Even before the new Sony handheld gaming device launches in Europe, (September 1) several sources on the internet report that the copy protection
scheme used by Sony to lock down content on the PlayStation Portable's Universal Media Disc (UMD), can now be bypassed. Even though piracy is not yet
an issue, it may become one soon, as the PSP is equipped with a MemoryStick slot, making it possible to transfer games to the handheld in a rather
It was never going to take very long, of course, but hackers have at last worked out how to bypass the copy protection scheme used by Sony to lock
down content on the PlayStation Portable's Universal Media Disc (UMD).
Piracy doesn't appear to be an issue yet, since there's no way of copying games pulled from an official 1.8GB UMD onto a fresh disc, UMD being, for
now, a read-only medium.
However, since the PSP has a MemoryStick slot, and suitably capacious MemorySticks are already available, the possibility exists that games or movies
could be downloaded and transferred to the devices.
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So far, very few companies succeeded in making their console or handheld piracy-free.
At this point, the only machine on which it is not possible to play illegal games, is Nintendo's Gamecube.
On all other consoles and handhelds it's rather easy to get your games cheaper than they are supposed to be, making the games more expensive to those
who are willing to buy them legally.
It looks as if Sony made it rather easy to crack the UMD format, seeing how fast the format was cracked.
Maybe they do this on purpose, as they realize the possibility to play illegal games can greatly increase the demand for the PSP, over another
handheld that only plays legal (and expensive) games.