The Playstation 2 Console – More Potential Than You Realize

10-6-10: Initial Release.

The almighty PS2 console system was released in 2000, and even though it has been a decade, the gaming system is still going strong. I am not going to bore you with the details, as you probably knew (or didn’t knew) that the PS2 was in fact the console system that killed the VHS and brought in a new era of digital entertainment: DVDs.

Rather than tell you why the PS2 is such a great system (you can read more about it here), I am going to tell you about the potential you probably didn’t know about through the art of modding.

Do you have a FAT PS2 sitting around gathering dust? Maybe you have a slim PS2 that hasn’t seen much love recently because you have been gaming on newer consoles like the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3? Maybe you know a friend that has a PS2 system that is laying around doing nothing, or maybe you are looking at a way to have fun with video gaming without breaking a budget.

Well, I ask you consider the PS2 as it truly is a “versatile” system. Yes, it can play PS1, PS2 games, and DVD movies, but the real potential lays behind its modding potential.

Did you know with the PS2 (fat or slim), you can do the following tasks below with the proper hard or softmod:

  • Play AVI movies (DivX, XviD)
  • Play roms through emulators (Atari 2600, Atari 5200, BBC, Coleco, Comm 64, Gameboy, Genesis, Geotron, Mame, Master System, Msx2, NeoCD, NeoGeo, NES, PC TG16, SNES, WonderSwan))
  • Play PS2 games that are stored on an external hard drive through the USB ports
  • Play PS2 games that are stored on the PC hard drive through the PS2 slim (or FAT PS2) network port over SMB
  • Play backed up PS1 and PS2 games (on CD-R or DVD-R/DVD+R)
  • Run homebrew programs from the memory card using Free McBoot (FMCB)
  • Download PS1 and PS2 save game files from the Internet and transfer them to the memory card or backup your PS2 save game files to USB/PC
  • Run Linux

To see more what type of homebrew programs are available for the PS2 console, you can visit SKS Apps here.

So you might be asking yourself, how do I get started?  Well, it’s simple. If you have a PS2 slim made before March of 2008 or before the SCPH-9XXXX model series, then you can use FMCB.  However, to install FMCB, you need a third party tool like Swap magic or a mod chip to install the memory card exploit.

If you don’t want to do the memory card exploit, you can purchase a mod chip or get Swap Magic which is a boot disc to help you play backed up games or launch Ulauchelf CD to load your other homebrew programs.

If you want to purchase a PS2 memory device that is a mod already, you can look into Memor32.  Read more about it here.

If you search this blog under “playstation 2”, you will find a lot of existing tutorials that show you how to play games off of USB, SMB, or play PS1 games on the PS2 using the appropriate mod.

If there is a PS2 modding topic that I missed, let me know so I can add it to the list!

Posted on October 6, 2010, in News, playstation 2 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Good article versa. I hate the slim version of the PS2 because of how hot it gets (doesn’t have those coolers the fat ps2 has. So I have the Fat one :P. Mine is from 2003 so I don’t know if I would be able to run linux or McBoot you gotta tell me :P.


  2. Dear Versatile,

    I am planing to buy a PS2. Can you please help me what should to look for towards the BIOs version as it will be with newest firmware; i want it to be modded.

    And what mod chip is best, feature wise like firmware updation as well as compatibility wise.
    Thank you,

  3. One more thing Versatile is it possible to soft mod PS2 on latest models without any swap disks?

    • Do you want to buy it new or used? I highly recommend you get a slim, and make sure it is a version number that is not SCPH-9XXXX but something else like SCPH-70012 or similar.

      This model lets you play and use FMCB, as well as use swap magic. I do not advise using modchips, too much risk. If you are just getting into this, get swap magic from, or have a friend who can install the FMCB for your memory card if you have any friends that are into the ps2 modding scene.

      I don’t know where you are from but there are users around the world that are willing to install FMCB to your memory card for free, but you have to pay shipping and handling both ways.

      I have done a few myself, but only for USA users.

      • Hi Versatile,
        I am from India and i will buy a new one as i dont have faith in used one spl. in india.

        Unfortunately it will be PS2 9x series i think.

        And i dont want it to be mod by myself as i will look out for local place to get it mod.

        What restrictions does new PS2 have apart from patching old flaws and hacks? is it easly modable or not?


        • You should be able to get it modded with a real modchip fine. With the modchip, you can do anything. However, the SCPH-9XXX series does not let you do the FMCB homebrew. Otherwise, you can do everything else and launch programs from a CD with ulaunchelf.


    I had asked it before

  6. Everyone knows that PS 2 are obsolete. Now is Play Station 3 era, lets move 😀

  7. I want to know how to creat a playlist on ps2 by using Simple Media System (SMS). Thanks.
    You can send the answer to me on my mail to :

  8. Please make a tutorial for NAS.

  9. search – there is a forum thread with links to a HDD image that you just copy to any blank IDE drive (using the supplied software)
    you then fit the HDD into your phat PS2 and it boots straight to a modded menu with advanced software preinstalled!!
    there is also a guide on the forum how to convert your PS2 games into ISO format which you then copy over to the IDE HDD.
    you can run ISOs from the HDD via the menu software and the games load in much quicker!

  10. Hi Versatile, Nice Introduction about PS2.

    I do have one which is Slim form factor [PS2 console SCPH-9004 (PAL) with date code 9C]. This stuff is still virgin interms of Modding. However, Now I’m planning to perform SoftMod (less risk) to save the laser head life & play more games, mentioned by you as below:

    “We can Play ROMs through emulators (Atari 2600, Atari 5200, BBC, Coleco, Comm 64, Gameboy, Genesis, Geotron, Mame, Master System, Msx2, NeoCD, NeoGeo, NES, PC TG16, SNES, WonderSwan)” Now I’m using Retorpie on Linux Debian, for playing retrogames.

    Here, I have discussed with a local Gamestore person to purchase a [FMCB Card (with OPL) + Ulaunch DVD] combo, to perform SoftModding. He has put a note that “some 90xxx models do not support direct fmcb, so need to buy it with a ulaunch disc, if your ps2 works with dvd”. But still I do have a doubt, whether it will work on my console (date code 9C). Also, that guy has not mentioned about other applications included in his FMCB card.

    Now I need your opinion, before placing an order.
    1. Will that combo caters my need?
    2. Do I need any additional stuff to make my PS2 play most games through USB port?
    3. I’m willing to add GBA, GBC, NES & SNES (only these 4) emulators. Is it possible in that FMCB card?

    I’m a novice guy in terms of PS2 technical. But have confident to DIY when proper guidance is provided.


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