With that out of the way, I'd like to take a minute to look how the new firmware upgrade released today has worked, and what it has shown about Sony and the PSP as a whole. While homebrew may be a hot topic, it's clear that most people use the PSP the way Sony wants us to. We got nearly twice as much traffic today on a day with this new firmware than we did yesterday. What does that mean? I think it means that people are genuinely interested in updating their PSPs and getting the most out of them.
- Getting new firmware is a great deal to the consumer. When I bought a PSP at launch for $250, it couldn't browse the web, or download demos. Through these firmware upgrades, Sony has increased the value of the system over time. The addition of video podcasting is absolutely fantastic. It was a bit cumbersome to add media to the system, but now being able to download files wirelessly is fantastic.
- Sony's finally getting the message that we don't want to deal with their messed up video naming conventions. Folders are now smart: they're called "VIDEO" "MUSIC" and "PHOTO". Being able to put humanly named files into the video section is excellent. Supporting iPod video is yet another step in the right direction. Will I ever PSP Video 9 again? Most likely not. I will just use QuickTime Pro, or happily use the tons of iPod-formatted video out on the web.
- AOSS support. This is not really talked about, but what a life-saver. If you have compatible hardware, there's no need to input insanely long WEP or WPA keys or SSIDs. Just press a button and you have wireless communication. This is utter simplicity ... and it's something the DS has had since the beginning of their Wi-Fi service.
- Sony of America. You completely messed up the World Tour Soccer 2 demo you promised. If it's available on the UK site, why not on the US one as well? Also, why did it take the web team so long to make the system update available online? A lot of people don't have wi-fi connections to utilize. Clearly, Sony of Japan and the UK know what they're doing, but Sony of America worries me. Notice how we don't have a white PSP yet?
- Downloading demos now is still unintuitive. Why can't we have a folder called "GAME" and just dump one file. There's no reason why we should be naming folders ULUS4576 or something like that. It's not too hard, but not everyone thinks like a computer programmer.
- The PSP's video support is infintely better now. It can still get a lot better. Why don't MAQ and M4V files work in the "VIDEO" folder? That seems like a glaring oversight.
- As much as I'd like to see Sony offer full 480x272 video on our PSPs, that's not going to happen any time soon. However, I want them to get rid of that glitch that makes PSP videos unplayable in the PSP's new "VIDEO" folder. All video files should be able to go in there without any thinking at all.
- Software RSS. I bet we're going to see an RSS feed from Sony that lets you download demos/games directly to your PSP. That's the next step. Think about the current RSS interface, and then imagine downloading game demos with that interface.
- Streaming RSS video. It takes absolutely forever to download a long movie. Why not let us stream it like you let us stream audio? The next firmware will hopefully introduce RSS video streaming.
- Music playlists. You may see m3u files in the video folder when downloading from a podcast. I think this is a hint that full m3u compatibility is coming ... soon. I almost guarantee that'll be in the next firmware revision.