It’s possible to output a standard PlayStation 2 (PS2) with High Definition graphics in either 1080i or 1080p, with NO MODS to the inside of the console. Here is an overview with gameplay footage.
Soft Mod Video Tutorial for Beginners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO5DmaXKZ0c
VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION (ENGLISH)
– [Metal Jesus] Hey, guys, Metal Jesus here, and today I’m back again with a pretty cool video. This is a modded PlayStation 2 to output HD. However, what’s unique about this is that it doesn’t require any modification to the inside of the console itself. It’s completely software-driven, and it’s pretty neat. So I was contacted by this guy named Chris who said he and his buddy, Brian, had been working for quite a while to find the perfect mix of the software that’s out there on the Internet to bring it together, to figure out what versions are perfect to try to get the maximum amount of resolution and performance out of the PlayStation 2. Now, right off the bat, I do wanna mention that this is using the PlayStation 2 fat model, the original, because it also includes a hard drive in there, and obviously the slim model doesn’t support that. So to get this running, you basically plug in a custom formatted MagicGate memory card. And you see one here labeled Metal Jesus Special. You also plug in a USB thumb drive into slot one, and then also this one has a hard drive. One thing to know about the hard drives is that, originally, when the PlayStation 2 launched, it supported IDE hard drives, so that’s a older style connector of hard drives. However, for this one, he is using a third-party solution here that supports SATA. And this particular drive is 500 gigabytes.
Let’s go ahead and turn it on and check it out. So what Chris did is he basically did a bunch of research to figure out just the right version of an application called FreeMcBoot, and then he paired that with the right version of OpenLoader. And essentially what that allowed this to do is kinda push a standard PlayStation 2 console to be able to output most games at 1080i or 1080p, or true HD. He kinda described to me as though he’s sort of replacing the standard graphics driver with something that is way more optimized and way more powerful. Let’s very quickly walk through the menu here. So on this device you have installed uLaunchELF. So this allows access to the USB thumb drive as well as the 500 gigabyte hard drive and also the memory card. There you have listed ESR. So that is part of the FreeMcBoot package, and that basically allows you to play backups. So what that is doing is that’s actually tricking the PlayStation 2 into thinking that you’re putting in a DVD movie, when actually you’re really just booting up a game. Simple Media System I believe is part of a package that allows this PlayStation 2 to play DivX movies and some other video formats that you would download over the Internet. Not something I probably will use, but it’s cool to have it there.
Now, like I mentioned, this particular PlayStation 2 came to me pre-setup by Chris, so I actually don’t know all the ins and out of the applications and how to configure that stuff. So I’m not gonna go really deep into all of that stuff. Just know that there are a bunch of tutorials out there on the Internet, both on YouTube, and also the web, and I’ll link to those down in the video description below if you wanna make one of these yourself, but we’ll continue on. Notice that he integrated in CodeBreaker cheat program. That’s pretty cool. You basically launch that, and then there are hundreds if not thousands of PlayStation 2 games that you can tweak, enable cheats, and then launch right from there, and just go into the game, and, again, it’s very seamless. Also included on here are a bunch of emulators, so you have the original NES, Super NES, Genesis, Master System, GameGear. Probably not gonna use that too much, but it’s cool to have. The GSM is the graphics synthesizer mode selector, and it’s my understanding that’s kinda the nuts and bolts of this device. It’s what is allowing you to tweak the video performance and essentially get the most out of this.
Alright, so let’s go ahead and check out some games. So this is Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2. And this is outputting from the PlayStation 2 at 1080p. Now, this game never officially supported this resolution, but, again, with this modded PlayStation 2, it’s now outputting at that HD resolution and it connects and looks great to your modern HD television. Here here is Return to Castle Wolfenstein. This is also outputting at 1080p. I should probably mention at this point that the way I’m capturing this footage is that I’m using the component cables that HD Retrovision sells. And that is connected to my original Elgato Game Capture. Also, the output is stretched to widescreen 16 x 9 to fill the entire screen. I’m not a big fan of that look, and thankfully, most HD televisions have the ability to adjust the aspect ratio. And I’m compensating for that in Final Cut, so just be aware. Here is R-Type Final. Now, this is interesting because this is a game that actually runs a little bit better, a little bit more stable, in 1080i. And so that’s what you see right here. And so what Chris and Brian did is that they went through a bunch of PlayStation 2 games to see which ones would run better in what resolution. And that’s what you see right here in this manual that they sent. It was at this point I was kinda curious how it would compare to my favorite way of upscaling PlayStation 2 games to HD and that is using my original PlayStation 3.
So the first game we’re gonna compare is Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Alright, so here is a side-by-side. So, on the left you have the modded PlayStation 2 outputting to 1080p over component, and then on the right is my trusty PlayStation 3 running the same game, but that is going through its upscaler and it’s going through HDMI. The results are pretty interesting, don’t you think? I mean, in some regards, I actually like the PlayStation 2 modded better because I think the colors are brighter. They’re more vibrant. But you definitely are seeing the jaggies. It’s not quite as smooth of a picture where to the right, on the PlayStation 3, yeah, the colors and maybe the contrast is definitely a little bit less, but it’s perhaps maybe a more softer and pleasing video quality. I should also mention I’m not using the smoothing option on the PlayStation 3, although we are gonna try that in a bit.
Here is Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, one of the best Star Wars games ever made. Once again, we have the modded PlayStation 2 on the left. That’s via component cables. And then on the right, we have the PlayStation 3. The differences between the two are just striking. I mean, wow, I had no idea until I actually put these up side-by-side. Now, obviously, the modded PlayStation 2 on the left, that’s a little on the dark side. Well, no pun intended. But I actually really like the sharpness of the graphics. I think it actually looks really good. I think in this case, because this game is so dark, I probably prefer the PlayStation 3, but as you can see, I mean, the modded PS2 holds its own.
Alright, now let’s try something a little bit different. Here is Freedom Fighters. This is a game I’ve been wanting to go back and play for a while now. And like before, on the left-hand side, you have the modded PlayStation 2. It’s important to know that, for this particular game, the best resolution was 1080i. And then, of course, on the right you have the PlayStation 3. As you can see, both versions of this look pretty close. Pretty identical. But I wanted to show you what it would look like with the PlayStation 3 and smoothing turned on. With a scene like this, if you look at his sleeves, you can definitely see on the right-hand side that the PlayStation 3 is doing a little bit of smoothing. But again, it’s not radically better. I also wanna mention that I did get a lock up, a hard lock up in this game after about 10 minutes or so. Now, you can always go back to the main menu and adjust the graphics settings. You can actually force it into, say, 720p or something like that; see if you get better results.
Now let’s go ahead and check out some original PlayStation 1 games running on the modded PS2. So this, of course, is Wipeout XL, and it is outputting at 480p. Looking and running great. However, Soul Blade is not doing so hot here. As you can see, my character is having some problems with the polygons. While the game is perfectly playable and kind of hilarious this way, but yeah, you wouldn’t wanna play it this way for very long. Not sure what the problem is here, or maybe if there is a fix through the settings, but yeah, it’s kind of funny.
SO what do I think about this thing? Well, man, I think from a technical standpoint, I think it’s actually kind of amazing how it is taking a standard PlayStation 2 and basically just with better software forcing higher resolutions and pulling it off. I mean, these games actually look pretty good. As a hobbyist project, I think it’s actually pretty impressive. And the good news is, there are literally tens of millions of these PlayStation 2 fats out there. I mean, it doesn’t require any modification to the inside of the PlayStation 2, so if this one, you know, a couple months from now dies on me, well, I’ll just swap it over to another one. They’re not that expensive. The compatibility can be an issue. Like I mentioned previously, I did experience some lock-ups in some games, but there are a ton of options to play around with. And for this particular model, he tested about 160, 200+ games and most of ’em work just fine. Obviously, I didn’t include instructions on how to actually set this up, but I’ll include links to tutorials down in the video description below. And then, again, a huge shout-out to Chris and Brian for sending me this. It’s such a cool device. It’s such a cool project. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. I’m probably gonna use it going forward when I need to capture footage and test things. It’ll be pretty awesome. Alright, guys, thank you very much for watching. Thank you for subscribing and take care.
Update and solution to my leaking Game Room in the basement.
Here’s a look back with behind the scenes commentary on my 10 most popular YouTube videos.
A behind the scenes tour of RE-PC in Tukwila, Wa (south Seattle) which specializes in recycled computers & peripherals…but also secretly has a warehouse of extremely rare & uncommon gems!
** DISCLAIMER : This was NOT a sponsored video. I just think this store is cool and if you come to the Seattle area, check out their two locations **
I can’t justify paying $100 for these mediocre PS1 games. I also share what games SHOULD have been included!
Special thanks to World of LongPlays: http://www.longplays.org
Background music by Metal Jesus Rocks and Ethan Meixsell
– – Hey, guys, Metal Jesus here. Now, I’m sure you were just as excited as I was when Sony first announced that they were going to be releasing a PlayStation Classic. This is going to be Sony’s first foray into this mini, micro, classic market, and I was pretty pumped. I mean, this was going to be the very first 3D-based classic system, and honestly, there are a ton of great games that came out on the PlayStation 1, so like most of you, I was pretty excited to preorder this thing, which I did even though, when they first announced it, there was really only, I believe, two games that they were releasing at that time. Okay, nothing too spectacular, but again, I had faith. There are so many great games for the PlayStation 1. Then, it was, like, a month ago, or maybe it was a couple weeks ago, they announced the full 20-game lineup that is going to be included on it, and I think, like most of you, I wasunderwhelmed. Some great games were on that, but also some games that made you question, what were they thinking? Because here’s the deal, and you guys know this, is that when Nintendo released the NES Classic and the Super Nintendo Classic, well, they packed those with amazing games. You could argue that they were some of the best games on those systems, so those classics are a great representation of that system. It’s like a snapshot in time. Then Sony releases their 20 games that they’re going to put on it, and I think most of you would agree that that is not the 20 best games that define the PlayStation 1, but again, I kept my preorder. I kept the faith. I was like, “No, no, no, no, no,” I was still hyped out. I was still hyped up. I was like, “No, no, no, this is gonna be awesome. “I think it’s gonna be cool.” Then, in the last couple days, a lot of big media outlets and websites have got hands-on time with it in previews, and I watched pretty much all of those videos. I gotta say, my enthusiasm has pretty much waned almost completely to the point where, basically, I have canceled my preorder because I’m just not feeling it. The truth is that this device, while it has a handful of games that I think I’d actually play, but there are a bunch that I just know I won’t, and actually, I think it was the GameSpot video where they were going through the list, they played most of them, and they got to Cool Boarders 2, and they’re like, “How many of you “are ever going to play this game?” When he said that, I was like, “Yeah, I’m never gonna play that game.” I mean, I like snowboarding games, and I’m never gonna play that one ’cause it just doesn’t hold up that well. I don’t know, that’s just one example, but I started looking into the list, and like, yeah, how many of these games actually am I going to play? I think it’s just with a heavy heart, I just have to admit that this is not Sony’s best offering in a PlayStation Classic. It kinda breaks my heart.
Right off the bat, where is Crash Bandicoot? I mean, right off the bat, I was like, “This is a huge omission.” I mean, the Crash games defined the PlayStation 1. It was the unofficial mascot, so it’s weird that they didn’t include this. Now, I have a theory as to why they didn’t, but they should’ve had Crash Bandicoot 1, 2, and 3, maybe not all three of them, but then put on either the second or the third ones because those games are great. Now, you can argue that they did this because, well, you know, the remastered trilogy is out, and people are pumped for that. I don’t buy that argument at all. We’re gonna get into that with other titles that I recommend too because, again, yes, they were remastered, but the whole point of this console is to be able to go back in time and reexperience these games as they were. I know that’s debatable, but I’m just saying, it would’ve been really cool to include the Crash games.
Now, they included Final Fantasy VII, which is great, but wouldn’t it be amazing if they also would’ve included Final Fantasy VIII and IX? That would’ve been super cool. A lot of people haven’t played these in a long time, and I think that just would’ve been amazing.
Then you need some racing games, which, of course, they have Ridge Racer and also Destruction Derby to a certain degree there, but where the hell is Wipeout? I mean, come on. Wipeout was one of the bestselling games on the PlayStation 1. A lot of people played it for the first time there. Obviously, I did as well. This should’ve been there. Also, too, I don’t understand, Gran Turismo 1 or 2. By the way, I would probably choose the second one. I think it’s just that much better. Sony could’ve licensed that. I don’t know why they didn’t. There’s so much content here as well. Again, the value would’ve been killer.
What were they thinking? Seriously, no Tomb Raider. Now, I have the second and third one here, but most people played the original Tomb Raider on the PlayStation console. Not 100% sure why they didn’t do this. I mean, maybe they had problems licensing it. I don’t know, it’s so bizarre, but a lot of these games are licensed and available in the PlayStation store where you can download them on your PlayStation 3, or your PlayStation 4, or your Vita. Again, I’m not 100% sure. They should have included a Tomb Raider, 1, 2, or 3, whichever one.
Now, let’s talk about Resident Evil. Obviously, I think Resident Evil is a really good choice for this. I mean, a lot of people played it originally on the PlayStation 1. That makes total sense. However, I think it’s a bit of a missed opportunity. Wouldn’t it be really cool to have people be able to play this on your brand new PlayStation Classic, see the original, get a feel for that nostalgia, and then also, very soon after, get the remake? I mean, that, to me, just seems like perfect marketing. I think that would’ve been very cool. Again, I’m not poopooing the fact that they put the original on there, that’s great. I’m just saying, I think it would’ve made more sense to put the second game on there. I think that would’ve been awesome.
Okay, those are some of the more obvious titles that really should’ve been included on that, but these are the pipe dream games. These are the ones that I think, if Sony would’ve included on it, would’ve probably peaked more people’s interest. Let’s go ahead and start with Silent Hill. I think this would’ve been a really cool addition because I don’t think many people remember playing this game, and again, it’s an awesome survival horror game on the PlayStation 1. It should’ve been there.
Obviously, they wanted to include a first-person game on there. I guess that’s probably why they put Rainbow Six, but Rainbow Six, it’s not gonna be very fun for a lot of people because, again, you don’t have those dual analog sticks on there, so it’s gonna be very hard to control. Instead, they should’ve put Disruptor. Disruptor is, I guess it’s like a Doom clone. It’s kind of like a Duke Nukem clone, but honestly, this game still plays really well on the PlayStation 1. It’s not a system seller, I get it. It’s definitely a hidden gem, but this would’ve impressed a lot of people.
Two more games that I think would’ve been really cool to include on this are the Fear Effect games, Fear Effect 1 and Fear Effect 2. These are such unique games. I believe they only came out on the PlayStation 1. It would’ve been something that I think people would’ve gone back and played, and rediscovered on this thing, and go, “Yeah, those are cool games.” That could potentially be a system seller.
Let’s talk RPGs because they obviously included Wild Arms, and they also included Persona. Those actually are pretty decent selections there. I think that people will be very happy with those. However, I would’ve replaced those with something different. I would’ve replaced them with The Legend of Dragoon because this is, it’s hard to say it’s a hidden gem because I do feel like people are rediscovering it, but it was exclusive to the PlayStation 1. I believe it was actually released by Sony to compete with Final Fantasy. It’s a really well-made high quality RPG. Not many people have played it. I think people would’ve been very excited to see it on the system, and potentially would’ve rediscovered it or discovered it, perhaps, for the first time. The other one, by SquareSoft, is Vagrant Story, another game which I think is probably considered maybe a hidden gem. It certainly doesn’t come up very often when people are talking about JRPGs back in the day, but it’s an amazing game. I think that they probably could’ve licensed it from SquareSoft. I think that it’s a game that deserves to be discovered. Had they included it on here, perhaps it would’ve found a new audience.
Speaking of SquareSoft, a game that I think should be in every PlayStation 1 collection is Einhander. This is an amazing 3D shooter, and again, it came out exclusive on the PlayStation 1. It’s getting really expensive to buy a physical copy these days, and it’s just fantastic. Again, I think that this would be a game, instead of, say, Mr. Driller, or something like that, or Intelligent Cube, which, again, don’t get me wrong, those games are fun, I’ve played them both, but if you were to ask me, this is the game that would get people really excited if it was included on there because this is going for $50, $60, $100 sometimes. If it was included on this, I think that would be very cool ’cause more people could potentially play it. Yes, I’ve canceled my preorder. It’s with a heavy heart that I do so, but honestly, for $100 for only 20 games, I just feel like Sony kinda phoned this in, I really do. I feel like they’re just doing the bare minimum. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I actually think that the console, from what I’ve seen in the videos, actually looks very cool, but it’s just not a good value. Honestly, I’m probably not gonna play most of those games.
You know, again, I think part of the issue here is that Nintendo has set the precedence for potentially a little bit less money, you get more games and better games on their classic editions. I think Sony phoned it in. I hate to break it to you. I hate to say it, but my only thing is, is that, perhaps, it’ll be hacked. I’m gonna watch the forums and the news very closely when it comes out and see if it’s hacked because I think, if it’s hacked, and you can build up your own personal collection, actually make a real top 20 games for the PlayStation 1, I think that would be awesome. I actually do take these classic consoles with me when I travel. It’s really nice to go into a hotel room, plop down these little classic consoles, and you just have all these games instant on a TV no matter where you go. That’s why I like them, that’s why I use them. I don’t know, guys. Am I crazy? Well, I’ve already canceled my preorder, so it’s too late now, but am I crazy? Let me know down in the comments below. Tell me if you are a little bit disappointed as well, or you know, maybe you’re happy with the game selection. Maybe you’re looking forward to it. I’d love to know. All right, guys, thank you very much for watching. Thank you for subscribing. Take care.