A couple of years ago I was talking to the folks from Sony's PlayStation division in a hotel suite in Manhattan where they were showing us the second-generation PSP, the PSP-2000. I was telling them all the things I would like to see in the PSP. "This is a mini computer," I said, complimenting them on what a great device it was. But I thought it was being underutilized. "Why don't you open this thing?" I suggested. "Let people develop for it. Screw the UMD. It's got built-in wireless, you should be able download all kinds of games and apps to it. Slap on a detachable BlackBerry-style keyboard and you're good to go."
At the time, Sony's marketing department had seemingly grappled with and settled on selling the PSP as a gaming device first and foremost with a dash of multimedia thrown in for good measure. Even if there was an active homebrew market percolating, there was little beyond the idea that the PSP could play games, music, and movies (from a UMD disc) and surf the Web on a second-rate browser. Yes, the whole PSP "store" concept was in the works, but it seemed to be moving at a glacial pace. VoIP support in the form of a Skype client was also on the table. … Read more