Sony has admitted that the firmware update for the its new Portable handheld that surfaced over the weekend is real, but that users choosing to upload the patch to their device will find that the hardware will stop working.

The file appeared last week and was obtained from a Sony server, according to enthusiast Web sites that first reported its existence

The updated has been planned to fix a number of bugs alongside adding new features to the device such as a calculator, text-to-speech utility and web browser.

According to the website itworld.com who spoke to Sony's Computer Entertainment International division, the file was created by SCEI engineers and was produced for developers, but it contains dummy data. "It is not supposed to be used at this time," a spokeswoman commented.

Users who have applied the file can get their PSP repaired by returning it to SCEI. However, the company will charge for the repair service.
The PSP is due to be launched in the UK in March. Last week Amazon.co.uk posted a pre-order page for the handheld device, but the listing was quickly withdrawn a couple of days later.