PSP gets GPS

Japanese PSP users get where-am-I functionality in cinematic widescreen.

How many times have you been out on the road, driving along quite happily, then been lost? Have you ever sat in traffic on a side road, no idea where you are, and thought – “Gosh, if only my trusty PSP had a GPS, I’d know how to get out of this terrible situation,” ?

We thought not. In fact, taking a PSP out of the house is becoming an ever-rarer occurrence in the world of gaming today, with the lack of decent games for the Sony widescreen portable meaning it is playing a poor second fiddle to the fantastic Nintendo DS Lite.

Rather than release some games worth playing, Sony is attempting to re-juvenate the platform by making it into more of a multi-function device, and has now released a plug-in GPS add-on for bad map readers everywhere.

The add-on plugs into the USB port on the top of the unit, and costs around $60. You can try and import it, if you can find somewhere that Sony hasn’t already shut down.

Obviously the PSP isn’t touch screen, which immediately makes this less user-friendly than almost any other GPS solution on the market today.

Games developers are starting to get to grips with the new functionality, and are doing their darndest to integrate the device into their games. The upcoming version of Everybody’s Golf allows you to use the PSP on a real golf course to navigate around – the game will tell you your distance from the pin and provide you with maps, if you’re on a hole it recognises. The new Metal Gear Solid title will also unlock new extras dependant on your physical location, which is probably not as good as it sounds.

The receiver may or may not make it over here, depending, we suspect, on its reception in its homeland. Given the current infatuation the Japanese have for all things Nintendo, it could be a decided flop, which probably wouldn’t be much of a disaster for the world at large.

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