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Phone calls from your Sony PSP? Yes, and navigation too

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If you’ve got a Sony PSP Slim & Lite and have been waiting for a system software update so that you could make Skype calls, now is the time. All you need to do is to upgrade your handheld’s system software. And a GPS navigation pack is also on its way …

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe today announced the immediate availability of the latest system software update for PlayStation Portable (PSP). Version 3.90 will enable all owners of the new PSP Slim & Lite to make and receive phone calls, adding a whole new raft of functionality, and highlighting the portability of PSP.

Skype is a little piece of software that allows users to make free calls over the internet to more than 276 million other Skype users anywhere in the world, while also having the ability to make cheap SkypeOut calls to landlines and mobile phones. With the addition of these features, alongside the ability to send and receive Skype Voicemail, PSP can now claim to be a cost-effective and accessible portable communications device, in addition to its entertainment credentials.

To use Skype on PSP, users simply need to upgrade to system software 3.90, register and talk, using a headset and remote control or Go! Cam. Users will also require a suitable WiFi internet connection.

Also added through system software update is the Go! Messenger icon, highlighting the commitment shown towards communications on PSP. Although Go! Messenger will not be available until early March, the presence of the icon not only emphasises its impending arrival but also allows users to obtain more information about the feature from a dedicated website, accessed via clicking on the icon. More information about the release of Go! Messenger will be announced soon. Go! Messenger functionality will be available with all models of PSP, including Slim & Lite.

And then, from the middle of 2008, PSP owners need never get lost again ‚ thanks to a new addition to the Go! range called Go!Explore, which puts 3D city mapping in users’ hands by turning PSP into a personal GPS navigation system. Just enter your destination and Go!Explore will do the rest.

The Go!Explore setup consists of an attachable GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver and a disc containing the user’s chosen maps. At the touch of a button, users will be able to find their position on a map and work out the direction they need to take. Go!Explore works both on foot and in the car and ‚ as most of the hardware is in the PSP attachment ‚ it offers a top-notch GPS navigation system at a fraction of the cost of other systems on the market.

On foot, you’ll be able to plot your way through cities in 3D, thanks to the fully modelled city maps contained on the discs. Simply load the disc, select your destination, and watch as the city’s landmarks and points of interest appear on-screen in 3D. You can download new maps and upgrades from the Playstation Network (PSN) wherever you’re travelling.

When you’re in the car, you’ll benefit from different display modes for day and night, meaning that you always get the clearest view of where you’re going. And don’t worry about your battery life or where to put your PSP while driving ‚ Car Adaptor and Car Mount accessories are on the way too ‚ bundled together in one package.

Go!Explore uses the technology of two other market leaders: map data industry leader TeleAtlas and navigation software legends NavNGo.

‚Go!Explore is a stunning addition to the Go! range,‚ said Stephane Hareau, PSP Senior Brand Manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. ‚Who would have previously thought that PSP owners would be able to use PSP to navigate their way around an unfamiliar city?‚

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