------------------------------------------------------------------------------- _ _ _ _ _ __ ___ _ __ (_)_ __ ___ _ __ ___ _ __| |_ __ _ _ _(_) __| | ___ | '_ \/ __| '_ \ | | '_ ` _ \| '_ \ / _ \| '__| __| / _` | | | | |/ _` |/ _ \ | |_) \__ \ |_) | | | | | | | | |_) | (_) | | | |_ | (_| | |_| | | (_| | __/ | .__/|___/ .__/ |_|_| |_| |_| .__/ \___/|_| \__| \__, |\__,_|_|\__,_|\___| |_| |_| |_| |___/ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- By sebiv: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.