Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Return of the Brewmeisters

Yesterday I talked about
a piece of PSP homebrew called SMOOVE. The author of the program, Martin Wisniowski, sent me a little note to thank me for the link and inform me of the program's home on the Internet. Do check it out if you're so inclined.

Thomas from Mile Zero wrote to suggest that the DS might be a more interesting proposition than the PSP: " There's a DS sequencer that I'm more interested in, what with the touch screen interface and all."

I'm intrigued as well. Having a lower screen with rack effects, the fun of twisting little knobs with the stylus or waveform editing, then being able to swap the screens to play fill-in-the-blank with beats sounds like heaven. Plus, there is the advantage of a built-in microphone. Gimme a sampler and looper, let me loop an effect to a virtual record spinning on the touch screen and then scritch-scratch on that bad boy. Or how about this: Where is the damn DS remake of Mario Paint?

Duncan wrote to tell me: "PSP has lost. Why bother with the trouble of fighting Sony's anti-homebrew firmware updates?" And then goes on to suggest a DS with a MAX Media Dock, which supports homebrew. Also, his Round Table Post is a good evisceration of the PSP and Sony in general.

I can definitely see the merit in Duncan's arguments. It seems like Sony has a machinegun aimed directly at its feet, with finger firmly pressing the trigger.

It's small consolation that enterprising hackers will bust through every firmware update. Eventually the challenge of sorting out compatible apps must grow tedious - with new games requiring updates before playing, the choice between some promising homebrew or a commercial game like Metal Gear is a regrettable no-contest.

And while Nintendo hasn't bent over backward for homebrew, its position of general disinterest is preferable to Sony's adversarial stance.

For a rundown of DS homebrew options, check out this article from 4-color rebellion.

I'm hoping to pick up a DS Lite when they drop. Fingers crossed that they haven't done anything to restrict homebrew.

And then, if all goes well . . .


1 comment:

Thomas said...

There's also Band Brothers, which Nintendo has claimed for a year would be coming to the US, but I doubt it'll happen. It's only MIDI, but there's a decent instrument interface and an unlockable sequencer. Probably more stable than Nitrotracker, too. I'll have to eBay it in a year or so.