PSPgo hacked to play UMD games

While it might not be the portable PlayStation-related story we’d been hoping for today, Sony‘s handheld has still made it into the headlines.

One of the main complaints people had about the PSPgo was the lack of a UMD drive. It seems gamers didn’t like being forced to download all of their games, and the inability to play titles they already had languishing in their collections.

But now, that may have changed – as long as you’re okay with downloading some files, making copies of your game and doing a little bit of software hacking.

PSPgo - beauty shot

So pretty... but so flawed.

Two coders – Coldbird and Virtuous Flame – have worked together to create a “Homebrew Enabler” for two versions of the PSP firmware (if you have either 6.31 or 6.35, you’re in luck). Using that software, gamer Liquidzigong was able to load up the Prometheus ISO Loader program – meaning that, just like magic, copied UMD disc images can now be saved and run on the system.

And because we know the internet rule that if you can’t see it, it didn’t happen, videos have emerged of a gamer who downloaded Liquidzigong’s functional ISO loader, and then used that technique to load up Wipeout Pulse and Monster Hunter Portable 3, as well as Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, which was never released on the PSN (and thus, never playable on a PSPgo).

The original design for the PSPgo had piracy firmly in mind. The handheld does not feature an external battery, which Sony were hoping would deter potential hackers. However, less than two years after launch, some clever sorts have figured it out and burst through Sony‘s defences. It’s not yet known whether a firmware update will patch the hole that Coldbird and Virtuous Flame discovered, by the way.

Now, it raises an interesting situation, legally speaking. Obviously, it is not a great idea to use this technology to copy and load up games that aren’t yours. But! What about if you already own the UMDs, make the copies yourself, and then play them on the PSPgo which you also already own?

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