Update #2: We have now received word from the folks at www.FoundMy.com that they can now 'unbrick' PSP units! To summarize from their news update HERE, if you ran some Firmware update files that you didn't want or a Firmware update crashed and never completed then your dead PSP can finally be brought back to life. They have also upgraded to v3.51 (simulating something undesirable that could happen to a PSP) and then brought it back to Firmware v1.50 successfully without any issues- cool news indeed!
Update: As expected, PSP Firmware Update v3.51 (USA) is now available. The only significant change is "Revisions to strengthen security have been added." which combats the Illuminati Exploit previously released. Needless to say, if you wish to run PSP homebrew and iSOs don't update.
To wrap up the week, we have a product Review to share courtesy of studtrooper- namely the Blaster 360! Before we begin, we'd like to remind everyone that all of our Reviews are available at Reviews.PS3News.com... and this particular product Review was made possible thanks to the nice folks at www.ModChip.com. Here goes:
What we have here for review today is the often delayed but nevertheless welcomed Blaster 360! What this baby essentially promises to do is, without any hardware modification to your case, allow you to update your DVD drive Firmware without ever having to open your case again (after installation of course).
Well, I don't know about you, but I've opened my case at least 8 times now- causing more damage to the darn thing each time. If the past is any indication of the future, we'll be seeing more Firmware updates in the time ahead, so might as well get SOME sort of device to make life easier, eh?
Installation: Well, first things first, get that case off! Remove the ODD and we see the innards of the 360. From there, just follow the available instructions, and refer to the Blaster 360 FAQ as necessary.
I would like to point out that while the install is fairly painless, there is one huge choke-point for the whole thing (at least from what I've experienced). The SATA cable replacement that connects the 360 to the SATA switch is forcefully placed in such a way that the ODD has a lot of trouble being seated back in the case. There is so little leeway due to the general stiffness of this (and all other) SATA cables that I was afraid the SATA connector on the X-Box 360 mobo would snap off if I forced the ODD in the case. Before anyone asks, yes, I installed it just like the instructions.. but could absolutely not come up with a resolution to this. Regardless, once pressed down, the thing does work, but I found it disheartening that I had to resort to something like that.
Final Look- I must say, the thing looks quite nice in conjunction with my new Black Knight Case from XCM (pictured above). Something that can't quite be picked up on camera is the pulsating green L.E.D. in the Blaster 360 casing. When you first turn it on, it slowly pulses green to show that it is operational, which is just freakin' sweet if you are an L.E.D. nut like me. This is optional however, so you can ether turn it to a solid state or just turn it off if you don't like it.
Test Platform: Hitachi v46 ODD, AMD Nforce 4 based motherboard for flashing (notoriously flaky for even getting to a point where you can flash your drive), Windows XP Pro SP2, Slax 2.0 CD, Latest GaryOPA Firmware package, and of course the Blaster 360!
First thing I would like to mention is a really cool feature that many of you might not know yet. You don't need your X-Box 360 plugged in- at all! That's right, you can disconnect power and video and just bring the thing over to your PC for flashing due to the 4-pin molex connection on the Blaster 360 (power supplied by the PC). I would like to point out here that this completely negates the need to equalize power between the X-Box 360 and PC (usually done with gator clamps) due to the 360 not even running. Excellent! Once the power is connected via PC, the Blaster should pulse blue instead of green. After that, hook an SATA cable from your PC to your Blaster360 and go to town like you'd usually do when flashing.
I'd also like to mention that before I had the Blaster 360, I'd have to open my tray to allow Windows XP to boot. With the Blaster 360 though, it just booted like normal with the X-Box 360 ODD attached- which was nice. Flashing went like a dream with all tests passed. For testing, I flashed back to original and then flashed back to modified Firmware. Everything went without a mishap. Quite pleased!
Pros: Very pleasing aesthetic. High quality components. Thoughtfully included case opening tools. True to their word about no need for case modification. Works pretty much perfectly.
Cons: While install itself is easy, fitting the ODD back in after install is a complete PITA. So much so that I can't give this thing a perfect score. The Blaster 360 is also EXTREMELY tough to get off once you put it on. Also, why the heck couldn't this have given us access to the X-Box 360 HDD? No reason for that, given the cost.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.
Thanks goes out to our sponsor www.ModChip.com for offering the product for review!