PSP: Playstation Portable FAQ

The product specifications for the Sony handheld video game system, PlayStation Portable (PSP) ” The ‘Walkman’ of the 21st Century” incorporates high quality full motion video similar to PlayStation 2 and can be played anytime, anywhere. The PSP launched in Japan 12th December 2004, with North American launch 24 March 2005 and European launch 1st September 2005.
Order a PAL PSP at £174.99 or a Region Free Japanese PSP Standard Pack at £ 129.

WHAT IS THE PSPs CAPABILITY ?
As well as playing the most advanced games seen on a handheld, the PSP also plays music, allows users to watch movies and play games wirelessly. A large range of peripherals (see below) will also expand the possibilities of the PSP.

WHEN WAS PSP RELEASED ?
The PSP was released in Japan 12th December 2004, and 24 March 2005 in America and 1st September 2005 in Europe. Order a PAL PSP Bundle at £174.99

WHATS IN THE PACK ?
The PAL PSP Value Pack contains an added-value package of accessories and entertainment content, including the PSP system with a pouch, 32MB Memory Stick Duo, Battery Pack, Headphones with Remote Control, AC Adaptor, Wrist Strap, cloth and a video/music/game sampler Universal Media Disc (UMD) including several game demos.

The Giga Pack contains the PSP Console, AC Adapter, PSP Battery Pack, Wrist Strap & Pouch, Headphone with remote control, 1GB Memory Stick Duo, USB Cable, and Stand. Plus 4 Games

WHAT WILL THE PAL PSP HAVE ?
Although the PAL PSP was the last region to be released, PSPs for the European market will benefit from the latest system software upgrade. With the introduction of an internet browser to ease the downloading of game trailers and video content from WiFi hotspots, a new codec for optimising the quality of video content on Memory Stick, and a wealth of other improvements to enhance the user experience, European consumers will not only be receiving the most sophisticated and exciting portable entertainment device ever made but will be able to upgrade their PSP’s continually as new functionality is announced.

HOW MUCH DOES PSP COST ?
The PAL PSP Value Pack costs £174.99.and the PAL Giga Pack comes at £289.99. The Import PSPs comes a little cheaper at £ 129 for the Standard Pack, £144 for the Value Pack and £186 for the Giga Pack. PSP games retail for around the same price as existing PS2 games – around £25 to £30 – and movies around the same as DVDs.

WILL A JAPANESE PSP WORK IN THE UK?
Yes and its cheaper, but see the Japanese PSP FAQ for more information.

WHERE CAN I GET A PSP ?
Click the links below for the UK or Import Packs of your choice.

UK PSP

Sony PSP Value Pack – GBP £174.99

The Value Pack contains the PSP Console, AC Adapter, the PSP Battery Pack, Headphone with remote control, 32MB Memory Stick Duo, Wrist Strap & Pouch, Cleaning Cloth and Demo Disc.

Sony PSP Giga Pack – GBP £289.99

The Giga Pack contains the PSP Console, AC Adapter, PSP Battery Pack, Wrist Strap & Pouch, Headphone with remote control, 1GB Memory Stick Duo, USB Cable, and Stand. Plus 4 Games – Fired Up, Lumines, Virtua Tennis & World Tour Soccer.

IMPORT PSP

Sony PSP Standard Pack – US$ 229.90 / GBP £ 129

The Standard Pack contains the PSP Hardware (PSP-1000), the PSP AC Adapter (100V – 240V, 50/60Hz, works worldwide), the PSP Battery Pack and a free Travel Plug (to fit in your country).

Sony PSP Black Value Pack – US$ 259.90 / GBP £ 146
Sony PSP Ceramic White Value Pack – US$ 259.90 / GB £146

The Value Pack contains the PSP Hardware (PSP-1000K Value Pack), PSP Memory Stick Duo 32MB, PSP Headphones With Remote Control, PSP Soft Case & Hand Strap, PSP AC Adapter (100V – 240V, 50/60Hz, works worldwide), the PSP Battery Pack, and a free Travel Plug (to fit in your country).

Sony PSP Giga Pack Ceramic White or Black – US$329.90 / £186

The Giga Pack contains the PSP Hardware (PSP-1000G1CW Giga Pack), PSP AC Adapter (100V – 240V, 50/60Hz, works worldwide), PSP Battery Pack, PSP Soft Case & Hand Strap, Headphone with remote control, 1GB Memory Stick Duo, USB Cable, Stand and a free Travel Plug (to fit in your country).

WILL PSP BE AVAILABLE IN DIFFERENT COLOURS ?
Sony will initially release the PSP in black only but Sony Japan are introducing various new colours for PSP and its accessories. The first colour variation is the PSP Value Pack in “Ceramic White” for around £150 equivalent. System software for this latest Japanese PSP will also be update to version 2.00. With this update, the various additional features such as installation of the internet browser which allows users to have the internet access available to make PSP a more attractive entertainment system.

WHAT ARE THE VITAL STATISTICS OF THE PSP ?
The PSP weighs 260g including the Battery, and measures 170 mm (L) x 74 mm (W) x 23 mm (D). See further details in the table below.

HOW BIG IS THE PSP SCREEN ?
The PSP has a 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD viewing area, and is able to display 16.77 million colours on its 480 x 272 pixel high resolution screen. This is by far the largest screen to appear on a handheld.

WHAT LEVELS OF SCREEN BRIGHTNESS DOES PSP HAVE ?
There are 3 levels of screen brightness available when using Battery, and a fourth (even brighter) available when using mains power.

WHAT ARE STUCK PIXELS ?
Stuck pixels are indicated by tiny white dots on the PSP screen where you would normally expect to find colour. These are most noticeable on a completely black screens.

If your PSP suffers from a few stuck pixels, although this may be annoying this is not fatal to your PSP and there is also a potential fix. The PSP Stuck Pixel Fixer is simply a movie that flashes up bright colours – loop the video (from the Playback Options Menu) and run it for a few hours and this should unstick all or most the stuck pixels.

PSP Stuck Pixel Fixer can be found at:
http://www.psp-vault.com/modules.php?name=UpDownload&req=getit&lid=355

HOW DO I PROTECT MY SCREEN FROM SCRATCHES ?
It easy to scratch your PSP screen if you do not treat it carefully. Therefore you should consider keeping you PSP in a Protective Case to avoid damage while playing or transporting. You should also consider investing in a clear Screen Protector to avoid scratching the screen.

WHY DOES THE BACKGROUND COLOUR ON MY SCREEN CHANGE ?
The default setting for the screen background for PSP is to change colour on the 1st of every month. To change the background to your PSP Menus, then from the Main Menu choose ‘System’, ‘System Settings’ and then ‘Backdrop’ then select an image in your Photos Folder.

CAN I USE MY TV FOR PSP GAMING ?
Sadly Sony have not included Video Out port on the PSP so you cannot connect your PSP to your TV directly.

WILL MY PSP HAVE THE LATEST FIRMWARE ?
Firmware is the Operating System of your PSP. The current firmware version can be checked from the Main Menu. Simply choose ‘System’, ‘System Settings’ and then ‘System Information’ – the number indicated is your PSPs current firmware version (probably 2.0 or 2.1).

Note. Firmware Versions 1.5 or earlier allowed a wealth of hacked and emulated games – albeit it will not play current games. Firmware versions from 2.0 have prevented any emulator being run on PSP.

HOW DO I UPDATE FIRMWARE ?
Sony are putting the latest firmware onto every new PSP game. When loading, the game will detect which firmware version you are currently running and enable you to update to the new firmware version – without which the game probably wont play !

Alternatively, you can update using your wireless access. Simply go to a wireless hotspot (eg your own broadband wireless access), and from the Main Menu choose ‘System’, ‘Software’ then ‘Update’. Your PSP will then try to connect to your wireless access point and check to see if your firmware is the latest version. If not it will download the update.

WHAT IS THE DURATION OF THE PSP BATTERY ?
The PSP comes with an attachable battery pack, and is capable of mains connection too. The PSP battery is a lithium-ion rechargeable . Sony have stated that the battery life of the PSP will be comparable with that of similar devices. Each charge is likely to last up to10 hours, with a shorter length of time for games and movies. Spare Battery Pack.

Tests have indicated the length to be around 10 hours for audio, 4 to 5 hours for games, 2 hours for movies and 2 hours for wi-fi. Also note that running sound through the PSP speakers is a draw on the battery so using headphones will help.

To get the maximum life out of your Battery run the PSP until the battery is dead, then charge to the maximum in one long continuous charge. Short bursts of charging on part charged batteries limits battery lifespan.

Battery Pack

WHAT PSP PERIPHERALS WILL BE AVAILABLE ?
Sony confirm a number of peripherals for the Portable PlayStation, most of which are available at launch. There is a keyboard and stylus attachment, plus a number pad (for sending text messages), a portable battery pack and a GPS system, all connectable via USB 2.0. Sony Memory Sticks for game saves and music, plus digital camera and video messaging functions are being considered. There is a full range of third-party peripherals too – including a Travel Pack ( £16.99), an In Car Adapter (£4.99) and Solutions Pack (which includes silicon case, USB Cable, Screen Protector, UMD Cases and In-car Charger) at £9.99. Discover the full range of PSP Accessories and Peripherals
See also the Best Selling Import Peripherals

WHAT GAMES WILL PSP PLAY ?
Over a hundred games developers and publishers have pledged their support to the PSP and its new UMD Format disc, including; Atari, Activision, Capcom, Codemasters, Eidos, Electronic Arts, Konami, LucasArts, Midway, Namco, Rockstar, Sega, Square Enix, THQ, Ubisoft, and obviously Sony. All the top developers from Japan, America and Europe are bringing both brand new games and portable versions of existing classics to the PSP. There were 24 UK Launch Titles like Wipeout Pure, MediEvil, Metal Gear Ac!d, World Tour Soccer, but for the ever expanding catalogue of PSP games: see the PSP Games List and the PSP Games Ratings

Note: You will not be able to play PS2 and PS1 game or DVD discs. The PSP is ONLY capable playing UMD discs.

WHAT IS UMD FORMAT ?
This is a brand new storage medium, around 60mm in diameter, that can store up to 1.8GB of digital data. UMD stands for Universal Media Disc, and is based on MiniDisc technology. A broad range of multimedia entertainment can be stored on the UMB format, including games, movies (DVD quality), and music.

WHAT MOVIES ARE AVAILABLE ON UMD ?
Sony’s movie arm has been experimenting with the UMD format on four movies: XXX, Hellboy, Resident Evil 2 and Once Upon A Time In Mexico with many more to follow.

UK PSP launches with 30 movies from a variety of top Hollywood studios including Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Buena Vista and Universal. Studios are planning to release ‘Day and Date’ with DVD releases, and an extensive catalogue of some 100 movies are scheduled for release on UMD Video by Christmas selling at normal DVD prices. See the List of PSP Movies

Convert DVD Movies for PSP

X-oom Movies is a means of converting DVD or video images for playback on the Sony PSP console. Supporting over 10 formats including DVD, Real, Mpeg and Quicktime, X-oom Movies also resizes the file size to suit your needs. Our Price: £14.97

WHAT MUSIC IS AVAILABLE ON PSP ?
The enjoyment of listening to music is a key part of the PSP’s entertainment offering and, in addition to playing music stored on the Memory Stick in MP3, ATRAC 3plus and MPEG-4 AAC format, music videos on UMD Music Videos (full albums, complete with videos and extra content) will also be available.

During the initial launch period, three classic music videos will be available for Region 2 PSPs from Sanctuary Visual Entertainment; Iron Maiden – Rock in Rio, INXS – Live Baby Live and Bob Marley- Live from Santa Barbara. Along with 8 titles from Sony BMG including compilations from Usher, Outkast and The Offspring, and live concerts from Foo Fighters, Rage Against The Machine, Good Charlotte and Incubus, with many more music videos scheduled for release in the run up to Christmas.

HOW DO I SAVE MY GAMES/ MUSIC/ VIDEO ?
The UMD format is not a recordable form of media, and therefore game saves and other information storage will be on a Memory stick. PSP will come with a 32MB Sony memory stick in the box for the Value Pack and 1GB with the Giga Pack. The 32 MB Stick only has enough space for 12 digital photos or 30 minutes of music. Additional memory can be purchased (Sony’s memory sticks range from 32MB to 2GB) and can be used to store music and extra game content downloaded wirelessly.
256MB Memory Stick 512MB Memory Stick 1GB Memory Stick 2GB Memory Stick

Memory Stick Duo 32MB

IS THERE AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE FOR PSP ?
Yes. The 4GB Hard Drive. This uses ultra-reliable Micro-Drive technology. The HD interfaces with the PSP by means of a flexible Memory Stick™ adapter which is plugged into the Memory Stick™ slot on the PSP.

Once connected, the body of the HD attaches snugly to the back of the PSP by means of two location posts which slot into corresponding holes on the back of the PSP. When used in conjunction with the X-2 double capacity battery the 4GB HD forms an ergonomic extension to the PSP which follows the neat lines of the handheld, fitting snugly in your palms. Once connected, you use the 4GB HD just as you would a normal Memory Stick™; you can playback video, MP3s, movies and images and save from inside your PSP games. Buy the 4GB Hard Drive at £130

WHAT IS THE PSPs HANDLING CAPABILITY ?
The facia buttons on the PSP are similar to those on the Dual Shock controllers – there is a standard 8-way D-pad, plus a fully-functional ridged analogue stick (flush against the unit) for unprecedented control, plus the four recognisable symbol buttons as well as Start, Select, a Home button plus volume control. There are two see-through sprung shoulder buttons on top of the console. On the side of the PSP is the Power button and a Hold option, and there are also Music and Display buttons mounted on the bottom of the unit.

WILL PSP BE REGION LOCKED ?
Movie and Music content will be region locked (ie. you will not be able to watch UMD movies from another Territory on your PSP – (Europe and Japan are Region 2) but games are region free.

HOW DOES PSP WIRELESS PLAY WORK ?
The PSP incorporates the industry standard IEEE 802.11b Wi-Fi technology. PSP wireless capability has a range of around 30 meters, enabling use in ‘wireless hotspots’ (eg MacDonalds) which will allow you to play PSP games with other gamers worldwide. Software and data can also be downloaded wirelessly through USB or a wireless network.

PSP Product Specifications:

Colour: Black
Dimensions: 170 mm (L) x 74 mm (W) x 23 mm (D)
Weight: 260 g (including battery)
CPU: PSP CPU (clock frequency 1~333MHz)
Main Memory: 32MB
Embedded DRAM: 4MB
Display: 4.3 inch, 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD
480 x 272 pixel (16.77 million colors)
Max. 200 cd/m2 (with brightness control)
Speakers: Built-in stereo speakers
Main Input/Output: IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi)
USB 2.0 (Target)
Memory Stick PRO Duo
IrDA
IR Remote (SIRCS)
Disc Drive: UMD Drive (Playback only)
Profile: PSP Game
UMD Audio
UMD Video
Main Connectors: DC IN 5V
Terminals for charging built-in battery
Headphone/Microphone/Control connector
Keys/Switches: Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left),
Analog Pad,
Enter Keys (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square),
Left, Right keys,
START, SELECT, HOME,
POWER On/Hold/Off switch,
Brightness control, Sound Mode, Volume +/-,
Wireless LAN On/Off switch,
UMD Eject,
Power: Built-in lithium-ion battery, AC adaptor
Access Control: Region Code, Parental Control
Accessories: Stand
Headphone with remote commander
Headphone with remote commander and mic
External battery pack
Case
Strap
E3 Prototype Exhibition: USB Camera for PSP
USB GPS for PSP
USB Keyboard for PSP

UMD Specifications:

Dimensions: 65 mm (W) x 64 mm (D) x 4.2 mm (H)
Weight: 10g
Disc Diameter: 60 mm
Maximum Capacity: 1.8GB (Single-sided, dual layer)
Laser wavelength: 660nm (Red laser)
Encryption: AES 128bit
Profile: PSP Game (full function);
UMD Audio (codec ATRAC3plus, PCM, (MPEG4 AVC));
UMD Video (codec MPEG4 AVC, ATRAC3plus, Caption PNG).

SCEI are aggressively promoting PSP and UMD as the new handheld entertainment platform for the coming era. Ken Kutaragi, president and CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “The world of PlayStation encompasses hundreds of millions of users worldwide, most of whom view computer entertainment as part of their everyday lives. We look forward to extending the experience through a portable entertainment platform, and are excited about the possibilities and impact ‘PSP’ will have on the market. Along with the game applications, ‘PSP’ will have a huge potential for delivering other forms of entertainment as well as live entertainment through the network, anywhere, anytime. This is the ‘Walkman’ of the 21st century.”

PlayStation Gaming Headsets

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