Zaurus [myzaurus.com] PDA.

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | about 8 years ago | (#15686556)

If you need something little than runs linux, look into a Zaurus PDA.

Funny that you mention a Zaurus PDA because the GP2X runs Qtopia. Anyways, people don't get a GP2X because they never heard about it and they don't have the knowledge to put games on it or anything, however I had some n00bish girl asking me to play my GP2X all the time because she just loved Super Mario World, and you don't need a 3D acceleration to play Super Mario World

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (1)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | about 8 years ago | (#15685467)

I want to buy gp2x, but I can't find place to buy it without a credit card (i.e. in real shop). Could you recommend place in California?

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688389)

Get a life dude. Welcome to the 1900s.

This is probably an objection from you and no-one else. Who on Slashdot hasn't bought something online yet?

Feel free to buy a PSP at your local Wal-Mart (we don't have those here in the civilized part of the country, but I imagine they're all over California) on your way to re-electing Arnold as governor. I mean, I live in the most liberal county in America (King's County aka Brooklyn), but even here no one takes California seriously. You guys continue to let yourselves get ass-raped, and all you have to show for it is douchebag "stick-it-to-the-man" consumerist types like yourself.

I hope for your sake that Austrian cock is extra-tasty,

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | about 8 years ago | (#15685482)

Non-Sony memorysticks are no more expensive than Secure Digital and
Compact Flash around here, so that's no longer a problem for PSP homebrewers.
Still, I wuv my DS, and don't need a PSP :)

Not True Over Here (1)

LKM (227954) | about 8 years ago | (#15686222)

Non-Sony memorysticks are no more expensive than Secure Digital and Compact Flash around here

Well, I don't know where you live, but where I live (Switzerland, by the way), SanDisk Memory Sticks cost only a bit less than Sony's own Memory Sticks. Generally, the cheapest Memory Sticks cost a little less than twice as much as the cheapest SD cards for the same amount of storage space.

So, yeah, I got a GP2X with 2 gigs of space and the TV adapter, and it cost over 100 bucks less than my PSP with a 1 gig SanDisk memory stick.

The DS was still cheapest, and most fun to boot :-)

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688369)

Non-Sony memorysticks are no more expensive than Secure Digital

Please post links, thx. My 1GB SD card was $30 USD at the local electronics store. A memory stick that size would cost more than twice as much. There's just no competition for memoy sticks... the "Non-Sony" ones just mean Sandisk, because that's the only company licensed to male them. Compare this to SD, which is an open, competitive standard, and there's just no competition whatsoever.

For example:
Sony 2GB Memory Stick: $149 USD [jr.com]
PNY 2GB SD Card: $54.99 USD [jr.com]

The PNY card was just the first one that showed up, whereas I had to dig even to find a Memory Stick that could hold a measly 2GB (yessir, the PSP sure did kill the iPod, all you need is $350 to get the storage of a $150 iPod Nano). J&R (the store) is also pretty competive on price, so its not as if they favor one or the other (as other New Yorkers can attest).

And price notwithstanding, what else even supports SD besides other Sony products? I can swap SD cards into my camera or Palm Pilot, but Memory Sticks are useless since I don't by into the 100% Sony "lifestyle". And nevermind that Memory Stick cards have the idiotic Magic Gate(tm) crap, while SD card vendors gave up on "secure" years ago.

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (1)

apoc06 (853263) | about 8 years ago | (#15698669)

You just have to keep checking the internet [not ebay]. I bought a 1gb ms duo last october/november last year for $60. i held off buying them until I could grab one for under $99. I saw a link to one a few weeks ago selling for $35. the 2gb was on sale for ~$65. I remember thinking that I should have waiting a bit longer and gotten more for my money.

The deals are out there, but from your post I'm assuming you don't own a PSP. If you don't own a PSP or a sony camera, I can understand why you wouldn't have an eye out for the deals.

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (1)

blincoln (592401) | about 8 years ago | (#15685976)

I don't get PSP "hacking" - if you want to write code for a cool handheld, why not get a GP2X [gp2x.org], which is totally open, easy to develop for (using the standard GNU toolchain), runs Linux, and doesn't have a multi-national corporationa attempting to thwart you at every turn?

Because the audience for PSP homebrew is wider?

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15688451)

Because the audience for PSP homebrew is wider?

Wrong.

Everyone who has purchased a GP2X has downloaded homebrew games and emulators. 100% of users. Compare that to the handful of Sony-branded whiners who bitch about every firmware upgrade on the PSP stopping them from playing great emulated Japanese games [gamefaqs.com] . How many PSP owners bought one to play shit homebrew "games" which are 9 times out of 10 knock-offs of much better commerical games? Maybe on Slashdot, the most vocal few are, but where I live (New York City - you may have heard of it), people bought the PSP to (gasp!) play games, not dick around with some half-assed "Linux" "distro" or some would-be artfags "experimental indie game" with graphics and sound straight out of 1981,

Get a fucking life. No one outside the societal rejects that populate slashdot cares about "indie" "games".

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (1)

mrbobjoe (830606) | about 8 years ago | (#15686230)

if you want to write code for a cool handheld, why not get a GP2X, which is totally open, easy to develop for (using the standard GNU toolchain), runs Linux, and doesn't have a multi-national corporationa attempting to thwart you at every turn?
But where's the fun in that?

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (1)

ZakuSage (874456) | about 8 years ago | (#15687528)

Because PSP has a wider userbase to begin with, meaning people who bought the system to run commercial games can also use it to run/make homebrew apps.

Real answer: Piracy (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 8 years ago | (#15688314)

The real and obvious alternative is ofcourse that you want to be able to pirate or atleast run commercial titels aswell. With the GP2X you are quite screwed when it comes to commercial support so all there is is homebrew and emulators, with the PSP largest reason are probably that you can copy games, and it's also fun to be able to run emulators, and even if you ignore the illegal piracy stuff you can still atleast run emulators AND buy games to play on it (althought you probably want to rip those or something so the console doesn't upgrade.)

Re:Why screw around with the PSP? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | about 8 years ago | (#15688351)

it's easy to develop for (using the standard GNU toolchain), runs Linux, and doesn't have a multi-national corporationa attempting to thwart you at every turn?

That's your answer. It's all about the challenge, man!

Ultimate Handheld Game Device (2, Insightful)

nodnarb1978 (725530) | about 8 years ago | (#15684874)

I'd love to have one unified, well-designed, attractive and ergonomic handheld game unit preloaded with a lightweight, unlocked, extendable OS and emulators for every system ever made.

I'd pay a lot of money for that.

But that won't happen in my lifetime, because of the approach the game companies take to copyright law and the razor-and-blades marketing approach.

--
(Waves Hand.) There is no sig here.

Re:Ultimate Handheld Game Device (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | about 8 years ago | (#15684901)

How much extra would you pay if it could also reverse your user name? =)

Re:Ultimate Handheld Game Device (1)

nodnarb1978 (725530) | about 8 years ago | (#15684921)

I'd buy that for a dollar. Another buck if it could also give me a really low user number so all the kids would know how cool I am. =)

Re:Ultimate Handheld Game Device (1)

Cybersonic (7113) | about 8 years ago | (#15684952)

heh heh there is actually a market for low slashdot UIDs?! =)

Re:Ultimate Handheld Game Device (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | about 8 years ago | (#15684982)

Put it up on ebay and see who bites! =)

Re:Ultimate Handheld Game Device (1)

Wog (58146) | about 8 years ago | (#15687232)

I bought an account in the low 5000's for $1. I think the seller anticipated getting more. That was three years ago.

Re:Ultimate Handheld Game Device (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | about 8 years ago | (#15687628)

So, you're not really Wog? (It's OK, I'm not really Ohreally.)

Re:Ultimate Handheld Game Device (1)

VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) | about 8 years ago | (#15685069)

I'd love to have one unified, well-designed, attractive and ergonomic handheld game unit preloaded with a lightweight, unlocked, extendable OS and emulators for every system ever made. I'd pay a lot of money for that. But that won't happen in my lifetime, because of the approach the game companies take to copyright law and the razor-and-blades marketing approach.
Oh yeah? How about a portable gaming system that runs Linux and is homebrew friendly (unlike PSP and GB)? Maybe you should give this little guy a try [gp2x.co.uk] .

It already has a nice homebrew community behind it.

And cheap? How about $180? Is that cheap enough?

From the "About" page:
"It can play games. It can play your Movies. It can play your music. It can view photos. It can read Ebooks. It runs on just 2 AA batteries - And it can do all this in the palm of your hand or on your TV screen."

And...

"It runs the free Linux operating system. This means a whole world of Games, Utilities and Emulators are at your disposal. Quake, Doom, SNES, Megadrive, MAME, Media players and Applications to name just a few."

And...

"It's open. You want to develop your own games for the GP2X? Go right ahead. The SDK is included with the system free. Not since the days of the Amiga has a system been so easy to develop for, commercially and for fun."

Re:Ultimate Handheld Game Device (1)

hector_uk (882132) | about 8 years ago | (#15685080)

or wait for this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XGP [wikipedia.org] psp without the crap.

Re:Ultimate Handheld Game Device (1)

duffahtolla (535056) | about 8 years ago | (#15685499)

That is sweet!

Re:Ultimate Handheld Game Device (1)

nodnarb1978 (725530) | about 8 years ago | (#15685117)

I'd read about the GP2X and forgotten about it.

Thanks for refiring that synapse. :)

Re:Ultimate Handheld Game Device (3, Interesting)

vga_init (589198) | about 8 years ago | (#15685088)

I'd love to have one unified, well-designed, attractive and ergonomic handheld game unit preloaded with a lightweight, unlocked, extendable OS and emulators for every system ever made. I'd pay a lot of money for that.

You're kidding, right? I've had my GP2X [wikipedia.org] since December, and I love it to death. It doesn't have emualtors for EVERY system evermade (a bit of a hyperbole there), and they aren't preloaded, but there are lots and you can download them right onto an SD card, plug, and go.

The device itself is lovely and capable--dual core ARM, 320x240 LCD, stereo sound, 64mb of RAM + 64MB of internal flash plus SD reader and external serial port. Also has a USB port, but no host controller, I believe. No wifi, but such nicities as onboard MPEG decoder and TV-out. If that's not enough to tickle your fancy, it runs embedded linux and comes (as of firmware 2.0) a handy file browser, ascii viewer, photo viewer, movie and music player (mplayer). Lots of downloadable utilities such as terminal emulator and pdf viewer.

The device runs for about $180. You can get one from gp32z.com (official US distributor--where I purchased mine) or google around for it. In my opinion, it's kind of cheap for what it is. You'll get better hardware for your buck if you get a PSP or even a DS, but you can't beat the programmability.

Touch screen? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 years ago | (#15685281)

How does the terminal emulator work if the GP2X doesn't have a touch surface on which to press keys? And making the Nintendo DS programmable costs about 70 USD nowadays (MAX Media Launcher + GBA Movie Player + CF card).

Re:Touch screen? (1)

vga_init (589198) | about 8 years ago | (#15685693)

The terminal, called "sterm" uses a funny imput method where you select the characters individually using the joystick. This sounds really horrible, but combine this with such features as autocompletion, command history, and the fact that most unix commands are very short and abreviated, it's not as bad as you might be thinking. Also, you can buy a serial connector so you can manipulate the system with a remote serial console.

Re:Touch screen? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 8 years ago | (#15686132)

It's also got drivers for USB Ethernet, so that you can just telnet to it. (Firmware 2.0 req'd)

Re:Ultimate Handheld Game Device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15687054)

Also has a USB port, but no host controller, I believe.

Oh, it has USB host, but it's not connected to a USB connector. You have to buy or build extra hardware to use it. (Just like TV out.) Still pretty cool though.

Ultimate Slashdot Argument. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15685435)

"But that won't happen in my lifetime, because of the approach the game companies take to copyright law and the razor-and-blades marketing approach. "

Welcome to slashdot were we apply Einstein's younger brother's dictum "simplify as much as possible till it's meaningless". In case you haven't guessed the reasons for it not happening aren't all attributed to either copyright, or "blades and razors".*

*Not that there's anything wrong with either one contrary to slash-groupthink.

Tried a GP2X? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15687806)

Ever heard of a GP2X [gp2x.org] ? Theres a lot of emulators [gp2x.org] ported to it already, and several engines (DOOM, Quake etc.) And yes, it does run Linux.

Where...? (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | about 8 years ago | (#15684899)

Homebrew Community Blends Gamers and Hackers

The newest coffee for all you caffeine junkies is now available at nearby Starbuck, Peet or Trader Joe.

Re:Where...? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about 8 years ago | (#15685101)

When I saw Homebrew I was thinking more along the lines of Beer. Is it an ale or a lager?

Re:Where...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15685170)

Is it an ale or a lager?

Bathtub gin. :-P

Licencing (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#15684914)

Since I'm sure making homebrew games is against the PSP eula, does this mean that Sony can revoke the license and force people to return their PSPs? After all, they don't actually own the unit, just have permission to use it, right?

Wrong (5, Interesting)

maynard (3337) | about 8 years ago | (#15684974)

If you purchased a PSP, you own it. You did not purchase a license to use, or a license to rent, or a license which limits certain uses of the device. You own it and can do whatever you wish, including throwing it out a window or bricking it with bad homebrew software.

A EULA may be attached to copyrighted software and functions as a contractual agreement between the author and the user. This agreement may set terms for duplication of the software, limit certain uses of the software, and as well as set different pricing for various categories of users or regular per-use payments. The EULA is thus expressly bound to copyright and contract law, and lives between the boundaries of the two.

The PSP is not copyrighted (though firmware within it might be). Thus, it should be legal to use or abuse your PSP however you see fit. However, downgrading firmware might constitute a EULA violation since it constitutes duplication and installation of software - which, depending on the contract terms, could be deemed breach of contract and a copyright violation. But installing emacs, cross compiling the source and installing doom/quake/whatever, or even shoving that PSP up one's ass and mailing it back to Sony for service -- all that should be perfectly legal.

Please note: IANAL, but I do own a PSP - bought at launch. Given Sony's obnoxious and rude behavior to the homebrew scene though, I regret that purchase. It has not lived up to my expectations, both as a gaming machine (the games mostly suck) and as a homebrew platform. I think I would have been much happier with a DS.

Oh well, Sony seems intent on economic suicide. Good riddance.

 

Re:Wrong (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#15685199)

I was just being facetious, and completely agree with you :)

Re:Wrong (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 8 years ago | (#15685282)

It has not lived up to my expectations, both as a gaming machine (the games mostly suck) and as a homebrew platform. I think I would have been much happier with a DS.

As a gaming platform it lacks, but going into it expecting it to be a homebrew platform (and being disappointed) is nigh upon ridiculous. You won't have much better luck with the DS, seeing as how the only way to get homebrew on it now is to:

1) Buy a 20-30$ device that you will use exactly once to install a loader that will void your warranty.
2) Buy a device and a programmable GBA cart on which you will load DS programs, which have to be manipulated in strange ways due to capacity and access limits of GBA cartriges.

It's a better gaming platform, to be sure. But it is no friendlier for homebrew development, even less so now that you have to write to a cart in some fashion to test it (no wireless boot or loading ROMs over the link cable for testing.) Just to test something on my DS would require me to hook up my GBA, write the cart, swap the cart to the DS, then start the ROM. Not very easy.

Re:Wrong (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | about 8 years ago | (#15685539)

Either you are a troll or an idiot. One or the other.

I never bought a PassMe, and never used one, although I did get one for free with the M3 Adapter that I bought my GF for Christmas last year. It remains unused. I am a homebrew developer, and I lack money, so the only tools I have for myself are my GBA Flash Cart and my PC. My PC is equipped with a RT2500 card.

Both mine and my GF's DSs are version 2s, that were bought at launch. They can be spoofed into loading DS code from the GBA slot by sending a specially crafted program by WMB. (Wireless Multi-boot). This can be sent by an RT2500 wireless card. Nintendo NEVER updates the firmware on a DS, so once flashed to a new firmware, they are flashed forever. (The exception to this was when WFC games came out, and started overwriting areas of the firmware thought to be unused. This corrupted the firmware, but was not actually an upgrade, and did not intentionally destroy homebrew compatibility. This problem was overcome before the game was even released however).

DS homebrew are usually loaded through SD or CF cards, which are MUCH cheaper than Sony's proprietary stuff. As I mentioned earlier, I bought my GF an M3 Adapter for Christmas last year, so she could listen to music, watch movies, or anything else she desired on her DS. I constantly drool over it, as I am too poor to buy one for myself. The device and a SD card plus a DS still cost less than the base price of a PSP.

And for the record, I still do most of my testing over a wireless link. I have no idea what you are on about. My ghetto GBA cart is a pain in the ass to use, as you mentioned... which is why I write my software through WMB testing. (see the link in my profile for more info).

Re:Wrong (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 8 years ago | (#15685762)

I guess I'm a troll, because I'm not an idiot.

My primary point was that being disappointed with a unit because it's not homebrew friendly is silly because they're never intended to be used for homebrew in the first place. Just because Nintendo's lockouts are weaker doesn't necessarily make them better.

Also, once a unit is out they never update firmware, but newer units do have newer firmware. You can load FlashMe to get back wireless boot, but the developer of the WiFi utility refuses to support anything but one single wifi chip and no one else has bothered to help expand it and you -must- have the PCI or PCMCIA versions of these chips for it to work at all (of which my system has slots for neither.)

So DS development isn't easy as cake. Easier than the PSP, but by no means easy.

DS homebrew future is HTTP Download Play (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 years ago | (#15686019)

Sure, playing musical CF cards is a bitch. But:

the developer of the WiFi utility refuses to support anything but one single wifi chip and no one else has bothered to help expand it

Wireless boot through DS Download Play was the past. The future is HTTP Download Play, where you run WinApache on your development machine, use an HTTP client on the DS to pull each build down to your CF card through the same wireless router that you already use for Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, and then run it on the DS.

Full PCI slots? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 years ago | (#15686023)

This can be sent by an RT2500 wireless card.

Are those still widely available, or have manufacturers moved on to other chipsets (as denoted by the * in the master list [rapla.net] )? And doesn't WMB as we know it require a PCI card, meaning that if all of my PC's PCI slots are full I have to buy another PC?

Re:Full PCI slots? (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | about 8 years ago | (#15688108)

I honestly have no idea about the availability. I didn't have any problem a year ago. If nothing else, the official Nintendo USB adapter can be used (I think). And as far as your PCI slots? If you buy a new computer over that... then there's something seriously wrong with you. =P I'm sure you can find something you aren't using.

Re:Wrong (4, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | about 8 years ago | (#15685915)

... or even shoving that PSP up one's ass and mailing it back to Sony for service -- all that should be perfectly legal.

Actually, it's illegal to send humans through the mail.
 

Re:Wrong (1)

StarKruzr (74642) | about 8 years ago | (#15686257)

I wonder why it's illegal to send humans through the mail.

Re:Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15686351)

Because large corporations have good bribers.

Re:Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15687101)

I believe these unlocking methods involve copying copyrighted firmware without permission.

Re:Licencing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15685061)

You would love to see that happen don't you? So you can finaly have something to bash Sony for something that is true.

You could bother to cite your story properly (0, Flamebait)

kkiller (945601) | about 8 years ago | (#15685207)

MSNBC is running a story originally published by the Washington Post, as it says on the page... The "they" is a journalist for the said newspaper, not MSNBC, you insensitive clod.

Re:You could bother to cite your story properly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15685935)

MSNBC is running a story originally published by the Washington Post, as it says on the page... The "they" is a journalist for the said newspaper, not MSNBC, you insensitive clod.

And to think you could have avoided getting flustered if only you had worn your clod hoppers [wikipedia.org] ...

Sony take note! (2, Interesting)

QuantumFTL (197300) | about 8 years ago | (#15685852)

I hope Sony notices the significant demand for the missing functionality provided by these homebrew systems. Some people are willing to go through extraordinary lengths to get these additional features - likely many would pay for them if they were offered as a supported add-on that could increase Sony's revenue stream, and start to dust off their so very recently tarnished name.

Of course Sony doesn't seem to be reasoning rationally as of late, but one can dream...

Re:Sony take note! (1)

patio11 (857072) | about 8 years ago | (#15686940)

I hope Sony notices the significant demand for the missing functionality provided by these homebrew systems.

You probably have a very different perception of the word "significant" as compared to a company which books about $7.5 million in revenue in the average hour.

Re:Sony take note! (1)

QuantumFTL (197300) | about 8 years ago | (#15687143)

No, I understand that these features wish to be used by a small subset of the population, but why do we have any niche apps? For one, many of these features are so simple that even h4x0rs can implement them, without explicit support. This low marginal cost may be lower than marginal benefit all by itself, which makes it a rational action (provided one factors in opportunity cost).

One thing you may discount is that the "power users" who use these features are often trendsetters in their small communities and cliques. Personally I've had such a great experience with the DS that I would never hesitate to reccomend it to anyone over a PSP - if the PSP had many of these great features that hackers have been adding, I'd reccomend that instead.

Never underestimate the power of the Alpha Geek :)

Re:Sony take note! (1)

apoc06 (853263) | about 8 years ago | (#15698909)

Personally I think that the homebrew scene on the PSP is seen as much more easier to tap into than the DS from the perspective of someone not familiar with technology. It's sorta like how "power users" had been downloading mp3s for years via IRC, ftps and the internet, but as soon as napster came along and allowed the average layperson to download music, internet piracy became a huge, huge deal.

piracy on the PSP used to be as simple as: 1) download these two precompiled files to this folder on your PSP. 2) add your iso to a folder here... and lil johnny is an instant pirate!

Re:Sony take note! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15689986)

I hope Sony notices the significant demand for the missing functionality provided by these homebrew systems. Some people are willing to go through extraordinary lengths to get these additional features - likely many would pay for them if they were offered as a supported add-on that could increase Sony's revenue stream, and start to dust off their so very recently tarnished name.

Of course Sony doesn't seem to be reasoning rationally as of late, but one can dream...

The PlayStation 2 Linux kit would be an example of something that caters to the niche market you speak of. However, one can speculate that Sony released it as support for their "computer not console" court case. It is not available for sale in the US anymore, perhaps because the kit was to expensive, or because the market for it simply wasn't big enough.
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