Modder creates custom PlayStation 2 handheld using original console hardware

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,522   +132
Staff member
Editor's take: A YouTuber has taken the world’s best-selling home video game console and transformed it into an attractive handheld that could have existed in an alternate reality. It's not perfect, but that doesn't make me want to play it any less.

The journey started a few years back when GingerOfOz purchased a used PlayStation 2 on eBay. Having recently completed a portable Wii build, the modder intended to do something similar with the PS2 but ultimately shelved the console until finally deciding to do something with it this year.

With renewed determination, GingerOfOz set about shrinking down the donor PS2’s motherboard as much as possible. He turned to the Internet and found a handy PS2 trimming guide, but his first attempt resulted in disaster. Round two fared much better, allowing him to move forward with other elements of the build, like the 3D-printed shell.

GingerOfOz also utilized custom circuit boards from PCBWay. Rather than an optical drive (which wouldn’t physically fit in the system and uses a lot of power), the build runs games from a PS2 memory card over USB. PS Vita buttons were used, and the whole thing was painted black and named the PS2 Eclipse.

As you’ll see, the project turned out beautifully. Because it uses original hardware, there’s no emulation involved, meaning games run just as they would on a standard PS2. Well, mostly. The USB interface is slower than the optical drive, so loading times are a bit longer and some cut scenes lag a bit.

Because the chassis is 3D printed, it has that familiar “rough” texture, and there’s also a controller bug that still needs to be worked out, but otherwise, it’s an excellent build.

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,149   +2,185
Fairly cool, but the Steam Deck soon enough will basically emulate PS2 without even knowing it's there mostly.

So it's just a matter of *reads legal notes* grabbing a cheap cd/dvd reader off amazon to make iso files out of your original and legit PS2 games.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 501   +847
That's pretty slick. I still have my PS2, but I haven't used it in over 14 years now. Last time I did play something on it I hooked it up to run audio through my computer speakers and played on my LCD monitor. I played through the Balder's Gate games Dark Alliance 1 & 2. Then I packed it up and put it all away. I sold off all the PS2 games (aside from the ATV game that came with it and Black ) - wish I hadn't, but such is life.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
Yeah I’d rather have this over that enormous stream deck monstrosity. This thing looks like it actually be small enough to put in your bag when you leave your house.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 474   +511
Amazing. Really wish it had become an actual product.

Now, how can the USB interface be slower than the PS2's optical drive? Did he use USB 1.0?
 

arrowflash

Posts: 474   +511
The PS2 USB controller is USB 1.1.

I see now. I had forgotten that the PS2 has a built-in USB controller.

I wonder how feasible and difficult it would be to add a USB 2.0 or 3.0 controller. Or use the IDE controller from the HDD adapter and add an IDE-to-SDcard bridge.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,724   +4,260
I see now. I had forgotten that the PS2 has a built-in USB controller.

I wonder how feasible and difficult it would be to add a USB 2.0 or 3.0 controller. Or use the IDE controller from the HDD adapter and add an IDE-to-SDcard bridge.
replacing the controller would require flashing new firmware, and given the traces are not built for 2.0 speeds that would be a compatibility nightmare.

An IDE to CF adapter would work better to load ROMs from.
 

Lounds

Posts: 922   +817
I see now. I had forgotten that the PS2 has a built-in USB controller.

I wonder how feasible and difficult it would be to add a USB 2.0 or 3.0 controller. Or use the IDE controller from the HDD adapter and add an IDE-to-SDcard bridge.
Chances are this custom build was made using a PS2 slim which doesn't have the IDE controller or connection. Games do run on USB but the list is limited that run well. I've recently been loading PS2 ROMs on a PS2 slim via USB and Wipeout Fusion is my go to and that runs great.
 

0dium

Posts: 260   +315
Chances are this custom build was made using a PS2 slim which doesn't have the IDE controller or connection.
Some older revisions of PS2 slims do have solder points for ide on pcb. You can Google it up. Problem is, it doesn't look pretty and you also need an external power supply for hdd