Modder Creates A PlayStation 2 Handheld Masterpiece For Retro Gaming Glory
If there's one thing we love, it's watching New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick staring incredulously at a reporter after being asked a dumb question. And if there's a second thing we adore, it's a good old fashioned retro gaming mod. We'll have plenty of opportunities to see an annoyed Belichick answer questions in the coming weeks, but for the latter, a huge tip of the hat goes out to GingerOfOz for his PS2 Eclipse project.
What exactly is the PS2 Eclipse? It's a new console. Wait, it's an old console, and specifically Sony's legendary PlayStation 2, but in new digs. Yes, you're going to want to buy this thing with your hard earned cash, and no, it's not for sale. But depending on your skills and desire, you could fashion one yourself, just as GingerOfOz did.
For those who are not familiar with the ambitious modder, he's made a living selling custom portable game systems. He's also quite tired of the labor, having built 50 of them in the past two years, and so he's pivoting to videos on neat and interesting projects. And boy, does he deliver with his first video in nearly a year. Check it out...
What he did is take an actual PlayStation 2 motherboard and then trim it down to a size that is better suited for a handheld designed in the vein of a Nintendo Switch console, with a screen in the middle and controllers on both sides. Turns out someone else did the legwork on where exactly it is safe to physically slice and dice a PS2 board while maintaining functionality, and he followed their blueprint.
Be that as it may, GingerOfOz destroyed his board on the first attempt, the result of the Dremel too slipping and gashing one of the chips. Oops! His next attempt was successful, however, and then it was a matter of fitting it into a custom case and getting all the necessary pieces to work as intended.
The result is one heck of an impressive project. It has working controllers with buttons swapped from a PlayStation Vita, a built-in speaker that he says sounds great, a headphone jack, and even a battery life indicator. To that end, he says it runs for about 2.5 hours per charge. When it runs out of juice, he can charge it via USB-C.
Being based on a real PS2 motherboard, GingerOfOz can skip the emulation route and run a catalog of some 4,000 PS2 games with the same performance as the original console. Or close to it—in some cases, the USB connection feeding the games can make cut scenes jittery. But they run, and are displayed on a 5-inch display with a 480p resolution (4:3 aspect ratio) in all their retro glory.
This was a labor of love that took a long time from conception to finish, and he is understandably "kind of burnt out right now." We're glad he finished the project, though, because this is one of the finest retro gaming mods we have ever seen. Job well done, GingerOfOz!