If you own an original PlayStation or the smaller PS1 in good condition, you probably don’t want to risk reducing its value. One way this can happen is by installing a modification chip (modchip) to enable backup discs to be played.
Original PlayStations have various checks for fake game discs. The smaller PS1 has further checks, which include a wobble check and a region strong check. While both of these can be bypassed, doing so puts the value of the console at risk. Playing backups therefore becomes impossible, with replacements potentially difficult to find for some titles (especially imports) if the originals are damaged.
This is where the tonyhax software modification (softmod) comes in.
Only requires a standard PS1 memory card and an original copy of Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 or 3. The memory card has a special save file on it, copied to the card using a PS2 and uLaunchELF. Once installed, this save file can be shared to other PS1 users.
The process starts by loading up the Tony Hawks game, then loading the save file. From this point, the Create Skater feature is selected to trigger the script on the memory card. This causes the PS1 to open, allowing you to eject the disc and replace it with a backup. When the disc drive is closed, the console initializes the CD and starts the game.
The exploit works with all PAL consoles and all NTSC-U consoles except the earlier SCPH-1000 models.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.