Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sony’s Official Web Browser

A few months after the PSP was released in the US (March 2005), Sony released a Web browser for the PSP in Japan. About a month after this, Sony released a U.S. version. The Web browser was part of a larger set of features in an update called System Update 2.0, which updated the PSP’s firmware to version 2.0. Along with the Web browser, the update provided for playback of the AAC (MPEG-4) audio format and more personalization features including wallpapers and themes. Photo sharing was also introduced.
The most anticipated feature was the Web browser, of course. Much to the chagrin of homebrew software developers, the required update would disable their ability to write and run homebrew applications on their PSPs. However, there’s a hack where homebrew developers can still get access to a Web browser by hacking one of Sony’s own products (as described in “Wipeout Pure: A Cool Game with a Fantastic Feature,” later in this chapter).

Sony’s “official”Web browser has a number of features found on regular Web browsers, sans keyboard support of course. The browser supports automatic scaling of pages to fit the PSP’s already high-resolution screen, Javascript (to an extent), bookmarks (called Favorites in Internet Explorer), saving files, submitting forms, and even proxy connections (for those on corporate networks).
The browser does not yet support Macromedia Flash or Java applets, but rumor has it Flash support is in the works. If you don’t have System Update 2.0 on your PSP, and you don’t want to run homebrew applications, you can update using your PSP’s built-in wireless Internet access, or download the update from Sony’s site at

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