The long awaited (and delayed) release of the 2.0 update for the PSP was released last night around 9pm PST, for Network Update directly on PSPs using a WiFi connection at first, and then some time later from the System Update page on the Sony PSP site.
I was watching the Update thread on the PSP forum last night and around 9pm people started posting that it was available for Network Update, but was not yet on Sony’s website. I had to reconfigure my WiFi hub to allow WEP encryption (instead of my usual WPA) so my PSP could connect, selected the Network Update feature and then it started downloading the 2.0 update straight away (took about 10 minutes). What an amazing feature – the PSP can download and update itself wirelessly over a WiFi connection – very cool. And the good news is WPA support was added in this update so I was able to enable it again after the update was installed.
Along with several usability changes and look and feel type enhancements, such as the ability to customize the color theme for the UI or use an image from your memory card as the background, the main addition is the Web Browser. Very cool. Sony definitely score full marks in UI design and have made good use of the limited controls on the PSP to allow the user to scroll around the page and select links. The text entry is somewhat limited using an on screen keyboard similar to character entry on a mobile phone, but it’s still very usable. The download of webpages is reasonably fast, and the update of the page and elements on the page is also reasonably fast.
So what next? I would’t say no to basic PDA type functionality (address book, calendar), as the PSP defintely has the horsepower to run a variety of other apps other than just games, but I’m not sure if there would be much demand for this type of app. How about multiplayer games across the internet via a WiFi connection?