Sony is polling PSP users why they hack their powerful handheld opening the system to a variety of homebrew software.Â Sony is likely concerned about widespread homebrew which enables piracy of games.Â Sales of PSP software has been disappointing, with no PSP game selling in the top 100 of games from 2007.
Disappointing software sales likely has Sony worried.Â Piracy is the common scapegoat, but that line is getting old.Â NeoGAF posted the number of downloads of PSP torrent files in a flawed attempt to show widespread piracy.Â There are over 30 million PSPs, but Sony is scared of 100,000 downloads of God of War.Â
Paranoia over piracy only hampers the PSP, hurting Sony and users.Â Sony expends so much time and money to fight homebrew when homebrew only helps increase the value of the system at no cost to Sony.Â No matter what Sony other tech companies do, some geeks will pry the secrets from the system.Â The iPhone, MP3 players, and every video game system ever (with one exception) have been hacked.
The reasons arenâ€™t because people want to stick it to Sony, but because hacking these systems often makes them better.Â iPhone users love adding function expanding software for free while Apple stumbles to release a helpful developer kit (still waiting) to even offer a paid option.
Sony isnâ€™t offering any option.Â Sonyâ€™s PS3 has managed to rein in hackers by building in an easy Linux install, the staple of homebrew achievements (theyâ€™ve even got it running on the Wii).Â So why not build in some option on the PSP.Â Donâ€™t build in piracy obviously, make the hackers work for it.Â But by embracing homebrew, Sony increases the value of the PSP with no effort and lessens the incentive to hack the system for bonus software.Â
There nothing to study, Sony.Â People love to make stuff better.Â We want our purchases to be valuable, expansive, and customizable.Â Donâ€™t fight it. Embrace it.