Playstation Portable packs its bags

By Craig Zammit

SYDNEY: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) and international travel content business, Lonely Planet, have joined forces to announce the release of a new range of fully interactive Playstation Portable (PSP) city guides, designed to help travellers traverse the global community with confidence.

Launching in Australia on 28 September, the ‘Passport to…’ series (RRP $49.95 each) is available on the PSP’s UMD format and will feature details on bars, clubs, hotels, shops, services and attractions; interactive road and transport maps; specified photo and video feeds; three ‘off-the-beaten track’ audio tours to key areas of each city; pre-planned itineraries from arts tours to culinary experiences and essential language phrases with audio.

“The ‘Passport to…’ guides are the ultimate travel companion, combining the tried and trusted knowledge of Lonely Planet with the latest in stylish portable interactive entertainment through PSP,” said SCEE product manager – ‘Passport To…’ Natasha King.

“With engaging, bespoke, mixed-media content for the travel-bug, our ‘Passport to…’ audience can ensure that their destination entertains them.”

Global B2B product manager – Lonely Planet, Simon Julian, believes that Lonely Planet’s experience in publishing in-depth guides for the smart traveller places it in the best position to release such a product.

 “Lonely Planet leads the market in delivering stylish and reliable destination guides developed with the city traveller in mind. Our partnership with Sony allows us to extend our product range by offering a new type of interactive guidebook, designed to meet the evolving needs of the technology-savvy traveller,” he said.

As part of its new range of products designed for travellers, Sony has also recently released the TalkMan (RRP $79.95) attachment for PSP.

Designed as a translation device, the TalkMan attachment, which resembles a small microphone, plugs into the top of the PSP and interprets phrases said in one language and speaks out the translation in another.

A response can then be selected on the screen to be rebroadcast in the user’s native tongue.

TalkMan comes with software designed to make communicating as simple as possible and is available now.

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