PSP processor gets a boost

PSP processor gets a boost

"Go Faster Stripes Now Included" - The new PSP firmware from Sony upgrades the speed to 333MHz.

We know quite a few of you (most notably our former Chief Editor, Wil Harris) love your PSPs. And who can blame you? It really is a great little system. But since the PS3's debut, people have been looking to hook them both up - and Sony's version 3.5 firmware (released at the very end of May in North America) finally let that happen. But what they didn't tell us is that it does something else cool, too.

The new PSP firmware slaps some "go faster" stripes on the little handheld, bumping its processor up 50 percent from a wimpy 222MHz to 333MHz. That's right - no new hardware required. The PSP actually has always run on a bit of an underclocked processor, presumably to aid in battery life until some extra horsepower was needed.

Now, game developers will be able to flag their software for faster speeds if necessary. The bump won't be noticeable in older games, as they have all been programmed on and will run at 222MHz. Instead, developers will be required to tell the device whether to step up its speeds - the firmware just unlocks the potential. This way, older games don't act buggy or accelerated without intent.

Sony's latest speed bump won't be used by many in the commercial sector just yet, though the new Ratchet and Clank has brought speeds up to 266MHz. However, home brew source code has long since fiddled with the device's clock speed through modified firmware, often accelerating it at the expense of battery life. It seems that finally, proper developers will get the chance as well.

Initially, Sony hid the increase under mounds of paperwork detailing the firmware upgrade, not much interested in making it a public note. However, SCEA has now finally confirmed that the bump up did happen, after being none too pleased (from what we understand) with the initial leak. Unfortunately, a worldwide update has not been offered yet - the firmware upgrade is still North America only for the time being.

Other sources are mentioning that an entire redesign of the device is in the works, hopefully allowing it to better compete with the Nintendo DS, which is currently world's number one selling handheld.

Do you have a thought on the PSP's new "go faster" stripes? If so, race on into our forums and tell us about it.


Discuss in the forums Reply
BioSniper 26th June 2007, 10:22 Quote
I guess the advantage is that now it's official (rather than available to only those of uf with homebrew/custom firmware) is that the developers of games will actually use the extra CPU speed if needed.
DougEdey 26th June 2007, 10:42 Quote
God Of War PSP is using it.
DXR_13KE 26th June 2007, 11:11 Quote
i hate this "only in America" BS..... why not put it out world wide ASAP?
devdevil85 26th June 2007, 17:26 Quote
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
i hate this "only in America" BS..... why not put it out world wide ASAP?
It's probably the newer hardware that was put in the North American versions that allows this specific update. Why do you think Sony was upset that the news leaked about the speed increase?
completemadness 26th June 2007, 21:16 Quote
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
i hate this "only in America" BS..... why not put it out world wide ASAP?
a way to beta test it ?
leonardob80 27th June 2007, 01:28 Quote
actually the custom firmwares supports 333mhz since a while. Sony "limited" it to 222 to save some energy and make batery life longer.

But some games "ISO's" need 333mhz to run properly.
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