Yeah custom firmware aka CF let you do most things than the original firmware from sony. you need a "pandora battery" and a "magic memory stick" to put custom firmware. i already do that to mine and is awesome.
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Re: about costom firmware
Simply, yes. custom firmware is hacking into your PSP to let you play games off your memory stick and run programs called "homebrew", all custom firmwareing is is unlocking the potential of your PSP to the max it can go.
You can play games you download,
Run Homebrew and etc.
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Your post is a bit vague. You press the home button ingame or while in the menu(and then it goes black) or in both places? Does your PSP work properly?
If anything, update your firmware(if your PSP is modified then update to anything less than 6.39 and re-modify).
You must have a PSP-1000 or PSP-2000, I have never worked with PSP-3000s but they might have finished those as well by now. And PSPGo's also have custom firmware now.
Or if you mean games from actual PSN, just download their media client from playstation.com and it's simple point and click.
Custom firmware is a process that inserts custom code into the firmware(operating system pretty much) files and allows it to run unsigned code/skip security data, etc. If you have a friend with a pre-modified PSP ask him/her to make a Pandora's Battery, allowing you to instantly go to custom firmware, no matter what firmware you are on. There are 1000s of tutorials for the exact same thing all over google, they're easier to find than google itself lol. But if your PSP is over a certain firmware(aka if you've updated lately) you will not be able to do this process without a pandora's battery.
If you are already above this firmware, it seems you are out of luck. A friend with a modified PSP could make you a pandora battery, but with the PSP 3000 you have to be extremely careful not to brick it. I suggest, if you want custom firmware, selling it and getting a different model of PSP, or looking up some files/readmes on QJ.net.