IGN's Greg Miller, venerable reviewer, editor, PlayStation team member and all-around awesome guy - perhaps the guy of sorts you'd want to review your own PSP homebrew game - offered to send a few questions straight to the big three of Sony Computer Entertainment, getting the official and unflinching lowdown from the likes of CEO Jack Tretton, senior manager Patrick Seybold and senior director Dave Karraker on your deepest (and apparently heated) questions on anything and everything Sony-related.
And guess what? A question regarding official homebrew game support by a lucky lad named caterman was apparently selected by Miller and sent to Sony. Though many would have thought Sony would have worn its Gauntlets of Oppression +10 for this segment of the email Q&A, the games division of arguably the world's largest consumer electronics brand wasn't exactly the homebrew antagonist we possibly all felt they were.
In fact, they've expressed a lot of interest in homebrew, especially after witnessing a lot of output over the PSP scene. "We certainly see some of the stuff that has been done via homebrew, and it's incredibly creative. And I think we'd like to try and tap into that a little bit more," said Jack Tretton.
But with all things great, this does come with a condition. Dave Karraker said that in order for Sony to support homebrew software, they've got one main hurdle to cross: how to open the PSP so that enough freedom is given to the homebrew developers, without compromising the handheld's security to third-party intrusion.
How so? Imagine a handheld device, open without restrictions and accessible over wireless connection - an invitation to aspiring hackers. Miller himself states, "You know some hacker wants to brick your baby for fun," and we can't shake the feeling that while not evident, it's completely plausible. And then there's the malicious software option - or installing compromising code into your PSP - which for quite a while has been plaguing the Windows platform for generations on end.
And heck, just for kicks, you'd want to find out how vulnerable you are from potential hackers, too. You'd probably be so curious, in fact, that you'll attempt to hack your own PSP through someone else's. So the concern over security is probably mutual and thus understandable. Sony doesn't crackdown on homebrew as the belief would popularly go; they crackdown on hacks and hackers.
But then it all boils down to how much work would Sony need to make it all happen, after all is said and done. We'd estimate a lot of time is needed, but with support from the best of the best in the homebrew scene, it would slice the time frame favorably.
Such a collaboration would also help Sony become familiar enough with the innards of homebrew development and even open up avenues to some more interested freeware developers (the PC kind, myself included) to try their hand at handheld game development.
We know that this probably raised more than a couple of eyebrows among the most loyal of the PlayStation Portable homebrew movement, but hearing this from the top three guys who'd chew anything that stood in their way (Redmond armies included), this must be especially promising. If it's anything sincere, we'd hear more on this as time rolls on.
07-24-2007 09:30 PM