PSIO. Playing .iso files on the PlayStation One without a mod chip or disc.

June 6, 2013

Ever heard of PSIO? No, I hadn’t until recently but it’s something that has certainly fascinated me. The PSIO project is a way of playing PlayStation One games on the original console without any form of chip or back up disc, but through an SD Card that will have its own built in multifunctional operating system with the ability to play PlayStation One games, and possibly even Homebrew.

Here’s a brief summary from the project’s page:

As a gamer, you know how frustrating it is to have a game freeze on you. This used to happen a lot on the PlayStation One, especially once your disc’s became scratched, and the laser unit started to die…

This is where PSIO comes in. Using custom designed hardware and software from the ground up that has taken many hours to complete, PSIO is an extremely high quality feat of engineering that will let you backup your original PlayStation One games, and play them on your PlayStation One console from an SD card, thus not requiring to use the disc and laser unit. 
Some highly important benefits of adding PSIO to your PlayStation, is that it will lengthen the life of your PlayStation One  hardware, reduce disc read errors, choppy or skipped video, music and audio tracks, freezing, delayed frame rates and loud drive mechanical noises.

As soon as you get PSIO in the mail, you can copy your backed up games to the SD card, plug it into your PlayStation 1, and start playing instantly!

If you want to select another game to play, save your game to the SD card, and return back to the GUI (menu interface) that will allow you to select another game in the list.

So what are you waiting for? Start backing up your PlayStation One games now, and get ready to pre-order PSIO!

I really like the sound of this. I always wanted some form of HDD reader for the PlayStation One but didn’t see how it’d really be possible, but this should be exactly what I need. Let’s hope compatibility is high, and that it’s thoroughly tested prior to release.

Here are the few images they’ve released:

They claim to have quite a few very nice features built in:

  • World wide shipping

  • A customized XMB sort of UI

  • A Virtual Memory Card which will mean that you won’t immediately clog up your 24 slot PlayStation One Memory card.

  • Region Free.

  • The ability to listen to music (though it will have to be a custom format as the PlayStation One CPU apparently cannot decode MP3 files.

  • Multi disc games will work fine. PSIO should emulate changing discs through the use of a menu that can be accessed via a button combination – this will probably have multiple uses. Currently there is a lack of information on this.

  • Plug and play for the Fat PlayStation One. There will be a modified version without a PIO header that will have to be manually soldered.

  • There will be multiple debugging options and a USB port for direct connection to a PC that should allow for Homebrew to be enabled. Click here if you’re interested in seeing some PlayStation One Homebrew.

  • Built in GameShark

Sounds absolutely amazing. I wish I had of heard of this sooner, but I look forward to its release (supposedly 2013) and will most likely purchase and do a review right here on Wololo.net

Finally, here’s a video that was recently released of a working prototype:

Disclaimer: Please note this is currently unconfirmed, and there is little evidence giving solidarity, so for the moment it’s best taken as a rumour. There is also someone claiming that the PSIO team have taken their source code, and that PSIO is in fact vapourware, so please be cautious. I will do my best to get a hold of this, and give a full write up prior to any form of recommendation. If you wish to read that, you may click here to be taken to their blog. 

What do you guys think? Recently I’ve been thinking about the relevancy of retro gaming systems in today’s gaming industry, and the consumer market and have been writing a little something on this, so to see people still working on the PlayStation One is such a heartwarming thing for me. Anyway, feel free to comment and let me know how you feel about this. Will it breathe some new light into the amazing console that is known as the PlayStation One? :mrgreen:

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