Ars Technica – For today’s episode of War Stories, Ars Technica sat down with Naughty Dog Co-founder Andy Gavin to talk about the hurdles in bringing the original Crash Bandicoot to gamers around the world. When Andy and his partner Jason Rubin made the decision to bring the action platforming genre into three dimensions, it required living up to their company ethos of “leaving no stone unturned” in the search for memory – even if it meant hacking Sony’s library code.
Sometimes videogames kill your character off for real. It’s shocking and horrible and, quite frankly, we never get over it. Here are 7 examples that still mess us up to this day. Can you think of any others?
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: https://ps-io.com
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.
This could – and should – have been a lot better. DF Retro Hardware returns with a deep dive analysis into the PlayStation Classic, its games and the quality of its emulation stacked up against every way that matters when it comes to revisiting one of gaming history’s most important consoles.
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.
We went hands on with the PlayStation Classic, a mini version of the 14 year old system that comes with 20 games. And while it does its job of delivering old games to your modern TV, the lack of any other features is disappointing.