The PSP: The best nintendo system in years

So after having spent a week over holidays (and a couple of long train trips) with my PSP, all I can say is: Sweet jesus, thank you.

I’ve been waiting for the GBA or something nintendo to recapture my love of the SNES, and it never happened. There were some good games, but few great games. Certainly, nothing to match the likes of the SNES Square games. Short of advancement of the castlevanias, the GBA has fallen short of topping the SNES. It’s crappy sound and screen never really helped. (Sound is a big deal for me, and the fact that the nintendo handhelds have yet to do, say, 44khz 16bit sound is unforgivable).

But now I’m 15 hours in to Final Fantasy, 4 hours in to Terranigma, and god damn. I would not be surprised if I never bother buying another PSP game. The value of being able to play SNES games, both classics and ones I never got around to playing, is through the roof.

I know one thing, I won’t be buying any games that force a firmware update until that update is cracked and snes9x runs on it.

The few criticisms I have is that you do need frameskip enabled, though I’ve found that most of what I’ve played so far runs good enough that it’s not an issue. Text seems to give the PSP some issues. I’ve actually been tempted to go searching for the source and seeing if I can’t start helping speed it up.

I’ve definitely had some issues with more graphic intensive games for SNES emulation. I found Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean almost unplayble without an insame frameskip. Dragon Quest VI was pretty rough too.

Chrono Trigger worked fairly well though with Frameskip 1 in normal play and Frameskip 2 in battles.

The GameBoy Color emulator (RIN) works great also. I was playing the GBC versions of Dragon Warrior III and the Zeldas last night. I love the ability to use save states.

The version of Snex9x I have has an auto setting that works like a charm. No switching around needed, and it keeps a solid framerate. FFV needs some big frameskip in the overworld, but other than that, it usually maintains between 40-60fps naturally.

I’d like the emulation to get faster, and I’m sure over time it will. But as a first run, it’s pretty awesome as is, IMO.

And yes, save states rock. It turns any SNES game in to something that’s extremely portable.

You guys own all these SNES games you’re playing on the PSP, right?

All right, I’ll bite. How are you doing this? The last time I looked at PSP hacks, it looked to me like you would need to do irreversible things that would corrupt some of your menus. I didn’t want anything to do with that, so I stayed away. Now I’m seeing some sort of photo viewer hack that looks less intrusive.

How smoothly do these things work? Does this corrupt any PSP system files? Can I just go back to using it as a regular PSP after using homebrew?

I’m using the eboot loader which uses some kind of photoviewer exploit. As far as I can tell it has done nothing strange to my PSP. Running it is just a matter of copying the files to a memory stick, and then selecting it in the photoviewer. This leads to a really slick menu that allows you to run various programs, one of which is Snes9x that I’ve added myself.

Really quite professional considering the fact that they are running off strange hacks and exploits.

But yeah, doesn’t do anything wonky to the system that I know of. If I don’t want it anymore, I can just delete it.

My son got a PSP for Xmas, purchased from a friend of mine. He bothered to make sure that the OS was 1.5 (i.e. hackable, from his description) and had loaded up the SNES emulator plus a boat-load of games.

Unfortunately, the first thing he did was upgrade it to 2.0. Am I SOL?

I feel guilty doing this, but no, you aren’t: Downgrade PSP v2.00 firmware to v1.50 - AfterDawn: Guides

If he updated to 2.5, then I think you may be for now.

RickH and mystery go here: http://fanjita.org/

It will get you set up with the eboot loader and once that’s working you can add emulators/homebrew/whatever.

This is not the downgrader. It allows you to do emulation and homebrew under Firmware 2.0. I use it all the time (and so apparently does the non-link-providing-Charles).

Nope, mine is 2.0. The photoviewer hack works with 2.0. They’re working on 2.01 and 2.5, and the rumor is that it’s coming. But 2.0 works flawlessly.

edit: I wouldn’t recommend trying to downgrade, because I’ve heard various Bad Things about bricks.

We’ve had this discussion before but, outside of Japan only games, yes. And I’ll be buying Tales of Phantasia when it hits GBA this year.

Unless I’ve missed something, the SNES emulators haven’t been updated since late summer so I’m not sure we’ll see much progress. As long as Sony is so aggressive at shutting these down through constant firmware upgrades I don’t expect the PSP emulation community to get much larger than it is now and will likely go down, if anything, when we finally get some killer apps.

The one I’m using was last updated in late august. A few months between releases isn’t a big deal.

I’m tempted to grab the source and start helping though.

from the psp:

you guys are very patient. the speed sucks, not what i’d call playable.

Terranigma and FFV are both plenty playable. I haven’t tried much other than that though.

Yeah, that’s the one. The emulators were updated every few weeks over the summer. Since there hasn’t been an update in months I’m not overconfident that we’ll get any updates at all.

This is an early contender for post of the year 2006.

Heh, I can see how that kind of came off not like I’d intended. The “from the psp” was actually an explanation for why I was posting w/o caps.

Hey, it made sense at the time. I blame the vodka.