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| '_ \/ __| '_ \  | | '_ ` _ \| '_ \ / _ \| '__| __|  / _` | | | | |/ _` |/ _ \
| |_) \__ \ |_) | | | | | | | | |_) | (_) | |  | |_  | (_| | |_| | | (_| |  __/
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By sebiv: vibes@sebiv.net
Version 0.5, 28 September 2005

This guide is for use exclusivly at GameFAQs. It is a work in progress. If you
have any additions or missing data, please email it to me.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Contents:


=  1.0  Introduction

=  2.0  Reasons to import PSP products

=  3.0  Things you should know first

   - 3.1  Colour systems
   - 3.2  Voltage/power supply
   - 3.3  UMD Regioning
   - 3.4  Cost

=  4.0  The PSP system

   - 4.1  Model numbers and versions
   - 4.2  Firmware versions
   - 4.3  Forcing Firmware updates
   - 4.4  Language
   - 4.5  New batch JPN systems
   - 4.6  Recommendations

=  5.0  PSP Games - things to know

=  6.0  UMD Movies - regioning and title info

=  7.0  Accessories - is it worth it?

=  8.0  Importing Issues

   - 8.1  Restrictions
   - 8.2  Duty and Tax
   - 8.3  Shipping problems
   - 8.4  PSP Warranty
   - 8.5  Stuck pixels
   - 8.6  Dead pixels
   - 8.7  What you will need after importing
   - 8.8  What you should never do

=  9.0  Contact / Questions

=  10.0 Additions for future versions of guide

=  11.0 Credits

=  12.0 Copyrights



===============================================================================

1.0  Introduction

===============================================================================


     + This FAQ is for those interested in importing a PSP system or games from
       overseas. Unlikely Playstation consoles, the PSP is fairly unrestricted
       when it comes to international game titles. This makes the PSP an ideal
       system for those looking to start import-gaming.

     + Note this guide is written in British-English.

     + This guide assumes you already have basic knowledge of the PSP, how it
       works, UMD media etc. If you are unsure please read the existing PSP
       hardware FAQs at GameFAQs.com.


===============================================================================

2.0  Reasons to import PSP products

===============================================================================

There are a few reasons why you would want to buy PSP products from overseas.
Although the PSP is considered "universal", there are small differences in the
handheld systems and title selection in different territories.


     + Play rare/unavailable games

       The European (EU) PSP market (Europe/Australia/most of the world) has
       the least number of games available locally. Many titles are not
       released at all or are released in very limited print. North America
       (US) has the next largest selection of games while Japan (JPN) has the
       most. Many JPN games are not released outside of Japan.


     + Older/newer firmware

       Importing may be the only way to get your hands on a PSP system with
       older firmware. See section 4.2 for more information this.


     + Play overseas UMDs

       As with PSP games, UMD movie releases vary from region to region. Again
       Japan has the widest selection of UMD movies available.


     + System benefits

       Newer JPN systems have benefits over other regions. This is described in
       detail in section 4.5.
       


===============================================================================

3.0  Things you should know first

===============================================================================


3.1  Colour systems
-------------------

Unlike the Playstation consoles, the PSP is not restricted by the traditional
NTSC-J, NTSC-UC and PAL regioning. All PSP games are "swappable" and can be
played in any PSP system from any region.

UMD movies are not restricted by colour systems either (see sections 3.3 and
4.5 for information on region restrictions).





3.2  Voltage/power supply
-------------------------

For your information, the USA and Japan use 110 Volt power supplies. Most of
the rest of the world uses 220 Volts or 240 Volts. This is not an issue with
the PSP as the transformers shipped with all PSP units will accept either
voltage and convert it to the PSP's required 5 Volts for battery charging.

However, the AC power cable supplied with the PSP will vary from region to
region. This power cable is not standard (ie. is not the regular Figure-8
cable) and you will need a workaround to plug it in to your local power
sockets (see section 8.7)





3.3  UMD Regioning
------------------

Although not restricted by colour systems, UMD movies ARE restricted by
regioning, in the same way that DVDs are. UMDs follow the same regioning
pattern as DVDs:

Region 1  -  USA
       2  -  United Kingdom and Japan
       4  -  Australia and New Zealand

             (main PSP market regions - other regions may apply)

The region number of a PSP unit is on it's box, and is also labelled on cases
for UMD movies. For more infromation on what works with what, see section 6.0.






3.4  Cost
---------

Importing a PSP unit is going to work out more expensive in any case. More
research is still needed in this area for future updates to this guide,
however you are looking at around US$20-$30 for shipping of a PSP unit.
Importers will often charge more for an imported PSP unit, particularly if it
is a JPN model or has 1.50 version firmware.




===============================================================================

4.0  The PSP system

===============================================================================


4.1  Model numbers and versions
-------------------------------

Different versions of the PSP have the following model numbers:


   PSP-1000        Japan        Japan basic model
                                Only includes PSP unit, battery and charger.
                                Japanese two-pin power plug. Earliest versions
                                shipped with version 1.0 software (very rare
                                now). Most now ship with version 1.5, however
                                new batches are version 2.0. Region 2.

   PSP-1000K       Japan        Japan value pack
                                Includes PSP system plus value pack extras.
                                Japanese two-pin power plug. Most ship with
                                version 1.5. New batches are version 2.0.
                                Region 2.

   PSP-1000KCW     Japan        Japan Ceramic White value pack
                                Includes ceramic white PSP unit plus value pack
                                extras. Japanese two-pin power plug. Almost all
                                ship with version 2.0 firmware. Region 2.


   The newest batch of JPN PSP units also have physical changes to the screen
   and playing buttons. See section 4.5



   PSP-1001K       USA           US value pack - R1
                                 Value pack with US 2 pin power plug. Region 1.

   PSP-1002K       Australia     Australia and New Zealand value pack
                   New Zealand   Value pack with slanted 2-pin power plug used
                                 in Australia and New Zealand. Region 4.

   PSP-1003K       United        UK value pack
                   Kingdom       Value pack with 3 pin rectangular UK power
                                 plug. Region 2.

   PSP-1004K *     Europe        Value pack for rest of europe. 2 pin circular
                                 power plug.

   PSP-1005K *     Korea         Korean value pack

   PSP-1006K *     Hong Kong     HK / Singapore value pack
                   Singapore
                            
   PSP-1007K *     Taiwan        Taiwan value pack

   PSP-1008K *     Russia        Russian value pack

   PSP-1009K *     China         Chinese value pack  




   Most JPN model PSP units are manufactured in Japan. In other regions
   the launch and early batches will most likely be manufactured in Japan.
   Other batches are likely to be made in China.

   * - Lacking information on these models. If you have any info, please email
       it to me.







4.2  Firmware versions
----------------------

There are several different versions of the PSP firmware:


   Version  1.0    Shipped with first batch of JPN PSP units. This version is
                   not widely supported and is very hard to find on new PSP
                   units nowadays.

   Version  1.50   Shipped with most JPN and early US PSP units. This firmware
                   version is most commonly sought after by PSP "power users"
                   who are interested in hacking the PSP to load 3rd party
                   emulators and homebrew software.

   Versions 1.51   These versions were packaged with most European PSP models
            1.52   (UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand). They are similar
                   to version 1.50 however much harder to "hack". The EU models
                   shipped with versions 1.51 and 1.52 included a Version 2.0
                   update on the value pack UMD sampler disc. The update is not
                   mentioned in the PSP manual however Sony Europe have
                   included a seperate sheet in the value pack explaining how
                   to update the software.

   Version  2.00   Only found in the newest batches of PSP units. Version 2.0
                   is currently impossible to hack so it is not popular among
                   PSP crackers. Sony have been very persistant in advising
                   users to upgrade to 2.0 firmware. It includes a more
                   powerful web browser, fixes to UMD movie playback and small
                   additions such as extra languages.


You can check the version of an unopened PSP by looking at the side of the box.
Next to the barcode is the operating voltage (either 110V or 220V). Next to
the voltage will either be blank, have "A" or "B". If it is blank or "A", it is
version 1.5, "B" is version 1.51 or 1.51. Anything else is likely to be
version 2.0.

If you already have a PSP you can check the firmware version under the
settings menu.






4.3  Forcing firmware updates
-----------------------------

If you happen to import or already own a version 1.0 PSP unit, most games from
US and newer games from JPN will prompt you to update your firmware. There is
not much you can do to get around this, except try and get an update to version
1.5.

If you own or import a version 1.5 and play a newer JPN game such as Coded Arms
or Frantix, it will force you to update to version 2.0. There IS an
(unsupported) way around this. You will need an older 1.5 game. Play the old
game as usual and once the PSP screen goes white, swap it for the new game.
You might need to try various times to get it right. There have been reports
of this technique damaging the PSP beyond use.





4.4  Language
--------------

PSP units with version 1.0 firmware will only have two installed languages:
English and Japanese. Version 1.5 and above includes a wider range and Version
2.0 has the widest range of languages. If you purchase a JPN 1.5 PSP it will
ask you which language you want to use during set set up. If you set it up
correctly at the begining there are no hardware language issues when importing
a PSP.

* If your imported PSP is set to Japanese initially, it is possible to switch
  it back to english, however I am missing the button presses from the main
  menu. If you have them, please email me.





4.5  New batch JPN systems
--------------------------

The newest JPN PSP units have two significant physical changes:


    + New LCD screens

      New batch JPN models have a different LCD screen to previous models. The
      LCD is cripser and (sometimes) brighter. There have been a few reports
      of these new LCD screens being more prone to dead and stuck pixels upon
      arrival.


    + New SQUARE button

      The square button on newer models has been "fixed". It has been re-fitted
      and will now depress the same as the other play buttons.


These physical changes are most common on the PSP-1000KCW Ceramic White JPN PSP
models. New batches of the PSP-1000 and PSP-1000K may also have these
additions. ALL models with these changes will have version 2.0 firmware.





4.6  Recommendations
--------------------

If you are looking at buying an imported PSP unit, you are probably best to go
with a JPN PSP or value pack. If 'homebrew' software on your PSP is important,
avoid the ceramic white PSP units. Check to see if your importer can get
version 1.5 JPN models.

If homebrew is not important to you, any of the JPN models are fine, and can
be updated to version 2.0 if you require it. The JPN models have the
advantage of clearer screens (new batch) and can play all UMD titles (see
section 6.0).

There are no stand-out advantages to importing units from Europe or the US,
except if you plan to view UMD movies from those regions. The US has a wider
range of UMD titles which may be of advantage to people in other countries.
Although it is going to be much easier to just buy the movie on regular DVD.





===============================================================================

5.0  PSP games - things to know

===============================================================================


Japan has the widest range of PSP games available. Japan also releases games
before other regions which is good for gamers who just can't wait. The only
thing stopping you from importing games from Japan is the game language. Its
best to check if the game is in English before buying. The packaging and manual
will almost certainly be in Japanese.


When buying from other regions there are other elements to consider: in
Australia PSP games are requried by law to be labelled with the game's rating.
The label is very large and intrusive and must be printed on the game sleeve so
it cannot be removed. The labels often cover up parts of the cover-art. If this
is a problem for you, then avoid importing games from Australia. New Zealand
often receives the same branded games as Australia.


Game censorship is another issue: although there have been no reports of PSP
censorship taking place yet, games could be edited in the future and by
importing a game from a particular country you may get a censored title.





===============================================================================

6.0  UMD movies - regioning and title info

===============================================================================


As mentioned above, UMD movies are coded to specific regions, the same way DVD
movies are. There are a few work arounds to this:


     + UK and Japan

       Both areas use region 2 and therefore can play each other's UMD discs.
       The most useful situation will be for UK gamers wanting to play
       Japanese UMD titles.


     + JPN PSPs region free

       JPN PSP units are not physcially region-coded, and can play any UMD
       movie from any region. Version 2.0 units have been confirmed region
       free.


     + Region free UMD titles

       There have been reports of UMD titles in Japan being coded region 0
       (region free). Most of these titles seem to be hentai porn, however.




===============================================================================

7.0  Accessories - is it worth it?

===============================================================================


Currently I see no reason to import PSP accessories unless they are specialised
such as custom face plates. Most high quality accessories (ie. Logitech
products) are sold locally in areas where the PSP is sold. It is unlikely
importing accessories will work out cheaper due to shipping costs.

One situation where importing accessories would be useful is if you plan to
customise them yourself.

More research is needed in this area.





===============================================================================

8.0  Importing Issues

===============================================================================


There are some important things you need to know and prepare yourself for if
you plan to import a PSP, games, or UMD titles.



8.1  Restrictions
-----------------

The big one is legal restrictions: you can run into problems if you import a
game that is illegal in your country. Overseas the act of exporting can also
have restrictions: there have been a few reports of Japanese authorities
intercepting exports of Playstation 2 hardware and software. Although this has
not happened with the PSP, it could happen in the future.





8.2  Duty and Tax
-----------------

Depending on where you live, you may need to pay customs duty or tax on PSP
hardware or software you import.


The UK:        Customs duty must be paid if the import duty is over 7.
               Import VAT must be paid if the value of the goods is 18.
               There is a report on the GameFAQs message board from a UK user
               who was hit with a 45 duty bill for importing a PSP unit.

Australia:     Duty may be paid on items totaling more than AU$1000 if
               shipped via post and $500 if shipped via courier.


  * - Information missing for United States and other regions. If you have this
      info please email it.


It is recommended you don't import a large number of items together in the
same shipment. Couriers may make shipment faster but in some cases customs are
more likely to examine courier packages over regular post packages.





8.3  Shipping problems
----------------------

There's always the chance your shipment will get lost or damaged in transit.
Always make sure your importer has some sort of insurance or warranty for
damaged or DOA (dead on arrival) products. If you order over the internet,
prepare yourself for a lengthy returns process if something does happen to go
wrong. In almost all cases you will be viable for shipping costs of returning
the broken PSP and additional shipping costs for the new unit.





8.4  PSP Warranty
-----------------

IMPORTANT! If you import a PSP unit you will have *NO* warranty on it in your
local country. Your local Sony Computer Entertainment division will not
accept it for warranty repairs or replacement. If something goes wrong you will
need to send it back to the country you bought it from. If this idea scares
you, do not import a PSP.





8.5  Stuck pixels
-----------------

In some cases a PSP (whether it is bought locally or imported) will have stuck
pixels in the LCD screen. A stuck pixels is not actually damaged per-se, but
is stuck on a particular colour. There is a remedy with varying success that
can be downloaded from:

http://www.psp-hacks.com/downloads/pixel.rar

This download will run a flashing video through your PSP screen. You will need
to play this for several hours and can sometimes un-stick jammed pixels. If
it doesn't work you might have a dead pixel.

Remember: You have no warranty on an imported PSP so Sony will not fix this
for you.





8.6  Dead pixels
----------------

A dead pixel is a very small area of the PSP screen that has been damaged.
Although on it's own it may not be a problem, if you have a few of them it
can make gameplay annoying. Dead pixels usually can't be fixed and Sony's
usual method of dealing with it is to simply replace the entire unit. If you
have an imported PSP, Sony won't touch it. It's always wise to check whether
your importer has a warranty on dead pixels. Unfortunately most don't.





8.7  What you will need after importing
---------------------------------------

Once you have received your imported PSP unit, you will need some way of
adapting the power supply cable to your local outlets. This is not necessary
if you are bringing a JPN PSP into the United States.

Since the PSP AC cable has a non-standard plug for connecting to the AC
adapter, it is not easy to replace the whole cable. The easiest option is to
buy a international power plug adapter from a local electronics or travel shop.
As mentioned above converting voltage is not a problem as the PSP adapter will
take both 110V and 220V.

If you have imported a PSP from a region other than Japan and want to play UMD
movies, you will need to import UMD movies for that particuar region.




8.8  What you should never do
-----------------------------

 NEVER  Order through eBay.

        You may save a little money, but the risks are huge. Your seller is
        going to be located overseas which can make thing extremely difficult
        if you receive a faulty PSP or something goes wrong. There are also
        all the regular eBay problems, and when you are dealing with the
        amount of money a PSP costs, it's not worth it. I have heard stories of
        buyers receiving incorrect PSP models, incorrect firmware models and
        unofficial accessories substituting the value pack accessories.


 NEVER  Buy a PSP without knowing the model/version

        Even if you don't care where your PSP comes from, you dont want to open
        your PSP pack up to find the power plug won't fit in the local sockets.
        There is also the chance you want to buy a UMD movie in the future and
        it may not work on your imported PSP.
 

 NEVER  Import from Australia

        Unless you live in New Zealand. Any PSP game available in Australia is
        available in other regions. The reason I have singled Australia out is
        because of the butchering the cover-art of their games go though. If
        you import a game from Australia it will have a very large coloured
        ratings label on it that you cannot remove.





===============================================================================

9.0  Contact / Questions

===============================================================================

Feel free to contact me if you have any additions or questions. The address is:

vibes@sebiv.net

Please label the email with "PSP FAQ" in the subject line.



===============================================================================

10.0  Additions for future versions of guide

===============================================================================

- More research into importation costs

- Research on importing accessories

- Fill gaps in PSP model and customs sections.

- List PSP games not available in all areas



===============================================================================

11.0  Credits

===============================================================================

Playstation North America - http://www.playstation.com
Playstation Australia     - http://www.playstation.com.au
PSP Australia             - http://www.yourpsp.com.au
HackmyPSP                 - http://www.hackmypsp.com
PSP Hacks                 - http://www.psphacks.net
My PSP                    - http://www.mypsp.com.au
PSP Updates               - http://pspupdates.qj.net



===============================================================================

12.0  Copyrights

===============================================================================

"PlayStation", "Playstation Portable", "PSP" and "DUALSHOCK"
are registered trademarks and "PS2" is a trademark of Sony Computer
Entertainment Inc.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is a registered trademark of Sony 
Corporation.

"PlayStation" and the "PS" Family logo are registered trademarks of Sony
Computer Entertainment Inc. Copyright Sony Corporation 1995, 2000. All
rights reserved.


===============================================================================


PSP IMPORT GUIDE COPYRIGHT SEBIV 2004-2005

THIS FAQ IS FOR USE EXCLUSIVELY AT GAMEFAQS.COM AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED ON
ANY OTHER SITE, OR IN ANY OTHER FORM.