PlayStation PSIO – SD Flash Drive for your PS1

PSIO is a Flash Cartridge that plugs into your PlayStation’s Parallel I/O Port. It allows you to instantly see your games running from an SD Card on real hardware making it the only way to genuinely play backups on your console. More Info:

English Video Transcription:
– [Metal Jesus] Hey guys, Metal Jesus here. I’m back again with a review of a cool device that was recently sent to me for the PlayStation 1. The name of this device is called PSIO by Cybdyn Systems in Australia. Now the way to think of this is like an EverDrive SD card for your PlayStation 1. Now if you’re not familiar with EverDrives, those are SD flash cartridges that plug into retro gaming consoles like, oh, the original NES, a Super NES, Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, even the Game Boy. And what they do is allow you to put your backup ROMS on an SD card and then play it on original hardware. So let’s go ahead and unbox this thing, and let’s get into what it comes with, and also talk about the installation because that’s where it’s gonna make or break some people. In the box it comes with a quick start guide as well as, you’ll notice here, a little printed circuit board, that is the switcher that needs to be added to the motherboard. And like I said, we’re gonna get into that a little bit more here in a second. Here are some wires that you’re gonna need, as well as a sticker that you can put on the back of your console if you want, and then the unit itself.

Now the PSIO plugs into your PlayStation’s parallel port. What’s interesting about that is that the PlayStation parallel port can actually transmit way more data quickly than that original CD ROM drive. So you immediately benefit from faster load times just using this, but I do want to mention that not every original PlayStation console had a parallel port; after a while, Sony did phase them out. So, I actually think that they’re fairly easy to find, but you just need to be aware you’re gonna have to have a model that has that port in the back. But let’s go ahead and stop right there for a second because why would you want this. Well, there’s several reasons for me, the biggest one being that you can just play a ton of games off of an SD card. So, this device supports anywhere from eight gigabytes up to about 512 gigabyte SD cards. Now, in this video here I bought a 64 gig card which holds about 100 games. Another interesting thing about this device is that it’s not actually emulating the PlayStation software. The PSIO is actually an emulator of the CD ROM coprocessor, meaning that all your original video hookups work exactly as you would expect, and for me that means that I can still benefit from having an SD card but still play those awesome light gun games. Another benefit of this is that it runs all regions. I’m not a hundred percent sure how it does this, but it does mean that North American PlayStation 1, like I have right here, will actually run Japanese and PAL games and vice versa. So, if you have a PAL PlayStation 1, well, you could run NTSC games. Another issue for me, really, is just playing backups of games I already own. For instance, I have Final Fantasy 8 and it’s starting to skip; it really sucks. So, playing a backup like this, it’s pretty nice.

Well, let’s go ahead and talk about the modification of the PlayStation motherboard ’cause that’s gonna be the part that’s gonna be tricky for a lot of people, myself included, actually. I haven’t soldered since high school. I don’t have a workbench for it. So, I actually reached out to Chris who you may remember from the RE-PC video I did a couple weeks ago. And he offered to solder and make these changes to my particular PlayStation 1, so, thank you so much Chris. What you need to do is install that tiny switchboard that came in the box. Now what that does is detects if the PSIO is plugged in or not; this allows you to use an SD card, or run your original CD ROMS if you want. So, yes, the CD ROM drive will continue to work, which is great. It’s also important to know that there are several different revisions of the original PlayStation console, meaning that they have instructions on their site to help you out depending on what particular model you own. Now I know that not every gamer is gonna have the knowledge or ability to modify their console, so that makes this particular product a little bit more for the intermediate or advanced user. However, Cybdyn is aware of this and so they’re actually considering offering a all-in-one solution to customers in the future if this unit sells enough, or you just do what I do and get a friend like Chris to help you out. Alright, let’s go ahead and plug it in and turn it on and check it out in action. Now if it’s detected correctly, the first thing you’ll notice on the PlayStation screen is the PSIO words down there. Here’s the main menu and pretty basic stuff, easy to read. It’ll auto-detect whatever games you have already put on the SD card. There are a bunch of options you can tweak if you want to. The two that I want to highlight here is video mode. You can instantly switch between NTSC and PAL, and then if you want, you can enable Fastboot which allows you to skip past the PlayStation logos. It just speeds things up a little bit. But as you guys know, it is all about the game.

So let’s go ahead and check out some games running on the PSIO. I always want to let you know that for this video I’m using the Pound Technology HD Link cables. They look great over HDMI and work well for game capture like this. I also tried to pick a mix of maybe lesser known games, dare I say hidden gems that not everyone has heard about. PSL shows some of the more obvious titles here, but like for instance Ray Tracers here. I mean, Ray Tracers is such a cool arcade racing/car combat game and it was just another excuse to play it, such a fun game and it looks and runs great here, and again, almost no load times. Any chance I get to play a Klonoa game, I will jump at, I love these games. I know I’ve talked about them in the past, but they’re just such cool 2.5D platforming games that are unlike anything else that you play, and like I mentioned, I love this. I actually played it for a long time, capturing the footage here.

Here’s a PlayStation 1 game I only recently discovered called NanoTek Warrior, such a weird name for such an awesome game. As you can see here, it’s unlike anything I’ve played on the PlayStation 1. You’re this ship flying down this tube, you move back and forth, you can jump, you can shoot. It’s a crazy, fun game, and again, not a lot of people talk about it. Here’s another kind of curiosity that I recently discovered. It’s called, it’s kind of a weird name, it’s called Philosoma, Philosoma, I mean, who named that, that’s so bizarre. There’s got to be some sort of history behind that, but as you can see here, it is a vertical shooter, not the best one, but it is kind of a hidden gem; I mean, it’s not that bad. Speed Punks is another game that I definitely notice faster loading on. This is a cool cart racing game. Don’t know really much about it but it’s really fun, really solid, definitely check it out.

Oh yeah, here’s a really cool game called Skullmonkeys and as you can see, it has a very distinctive visual style here. That’s because it’s all Claymation, made by the people who made Neverhood, really rare and unusual game and super fun. Here’s a game that not a lot of people talk about called Silent Bomber. This is a total surprise here because it’s a really high quality third person shooting game, but it’s all about laying bombs. It’s actually really cool, got great graphics, too. Now let’s go ahead and check out some Japanese imports. This is Gunners Heaven. This is a game that Reggie turned me on to a while ago and as you can see here, this is an awesome metal slug, run and gun style game that has lots of explosions. It’s so cool. And a couple more things about this device. So, obviously you’re probably curious if it supports multi-disc titles and yes it does, which is very handy if you’re gonna be playing any of those RPG games and it’s compatible with almost the entire PlayStation 1 library. They claim it’s 99.8% and that means there’s about five or 10 titles that won’t work with it, although, I do have to say they are constantly working on upgrading the firmware. So, usually if you run into something and you let them know, it seems like they try to work on it.

And speaking of the firmware, while I was doing this review, I ran into a small issue that was specific to my particular console, but I reached out to the support department. They built a new version of that firmware, gave me the files and then all I had to do was dump them onto that SD card. So, the nice thing is, if you do need to upgrade your firmware or the menu or anything like that, you do it on the SD card. You don’t have to do this connected to a computer, which is really nice. The other question I had is does it work with CD audio and yes it does, so, that’s very cool. If a game happens to use CD audio in the background, plays flawlessly.

So, do I recommend it, how much does it cost, and where can you get it, well, the question is do I recommend it. I think it depends on who you are as a gamer, as a collector. If you like the idea of these EverDrive style SD cards, then yes, this is a no-brainer here. It works great with the PlayStation 1. It does exactly what you would expect, and probably a little bit more since you can play other regions which is really cool, but having to modify the inside of your console is not going to be for everybody. So, if you don’t have a buddy like Chris that can help you with this, you might want to hold off to see if they release a version that you can just buy all-in-one. Now I mentioned that the developer of this is down in Australia, so, it sell for $150 Australian, which works out to be about $110 US, which is right around the range of other devices like this, but if you would like to know more, or check it out yourself, well, I’ll put a link to their website on the screen here and also down in the video description below and I have to say, now that I have this for the PlayStation 1, I’d kinda like to get it for all my other CD-based consoles. I mean come on, the Dreamcast, that would be awesome, the SEGA Saturn, that would be killer. So, let’s see if that comes in the future. I’m sure it will. Alright guys, I’d love to know what you think down in the comments below. As always, I want to thank you for watching my channel. Thank you for subscribing and take care.