Posted 02 August 2001 - 11:24 PM
About the PSX...
All that would really be required for hobbyist PSX development (aside from official docs and software, of course) is a custum serial cable and an official black sony boot disc *. The serial cable would be used to connect the PC to the PSX (via serial port, of course), and the boot disc would contain a minimalistic OS that would be used to transfer user-written programs and data from the PC to the PSX. We''re talking maybe 50 cents of production cost, minus support fees (and Sony could potentially charge anywhere up to a few hundred dollars with monthly subscription - and we''d still be praising them).
The problem, however, is that this development environment will make it quite easy for pirates to write programs that load bootleg copies of games into the PSX. And while it is true that illegally playing games in this way (verses a mod-chip) A) costs more, B) is more complex a process, and C) requires the use of PC during game play, Sony will never, ever do anything that might potentially open up a backdoor for piraters (even if this new backdoor is much more complicated and costly than the ones pirates are currently using).
A second option would be to provide hobbyist developers access to PSX documentation and closed support sites on, say, an annual bases, while leaving the developers "on their own" as far as the hardware goes (serial cable and mod chip, sony can provide a cd image). The advantage here is that Sony is no longer legally responsable for any software piracy that occurs, since the software pirates have to use custom hardware (much like how no one can sue Sony over losses due to mod-chip piracy - that''s just plain stupid).
PS: Snail mail and petetions always work better than email spamming.
PPS: I''m actually developing a web site devoted to independant hobbyist PSX development. I''ll be sure to post a link, but don''t expect anything for a few months.
* The real PSX development kit comes with a whole lot of other hardware too. Most of this extra hardware, however, simply provides extra debugging support, and isn''t really essential.