Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation Portable (PSP) updater that leaked onto the web this past weekend is genuine.
However, it publicly warned owners of the handheld console not to run the software, which it said will "cause the PSP hardware to stop operating".
The updater is configured to install a number of bug fixes, along with a text-to-speech utility, a calculator, web browser, email application and - most interesting of all - a word processor and spreadsheet tool.
However, the update installer as posted does not yet contain all - or indeed any - of these software components.
The update was said to have been retrieved from a Sony server, but until now the software's bona fides were in doubt. However, a Sony Computer Entertainment International (SCEI) spokeswoman yesterday confirmed that the code "has not been issued officially by SCEI", according to an IDG report.
"We have become aware that there is a software program going around on some web sites and Internet bulletin boards claiming to be an update file that rewrites the system software of the PSP hardware," she said.
"We advise our users not to execute or apply the program as it will cause the PSP hardware to stop operating."
Anyone who has applied the update can send their malfunctioning PSP back to Sony for a repair, she said, but the company will charge them for the privilege.
Meanwhile, online retailer Amazon.co.uk reinstated its PSP sales page after a few days' absence. Once again, it states 18 March 2005 as the handheld console's UK release date. The price is £180. ®