Saturday, January 19, 2019

Passport to: A PSP Travel Guide

Original Press Kit 
The series trademark

Passport To was at its heart a Travel Guide as Passport To Amsterdam (Press Kit pictured above) You could cycle through Amsterdam's historic streets, enjoy its laid back nature and experience all the Dutch capital has to offer with this interactive, in-depth guide.

Discover the city: includes easy-to-use maps, inspirational 'off the beaten track' audio walks and scene-setting movies, essential info, and an audio phrasebook

What's hot and what's not: get the low-down on over 250 of Amsterdam's caf├ęs, bars, clubs, hotels, shops, and sights

Travel planning on-the-go: create the perfect trip with a customized itinerary, tailor-made to suit your own interests

Produced in association with travel gurus Lonely Planet, Passport to... is an innovative range of new titles for PSP.

Who doesn't enjoy jetting off somewhere nice for the weekend? Yet the thrill of landing in a new city can often be tempered by the often random task of finding somewhere suitable to go and while away your hard-earned break.

For every hot exhibition, cool cafe and trendy hotel, there is a myriad of lost opportunities. Well, now there's no need to worry about what might have been thanks to Passport to... the truly unique interactive tool exclusive to PSP which is designed to help you squeeze the most out of your stay.

Produced in conjunction with travel experts Lonely Planet, Passport to... is a range of six standalone interactive travel guides focusing on some of the hottest destinations in Europe, namely Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Paris, Prague, and Rome.

Each guide has been carefully crafted to bring you details of the sights, bars, restaurants, shows, and sounds to suit your needs, as well as a range of essential information ranging from local history to tips on how to keep your money safe.

As well as details and images of over 250 locations of interest on each UMD, Passport to... introduces a host of welcome additions to the urban warrior's travel kit.

Not only can you benefit from following one of Lonely Planet's trusted city itineraries, but you can also create your own tour using the interactive planner. Use this in conjunction with the comprehensive city maps to create a bespoke circuit to suit your mood.

If you fancy going behind the scenes and discovering what really makes the city tick, fire up one the audio tours and let one of our guides talk you through the sights and sounds you will encounter on your travels.

After checking out the sights, find the perfect spot to put your feet up and relax thanks to handy interactive maps which link through to selected bars, restaurants and clubs.

Best of all, each guide will evolve over time thanks to innovative online features available at the series' official website (Site no longer active).

As well as useful information on each city, including updates on local events, sample itineraries, and weather information, you'll be able to read tips on places to see and things to do by other users as well as official downloads from the Store such as additional itineraries and much, much more.

Interesting enough according to what I found out that none of the Passport To series was ever sold in stores. But given away for FREE by the local tourist bureaus.

They can be found on eBay for around $20 each.

Friday, January 18, 2019


BY GERRY BLOCK for IGN Ever since the launch of the iPod 5G it seems like the world has gone crazy for mobile video. As all PSP fans know, it should have been Sony's handheld that broke open this new market, as in all ways, except for storage capacity, the PSP is a far superior platform for video on the move. Unfortunately, the added expense of Memory Stick Duo Pro cards, and the fact that they don't get bigger than 2 gigabytes, really held the PSP back. Though we can probably still chalk up yet another major opportunity missed by Sony, Datel has released the 4GB Hard Drive for PSP, a solid and relatively cost-effective solution to the big PSP storage problem.

Boxed up.

In case you didn't know, there are plenty of additional uses for a PSP once you've got something larger than the 32 Megabyte pack-in card. With the latest firmware installed, the PSP is compatible with many more video formats than when it was first released. Most notable is MPEG-4 support, which has pretty much become everyone's favorite new format for content encoded with mobile use in mind. Rumors are currently circulating that Sony will soon release a new firmware update that will support H.264, which is what the iPod Video uses. If the DRMs will work out, you may soon be able to laugh at all the peeps squinting at their iPod Videos while you rock the episode of Lost you bought from iTunes Video store on a much bigger screen. Even if Apple won't play ball, MPEG-4 content is all over the internet right now, and you can easily encode your own material with your computer, or one of the new stand-alone MPEG-4 encoders, like the super cool Neuros Video Recorder 2 (feature review coming soon!). You can also pack it full of mp3s, photos, or if you're a real haxxor type, home-brew software for emulators and ROMs.

A good bit thicker.

The Datel kit includes the 4GB Hard Drive, an X2 Battery Pac, and Max Media Manager software. Neither the HD nor the larger battery pack fit in the PSP's normal slots and are thus encased in black plastic shells that attach to the back of the PSP and add about a half an inch to the PSP's depth on either side of the UMD door, which remains unobstructed. Installation is quite simple, as the extended battery simply sits in the old battery's slot with a snap-down cover, while the HD unit has plastic prongs that slip into two post holes on the back of the PSP. A flexible Memory Stick Duo connection wire loops around the side of the PSP and into the expected slot. The plastic Memory Stick slot cover on the PSP does not need to be removed and does not get in the way, thanks to the curve of the connection wire. The only major annoyance of the entire apparatus is the fact that Memory Sticks attach via a spring-loaded connection, which means that if you squeeze the PSP in a way that puts lateral pressure on the connection wire it will eject the plug, effectively removing the Memory Stick just like all the loading screens ask you not to. It only happened once in my weeks spent playing with the Datel HD, but it did cause a problem and was a bit of a hassle.


The addition of the battery pack and HD do mar the PSP's elegantly thin design and make the modified unit incompatible with most protective cases and listening stations. In actual use, however, most agreed the additional perimeter thickness makes the PSP quite a bit easer to hold for long periods of time. The covers also allow the PSP to sit on a table at a nice angle for UMD or media viewing.

The HD itself.

Performance wise, the Datel package delivers. When the formatted HD is first attached, the PSP will recognize 3,803 MB of free space in the Memory Stick menus. For MPEG-4 video encoded with the PSP in mind, that's actually a lot of room to work with. If you aren't already familiar with encoding video for the PSP with a program like PSP Video 9, you can use the included Max Media Manager, a fairly intuitive little program that encodes from existing video files, though not directly from DVDs. It will also setup the PSP's file structure, and will aid in moving saved games from a Memory Stick to the HD, or acquiring downloaded saves from Codejunkies. For reference sake, I encoded a couple of, err, "short films" from Budapest that were each about 50 minutes long in PSP ready high quality, which resulted files of about 70 MBs or so.


The HD itself is a standard MicroDrive, which is a pretty established technology. Inside the plastic housing it is actually connected to the control board with the standard Compact-Flash ready connection, meaning that if you wanted to you could actually pull out the HD and mount a CF card instead. Exceeding 4GB with either a CF or larger MicroDrive does not work, however.

As one might guess, access times on the HD are noticeably slower than on a solid-state Memory Stick. To put it in rough terms, for every 100 MBs downloaded to the PSP from a PC, the Datel HD takes about 50 seconds longer than a memory stick. In transferring files from the PSP to the PC there is an even greater speed discrepancy. The impact this has upon in-game loading and saving is really quite minimal and is hard to notice. The HD also sucks up a lot more power than a Memory Stick. Running on the standard PSP battery, video playback from the HD will drain the system's power in around 2.5 hours. With the X2 3600 mAh battery pack, the system will run for between 5 and 6 hours.

The complete kit. is presently selling the Datel pack for $179.90, which makes the system a cost-effective alternative to multiple Memory Sticks. If you can get over the larger form factor, the benefits of 4 Gigabytes on the PSP are broad. With space to burn and a little bit of internet work, you can have all of your favorite shows ready to watch on the road, for free, none the less. Devices like the Neuros Video Recorder 2 allow for super easy on-the-fly recording scheduling from any source, which means you can plug one into your TV's video out jack, set up a time and then let it encode any show you like straight to PSP ready MPEG-4, without any computer hassle. Show that to all those losers that think the iPod Video is so cool. Array;and they'll think you're a total geek. Deep down though, they will totally envy all the great cinema from the Czech Republic you will have on your PSP.

They currently sells for between $20 - 30 

The Talkman PSP Accessory

US Release only Digital Download only via PSN

On the other hand, both Europe and Japan saw a physical release

Japanese Release

England Release 

TalkmanDeveloper SCEJ
Initial release November 17, 2005

Talkman (PSP-240) is a program developed by Sony Computer Entertainment for the Sony PlayStation Portable video game console. It is a voice-activated translation software application that operates in four languages Japanese, English, Korean, and Chinese (Mandarin). The name "Talkman" is a reference to Sony's Walkman line of portable audio products. It was released in Japan on November 17, 2005 and in America on August 5, 2008 (via the PlayStation Store) as Talkman Travel. In America, however, instead of receiving all the languages included in the Japanese version in one package, you have the option to buy a single pack for $2.99 a piece. Available packs are: Paris (French), Rome (Italian), and Tokyo (Japanese).

The software is designed for travelers and entertainment, mostly containing slang and useful travel phrases. While originally sold in and designed for the Japanese market for Japanese users, its translation function operates between all four languages. In Japan, the software has proven popular with the middle-aged female demographic due to an interest in South Korean products, and Korean-language soap operas and movies; and as a fun English education aid for children.

This product has also been officially released in Hong Kong with a Traditional Chinese packaging and manual. However, it does not seem that Sony is manufacturing any more of these for the Hong Kong market and most retailers that are sold out claims that it will no longer be restocked.

Outside of pure translations, Talkman also lets players play games to test their fluency of a language. The program comes with a USB microphone included. This microphone draws power through two gold-colored contacts on the top of the PSP, one on each side of the mini-USB port. This is uncommon due to the ability for most USB products to draw power through USB. These proprietary contacts are similar to the gold-colored contacts on the bottom-right of the device, which are used for charging.

Note: The Chotto Shot (aka "Go!Cam") has a built-in microphone that also can be used with the Talkman program.

Talkman is also released as a UMD-only package, so users who already have the USB mic or camera can choose to purchase this standalone version. The Sony PSP Headset has also been confirmed to work with Talkman.

Talkman official site

Talkman in action video

Sunday, January 13, 2019

PSP Console Variations Very Limited Editions, Prizes and Giveaways

                                               Sony PSP 1000 Signature Kachofugetsu

                                                        Only Released in Japan
                                        It was only sold in Toyko in the PlayStation Square

                                                   Sony PSP 1000 Signature Tsukimi

                                                         Only Released in Japan
                                     It was only sold in Toyko in the PlayStation Square
                                              Bundled with a custom display stand

Sony PSP 2000 Stella Artois

Only Released in Europe
Given to Stella Artois Sales Reps to use as a presentation tool
      Bundled with a custom display stand

Sony PSP 1000 Red Bull

Only Released in Europe
Possible promotional item

Sony PSP 1000 Red Bull

Only Released in US
Possible promotional item

Sony PSP 1000 Squad Commander

Only Released in North America
Only 6 were made - extremely rare
Used as a prize in a THQ competition

Sony PSP 3000 Green Lantern

Only Released in North America
Only 1 was made - very extremely rare
Has 'First Flight' written on the system
Given as prize during Comiccon 2009

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

No Nonsense Review: Rengoku The Tower of Purgatory PSP

Really when I saw a video of this game with it's crappy graphics and gameplay I could not believe a FPS was that bad? In fact it's far worse than that, a control scheme that makes no sense, health restore for weapons? and the dumbest thing of do get health restore items as you work your way through the levels but the only way it seems you can use them is in your room. I am not joking. Once you gone past a couple of rooms I dare anyone to find their own room. It is impossible, and so is this game, you actually loose health firing your own weapon.

My overall score 0/ 10