Sony has recently blocked PSP users using the 5.50 GEN custom firmware from accessing the Playstation Store. This affects me, because I recently updated my firmware from GEN-B to GEN-D, which has resulted in all my PSN games no longer being recognized as legitimate, because I can’t log on to the PSN and re-authenticate my system.
I used to really like buying PSX games from the Playstation Store. Why buy a PSP game for $20 and have it locked to just the PSP, when I can buy a PS1 game for $10, and play it on both my PSP and PS3. The Playstation One section of the Playstation Store was a place for great deals, in my opinion, and I spent a lot of money there. For that reason, I’m rather disappointed that I can no longer play any of the PSN versions of those games on the PSP.
However, this would have been a much bigger problem had I not already owned most of those games in other forms. A few hours of experimentation, and I was able to rip a lot of those games from the UMDs and PS1 discs I already had. I bought those games from the Playstation Store for convenience. I didn’t know how to rip games before, but now that I do, I have more games on my PSP’s flash drive than I ever did when I could buy them from the PSN.
John Gilmore has said that the Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. The same principle behind that statement can be applied to tech geeks and DRM. So long as DRM doesn’t get in my way, I have no problem with it. But if it tries to stop me from doing what I want to do with my own property, I’m going to find a way around it.
Sony has every right to block people who use custom firmware from accessing the PSN. In fact, I think ensuring security on their systems is probably a very good idea (better late than never). But for people like me, the cat is too far out of the bag at this point; I can’t go back to the official firmware anymore. They need to offer more applications and retro games on the store, so people aren’t tempted by the homebrew apps in the first place. Emulators and e-book readers are the gateway to CFW, and if people find out how to rip games themselves (which isn’t all that hard), they won’t have any need for the PSN anymore.