The PS2 Eclipse, a portable PlayStation 2, appears online

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GingerOfOz, a hacker known for creating portable consoles, has released a video detailing his newest project, the PS2 Eclipse, a portable PlayStation 2 console. It is a fully-featured, 3D printed console that has a battery life of roughly two and a half hours. The Eclipse runs off of a real PS2 motherboard, though drastically trimmed down, so the games are running on original hardware, avoiding the slowdowns and imperfections of emulation. It doesn't support discs, however, as the disc drive would be too large and bulky to reasonably attach to a handheld. Instead, attached to the motherboard are the internals of a PS2 memory card running Free McBoot, a homebrew application that allows your PS2 to run backups and homebrew off of a USB drive.

This does lead to some issues, however. Since the PS2 uses USB 1.1, the load times can be considerable, closing in on an minute for some titles, according to GingerOfOz's video, Another known issue is that the PS2 will not recognize the controller on "quite a few games," rendering them unplayable, though GingerOfOz seems confident these issues can be addressed through software fixes. While there's no compatibility list available, he says that if a landmark PS2 title isn't shown running in the video, it's likely because it wouldn't run. (For reference, some of the titles shown running on the Eclipse include the Super Monkey Ball games, the Grand Theft Auto trilogy, Persona 3 and 4, Kingdom Hearts, Katamari Damacy and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence.)

GingerOfOz will not be selling the Eclipse on commission as he has for his other handhelds in the past; however, he is encouraging users to create their own. His video gives an overview of the process and his website points to some extra resources, and will reportedly be updated with more details in the future.

 

Nerdtendo

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Anyone remember that guy who said because the mobo is trimmed, these projects aren't "real hardware"?

Anyway, this is super impressive stuff. Props to ginger!
 
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x65943

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Anyone remember that guy who said because the mobo is trimmed, these projects aren't "real hardware"?

Anyway, this is super impressive stuff. Props to ginger!
There is some truth to that, when you watch the video you can see he uses some PCBs that are not OEM - but it's mostly hogwash as all that really matters is the core CPU, ram etc
 
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slifer1231

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Not sure that's possible, as the PCB was significantly trimmed and the network adapter option wouldn't be feasible anyway. Maybe if they can re-trace and do the IDE HDD mod (since it's the slim) with an IDE to SD card, that would be really cool. If it's even possible that is.

If there is space I've seen it done with portables but you could trace out the Ethernet connection and wire that into a PI acting as an SMB server with the USB for the storage then opl would play the games from SMB with full speed no slowdown in cutscenes or choppiness from the USB 1.1 ports
 
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Hayato213

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Problem with these units that is mass produce and sold on ebay and aliexpress is that they are poorly soldered, and battery ain't protected, can be seen here in the video, I just don't think it is justify to pay $1000 for someone to do a shitty job on it.

 

CoolMe

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I don't think the board he used has ide. I believe that's limited to older ps2 slim models.
Yea, IIRC only 70000 series can be modded to have an internal IDE HDD, not sure what GingerofOz used so..

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If there is space I've seen it done with portables but you could trace out the Ethernet connection and wire that into a PI acting as an SMB server with the USB for the storage then opl would play the games from SMB with full speed no slowdown in cutscenes or choppiness from the USB 1.1 ports
I've also seen the Rasp Pie SMB method before and it's a hastle in this case at least, as it requires a power brick to power it, not suited for a handheld IMO.
 

Jokey_Carrot

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Yea, IIRC only 70000 series can be modded to have an internal IDE HDD, not sure what GingerofOz used so..

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------


I've also seen the Rasp Pie SMB method before and it's a hastle in this case at least, as it requires a power brick to power it, not suited for a handheld IMO.
https://wiki.radxa.com/RockpiS Maybe he could've used a rock pi with the connectors desoldered. Hell you could probably fit one of these inside the ps2 with the dvd drive still installed.
 

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I've always wanted to buy something similar to this or the portable Wiis everyone keep making, but then I realize that I can't afford getting one. Though the guy sounded too full of himself, to be honest.
 
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KennieDaMeanie

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It's a cool hobbiest thing for sure but by the time you invest in everything to make one I wonder if the costs would just be worth while to buy a steamdeck, granted you got a PS2 laying already you're willing to rip apart which has me wondering how well PS2 emulation will handle it. Hate to compare the two because they're in separate categories. Just see the SteamDeck being the handheld king for a while when it comes to consumer and price point.
 
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ciaomao

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If there is space I've seen it done with portables but you could trace out the Ethernet connection and wire that into a PI acting as an SMB server with the USB for the storage then opl would play the games from SMB with full speed no slowdown in cutscenes or choppiness from the USB 1.1 ports

it's correct. he could also squeeze in a zero + a SPI ETH transmitter. that shouldn't take up a lot of space.
 

Ginger OfOZ

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Thanks for the article!

Just a few things I wanted to clarify:

First, faster loading methods on a portable like this is absolutely possible. I had to use a 79001 model PS2 as that's the only board that's been traced out and enough learned about to be able to perform trims on, which means that HDD loading isn't really an option, unless something new is found. What is possible is loading games over the Ethernet port in conjunction with a Raspberry Pi. I didn't opt to put this in my build, as the Pi zero doesn't work for this mod, so I would've had to use one of the larger Pi models, and I really didn't feel like putting in the effort to fit that in somewhere and set that up. I also had people recommend a method called M4X, which I might look into if I ever decide to build another one of these.

And regarding the Aliexpress portables, those things are terrifying. I've seen many people come through the portablizing forums reporting issues with portables that they bought, sometimes as tame as spinning buttons and crackly audio, sometimes as bad as not working at all or catching fire. Every time they report issues to whoever they bought it from, they just get ignored and don't see any of the warranty they were promised. Not trying to bad mouth them to make what I do look better, those things are genuinely very bad.

And yes, this is a massive money sink of a hobby for something that very few people will find better than emulation. It's not worth spending $1000 on a portablized console for 99.9% of the people out there enjoying retro games. This is just a really fun niche that I've decided to dedicate all my free time to, so don't take it too seriously.
 

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Always nice to see such fan projects, hope these won't die out withthe release of steamdeck and other similar ones

Yeah it's very cool, although Steam Deck being a pc it will have emulators and thus you are right these other hand-helds could die out.

I will be buying a steam deck and i want the Ps3 emulator coz Sony have completely refused to give us a Ps3 emulator on Ps4 and Ps5.
 
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Xzi

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Yeah it's very cool, although Steam Deck being a pc it will have emulators and thus you are right these other hand-helds could die out.
I don't expect cheap emulation handhelds to die out as they're priced around $100 at most, but they also don't typically run anything newer than PS1 games at acceptable speeds. So Steam Deck will definitely be the better option for PS2, Wii, Switch, maybe even PS3 and X360.
 
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Viri

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Has anyone made a portable Xbox 360/Xbone or a portable PS3/PS4 yet? I've seen a portable Wii and Wii-U already.
 

Spider_Man

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Running off a usb drive isnt a good idea, i dont get, if he can cut down a ps2 to fit in a small handheld then surely he could design a slim dock to fit a slim ps2 lense and spinner to run the drive.

But hey, still cool tho.
 

Goku1992A

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I have a gaming laptop that can play 90% of PS2 games with no problems.

But PS2 games are at the bottom of my list
 
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