On the left is another switch, this time to enable and disable the integrated WiFi adapter. Yes, Sony has equipped the PSP with 802.11b wireless networking. There are two main reasons for the inclusion of WiFi. First and foremost is the ability for multiple PSP users to link up and play games together – wireless networking is a far more elegant solution than having loads of players huddled round in a circle connected by trailing wires. The other reason is to allow the PSP to connect to the Internet via a wireless access point and download firmware upgrades.
There are a lot of rumours that Sony will be releasing a new firmware revision that will allow the PSP to be used for web browsing, email and even word processing, but the main reason for firmware upgrades seems to be to close up security loopholes. Some smart cookies out there have already worked out how to turn a PSP into an emulator for other console formats, but Sony isn’t too keen on this “home brew” style of gaming. In fact, Sony has even started forcing firmware upgrades in order to play some new games, in an attempt to circumvent this problem.
Next to the WiFi switch is a small hatch that hides the MemoryStick Duo port. It’s a pretty smart move to incorporate MemoryStick Duo into the PSP, since it will instantly increase the user base for Sony’s tiny memory cards. I purchased the Japanese PSP Value Pack which came with a 32MB MemoryStick Duo card in the box, which is handy for game saves and photos, but not really large enough for music or video. You can however, pick up a 512MB SanDisk MemoryStick Duo Pro card for around £46 from Komplett, which should keep you going for a while.