While we're a Nintendo site first and foremost, here at Nintendo Life we do occasionally embrace formats produced by other companies - and back in the days of the Nintendo DS, we admit we also dabbled in the world of PlayStation Portable ownership.
Sony's handheld was a massive success, despite the incredible dominance of the DS at the time, and many a PSP owner participated in the dark art of jailbreaking their system in order to install all kinds of naughty stuff - including emulation.
Chris Kohler, author of Power Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave The World An Extra Life, was one such person, and in an updated version of his book he recalls the time in 2005 when he unwittingly introduced Shigeru Miyamoto to the world of PSP-based emulation:
I had an interview with Nintendo executive Perrin Kaplan, and I thought I’d show her something crazy: In the days before E3, hackers had blown the DRM security on Sony’s PSP wide open, and had advanced with astonishing rapidity from getting a rudimentary “Hello, world!” up on the screen to actually running an emulator that played Nintendo’s Game Boy games.
Since the emulator was brand new at the time, I figured I’d be the first person to show Kaplan. What I did not expect is that she would immediately whisk me out of the interview room we were in, telling me that Miyamoto would want to see this! She escorted me over to the room where Miyamoto had just finished up another interview, and brought me inside, and had me show him what I’d brought. And Miyamoto took my Sony PSP and played some bootleg Super Mario Land on it.
“Chris,” he said. “Did you make this?”
No, no, I said. I just got it off the Internet. Kaplan hurried me away again, this time into a secret chamber even deeper in Nintendo’s labyrinth of E3 meeting rooms. As she had me again demonstrate my PSP with its illicit software to one of Nintendo’s hardware designers, my eyes darted around the darkened room, where Revolution consoles in an array of candy colors, ruby red and mint green, were displayed, illuminated by beams of light.
It seems that Nintendo was quite interested in seeing its games emulated on rival hardware, even if the process was totally unofficial. The company has since taken a hardline stance on home-brew applications, locking down its own systems to prevent programs such as emulators from being installed; still, it's amusing to mentally picture Miyamoto happily leaping through Sarasaland on a PlayStation Portable.
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