Okay, I'll admit upfront that this has a somewhat tenuous link to the World Cup, but with people from 32 nations following their team to Germany, communicating could be a bit of problem. Just the kind of situation where Sony hopes PSP owners will take advantage of TalkMan. Originally released in Japan last year, it's not really a game as such; more a piece of portable translation software that's now been updated to include European languages instead of Korean and generic Chinese. You're led through the learning process by cartoon bird Max, and as TalkMan also ships with a plug-in microphone, you can literally say some English phrases and get the translation in return. All those conversational basics that you find at the back of guidebooks are included, with the bonus of obviously hearing how they should sound, thanks to the animated bird.
Sony's been keen to expand the PSP's functionality from the off, and TalkMan stays true to that ethos. How it works in a noisy stadium of 50,000 fans when you're trying to find the Italian for "You're striker was offside" we're yet to discover.
TalkMan, with English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese is pencilled in for release in Europe today, 9 June 2006.