What can I do with a 'Test' Playstation 2?
April 12, 2006 5:53 AM   Subscribe

I have access to an old-style (ie chunky) PS2 with 'Test' logo'd on the side as opposed to the normal 'PS2' (Pic here) and was wondering what I could do with it that would be interesting. Will it run home-brew code? If so, does anyone have links/resources to point me in the right direction?
posted by jim.christian to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
I work at Electronic Arts, and I have one of these guys on my desk. I think in order to do debugging, you need one of the giant "tool" kits. From everything I understand, it's really hard to develop at all for the PS2. If you're really interested in homebrew development, I reccomend DS/ GBA Advance. There's a huge community and they are a hell of alot cheaper, you can do it with off the shelf systems
posted by the theory of revolution at 6:25 AM on April 12, 2006

I think it depends on what model it is. Some will run burned CDs and DVDs, some won't. The ASSEMblergames.com forums has a section about these units and is reasonably active. The site is mainly for collectors of obscure dev hardware like this, but some of the people on the site actually like to use them. PS2DEV may have information about your TEST unit, but I haven't been on the site much.
posted by zsazsa at 6:27 AM on April 12, 2006

I'm jealous. I had use of a friend's TEST PS2 once and it allowed me (and amazed friends) to play NTSC Katamari Damacy when it was never released for PAL.

Region locking sucks.
posted by bruceyeah at 6:41 AM on April 12, 2006

I'm pretty sure all Test PS2s will run original games from any region, which is extremely useful if you're in the Sony release/conversion wilderness of Europe and less useful but still interesting if you're in the US. As zsazsa said, some will also run recordable media and some won't. There's homebrew software out there which is intended to be run from a CD/DVD-R on modded PS2s, but not an awful lot, since the Xbox is so much easier to code for and run stuff on. So you've effectively got a modchipped system, with all the (legal) potential therein for imported games, and possibly (illegal) potential for copied games as well.

bruceyeah, dude, pick up a modded machine! It lets you play any and all imported games, and you wouldn't believe how much most PS2 games are butchered (those that are even released) for PAL regions.
posted by terpsichoria at 8:00 AM on April 12, 2006

Great stuff, thanks for your answers. I am in Europe and have access to imports. Since playing Me & My Katamari on the PSP, I'd love to have a go at the original on the PS2.

I'll give it a shot. Thanks again.
posted by jim.christian at 9:21 AM on April 12, 2006

Basically a test PS2 has the same capabilities as a modded PS2: it can play games on burned media, and doesn't have region locking. In fact, some game developers save on the expense of getting test PS2s and mod normal PS2s instead.
(although it's the dev kits that are really expensive... they look like a huge PS2, but actually are Linux boxes with embedded PS2 hardware).
posted by Emanuel at 9:46 AM on April 12, 2006

I don't know much about their special abilities apart from a modded PS2, but I will tell you what makes the PS2 test kit superior to the XBox or GameCube test kits: They play commercial games. The test kits for the other systems will not play store-bought games, believe it or not (Well, an Xbox one could, but it had to be converted to retail mode first).
posted by Durhey at 12:36 PM on April 12, 2006

Yeah, it's more or less the same as a modded PS2. It plays burned DVDs and has no region checking. If you had the right software, you could run games from your PC, or write some homebrew code. However, it's all commercial software and many thousands of dollars (if anyone would even sell it to you). There may be some homebrew tools on the net, but I don't know for certain.

The reason you can't play commercial games on Xbox/Gamecube kits is because they don't want you to be able to reverse-engineer them. Which is too bad, 'cause all anyone really wants is something to do while the game is building.
posted by Sibrax at 1:05 PM on April 12, 2006

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