Playstation

I know what you are probably thinking, or perhaps not thinking, but…PS2 in 2021, why? Well, why not? the PS2 is still an awesome machine, even in 2021. I’m sure loads of folk would agree.

I decided to dust off my PS2 slim after over a year lying dormant and started to test some of my backups, all of which were skipping FMV’s and crashing so i thought, the lasers probably on its way out. Sad and crying (not really) I looked into alternative options to see what I could do to get it back up and running with better performance. OpenPS2Loader is one solution which I’d highly recommend. I’d heard of this a while ago, so thought I’d finally take a dive into checking it out to see what it was all about, and its honestly the best thing you could ever do for your PS2.

There’s plenty of guides out there so I wont go into the details here, but check out the videos from Phoenix Media:

This is also heavily documented on https://github.com/toolboc/psx-pi-smbshare

There is also a huge community forum over at https://www.ps2-home.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=13&sid=c5a821159fe273c550ddf1044964bb54 – that shows you how to install themes / discuss game compatibility, issues, and so on.

What is it?

psx-pi-smbshare is a preconfigured Raspbian based image for Raspberry Pi 1, 2, 3 and 4. It runs a Samba share, a pi-compatible build of ps3netsrv, and reconfigures the ethernet port to act as a router. This gives low-latency, direct access to the Samba service through an ethernet cable connection between a PS2/PS3 and Raspberry Pi.

Essentially, you are setting up the Pi as a router (connected to the PS2. Pi ethernet port configured to talk to the PS2 ethernet port), then through the PS2 OpenPS2Loader app (when configured) the Pi will access the USB stick or HDD through this ethernet connection between the devices, allowing you to play your PS2 backups all through the neat UI on the PS2. This method is much better than running a HDD through the PS2’s USB 1.1 port for obvious reasons. Through the PS2 USB port you will inevitably encounter FMV and game lag plus sound stuttering due to how slow the 1.1 port is.

All you need for this is a USB drive (or externally powered hard disk drive – in my case), a raspberry PI (doesn’t matter if its a pi0,1,2,3,4 etc), and an ethernet cable, plus a soft modded PS2 (with free mcboot).

I used a really old raspberry PI B+ model (yes that old) and a 500GB SSD in an external enclosure (with external power) for mine and it works a treat following the guides / github above.

There is also a nifty tool (USBUtil 2.2v) that will prep / patch backup game files greater than 4.5Gb into smaller parts that you can copy to the USB stick or hard drive, ready to play. OPL manager is another program for PC which will gather game images / box art and so on so that all your games look sweet through the PS2 UI. Check out some of the screenshots of it completed and working below:

Testing with a USB 3.0 Stick (64Gb)

Completion: Using a 500Gb external SSD in a (powered) caddy connected to the PS2 via ethernet cable. Beautiful.

This mod, alongside the PS2 connected to my PVM with RBG is the ultimate PS2 mod in my opinion. To add new backups I just connect the HDD to my PC, run the games through the USBUtil 2.2 program, then OPL manager to gather the box art etc, then put them onto the drive, and then reconnect it back up to the PS2 via ethernet, turn it all on, and its good to go.

If you have a PS2 and want to ”save” its laser, or just fancy a little side project (like I did), give this one a go. You won’t be disappointed.

If you own a PS Vita and or a Vita TV device, you’ll probably be familiar with the Content manager application on it, that allows you to transfer content between your Vita’s, PS3 and PC devices. You can transfer your game saves from your Vita games, PS1 classics and PSP games so you can continue your game on any of these devices. I know some folk, including myself, were having issues getting their Vita TV device to pair up with the content manager app on PC.

I’d started playing Resident Evil 3 on my vita a year ago (for the 1M’th time) and recently thought I’d finish it off by playing it on the big TV via my Vita TV. To turn in the save file, I connected my handheld vita device to my PC via the vita cable, with the content manager app installed on the PC, transferred the save from my Vita to the PC – all well and good. When I connected my Vita TV to the same LAN connection as my PC and went to connect my Vita TV to my PC to get the RE3 save, my PC was always greyed out, then it gave me messages like ”please ensure the network connection box is checked on the content manager app on PC” – which it was !. So, there was no way to get my Vita TV to connect to the app on the PC to obtain the RE3 save file.

I looked about on reddit and other websites for a fix for a good while and finally found out what the issue was…

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If like me, you were around a Sega MegaDrive (Genesis in the US) growing up in the 90’s, you’d probably be one of the ones hyped for the 4th instalment of the Streets of Rage franchise last week. Streets of Rage first launched back in 1992 on the MegaDrive and was a 16-bit, 2D, side scrolling, beat-em up game, it was fantastic.

Fast forward a whole 26 years, yes 26 years after the 3rd game was released, and Streets of Rage 4 drops on all major platforms. Is the game worth picking up? Was it a cheap nostalgia cash in ?

Read-more to find out….

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One of my fondest Sega Mega Drive memories from my childhood – Streets of Rage. The second Streets of Rage was easily my favourite; the characters, levels, and my god THE MUSIC !!!. 26 years I’ve been waiting to play a new SOR game and its finally here guys !.

Thats right !, Streets of Rage 4 now has an official release date, it’ll be dropping next week on; PC, Xbox1, PS4, and Nintendo Switch, April 30th. The UK price will be £24.99 on Steam, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. If your an Xbox Gamepass subscriber, then lucky you ! You’ll be able to play Streets of Rage 4 via gamepass for free* on day 1.

*- Free when subscribed to Xbox Gamepass subscription. 

Those of you looking into buying physical copies of the game, good news again, Limited Run Games have Streets of Rage 4  pre-orders up for the Switch and PS4 physical versions of the game.

The digital / retail game will come with some nice extras too, like the original music, original characters. Theres x5 new characters to play as, as well as x12 from the first two games. Soundtracks from the first two games are included too, so youll be able to switch between your favourite music and characters from the new and old versions of the game, which I think is a really nice touch !

I’ll be playing SOR4 on gamepass first and foremost and will either pick it up for Switch or PS4 (for playing on the go) at a later date.

What platform will you buying this on ? Is it a Day 1 purchase for you? Let us know in the comments or over on our social media channels.

Well, who would have thought 2020 would have been infectious in the most tragic way possible?!?!, I certainly didn’t, you probably didn’t either – unless you were one of the psychic authors who predicted this in books 10 years ago, or Bill Gates !

Anyway….first of all, I hope everyone is doing well and massive apologies for the lack of updates on the site. I’ve been super busy working and renovating the cinema room in the house – pics coming soon. I’ve also been learning Unity (for app / game development) and also trying out a little mini project with a spare raspberry Pi and a CRT monitor – more on that in the next couple of weeks.

Alongside all this ive been trying to get into a schedule with all all this ”Stay at home” stuff we are doing. In fairness, I’ve been lucky that my job allows me to work from home for 90% of it, so no issues there. Ive also been able to get through some games I’ve had queuing up so its a bonus.

Which brings me nicely onto APRIL AS A GAMER – I mean seriously….what. the. hell !!! Gamers have been spoiled rotten: Doom Eternal, Animal Crossing on the Switch, Resident Evil 3 remake today,  Final Fantasy VII: Remake in a week, and Trials of Mana at the end of April. An immense time to be stuck at home if your a gamer in all seriousness !.

I passed on Doom but will pick it up once I’ve finished the 2016 version, and I’m waiting for Resident Evil 3 to drop sub £30. Animal Crossing, I’ve not played since the GameCube and was going to pass, but I couldn’t resist the ridiculously priced, digital only, pricing error from GAME at £31.99 so I just had to pick it up.

And last but not least, I can feel some hate coming….

 

That’s right, I was one of the many lucky ones to get my hands on my copy of FFVII remake, which I only pre-ordered on the 30th March btw ! I’m on Chapter 3 right now and its absolutely superb visually and gameplay wise. No spoilers, and all I can say is, everyone who plays this is going to be blown away. Like tape over your scalp with some strong tape as your mind is going to explode. I’m still in awe at the visuals, they are absolutely stunning in every-way possible.

I’ve also got Trials of Mana pre-ordered for the Switch and the PS4 (because?….why not?). Thats about it for now, I’ll be posting in the next few days, come follow me on my social media channels, I’m active on Twitter and on Instagram and will be doing more streams on Twitch too, which ill be announcing via Twitter, so don’t be shy and come chill out with me. Remember…

Stay safe and stay at home ! 

TechKingOnline

With all the madness happening in the world right now, with viruses and so on, whats going on with all these game demo’s dropping ? Not a bad thing by any means, yesterday on PC, PS4 and Switch the Trials of Mana demo dropped before its April release. You can play up to character level 7 in that demo and, just like Dragon Quest, your progress carries over to the full game.

Today, we’re blessed with another demo, Capcom’s Resident Evil 3 demo, which is now live to download via Xbox Live. It’ll be available on PS4 and PC later on today so keep your eyes peeled. What better way to spend some quality time in isolation playing a zombie virus outbreak game !

Update: The Demo is now live on all platforms (Xbox 1, PS4, PC).