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    PSP Importing FAQ by sebiv

    Version: 0.5 | Updated: 09/27/05 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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

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