If you’ve read part one of our exclusive guide on how to broaden your PSP’s digital horizons then you’ll already be packing a fully-fledged Japanese PlayStation Network account. For the next part of our trick, we’re going to show you how to actually buy something on the store.
One aspect of the PSN Store that may well have already caught your eye is the ability to download classic PSOne titles from yesteryear and play them on your ultra-modern PSP console. The trouble is, when it comes to these retro legends, the UK PlayStation Network Store is about as exciting as a wet weekend in Lyme Regis.
As has been the way since time began, we European gamers get the short straw when it comes to downloadable content. While our American and Japanese cousins have a wide selection of PSOne Classics to choose from, we’re given a distinctly underwhelming selection.
But not any more. Because we have a Japanese PSN account, remember? Let’s hit the aisles!
Before you can make any purchases you’ll naturally need some funds. Because you can’t use your credit or debit card on the Japanese PSN store, you’ll need to buy a Japanese PSN Network Points Card.
These come in three flavours: 1,000 points, 3,000 points and 5,000 points. A point is basically worth a single Yen (or ¥), so 3,000 points will get you five PSOne Classic titles, as they retail for ¥600 each.
Points cards are readily available on certain well-known online auction sites, but our preferred vendor is Gateway To Japan. The seller accepts payment via Paypal and emails your code to you within 24 hours. Simple and painless.
Once you’ve got your code, you’ll need to register it in order to unlock those lovely, lovely points. You can do this via your PS3 or directly from your PSP, but we’ve done it using a good old-fashioned PC, using Sony’s MediaGo software.
Once you’re in the PSN Store, click the link in the top right-hand corner of the screen - the one with the number 12 in it (because your code will consist of 12 numbers, see?)
You’ll be presented with three boxes, which will accept four digits each. Insert your code and redeem your points.
Now that you’re flush with virtual cash, it’s time to do some virtual shopping. If you’ve any sense then you’ll proceed directly to the PSOne Classics section of the Store.
Cripes! Look at all these lovely classic titles, all waiting to be purchased. Most of these won’t ever see the light of day here in Europe, either.
Pick a title, any title. We’ve plumped for the near-legendary R-Type Delta.
Click the button on the right to make the purchase, and then you’ll be asked to confirm your action. Once you’ve purchased the game, it is added to you paid-for items basket. On this screen you can also see how much space the game will take up when it’s transferred to your console.
You then have to tell MediaGo that you wish to download the game from the store, as it’s not an automatic process. Click the link next to the game and the download will start. You can only download one item at a time.
MediaGo will automatically transfer the game over to your PSP’s Memory Stick (or internal memory if you have a PSPgo). You can now enjoy this classic title on the move, and as a bonus you can also play it on your PS3, should you own one.
Of course, we’ve actually taken the long way around here, because it’s possible to purchase games directly from the PSN Store using your PSP.
However, MediaGo is really handy because it allows you to pick and choose which games, music and photos you have on your machine, so if you’re finding that space is tight, it makes organising things a little easier.
There’s one final note regarding the use of the Japanese PSN Store on a PSP. You can only link a PSP to one region of store, so if you wish to switch back to the Euro version, you’ll need to delete the Store profile that is on the console itself. To do this you need to press triangle on the "Account Management” option and select “Delete Account”.
Don’t worry, though - although it sounds a little ominous, all you’re effectively doing by deleting the sign-in data is “logging out”: your games remain on your Memory Stick and you can sign back into the Japanese store at a later date.