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We knew that Sony's PlayStation Classic would be running the games via an open-source emulator, but what we didn't know was how easy it would be to hack the system and mod it for your own personal purposes. Well, it turns out the emulator is ridiculously easy to access.
Retro Gaming Arts posted a four minute video breaking down the PlayStation Classic and accessing the software DIP switches for the emulator. Accessing the menu is even easier than you might have thought. Simply plug in a USB keyboard into the PlayStation Classic and then press the 'Esc' key on the keyboard after loading a game and then the emulation menu will pop up, which will allow you to make all sorts of system setting changes.
You'll be able to turn on or turn off rootcounter hacks, disable dynarec, access speed hacks, disable the audio, or show SPU channels or CPU load times.
The menu also allows you to save and reload the states, which is a common feature in most PC emulators, and works very similar to quick saves or quick loads. There's also the ability to access cheats from the menu, "extra stuff" and even modify the controls or load the CD image again.
Now, one of the things that's mentioned repeatedly by the duo is that you need to be careful messing with the settings and do so at your own risk. They ended up screwing up the PlayStation Classic by glitching it out with one of the settings, but they don't mention which one.
It's suggested that changing the video output mode may have caused the system to glitch out, especially when modifying the software filter or scanlines options. Apparently, not every game supports all the various options and settings that are available within the options menu.
You can also modify the frameskipping for some of the games, which might help for certain PAL rendition versions of the game such as Tekken 3, where a lot of people were worried about the 50Hz limitations based on the PAL versions of games, which did not run at the same frame-rate as the NTSC version of the games.
It's still early days for hacking the PlayStation Classic, so expect more advancements as modders take apart the device and figure out its inner workings. You can see what some of the settings are like in the video below.
They haven't been able to add additional ISOs to the PlayStation Classic yet. It may be a little more difficult than what was capable with the NES Classic Edition, where tons of ROMs were added to the hacked system. This is due to the fact that ISOs are much larger than ROMs, and some of the PSX classic titles came on multiple discs, like Legend of Dragoon, Gran Turismo and Final Fantasy VII.
Expect more news to surface about the tinkering taking place with the PlayStation Classic now that the $99 device is on the market.