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April 18, 2007 - It's that time of the month again, ladies (and fellows.) Sony Computer Entertainment has released another update to the PlayStation Portable firmware, moving the interface up to 3.40. This update is not a particularly fancy update -- no major features have been added this time -- but it's a necessary one for future interfacing with PlayStation 3 as well as playing downloadable PS1 games.

The following updates are made to the PlayStation Portable with PSP version 3.40:
  • Support for PlayStation Network titles has expanded.The method of managing certificates under [Game] has been changed.

Not much fun there, but the business done is at least interesting. The changes in PSP v3.40 center around downloadable content (those old, original PlayStation games you can download from the PlayStation Store ... if you own a PS3.) Sony has changed the Certificate system used in the service -- originally, gamers had to download both the game file and a special certificate to allow it to play on your system. Now (partly because hackers have been able to cheat the certificate, allowing homebrew users to load their own PS1 games with enough effort) the certificate is written right into the file, making downloads simpler and the PSP game menu a little less cluttered. This system is also timed with the release of PS3. 1.70, which allows console gamers to play these *same classic games you're enjoying on PSP now on your home system -- one download, two choices of how and where and when you can play your game.

(*One caveat: because the Certificate system changed, those who have already downloaded PS1 games must re-download them to play without the certificate. We haven't tried this yet on our PSPs, but some PS3 users are having difficulty loading up their games, so SCE is recommending that users re-download all of the PS1 games they have purchased. We haven't seen any literature to this effect, but it's likely that this will not affect the download count on your purchases.)

Of course, the one thing we all wanted in the next PSP update -- PlayStation Store access with the PSP -- is still not in the latest update. PlayStation Network Friends Lists and messaging is still not available on the portable. Keep the vigil candles burning, maybe Sony will one day here our cries and grant our wishes for the kind of portable PlayStation network we PSP owners deserve...

As always, you can download the latest PSP updates (once the newest version is available, as some regions might get new versions later than others) through your PSP's Network Update feature in settings, or on Sony's official site:

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