If you’re planning to trek out to uncharted territory and
don’t like getting lost, then the answer may be within your PSP. Sony has
released its GPS Receiver add-on for its handheld game system, which adds
navigation functionality to the PSP.
The GPS Receiver measures 45mm x 41mm x 17mm and weighs
approximately 16 grams. It sits on top of the PSP expansion socket and is
bolted onto the system with a thumbscrew.
The current GPS software enables road car navigation (for
Japan), walking routes, and shops directory – all much like current standalone
GPS offerings. Updates to maps will be offered via Sony’s usual network
With the lack of touch-screen functionality on the PSP, its
GPS usability will likely lag behind those of GPS systems with easier input
methods other than using the d-pad. Still, Sony’s offering represents one of
the cheapest entries into GPS navigation, provided that you already own a PSP.
The local price for this is 5,000 yen (US$43), but Play-Asia
is selling the import unit to the U.S. for $59.90, plus $8.80 shipping.
While its use as a navigation solution may end up being
quite limited, developers have already incorporated the GPS functionality into
its games. In the Japanese version of the new Hot Shots Golf title, players can use the GPS-enabled PSP as a golf
course map for real golf courses, letting the golfer check his or distances
from the pin, traps and other things. Metal
Gear: Portable Ops integrates the player’s physical location into the game
to unlock new locations and characters.
The product is currently only for sale in Japan, but Sony
will likely release it in North America and Europe within the near future.