With the popularity of the Playstation Portable, there is no wonder websites are popping up offering free downloads for PSP, but are they really free or is it some scheme to get you to sign up? Well the answer is yes and no! Basically there are three ways to get free downloads for PSP.
Firstly there is the newly created Sony download service that allows you to download PSP games, movies and music on a pay per file basis much like Apples itunes. The next is by far the most cost effective and gives you amazing access to a massive database of PSP files, this is where you join one of the top PSP download websites and after paying a small joining fee, you get unlimited access to over 20 million PSP files, all with out viruses and spyware. As long as you join the right ones.
The third method for downloading PSP files is via the torrent network, but these files are illegal and often contain nasty viruses and spyware, using this method is very risky. So here are some other free PSP downloads that many people don't know about, and the lingo that goes with it.
Firmware and Custom Firmware
Firmware is a series of smaller programs and a type of software that is used by the PSP as an operating system; in the same way your computer uses Windows Vista, Linux or Mac OS. It created your PSP's functionality, menus and other operations.
Custom firmware is firmware that has been created to replace firmware that is supplied by Sony. There are certain benefits to custom firmware, such as you can use homebrew, play games that are backed up, play full screen video and lots more.
Flash0, Flash1, MSO and UMDO
These are the four main parts of the many, many components that make up your PSP. These components are UMDO, MSO, Flash0 and Flash1. Flash0 is the part that contains your operating system. That is, it is where you have your firmware. If you have any customer firmware and their corresponding components such as Recovery Menus, they are stored there as well. If this section is deleted or becomes corrupted, your PSP will not work. Flash1 is the place where data is temporarily stored until it is needed. This is very similar to the RAM that is in your own computer. This is where your background and settings are stored.
MSO is where your saved games, demos, bookmarks, videos, music and homebrew are stored. In short, it is your memory stick. Your UMDO is your UMD drive. You see, some PSP games that are UMB contain upgrades to different firmware/software that are attached to them. This is usually not a very good idea. If you want to upgrade, go straight to the source and download directly from Sony or use a custom firmware.
What is Homebrew?
Homebrew code is legal, for the most part. See, homebrew is designed to operate on the Sony PSP, but it may not have necessarily been created by Sony or even another game manufacturer. Homebrew can be games, emulators, applications and other cool stuff for your PSP. The difference is that it is written by programmers or professionals, and, yes, even the occasional noob. This code is usually free for download and to be used by others.
As for the legalities of homebrew, there is the black, the white and some gray area. You can design a minigame or program and market it, usually with little or no legal issues, if you give credit to the folks who inspired you or you get permission. What this means is if you have someone else's program and change it, you really should ask their permission before you release it. Its a good idea to check out the laws in your area as some companies are really cracking down on people who violate these laws, you don't wat action brought against you.
People work hard to bring great games so when you design a program that steals what other people have worked so hard to create without getting permission from them; it is stealing, plain and simple.
ISO/CSO These are illegal, along with DAX's and ROM's. You can't get PS1 Games, PSP Games, Movies and other materials for free, it is illegal. Making backups of your own games is one thing, but when you steal, “borrow" or download someone else's game is a horse of a different color. If you want the game, buy it and support the people who worked so hard to develop it for you. Stay away for the illegal activities. You just don't want to go there.
Cool Stuff You can do on Your PSP
You can save YouTube videos to watch on your PSP, you can load music videos, movies, music and many other things. Again, for the movies and videos you will probably have to pay the site a small fee, but then you can get free downloads for your PSP. YouTube videos, though, are always free downloads for your PSP!
Andrew Perry is a Full Time Game Reviewer who hunts down the best PSP Sites on the net. Discover Where To Find The Best Free Downloads For PSP Here: Free Downloads For PSP Reviews