Tuesday, June 30, 2015

To be honest, I'm surprised this hasn't happened more often.

Back in January 2011 I walked into a cold, musty Salvation Army and stumbled upon a box in the tiny little electronic's section that had a Nintendo 64 with Mario Kart 64 in it, a PSone and few other miscellaneous items inside. Nothing had a price tag so I sheepishly asked an employee if she could tell me what they wanted for the whole box. She simply said "On second", turned around and shouted for the manager.

The manager asked me if I wanted everything and I acted as if I didn't, but inside I really did! He threw a price at me of $10. With everything that was inside I couldn't pass up $10, so I didn't. Needless to say, I went home that night feeling quite satisfied with the purchase. A fresh N64, Mario Kart 64, a few other good N64 games as well as the nice little PSone with a copy of Test Drive Off-Road 3 inside.
How it looked for my Sam's Scores article 4 years ago.
The joy was quickly quelled when I tried to use the console a few days later. I popped in South Park, as it was my newest PS game, and it failed to read it. Well, the joy wasn't completely gone immediately as I've had quite a few run-ins with lasers that didn't want to read discs anymore. Most of the time I've managed to get them reading and they usually last a little while longer, sadly this wasn't the case.

After quite a few failed adjustments I just gave up and tossed the presumed broken laser. Perhaps someday I could buy a replacement online and finally have a working PSone. Besides, at this point I already had an original PS console, as well as the slim PS2, I didn't need a working PSone to play games, more just a display piece, to say I had one. 

To this date I've acquired four PSone consoles in total. One without a lid, which means the laser from that one went into the one that is the subject of this entry. By now you may be asking yourself why I'm making a blog entry specifically for one of my four PSone consoles? Well, that's because this one in particular is quite special. How special? Keep reading!

While I was tinkering with the laser, I happened to notice that this console had some weird wires coming from the motherboard. Now, this isn't so weird as sometimes I've seen consoles with resistors soldered into places and jumper wires soldered in from A to B, etc. This being my first PSone, I didn't really pay much attention to it, I just replaced the laser and let everything go.

By the way, replacing the laser made the thing boot right up without problems, so that made me happy, but by this time I had 2 others that worked already, so it wasn't a big deal.

It was about three months ago, give or take, when I started looking into possibly importing PS games, or even making backups of some of my more scratched games. I'll be honest, I want to be able to play burnt backups of PS games anyway, but without a modded console I couldn't do that. I asked around, as I know a few friends who had played imported games on their PS consoles back in the day, and they explained to me their methods, none of which were modchips.

With a few weeks research I found that PSone consoles had modchips and they were quite easy to install. Then, it finally dawned on me. This was why none of my other PSone consoles had that chip, this one was special, it was modified!

Although it took me a while to finally get a backup burn that finally worked, it did in fact work. Albeit just a copy of PS cheat device discs, Gameshark, Code Breaker and Action Replay software on one disc. I even tested the console with four of the infamous anti-mod protected games, none of which were tripped up by the modchip. I'm not saying I'm going to go crazy, especially since my failure rate at making working backups was so high, but it is nice to have a modchip installed in my PSone and to be able to confirm it works.

To be honest, I'm surprised this hasn't happened more often. With modchips being fairly popular for PS, PSone, PS2 and a even other consoles, I'm surprised I haven't run across another console with a modchip installed. It would be nice to own a modified PS2 or something, but I'm not going to bother doing it myself. I'm excited that my PSone modchip works, it's just nice to have one as part of my collection that may come in handy, should I decide to start importing PS games.

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