Sony Computer Entertainment America vice president Peter Dille told game industry magazine Gamasutra this week that his company is losing tons of money because of PSP game piracy. "It's criminal what's going on, quite frankly," Dille said, adding that the video game industry needs to cooperate to address this problem together. He specifically referred to Torrent sites as one of the main culprits for P2P piracy:

"We can look at data from BitTorrent sites from the day Resistance: Retribution goes on sale and see how many copies are being downloaded illegally, and it's frankly sickening."

Sony's PSP uses a proprietary Universal Media Disk (UMD) format which, initially thought to be safe by the company, was eventually cracked in 2005. Since then, various methods of loading and playing these pirated games have appeared, most of which involved firmware downgrades or customizations.

Sony can't really do too much about this because a more effective protection would involve changing the hardware, and there are millions of PSPs already out there. Dille agnowledged this problem by saying that the "toothpaste is out of the tube".

However, he believes that Sony can appeal to gamers to do the right thing and buy, rather than download, games. Video game fans should understand that a platform like the PSP could go away if people continued to pirate games.

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