GameBrink has a review up of the PSP's GPS for the curious. While the GPS seems to be a great add-on for Japaneses PSP owners, it isn't nearly as useful for those outside of Japan. While homebrew GPS software does exist for the device, it can't compare to the official software or other GPS devices on the market. So maybe PSP owners should get their GPS fix in a different manner, unless it gets released around here that is.
Do you have the official PSP GPS accessory? Wish it would ... well, work outside of Japan? No worries. Deniska has updated the popular homebrew GPS application, MAP THIS! to now include support for the official GPS accessory. You'll need open-edition firmware 3.03 OE-B to run this beta application.
While the homebrew community is making incredible strides with projects like this, and support for full-frame video, we at PSP Fanboy are scratching our heads, wondering when Sony will ever "officially" catch up. Certainly, Sony Computer Entertainment of America wouldn't want to snub American PSP owners ... or do they? (Look at the lack of other colors, for starters.) For those that can run homebrew, now's the best time to pick up a GPS device from Play-Asia.
As you can see from the map above, Hideo Kojima's plan to launch a secret army in Japan is working quite well. A new service uses Google Maps to show you the points of interest you'll want to hit in order to recruit new characters via Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops' unique and innovative GPS mode. Although an English language version of this service is supposedly "coming soon," I wouldn't be surprised if it never saw the light of day: certainly, it would be a far more demanding undertaking to travel across the entirity of America in order to unlock as many characters as possible.
Of course, the true Metal Gear fans have already started their cross-country trek.
PSP GadgetZ is up to it again: they took a "Ram Mount," attached it to a GPS-enabled PSP, and then grafted it to a bike, and rode away in style. If that isn't pure dedication to the system, nothing is. Hopefully, this intrepid blogger won't watch movies while riding... I'm sure that's a lethal combination.
See a video of the "Ram Mount" in action, after the cut.
One of the cooler, and scarier, things you can do with the PSP's GPS accessory is keep track of everywhere you've been while the GPS is on. PSP GadgetZ discovered that by downloading Kashmir 3D and placing a GPSLOG.DAT file in the Memory Stick, the PSP will see where you go, and even trace your elevation. Certainly, Hansel & Gretel would have loved to have this.
The folks at PSP Vault have combined the GPS accessory (now available in Japan) with the recently releasedMetal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. As explained earlier, you'll be able to recruit new soldiers through this weird and wacky feature that combines virtual espionage and real-world location hunting. Check after the cut to see more.
Now that Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is out, many hardcore gamers will probably want to find the PSP's GPS peripheral so they can unlock even more content in Snake's latest adventure. After instantly selling out on amazon.com's Japanese website, it appears that the GPS device is now available for eager importers:
The PSP doesn't have too many more releases this month with only Shinobido, Hot Shots Golf for GPS, Lost Regnum and Heaven's Will. It will be interesting to see if any of those games, especially Hot Shots, helps raise PSP sales the next couple weeks.
Japan is certainly excited for the new GPS peripheral. amazon.co.jp is reporting that its first shipment for the device is already sold out. The customers that are buying the tool are also buying Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, most likely because the Kojima stealth game happens to support the device. They're also picking up Chotto Shot (the PSP camera), because as you know, once you start buying peripherals for a system, you want to buy them all. The hardcore Japanese PSP fans appreciate the PSP's Swiss Army knife-like functionality... how about you? Will you be picking up the GPS system when it comes out?
The upcoming camera and GPS peripherals have been getting a lot of attention, most notably because they have the ability to extend the PSP's already impressive capability set, and interface with games in new, original ways. One of the more creative examples we mentioned earlier was Hot Shot Golf's communication with GPS that transforms the game into a personal golf assistant when you're actually on one of Japan's golf courses. According to IT Media, this can become the "golf tool of the new age." This will certainly bring in a very unique audience to the world of gaming: golfers, who might pick up a PSP just to get all the golf data they could ever want. (But we wonder, how many people will actually use this functionality? And: will it work on US golf courses?)
Of course, Hot Shots Golf isn't the only game using PSP's GPS feature. Read on to see how other software is taking advantage of the device.
There are way too many PSP games at this year's Tokyo Game Show. Because not all of us have time to read all the impressions and previews of all the games coming out, PSP Fanboy has created this nifty guide for all the games that were previewed. You'll get a thumbs up or a thumbs down from the major video game news sites. If a game looks like it might be a real winner, we'll award it "The Official PSP Fanboy Entranced Korean Award." These are the games that'll end up in Korea on giant PSPs, luring people to their eventual doom. And, that's pretty cool. Read on to see all the previews!
PSP Vault has written an incredible article about the upcoming GPS accessory for the PSP. The 6000 Yen device will come out in December, and feature the following specs:
Reception Frequency: 1575.42MHz (L1 ban, C/A code) Reception System: 20 Channel Reception Sensitivity: Following: -153dBm
Captured: -140dBm Position Renew Interval: ~1 second Initial Position Acquisition Time: ~40 seconds Positioning Precision: 5m (2DRAMS, -130dBm) External Dimensions: 45 x 41 x 17mm (W x H x D) Weight: 16g
As you can see from the specifications, the device takes 40 seconds to initially locate your position, but will recalculate your position every second after that. It has some pretty impressive precision, meaning it'll know your precise location, give or take 5 meters. While Sony hasn't officially revealed what the navigation system will look like, the Vault has unearthed a few interesting tidbits. The software is in development at Edia, a company that's developed impressive GPS software in the past. Their "Pontus" line of products have offered voice commands, route searches, automatic scrolling/rotation of maps, and even multimedia functionality. Hopefully, Sony and Edia won't fail to recognize the great potential for synergy between the PSP's native multimedia support and the GPS software.
A German video-game news site is reporting Sony has finally released some solid information about its two upcoming PSP peripherals - the camera and GPS add-on.
According to the site, the PSP camera will be released in Japan Nov. 2 for 5,000 Yen (roughly $43) and will have 480x272 resolution for videos and 640x480 resolution for photos. In addition, it will be able to record 15 seconds of video and will be bundled with Chotto Shot photo software.
The GPS add-on will be released in Japan Dec. 7 for 6000 Yen (about $51) and will include Navigation software. Also, it the following games will have GPS support: Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops, HomeStar Portable, and Everybody's Golf.
Still no word on a North American release date. Schucks.
As we promised earlier, a new trailer for the upcoming PSP-exclusive Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops was revealed today at the Games Convention in Germany. As you know, Naked Snake no longer works alone in this mission, which takes place six years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 3. You'll have to choose your allies wisely, and strategically coordinate with them. According to Gamespot, you can even switch control between your four allies by pressing a button. Fans will be giddy to know that the original voice cast is back, including David Hayter who called the script for Portable Ops the best one yet. Also revealed was the downloadable characters feature: you can access different wi-fi points around the world and have characters (either from the story or randomly generated) appear in your game. Wow. How the GPS feature of the game will work hasn't been revealed yet, but let's not forget the game will be appearing at TGS.