For schmucks like me who still buy and play PSOne games, this is great news. On the other hand, for early adopters, again like me, this could be a real kick in the teeth. Many great PSOne games will be several hundred megabytes in size, and that means either multiple memory cards or a new PSP model with some serious built-in storage, on the order of gigabytes. If the PS3 hard drive serves as local storage for these games, that's perhaps a consolation, but will also probably mean taking out a second mortgage.
It also makes me wonder how I'm going to download a PSOne game if I still can't get a WipeOut Pure map to download in a reasonable way.
I'm still not sure if this means I have to buy my games again or not.
My guess is that they won't be the original games, more than likely. These will be ports (or hybrids, perhaps) in the same sense that the NES games on GBA are ports and the Midway Arcade Treasures games are ports. There is original code in there, but it's been modified and wrapped in a layer to map original code to the new machine.
Now, if they would sell you the new version at a discount if you could verify you own an original, that'd be nice. But I don't see them being nice about this.
I don't think a PSP is powerful enough to emulate a PS1. The word from developers of some first-gen PSP racing game in an issue of GameInformer dating back a year or so ago said that the processor was roughly PS1-powerful, but the graphics hardware was closer (but not equal to ) PS2.
Unless the games are recompiled, or the PSP itself is actually capable of running PS1 code in real-time, or the PSP processor is much stronger than the developers stated, this is not possible.
Seems the PSP has a clock speed of 222 mhz, which is much better than the PS1 isn't it? Google says the PS1 had a speed of ~33.9 mhz. I an order of magnitude is about the power needed to emulate a system, isn't it? That's indeed close to that.
Here's the thing: the PSP is underclocked. Homebrew software routinely offers the option to put the clock much higher, and it has little/no ill effect. If they need the extra horsepower for the PSOne games, my guess is that they'll inch up toward the 333MHz range. (I can't recall the top speed right now, but I'm fairly sure 333MHz is near the high end.)
333 Mhz is indeed the high end, GTA for instance runs at a higher speed so it drains the battery faster.
Which is why I'm happy I got the larger battery pack.
GTA doesn't run at 333MHz, unless you use whatever cheat hack is out there to crank it up.