Firmware 2.0 is out for the PSP and it has a wide range of new functionality.
- You can customise your PSP with themes and wallpapers
- WiFi networking now supports WPA (much better security than WEP).
- Atrac3+, WAV and MP4 (AAC) support (you may have to change the extension of your tracks to *.mp4)
- UMD video viewing enhancements (go-to, 4:3 mode and more)
- Support for more image formats (TIFF, GIF,PG, BMP)
To update: download the file from the Japanese site (translated press release). Transfer the file to your PSP and place the file in F:\PSP\GAME\UPDATE\EBOOT.PBP. Restart your PSP. It will detect the new firmware and proceed to update. Your media files (mp3s, photos, videos) will remain intact during the update process.
The Japanese update even works on US PSPs. It is reported that the US 2.0 firmware will be identical, it is just being held of for “political” reasons. I guess this means that the UK PSP will be shipped with 2.0 and all this new functionality as well.
If you own an US PSP, then use the IGN version of the firmware instead (a few people have reported The game could not be started. (80020148) errors when using the Japanese firmware on their US PSP).
One possible drawback with the 2.0 firmware is that Sony has locked down all the loopholes that people were using to run unauthorised code. Home brewn code such as emulators (ScummVM), utilities and pirated games that worked on versions up to 1.5 will not work. It may however just be a matter of time before people exploit some buffer overflow in the new browser or other design flaws.
Now back to the garden and reading /. on the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP).
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I have always thought of Japan as being the world capital for consumer electronics shopping; that there would be an amazing selection of gadgets at bargain prices to be found.
Some it was true, some was not.
Several very well stocked camera shops are located in the vicinity of the Shinjyuku station, more precisely on the west side of the station. Yodobashi Camera and Sakuraya are two good shops where you can even ask for a “best price” to try to lower the asking price.
It is said that if Yodobashi Camera does not stock the photographic item you are looking for, it is not available in Japan.
A great tip if you purchase a camera is to take it to the manufacturer’s local service shop where you can exchange the Japanese manual for other languages. Nikon has convenient service shops in Ginza and Shinjuku and the exchange took 5 minutes (great tip from Jeremy at Antipixel).
Mobile phones are well ahead of those in Europe and USA. Common phone features in Japan are 3-4 mega pixel cameras, TV receivers, high definition screens and broad band speeds.
No wonder there are always a couple of open phones around you; people watching the latest baseball game, showing each other high resolution photos or surfing some net for information.
Unfortunately there are almost no GSM phones for sale. I did find some but they were at rip off prices, bit outdated and most likely to lure clueless tourists.
Some shops announce with large signs that you can shop Duty Free. This means that the shop has the required license to sell items duty free. This also seems to mean that the shop can jack up the prices with 5-10%, sometimes negating any gains to the purchaser (you).
Check prices for the item you want both in a duty free shop and a regular back street shop and bring your passport as it is needed for duty free discounts.
Akihabara is the electronics district of Tokyo. If you are familiar with London, you can imagine it as Tottenham Court Rd on drugs.
It is easy to get distracted by the sheer amount of gadgets on offer. Very few of the staff speaks any English so it is best to be prepared by knowing exactly what items and model numbers you are looking for; also of their home prices.
Have a look around in a few shops to get an idea of the prices. Any shop will most likely match a (realistic) price you found in a different shop in order not to loose your business. This means you can do all your shopping in a single shop once you know the lowest prices.
With the current weak US dollar and Japanese language problems, I did not find any real bargains. Prices were always comparable with UK and never as low as US, Singapore or Hong Kong.
The highlight of electronics shopping in Tokyo is the sheer amount of items that the European market will never see. If you are on a tight budget, window shopping is an alternative.
If you happen to purchase too much and cannot fit it all in you bags, don’t fret. This is an opportunity to buy a state of the art suitcase that can be rolled around (not pulled) with one hand only.