We’ve always been huge fans of emulation, but we all know that you simply cannot beat playing on the original Hardware, although in some cases the emulators can make the gameplay and experience better (think ANY Colecovision game **shock**) – So how about playing all your PSX ROMs on your ORIGINAL Playstation with no emulators to be seen anywhere in sight….
Sure, We’ve seen the Original Xbox play ripped games from its own hard drive, (that takes some serious beating!), we’ve seen the Nintendo Wii/U/Switch playback games from hard drives and SD Cards, We’ve seen all the Sega consoles playback with cartridges and SD Cards, we thought we had seen it all until we seen the PSIO from Cybdyn Systems, a plugin add-on for Playstations with an I/O Parallel port, which you pop an SD Card into (NOTE: You will need to solder a microchip onto the board prior to this!).
Cybdyn Systems is a manufacturer and distributor of high quality consumer electronics located in Australia, they are a great company, who offer fast support, true enthusiasm for their products and stand by their ethos. PSIO began as a concept in August 2010, and development did not start until late 2012 where the first prototype was designed from scratch. It took many revisions and prototypes until the end product was developed. Everything was hand soldered from scratch with component and equipment funding coming from their generous supporters. The Menu System did not start development until 2013, but it too went through many designs. The end result was a Menu System that has high functionality, whilst still containing an early nineties embellishment that ties in well with the PlayStation system.
The idea behind PSIO is simple. It’s a flash cartridge that offers high-speed software booting capabilities over the old and generic CD-ROM assembly. This means that software may be loaded via an SD Card, or by the built in USB port on PSIO directly and it does what it says on the tin, really, REALLY well!
So you order online (currently a waiting time of up to 3 months!), and then when you get your package you have to install the PSIO Switch Board (this involves some basic soldering) , but, if soldering is not your fortay you can ask them at Cybdyn Systems to install it for you (Really you can!) – simply send them your mainboard. Once you have your switchboard installed, its time copy the menu.sys (from their downloads page) and a couple of your back up rips (in BIN/CUE, ISO or IMG) on your SD Card, pop the SD Card into the PSIO and plug your PSIO into your Playstation.
It is just like playing the original, although with no loading wait time, no spinning up of discs and no errors – everything just works – admittedly the hardest thing about it all was trying to find BIN/CUE , or IMG or ISO roms, as all our own personal archives seem to be in the newer CHD or PBP formats, which eventually this PSIO will support – its our understanding that at the moment all the focus in catching up on the backlog, ready for even more development!
We fired up a few classics that we could remember playing on the PS1, and although we no longer have the skills we originally had, they were great fun and that fact we were playing them non-emulated, it felt, well, it felt, just right!.
If your going to invest in an add-on for your original software, this is the item to invest in, forget emulation for a moment and bask in beauty….
For the purists you will never damage or need a CD again, for the gamers you can play your entire ROM PSX Library…