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Sony Entertainment Games

Swapless PSP Exploit Released 234

YDKCooKiE writes "According to, an updated exploit for PSP 1.5 has been released, allowing PSP 1.5 users to play homebrew software without requiring the swap trick."
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Swapless PSP Exploit Released

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  • Just tried it (Score:4, Informative)

    by pjameson ( 880321 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:16PM (#12893389)
    I just tried this yesterday, and finally I get to see what I was missing by having the 1.5 firmware. They really did a great job on this release, but it's going to suck when you have to update to play new commercial games
    • Depending on how cool this hack is (I haven't used it, but I'm interested in programming for my PSP) it may stop me from buying any software that includes a firmware upgrade.

      Not a big lose, I already own Lumines! ;)

    • Keep in mind what you were missing, you haven't been missing for very long. Hello World was only a few months back, and the software has been in a steady but swift climb upward since. You're in at a good time, when the software is largely advanced enough to be usuable, but still in the exciting early stages.
  • It was only a matter of time before it happened.

    I don't think it'd be too long before other operating systems are running on the PSP.

    telnet:// [] -- TW2002 and LORD registered! :)
    • Re:Time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mesach ( 191869 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:35PM (#12893624)
      As much as people think that this is ONLY for pirating psp games, getting mame on the psp is the one thing that is keeping me from owning one. As soon as a good mame emulator for the psp is out, im all over it. In addition to using normal psp games.
      • So it's not just for pirating PSP games ... it's also for pirating old carts :)

        Actually, there's only so much benefit to being able to pirate PSP games, at least for now. Memory cards large enough to store them are more expensive than the games in many cases. Sure, you could have just one card and constantly swap new games to it, but that's somewhat inconvenient.
        • In what store can you buy a Genesis, SNES game in Rom format that plays on the PSP? None. Therefore it's NOT pirating. It does not translate to a loss in sale.

          • I actually oppose IP as a concept, but from a legal standpoint, you still remain unauthorized to distribute or recieve an unauthorized copy -- so it IS still pirating.

            (unless you want to be pedantic and talk about how you're not wearing an eyepatch or carrying around a parrot when you do it).
          • Re:Time (Score:3, Insightful)

            They're usually sold in collections, either Greatest Hits or Arcade Classics. Copyright infringement is copyright infringement. If my computer doesn't have a cdrom drive, is it not piracy to download music/games/apps/movies in a format my computer can play because they don't sell it like that?
            It might be more ethical to you, but that doesn't matter, the only person whos ethical views matter are those who produce the content and those who write the laws.
          • You're in denial. Pretty much all of copyright law can be summed up like this:

            If you produce a work, you have exclusive right to decide who else gets to use that work.

            It's really that simple. If the person who produced the game doesn't give you permission to play it, you can't play it legally. Period. It doesn't matter whether the game is on sale or not. Hell, if that person wanted, they could lock up all the existing copies in a vault and never let ANYBODY play it, and he's still entirely within his
            • The consumer has the right to buy a PSP and turn it into a machine gun if he/she so please.

              You are denying the right of the consumer true ownership of the purchased PSP over a non-purchaseable piece of software. Then calling he/she a pirate... it's not right. This is the norm, but I do understand where everyone's view is coming from.

      • Geez, is pirating all people want with this? I was hoping to be able to get some freeware games, or maybe some cheap homebrew games.

        I'm a computer gamer. I loved FarCry and Half-Life 2, but I still play solitare and computer pinball. My daughter likes Mahjong. We both play internet Flash games. One thing I dislike about consoles is that that simple games are rarely made because they'd cost too much for the consumer after the manufacturer is done with licensing.

        If the PSP were Free, as in speach, I'd
  • Methinks... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by systemic chaos ( 892935 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:17PM (#12893398)
    It's about time to require a new firmware version for all new games
  • Exploit? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moz25 ( 262020 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:19PM (#12893415) Homepage
    I'm not so sure the term "exploit" is the appropriate one. It's more often associates with programs with malicious intent or gaining higher privileges on another person's system. Surely, making full use of the hardware you own is not "exploiting" it?
    • Re:Exploit? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by GigsVT ( 208848 )
      Only to people that buy crippled hardware for some stupid reason, and then want to "hack" into their own stuff.

      • Only to people that buy crippled hardware for some stupid reason, and then want to "hack" into their own stuff.

        O please, tell me what the "non-crippled" equivalent to the PSP is, and much performance $250 will get you with it.
    • e =utf-8&oe=utf-8&q=define%3Aexploit []

      # use or manipulate to one's advantage; "He exploit the new taxation system"; "She knows how to work the system"; "he works his parents for sympathy" # draw from; make good use of; "we must exploit the resources we are given wisely"

      Still think it is used unwisely?
    • Re:Exploit? (Score:5, Informative)

      by linguae ( 763922 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:29PM (#12893561)


      1. To employ to the greatest possible advantage: exploit one's talents.
      2. To make use of selfishly or unethically: a country that exploited peasant labor. See Synonyms at manipulate.
      3. To advertise; promote.

      Well, installing this exploit does employ the PSP to the greatest possible advantage, IMO, so that definition of the word works fine. Of course, exploit has ta negative definition, but I see nothing negative about using your PSP to play homebrew games, Linux, and other "unsupported" stuff, so I guess the definition of exploit is relative to the speaker/listener.

      • You gave three good uses of "exploit" in the form of a transitive verb.

        But we're using it as a noun, not a verb. Your definitions are therefore meaningless.

        The American Heritage, according to, has these kind words to say about what an exploit (as a downloaded thing) might consist of:

        exploit, n. An act or deed, especially a brilliant or heroic one.

        The Jargon File [], which is certainly a better reference for technical slang, isn't so flowery:

        exploit, n. [originally cracker slang]

        1. A

    • Surely, making full use of the hardware you own is not "exploiting" it?

      Is that not what you're doing when you elevate your privileges on another person's system? :)
  • Heh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Auckerman ( 223266 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:22PM (#12893448)
    As was shown with the xbox, the secret to entering a new hardware/software market is to create a machine that allows piracy, but discourages it. While there are valid reasons to allowing homebrew software on the PSP, and hacks like this shouldn't be illegal, research like this will lead to hacked games (on to very expensive memory sticks).

    Genious on Sony's part. Get an installed base at any price, while paying lip service to piracy. Even at $250, the PSP will be a hit.
  • by Tuxedo Jack ( 648130 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:27PM (#12893530) Homepage
    Here's the text and the link it links to.

    - - - - -

    Just when your fingers are getting sore and your friends keep asking 'Why do you have to switch memory sticks?' Killer-X and the PSP-Dev team have answered our prayers with KXploit, a way to run homebrew on 1.5's... Minus the memory stick swap!

    The predecessor of Swaploit, users will now enjoy no more jammed fingers or broken nails with the introduction of "Direct Loader", and 1.5 users can now pretend they own a 1.0.

    One of our users, Gavin King (Thanks), posted a comment on how to do this in its simplest form:

    "If any of this confused you.... just do the same thing you did with swaploit, but put both folders on the same memory.

    Let's use your NES folder as an example.

    Your MS1 folder name "NES%" and your MS2 folder leave it the same, naming it "NES".

    And that's all you need to do... a simple rename and move."

    (I myself tested and verified this to work.)

    You can get it in our PSP Download section here.

    - - - - -

    The file they're referring to is here:,0, 0,0,38,469 []
  • Technical Details (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hansendc ( 95162 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:29PM (#12893567) Homepage
    Has anyone seen any details about how these hacks work, or what they exploit? I remember reading in gritty detail about the xbox font hacks, but I haven't seen any technical details on the PSP hacking.
    • Re:Technical Details (Score:3, Informative)

      by nathanh ( 1214 )

      Has anyone seen any details about how these hacks work, or what they exploit? I remember reading in gritty detail about the xbox font hacks, but I haven't seen any technical details on the PSP hacking.

      The PSP bootloader checks the folder on the memory card (FAT format) for signed code. If it finds unsigned code, it refuses to boot.

      The PSP OS does not check for signed code. It assumes the bootloader has done its job. It just runs whatever code it finds.

      Fortunately the PSP bootloader FAT driver

  • I wish companies would just drop DRM - it only hurts their legitimate customers. The warez pirates crack the protection within hours or days and then the pirates don't have to mess around with finding the CD when they want to play a game, etc. Sure DRM stops casual piracy but still there should be some limitations like what Id software does: CD protection at first but then remove it in some later patch to the game. This stops casual piracy for the immediate term while later on removing the annoyances for
  • sale (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stagl ( 569675 )
    This release has convinced me to purchase a PSP. I don't want to hack the commercial games...I could care less of those. I just want a portable movie/nes/snes/mame box! Come tomorrow I will be a PSP owner.
    • Re:sale (Score:2, Troll)

      by Blakey Rat ( 99501 )
      So you don't want to pirate PSP games, you just want to pirate movies, NES games, SNES games, and arcade games? What an upstanding citizen you are.
  • Now, I know why they don't allow the homebrew software:

    Less game sales
    Loss of control (possibility of viruses, malware, etc)

    But - I think they could really do something with the homebrew if done right. I had put out some of these in a column I wrote up a couple of weeks ago [], and still feel its true.

    Sony could:

    1. Offer a homebrew kit to developers for $100 - $200 dollars to be used for non-commercial use only.
    2. Include big ass disclaimers "You break-a yo' PSP, not our fault".
    3. If an application starts getting big, add it to an online PSP App Center and charge for it. 75% of the profits go to the devs, 25% to Sony. Everybody wins, as Sony could built up a library of applications and make some money off of it.

    Is this as good as, say, just developing Palm Pilot applications and not getting a developers hard work appropriated by Sony? Naturally not - but half a loaf, as they say, is better than none. In this scenario, more apps for the PSP make it a more attractive device, which means more sales, which means more developers develop for it. At the moment, the Nintendo DS is looking like a better system (I've got two PSP games that look interesting to me, and about 15 DS games on my list for the future).

    Of course, this is all just my opinion. I could be wrong. If nothing else, I'm enjoying having a Genesis emulator on my PSP - and the irony that I can play Game Boy Color games on my PSP but not on my DS ;).
    • Do you really think Sony is making a profit on PSP's at $250? They have to combat homebrew because people that buy the PSP solely for homebrew/hacks generate zero (maybe even negative) dollars for Sony. These days game system manufacturers sell their systems for very little profit or even a loss to get the system into peoples hands. They then make the money back by selling games. If they sold a "hackable" version for $400 (so as to actually *GASP* make a profit) would you still buy it?
      • I heard from a "friend" in the industry that PSP production costs at the very start were around $500 USD + ship. They have managed to pull them down to around $400 but there is still a pretty big loss leader on those $250 units.

        I though the whole point of the value pack was to make the loss less to Sony. Also PSP games/movies the margins are pretty good for Sony and I think there PSP division isn't loosing too much money overall.

        As for the "Hack-Able" unit idea, the unit would either include different fir
      • Nobody forced Sony to sell the PSP at a loss. There is no law that says if you buy a PSP you have to buy even a single game, only an expectation on their part that they will make the money back in software sales.

      • You have no idea how little displays, memory, plastic, and batteries cost in large quantities.

    • Sony should just work with the MAME team and work on a nice free MAME version for PSP right from sony (or any other coder working on it publically) that is open source of course.

      MAME on PSP is such a desirable item.

      I really want MAME on my PSP. I dont care too much about copying games. You can only fit maybe 2 PSP UMD games on a 1gig stick anyways.

      I really just want an opened up PSP without a region code for videos, and teh ability to run homebrewed software/os.

      MAME is great... but also there is the pos
  • Add a copy-protecting function in the bios. It's up to the game vendor to call that function or not.

    Ta-da, problem solved.
  • by sinner0423 ( 687266 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (3240rennis)> on Thursday June 23, 2005 @04:56PM (#12893815)
    You would be hard pressed to find a manufacturer with a 'go ahead and play' policy on the hardware. I don't understand this at all, history has shown that software which has been open to developers has more staying power and versatility.

    Why is this such a huge problem for Sony? They would still sell the fucking things for people to tinker with / modify them, why not bother to release a dev kit or SOMETHING for us geeks to play with?

    A good parallel to this is the Xbox, do you know how many people I know bought one for the sole purpose of modifying them? Lots. I understand Microsoft still took a bite on the sale of the console, but not on the fact that these people still :

    1) Bought games (secondhand or otherwise)
    2) Bought accessories
    3) Spent money they otherwise wouldn't have if they didnt own an Xbox.

    Does Sony not realize that catering to the geek crowd could actually bolster sales and help with software development for the PSP? I guess not, and I hate to say it, but I have a feeling this portable is going to go the way of the Minidisc - another complete & total failure by Sony to actually let consumers use devices the way they see fit.
    • do you know how many people I know bought one for the sole purpose of modifying them?
      I did, and I'm very happy with my Xbox.

      Microsoft sold the xbox consoles at a loss to get them out there. They planned to make that money back on game sales. The last I heard Microsoft still hasn't profited a dime on the xbox.

      Microsoft doesn't make any money if you buy an Xbox and then mod it to play games you copy over from a friend. So why would they allow it?

    • I don't know what kind of history you're talking about. The console seller with the strictest control over it's system has historically been Nintendo, and their most popular system ever - gameboy - has not been opened up to developers much at all.

      I can't think of a single company that had a loss-lead product that was very hackable and also very successful. I-opener springs to mind as a counterexample of such a thing. They don't want the "buying it to modify it" market. Feel free to expound on your theo
      • the gameboys mainly relied on the fact that its difficult to make unofficial carts for them because the things are so damn small

        but there wasn't much in the way of copy protection. the original GB and the GBC didn't have any at all and the GBA had the ability to use encrypted carts but i don't think any such carts were ever made.

        now the DS is a totally different matter they got pretty serious on protecting that one although in the end thier systems were worked arround by the homebrew guys
    • Microsoft only cared about Xbox exploits to prevent cheating on Xbox Live... to be frank, I don't think they really cared about game piracy. (At least, no more than Nintendo or Sony does.) But Live has a reputation to retain, and so far they've done an excellent job keeping cheaters out.
    • Does Sony not realize that catering to the geek crowd could actually bolster sales and help with software development for the PSP?

      Do you work for Sony? Do you know the actual sales drivers? Do you know anything about brand and product integrity issues? No? Well then STFU with your wild suppositions. I am sure that the people at Sony are not dumb, and they took all the factors into account and decided that this was not something they wanted to do. Vote with your dollars - take your money to another

  • by Bri3D ( 584578 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:01PM (#12893853) Journal
    This is really old's the technical explanation of how this works.
    The original Japanese PSPs would run unencrypted code straight off of memory sticks. Then Sony released firmware 1.50. Firmware 1.50 required ALL code it ran to be encrypted. But there was a flaw. Some people from a group called psp-dev discovered that the PSP firmware only checked for unencrypted code ONCE, when it read the archive with the name of the application, the icon, etc. They determined that by making an archive with NO code in it, the psp would give it the OK because there was NO code in it whatsoever. Then the memory sticks would be swapped, and the PSP code loader would run the code off the second stick. But that wasn't good enough for PSP-DEV. Using a flaw in the FAT driver on PSP they were able to make this work with ONE memory stick. Why? When two folders are placed on the memory stick, one with a percent sign after it containing the archive and one without a percent sign containing the code, the PSP would allow you to select the archive, then the PSP bootstrapper would read the directory without the %, because the PSP bootstrap and FAT driver do not understand % signs.
    • That was an excellent explanation, thank you. The question now, is, how long will Sony take to fix this flaw and release a firmware upgrade...
      • They already have. The only firmwares that can be exploited are 1.0 and 1.50. Since, they've released 1.51 and 1.52. They are planning on making upgrades compulsory with new PSP games coming out soon. I'm trying to decide which I want more - a portable NES SNES jukebox (and DOOM, too!), or a portable GTA game. Luckily, I have a while to decide.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      This is not a flaw in the FAT driver, this is a flaw in the shell. It uses sprintf to copy the filename to a different buffer before it calls open and the %, being a printf format operator, is dropped. If you put %s at the end intead of %, the machine will crash.
  • gameboy tetris! (Score:3, Informative)

    by knowles420 ( 589383 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @05:45PM (#12894509) Homepage Journal
    i've been running this since the swap hack was announced. truly the greatest thing about my psp is the fact that i can play gameboy tetris again.

    also, check out the kxploit homebrew pack [] for a one stop solution to the emulators and homebrew games available.

  • File mirror (Score:2, Informative)

    by coolnicks ( 865625 )

    File is berried inside the site

    Mirror here : -dev.rar []


  • by vga_init ( 589198 ) on Thursday June 23, 2005 @07:14PM (#12895544) Journal
    If we're just going to circumvent it, why do companies even bother to try and engineer their product to prevent people from USING IT [in a way they don't want]. It just makes the PSP less appealing as a platform (we buy gadgets because of what they can do for us).

    Take a handheld console like the GP32. Excellent design and capability, open firmware and open development. Gamepark has made a console for consumers and has basically said, "Here, it's yours. Have fun!"

    As a nerd, I find the GP32 much more attractive than any more powerful console on the market (I drool every time I see one). This is what consumer electronics are supposed to be. What Sony and their ilk do is a huge turnoff, and I hope they know I have no intentions of buying their overpriced gadgetry!

    In the end, isn't it smarter to do it this way? You win the esteem of your customers if you treat them like you value them, and if you treat them with nothing but suspicion and contempt is no way to do business; every time they push against us, we push right back (and we win every time).

  • I've heard it sometimes said that game platform manufacturers sell their device at a loss (or at an extremely low profit margin, at least) and intend to make their profits from a percentage of games sold by game devs.

    If free games or even non-free games but don't earn the game manufacturer money in royalty proliferate, what's the point in lowering the hardware price? May as well sell it at a better profit. We'll just end up with the situation where competing manufacturers bleed themselves dry or when only
  • since no one's mentioned it yet, to my knowledge, here [] is a link to, where you can get all sorts of nifty backgrounds for your psp.

    pspersonalize [] is what you need to make them work.

  • by Jagasian ( 129329 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @08:47AM (#12899487)
    I said in the previous PSP Exploit article that it will be just like soft-modding the Xbox (modding without a mod-chip). At first it will only support a few versions of the PSP and it will be very un-userfriendly. But as time goes on, the soft-mod (i.e. "exploit) will improve and eventually support all versions and will be userfriendly. Why is it this way? The Xbox is already at this level, and since it can be found for cheap, it is worth picking up just to hack, run media players on as well as emulators.

    The same will be true for the PSP.

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