Hi. I'm Mike. This isn't updated often.

Tag: ps3

PSP Game Transfer and Error Message Woes

It seems I don’t exactly have the best luck with video game hardware lately. My 360’s USB ports seem to be on the fritz, my Wii has graphical glitches that seem to stem from WiiConnect24 (a story which I somehow missed back in 2007), and my PSP? Well, other than the one that just flat-out died in its first year, my replacement has been pretty fine!

The system has not gotten a whole lot of use over the previous year, last being the system of choice for a play-through of the original Suikoden. I have been amassing a bunch of PSP games (along with lots of cheap PS1 games via PSN) though, so I decided to pick up a 16GB memory stick to load up, which arrived a couple days ago.

Since tossing a 320GB drive into my PS3, I have greatly enjoyed using it as the central location for the entire PlayStation family (which is… well, really just the PS3 itself and the PSP for now) — I keep every single game I have purchased over PSN right there on the system without having to worry about juggling content due to limited hard drive space. That includes things like ~35 PS1 games, a crap-ton of free Minis, Neutopia for the PCEngine/TG-16, and the two free PSP games I got as a part of the “Welcome Back” program last year (LittleBigPlanet and ModNation Racers).

One of the features I have always liked so much about the tight integration with the two Sony platforms is the ability to play PS1 games on both systems with just a single purchase, and freely copy games and save files between them. With PSN being prone to massive slowdowns and bottlenecks (even with the magic of FiOS!), it has always made the most sense for me to just keep it all on the PS3, hook the PSP up to it via USB when necessary, and copy stuff over — it is far more efficient and painless than loading up the PlayStation Store on the PSP itself, navigating the store or my download history, and individually selecting things to re-download from there.

So imagine my surprise when I could not copy things over to my PSP the other night. There was simply no “Copy” option (navigate on the XMB to the item you want, press “Triangle”, select “Copy” when the PSP is hooked up and in USB mode; you can do the same thing with video and audio files when, for example, a USB stick is hooked up). That was… weird, to say the least.

Those familiar with the PSN download process know that, unlike over on the 360, the PS3 separates the “download” and the “install” of items. If you download an item from the store and let it be (without going to background downloading to putt around elsewhere), it will finish the download, and then immediately install the item. If you go elsewhere, however, the download file will sit in a type of “bubble”-icon within the “Games” section of the XMB — pressing the “X” button on this will “install” the game and place it into the appropriate folder (PS3 games, PS1 games, Minis, etc.).

I had a couple different types of files available to me, so I started experimenting. Could I press “Triangle” and then “Copy” a PS1 game already installed like I use to be able to? Nope. Could I do it with the Dissidia Duodecim Prologus Final Fantasy files (game + Aerith assist) that I had downloaded the prior day, which were sitting in a “bubble” above the folders? Yes. Could I do it with the three PS1 Syphon Filter games I downloaded for free the prior day as a part of PS+, which were also still sitting in their own “bubble” icons, not-yet-installed? Nope. Was the copy option there with Neutopia? Nope. Was it there for any of the Minis? Nope.

How about the PSP software from the “Welcome Back” program (which was not in a “bubble”, but filed in its respective PSP folder)? Yes, the option was there, but would result in an error message:

My next thought was that somehow I had too many systems “registered” with my online identity — I did have another PSP, after all (the one sent back to me was a replacement, not a fixed version of the same exact one I sent back). After slogging around the main website and knowledge base, I ended up over on the website. From here, I was able to see that I had three systems “activated” with Sony and tied to my online ID: one PS3, and two PSPs. One of them was clearly the old system, which of course had been activated and tied to the account, but I no longer had physical possession of.

This, as I would correctly figure out, all ties in to a new policy Sony put in place this past November: the amount of systems that could be “activated” and tied to an account to play downloaded games would be decreased from five to two.

PS3: Users will be able to play the game on up to 2 activated PS3 systems.
PSP: Users will be able to play the game on up to 2 activated PSP systems.

Even then, the policy was confusing. What about things like PS1 games that were playable on both systems? Was that one PS3 system and one PSP system (equal to two total systems), or one PS3 system and two PSP systems, since that still restricted it to two systems of the same type? It went on to be clarified that the new policy was only applicable to new downloads you made after the November 18th cut-off — things you downloaded prior to that could still be played on the five-system limit.

Plenty of my content had been downloaded prior to that November 18th cut-off (things like Suikoden on the PS1, which had still been sitting there the whole time, and which I had transferred via the USB method from PS3-to-PSP a year prior), but that “Copy” option was inexplicably no longer there.

The next thing I tried was simply logging onto the PlayStation Store directly on the PSP, and checking my account information. All good there, with an accurate download history as well (though entirely out of chronological order, which is another mess for another day). I could even re-download things with no problem (such as Grandia for the PS1, which I had recently grabbed during its $2.99 sale). So it was not like I could not use content on my PSP at all, but the break-down point was clearly between the PS3 and the PSP.

It is here that we circle back to those three activated systems. Even with older-downloaded content, I wanted to check to see if perhaps having three systems was the problem. I tried to simply “activate” the PSP right on the system itself (“Account Management” –> “Activate System”). The error message: 80109D80.

Huh. OK. The new customer site allows you to remotely deactivate your systems, though you have to do it in one fell swoop, and cannot individually pick a system to deactivate. That was fine — I would just deactivate them all, and then re-activate the PS3 and PSP that I own and have in my possession. That seemed like the cleanest way to start fresh with the systems I truly, actually, physically had right in front of me and could fully account for.

It went fine for the first few steps. The deactivation went well, and I was able to activate the PS3 immediately. The PSP would not activate, however — not through the PS3 when hooked up over USB (“Account Management” –> “Activate System” –> “PSP System”), nor directly on the PSP. The following error message popped up each time and in each location: 80109D80.

OK, weird yet again. I tried a few more times (and attempted to look up the error messages on Sony’s own website, which was not even listed in their database!), and decided it was time for a call to PlayStation customer support.

The phone call was ~45 minutes in total. Probably ~10 of that was the initial maneuvering through automated prompts and being placed on hold for a live support representative. When I finally got through, “Joe” was totally awesome — very personable, very understanding, very knowledgeable, and very quick to compliment me on actually knowing what I was doing and talking about at every opportunity he could (I can only imagine the crazies that call in).

I explained the whole situation, and as expected, the 80109D80 error code was not listed in his database, either. We tried a bunch of basic stuff first (check that the online ID is actually the same on both systems, restore the PSP to factory settings, try reactivating the system again, try different types of content again). I asked if attempting to activate a system so many times would raise some security flag. Joe asked how many times I had tried (I dunno… maybe 10?), and replied that if I had tried so many times, one more was not going to hurt — indeed, we kept getting the sameĀ 80109D80 error code. At some point Joe suggested that, if re-downloading on the PSP worked, I should just stick with that option. That was unacceptable to me, though, since I no longer had a feature that had always been available to me, and it was far more convenient to copy from the PS3 than to navigate to the store on the PSP and individually select each item to re-download.

Joe eventually decided that we reached the limit of what he knew and could do, so he asked if I would be willing to wait around 10 minutes for the next level up of a specialist. “Sure, why the Hell not?” I was only on hold for maybe one minute before Joe came back on:

“You’re not going to believe how we can fix this.” (well, something like that; it definitely started with “you’re not going to believe”)

For whatever reason that we still could not clarify, the new DRM wrapping and two-system policy was indeed the likely culprit. To test the possible solution, Joe wanted me to delete something on the PS3, re-download it, and see if I had the option to copy it over via USB mode — all while still on the phone with him. OK! I wanted to go with something small enough that would not take forever to re-download, so I chose Where Is My Heart?, the pretty-well-regarded Mini that I had not yet had a chance to play (~50 MB or so). Deleted, signed in to the PlayStation Store, re-downloaded. The game did not automatically install, so it sat there in the “bubble” icon above the folders. I selected it and tried to “Copy” it… and yes, the option was there!

New error message, though: 80029780.

The groan/sigh/laugh of understanding on the other side of the phone was hilarious. Joe knew exactly what this was. This was finally the “you have been locked out of copying files for seven days for too many activation attempts” error message (Sony’s site defines it as, “You have reached the maximum number of downloads for an unactivated system”). Yes, the account had eventually been flagged for security concerns. What was never really answered, though, is why older content (that should have still had the five-system limit, and had been copied a year before with absolutely no system changes or alterations in the mean time) could not be copied.

Thankfully, it was not as if the online ID was “banned” or not usable in other ways; I could still re-download items directly on the PSP if I wanted to, and seven days from that phone conversation, I would be able to start copying files again. The caveat was that I would have to re-download all of those items on the PS3 (to get the new DRM wrapping and account syncs) before I could transfer them to the PSP… which still means I have to re-download every single last compatible item, but at least it would be on the PS3 for centralized/future access.

So that is where we stand. Seven days from now I will try copying files over again, and will update the post with the results! With no real, well-written, informative posts out there concerning these specific error messages, my goal here is to hopefully save someone the trouble of how to go about “fixing” this issue; documentation for this kind of stuff is clearly limited. As Joe and I both discussed, we both knew exactly what we were doing and talking about, and neither of us could get it resolved in a timely fashion — how on Earth is the everyday gamer supposed to figure this out?!

Also, someone please give Joe a raise or at least a free day off. He was great. My favorite part of the conversation was (other than being told over and over how awesome I was) probably reading my online ID aloud (which is, of course, just “v – e – g – e – t – t – o – e – x”), and being asked with a laugh what that spells out. I wasn’t sure if that meant he knew who I was by some cosmic coincidence; if he did, he didn’t mention it. I guess that means it was just funny, and hearing someone else say “VegettoEX” to me on the phone is indeed hysterical.

If you will indulge me just for a tad bit longer, let me point out that the root of this entire problem was DRM (and specifically, a policy change with regard to DRM). I understand the reasoning for changing the policy — “game sharing” had (apparently) gotten slightly out-of-control. Reducing the number of allowed devices was an attempt to squash that issue in some way. The problem that it created was that I — a legitimate customer — was suddenly unable to do what I had previously been able to do with the items I purchased (well, “licensed”). All I wanted to do was transfer games from one system to another. Had I hacked my PSP and installed custom firmware, I would have been able to load up my memory stick with any PS1 and PSP game(s) I wanted, with absolutely zero restrictions.

I am not advocating for free-reign piracy on the system. This entire ordeal was a clear example of how the wrong approach and policy shifts within an existing DRM scheme can really rub your paying customers (and I have significant investments there) the wrong way, however. I have to be honest: in this case, the great customer service I received basically talked me out of finally getting around to hacking the damn system. The slightest extra inconvenience would have pushed me over the edge. I am half-tempted to buy another PSP just to have one totally legit and one with custom firmware just to compare the two experiences side-by-side.

Am I just being spoiled? Sure. I could have (as Joe suggested) just re-downloaded every item I wanted directly on the PSP rather than transferring it from the PS3. Why should I have to, though? I am almost starting to come around to a full understanding-and-sympathizing viewpoint of the “they took away my Linux!” crowd… and that was always crazy (albeit in an understandable way) to me.

The 99-cent PS1 Game Adventure

Despite having no PS2 backward compatibility in my particular model, all PS3s at least have full PS1 backward compatibility. Of course, the problem that complicates that so much is the lack of support for the “PSone Classics” area of the Playstation Store in North America while the PS3/PSP transfer and full compatibility teases in the background. There are definitely still a few great games that I have never played and intend to pick up soon (Silent Hill) and classics that I will want to have sitting around for no particular reason (Final Fantasy VII), but compared to the Japanese store? Totally barren.

I love the idea of playing some older games up on the big TV, though, so I decided that with a lack of downloadable support, I would at least go after some of the bigger-profile PS1 games that will probably take a while to show up (if at all) for download. My PS1 game collection is not especially huge, and it is never a bad time to flesh it out.

I checked out the list of best-selling PS1 games on Wikipedia, and wandered on over to eBay to see what I could get for cheap. My goal was not to pay any more than about $3 (shipped) for a game, making all efforts to get it for 99-cents. If a PSN download is typically $5.99 (with some at $9.99), about half that cost and not being able to transfer it to the PSP (legally, anyway…) seemed about right. So far I have picked up two:

Ridge Racer Type 4

I had always been a fan of the first two games, and even rented the fourth quite a bit… but never actually owned it. I have a Japanese copy of V which was packed in when I bought my JP PS2, but I have never really dipped beyond the PS1 originals. I know the fourth is considered by many to be the best in the series, so it seemed like a solid purchase.

CONDITION: Some decent scratches, but overall good condition and came with its bonus disc.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Having recently gotten into the series (read the first five books and have seen the corresponding movies), seeing it up on the best-selling list gave me even more incentive to grab it on the cheap. It sounds like the game for the first book/movie was different across many platforms, so it might be interesting to grab some of the others for comparison’s sake. I really have no idea how any of them play or even if certain games are any good, so I am looking forward to dipping into this world a little bit.

CONDITION: Some decent scratches, but overall good condition.

North American PS1 Games I Actually Own:
Bushido Blade 2
Dance Dance Revolution
Dance Dance Revolution Konamix
DragonBall GT: Final Bout
DragonBall Z: Ultimate Battle 22
Final Fantasy Anthology
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy IX
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Marvel Comics X-Men vs. Street Fighter
Mortal Kombat Trilogy
Parappa the Rapper
Ridge Racer
Ridge Racer Type 4
Street Sk8er
Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider 2
X-Men: Mutant Academy

Japanese PS1 Games I Actually Own:
Dance Dance Revolution 3rd Mix
Dance Dance Revolution 5th Mix
Dance Dance Revolution Best Hits
DragonBall: Final Bout
DragonBall Z: Idainaru Doragonbooru Densetsu
DragonBall Z: Ultimate Battle 22
Rurouni Kenshin: Ishin Gekitou-hen
Street Fighter EX plus alpha
Tobal 2

Huh. Looks like I have lost some games over the years, and many of my favorite rentals never ended up in the “own it!” category. Again, my preference would be to just download the games on PSN since I could then either play the game right there on the TV or take it on-the-go with the PSP. However, until the “PSone Classics” support in North America rivals its Japanese counterpart, I may just keep going with the actual discs for cheap. What other games should I look into, assuming I can get them for ~$3-4, and assuming they are not high-profile enough to just come to PSN sooner than later?

“Street Fighter IV”: Seth Can Shove It

Last night, the wife and I spent over an hour (we didn’t keep track of when exactly we began, but I saw it pass the 70 minute mark) trying to beat Seth with Zangief… with it set to one-round fights on “Easiest”.

Andrew alerted me via Twitter that there may be some type of glitch with the difficulty setting. A little bit of Googling around confirms that there may indeed be some type of conflict with the PS3 version (which, by extension, may only happen if you do the optional partial-install). Of course, we didn’t know about this last night, though the thought did indeed cross my mind. I seem to remember a version of NBA Jam had an issue where the difficulties were swapped based on what you chose (for example, picking “Very Easy” gave you “Very Hard” while picking “Very Hard” gave you “Very Easy”, and so on and so forth), so I was indeed curious about what may have been happening.

I mean, let’s be honest… I’m not a terrible Street Fighter player. I’m by no means anything beyond whatever is above “scrub”, but I can hold my own. The lolz thrown back by the internet with suggestions to “just keep sweeping him” were not working; Seth was grabbing me out of ultras, throwing me out of throws, crossing-up into EX specials, and giving me flashbacks to Goenitz (do your homework on that, kids).

I had played through the game plenty of times with different characters, and this was just ridiculous.

It’s somewhat comforting to know that there may actually have been something happening behind the scenes to cause such a problem. It was also frustrating to be doing everything I thought I should be doing to “play well”, and it making so little of a difference. I have years upon years upon years of experience with this franchise and these characters, and I haven’t stopped since I began. For those returning to Street Fighter after missing the entire Alpha and III series, I can’t even begin to imagine the frustration with going through and just trying to unlock the hidden characters. It wasn’t fun for me anymore (especially after an hour), and I can’t see it being “fun” for anyone else. Between the horrible problems with difficulty scaling and the antiquated and senseless unlocking system for bonus characters, there is quite a lot to be discussed (and that’s totally tossing aside any thoughts on Seth’s actual character design).

Before we get to all that, though (whether it is presented in podcast or text form), I still owe that “Collector’s Edition” closer look that I promised last time around. I finished up the scans last night, so look forward to that in the relative near future. I’ll wear my headband while I write it. Promise.

“LittleBigPlanet” Beta

Managed to get myself a beta key for LittleBigPlanet the other day thanks to the USA Today giveaway (which required nothing more than sending an e-mail). I’m only just now getting around to downloading it, and it’s only good through the weekend… so I don’t have a whole lot of time with it!

I’ve already recorded something extra to stitch into the games-we’re-playing little mini-segment of episode four of the podcast, so maybe I’ll have a second stitch going in before I put up the episode in the next couple days!

Anyone else have it? Wanna play together? Add “VegettoEX” on PSN and drop me a line.

(Also downloaded Portal: Prelude, but it would help if I would go finish the original damn version of the game first. Only have, like, three levels left. Which takes about two minutes. Argh.)

When a man can’t even spend his Virtual Space Money, all he can do is blog.

Wow! Thanks for the overwhelmingly positive response to the first episode of our podcast, everyone! That really makes me look even more forward to recording and releasing the second episode. Until then, look forward to some regular blog postings (kinda like this one), and maybe even a couple other special things here and there.

Speaking of podcasts, our addition to the iTunes Store was certainly quick. It should be searchable in the iTunes Store within a day or so, but until then, you can access us directly where you can do the one-click subscription. We have all sorts of subscription information over on our “Podcasts” page. Remember that you don’t need to have an iPod (or any portable music device) to check out our show. You can download the episodes and listen in anything like WinAmp or even Windows Media Player; they’re just straight-up MP3 files!

So today I finally became one of the fabeled “geeks and otaku”. That’s right, I ran out of storage space on my Wii. Thanks to some birthday VIrtual Space Money from a certain Mr. Deluxe, I decided to go on a mini-spending-spree in the Wii Shop Channel. Much to my dismay, I could not so much as download an SNES game without making room. The “Mario Kart Channel” was the first to go, followed by the “Internet Channel” (seriously, is anyone using either of those?). I wanted to delete the “Photo Channel”, but I have a sneaking suspision that I have to download the updated version from the store before I can see it for deletion in the memory management. Once space was made, in came some Devil’s Crush, Metroid, and Super Metroid… the middle-which of said games being the only one I’ve ever owned and/or played. I know, I’m terrible. Never played Super Metroid. I’ll get right on that. Eventually.

How many of you are running into this problem, though? Or is it not even a problem for you? I really want to check out Lost Winds, as well… but that’s not happening any time soon unless Nintendo has some sort of announcement around the corner. We’re all on pins-and-needles since Activision formally announced full downoadable content for the Wii version of Guitar Hero: World Tour, supposedly making use of the SD Card slot. For goodness sake, can I please toss some of these useless channels over there so I can spend my money with you? Seriously. I have Wii points to spend. They’re sitting right there. I’ll even spend more to add more points if you just let me keep everything I download all in once place. That’s the whole beauty and convenience of it.

I know, that’s a pretty broken-record tirade, so I’ll leave you with the following:

Mike Consoles - July 2008

Yep, the PlayStation 3 has joined the family. Had to get a component-input-switcher to have everything play nice and be hooked up at once. Big special thanks to an awesome buddy out in California. You rock, man. Was doing some Remote Play with DragonBall: Final Bout, and reminded myself how terrible it is :P.

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