Recommendations on where to get a PS2 modchipped?
February 8, 2004 8:50 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations on where to get a PS2 modchipped? (lots of detail inside)

A year ago I migrated to the US. I brought my PAL Playstation2 along with about 12 original games. Of course, not only will this PS2 NOT play any games purchased in the US, but the video signal and power are both different - 240v vs 120v, 50hz PAL vs 60hz NTSC. A step-up converter was cheap enough, but video signal converters are astronomically expensive, that is if I want one that doesn't make fast-action games look blurred.

In the end, I purchased a US PS2. And because Sony screws legitimate migrants with the whole region-lock crap, I actually literally had to purchase a couple of my favourite games AGAIN! Two originals of the same game, and two PS2s. I am located in the Phoenix, AZ area and am looking for somewhere I can get my PS2 modchipped. This is 1) so I can play my 99% region 4 DVD collection, 2) so I can play MP3s off a CD, and 3) so I can back my collection up and thus not need to worry about scratching originals by switching them in and out of the tray a million times a week - if I have to buy a THIRD copy of SSX Tricky I won't be pleased. I don't want to send my PS2 via UPS to some spotty-faced git who'll blow the PCB and leave me with no recourse. I want to be able to take it into some shop or to someone's place, get the job done, and then have the system demonstrated to me before I shell out cash.

I've already looked around in the malls. Idiots at Babbages and E.B. have told me modding a PS2 is illegal. This is complete rubbish. They assume I want to pirate games. I told them that modchips allow you to load extra software to watch AVIs or DIVX movies. One guy perked up: "Oh, and where did you get the DIVX from?", assuming I downloaded it off the net or something. Like the only thing that you can make into a DIVX is a commercial DVD. I didn't even bother to tell him I make my own from my camcorder, and just stormed out of the store. Nobody in these stores understand that modding the PS2 is exactly the same as modding a car. It just does stuff better afterward.

Does anyone know anywhere or anyone in the Phoenix, AZ area who is willing to install the latest DMS3 modchip in a PS2, guarantee the installation and allow me to drop off and pick up the unit face-to-face?
posted by tra to Technology (5 answers total)
No, it is in fact illegal. They are not idiots.

this is from the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998

VIOLATIONS REGARDING CIRCUMVENTION OF TECHNOLOGICAL MEASURES- (1)(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title. The prohibition contained in the preceding sentence shall take effect at the end of the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this chapter.

No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title; or

Welcome to America.
posted by rhyax at 10:49 PM on February 8, 2004

Well, I'd do it. Yes, in the US it's illegal (NOT FOR XBOXES*, PS2s however, yes). No, I'm in Canada, sorry.

That out of the way, you have a PAL PS2, for which I assume you've bought PAL games. This means you also need the PAL colour fix or you will get PAL output (you don't have a PAL compatible TV in the US, I can assure you, they purposely castrate them here). Worse yet, it probably won't even have NTSC 50 support, which is all the colour fix will do, I think. So, that means to get a stable picture, you'll either need a REALLY old TV with a Vertical Hold knob, or you'll need to play it on your computer.

The other choice is to back up the games themselves, use software from gamecopyworld (or is it consolecopyworld, I can't remember) and then patch the games (definately illegal) to NTSC and play the backups.

BTW: Lasers in old PS2s don't like backups. You'll wear it out super-fast if you have an old PS2 modded (or so has been my experience as a modder). New PS2s have a better laser, and the latest ones even advertise DVD+RW compatibility (funny, eh? :-)

I shouldn't say this, but your best bet here is:

- Get your console modded in Arizona. Check ps2newz and psxforum for modders.
- If you can't find someone there, get the chip, and find the most dingy TV repair shop you can. They'll probably install it for a fee.
- You can try a swap card/CD/DVD if the above don't work (they totally suck, but they can be used by anybody).

After that, rent the games you own, then back up from those (they will be in NTSC format). You shouldn't feel bad doing that, you already paid for them.

Idiots at Babbages and E.B. have told me modding a PS2 is illegal.

Yeah, some are idiots. It's a company line and has nothing to do with local laws at all (they say it in Canada too where it definately *IS* legal). However, the people working there are helpful at times -- they agreed to search their stock of refurbished PS2s for the easy to mod versions for me. :-)

BTW: The DMS3 is the *most* difficult chip to install. For what you want to do, you probably don't need even half of the features. Stick with the easy chips, like the new 14 pin mods (I think it's called the "F-14" chip), or save money and go with Magic/Messiah/Magic clone (not so good but DIRT CHEAP). :-)

Last but not least, you probably have an older console. Those are a real bitch to fit a chip into...

HTH and good luck! Contact me by email if you need to know more, modding consoles is my job.

* The DMCA doesn't count for a modded XBOX as the free Cromwell BIOS won't play XBOX game backups.
posted by shepd at 11:05 PM on February 8, 2004

Maybe it would be cheaper to buy a PAL TV set and get someone from home to buy and send you the new games?
posted by dg at 11:08 PM on February 8, 2004

Probably dg, but the only way to get a deal on a PAL TV in the US is to have it imported. Any other sets will cost about 5x their normal cost (at least). Shipping a TV from Europe to the USA isn't going to be cheap... And I doubt you'd want to buy a "quality" TV from South America (caveat emptor!).

Don't forget, many PAL TVs will require 50 Hz, 220 volts. Best to check before you buy. You can try a transformer, hopefully the TV isn't dumb enough to sync to the line frequency.
posted by shepd at 11:21 PM on February 8, 2004

shepd's a very wise man. if at all possible choose messiah, you'll never regret it

and you can turn your PS2 into a region-free dvd player by using DVD Region X
posted by matteo at 9:19 AM on February 9, 2004

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