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Royal Navy sailors given PSPs as study aids

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The Senior Service has begun issuing PlayStation Portables to its sailors in an attempt to make them... er... study.

Under the PSP-per-sailor scheme – conceived at HMS Collingwood, a maritime warfare school in Hampshire - the handheld console will used by Navy personnel for reading coursework on while away at sea.

As part of a trial into the scheme’s effectiveness, an unspecified number of marine warfare engineering technicians have already received PSPs - according to a report by The Times. Each handheld console is preloaded with study packages designed to be read for up to 12 minutes at a time.

Sailors will be free to kick back with a videogame once they tire of studying, though, because the report added that naval chiefs decided against disabling the PSP's disc drive.

If the trial is successful then greater numbers of sailors in other areas of the Navy may receive the Sony console.

How much the Navy is spending on the handhelds isn't known. Perhaps, should the scheme be extended, it will follow in the British Army’s footsteps by advising soldiers to ask their families for e-book viewers instead of iPods at Christmas. ®

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