Author Topic: PS2 clones and alternatives  (Read 339 times)

PS2 clones and alternatives
« on: March 30, 2019, 09:35:05 pm »
I have a love/hate relationship with the PS2. On one hand its one of my favorite consoles of all time with literally hundreds of great games for it, and truly a classic console if there ever was one. On the other hand, it's the most unreliable piece of hardware I've ever had the misfortunate of owning!


I've been through a total of 6 PS2s since they first came out back in 2000, with my most recent PS2, a slim, having gradually lost its ability to read disks over the last year. It's at the point where it'll read some games if the moon is full and if half the planets are aligned. This is essentially the story with every PS2 I've owned; they play games great, for a time, and then they gradually lose their ability to read disks, typically PS1 games first, then purple PS2 games, then DVD-ROM PS2 games and DVDs. Sometimes this takes a couple years as with my first PS2 and the slim I owned before my current one, and a few have lasted me five years or more, with my current PS2 slim having lasted a good 8 years or so since buying it brand new.


Unfortunately Brand New PS2s are now very expensive, and after having bought a few used ones recently, all with problems reading disks to some degree, I have reached the point where I'm sick of replacing these things and am wondering if anyone knows of any alternatives to playing PS2 games on hardware that isn't an official PS2 or PS2 Slim? Also, does anyone have any tips for extending the life of the PS2's ability to read disks? The only thing I've found is to use it only for PS2 games since the lasers seem die out due to use, so using it less technically might be the way to go I guess.


And for the record, I am aware of some PS3s having the ability to do so, but these backwards compatible PS3s have their own reliability issues and there emulation of PS2 games is spotty so it isn't an option I'm willing to explore.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 09:37:39 pm by bikingjahuty »

Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2019, 03:32:54 am »
The first thing that comes to mind is something like FreeMCBoot + ripping your owned games to ISOs and either using an adapter to play them from a SATA HDD (Fat PS2) or over the network via an SMB share (Slim PS2).  Since there's no disc reading involved, it should be far less taxing on the machine.

Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2019, 03:39:57 am »
My PS2 from like 2001 still works, don't know how or why, and it doesn't play blue discs, but it still plays everything else.  I use a slim though at the moment, faster/easier for changing discs.  FreeMcBoot is great if you don't want to use the laser. 

telly

PRO Supporter

Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2019, 07:50:19 am »
My PS2 from 2003/2004 still works but I had to take it apart and clean it and the laser. Mine also can't read blue discs anymore


I would try giving the console a deep clean and see if that helps?
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Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2019, 09:09:08 am »
Somehow my used PS2 phat still reads all the different types of discs, and it is one of the vary first models of PlayStation 2. it used to freeze up but a technician fixed the problem. He said he cleaned it and it works fine as far as I know. Because it's been some time since I played it. But I definitely played it quite a bit after it was fixed.

I don't know of any PS2 clones or alternatives. PlayStation 3's phat models are iffy I heard when it comes to PS2 games, I heard many stories that the PS3's compatible with PS2 games often overheat and melt to death when used for any length of time :(
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 10:37:01 am by oldgamerz »
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Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire, in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life.

Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2019, 11:20:14 am »
I don't know what to tell you- I bought my ps2 in 2001, had to mail it in for repair due to laser death a few years in, and it's been running fine since.

If I remember right, using it for things over than PS2 games does increase wear on the laser... by the time I had it fixed, I'd acquired a separate DVD player. Still used it for PS1 games for years though... one thing I did do differently than most of my friends, is keep it turned off. Like, I'd flip the switch on the back every time instead of leaving it in standby mode. Maybe that's a thing?

No one makes CD system clones right now. There was a kickstarter for one a lil' while ago, but it didn't fund. I don't follow the emulation scene much, but I seem to recall some programs being able to read discs as opposed to ROMs. Perhaps your solution is a PC with a disc drive.

Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2019, 11:55:22 am »
I don't know what to tell you- I bought my ps2 in 2001, had to mail it in for repair due to laser death a few years in, and it's been running fine since.

If I remember right, using it for things over than PS2 games does increase wear on the laser... by the time I had it fixed, I'd acquired a separate DVD player. Still used it for PS1 games for years though... one thing I did do differently than most of my friends, is keep it turned off. Like, I'd flip the switch on the back every time instead of leaving it in standby mode. Maybe that's a thing?

No one makes CD system clones right now. There was a kickstarter for one a lil' while ago, but it didn't fund. I don't follow the emulation scene much, but I seem to recall some programs being able to read discs as opposed to ROMs. Perhaps your solution is a PC with a disc drive.


It makes me jealous that you and several other people on here have fat PS2s that still play disks fine for the most part. The gradually failing disk drive has been my constant companion in PS2 ownership since the system came out, and with my most recent PS2 slim I thought for a while that it could be the one to break the cycle, but almost overnight it started having issues with more and more games until it just wouldn't do any of them.


Unfortunately the Slim doesn't have a switch to power it off completely like the fats do, unless of course you unplug it after each use.


I'm in the middle of various other things right now, but once I'm past that I'm strongly considering looking into diskless modding options and playing ISOs rather than the actual disks. Another thing I've considered is literally buying PS2 consoles whenever i come across them for cheap and stockpiling them so I have a ready supply of them to last me my entire life. Meanwhile I'll only be using them for PS2 games only, never anything else.


And someone else mentioned deep cleaning them, which is essentially what I've done with every single one on the cusp of desperation after each console essentially stopped playing games completely or almost completely. I even attempted to repair my most recent PS2 buy increasing the laser strength, but unfortunately this didn't help at all.

telly

PRO Supporter

Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2019, 01:04:00 pm »
I don't know how bad it was when you cleaned it, but you have to clean it immediately once it starts failing, not once it's failed completely or almost has. My fat PS2 was really slow at reading discs but would still work fine. I took it apart and cleaned it right away and it started working good as new again. Still works to this day and I still beat a couple games on it every year if you track through my 52 games list. Maybe I've just been lucky though.

The problem that would sometimes plague my PS2 is that the disc drive wouldn't open properly. In addition to not being able to read blue discs.
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Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2019, 11:06:55 pm »
And someone else mentioned deep cleaning them, which is essentially what I've done with every single one on the cusp of desperation after each console essentially stopped playing games completely or almost completely. I even attempted to repair my most recent PS2 buy increasing the laser strength, but unfortunately this didn't help at all.


Cleaning isn't necessarily the answer, especially on fats with their lawsuit-winning laser issues. Which, incidentally, is how I got mine repaired for free. Adjusting the laser can help, but ultimately won't solve the problem. Replacing the laser is supposed to be your best option- but also a big pain in the butt due to the bevy of system variants out there.


I think modding up a system to run from a solid state source is a great idea- especially since you could also keep buying PS2s on the cheap as well, meaning the modded unit would be your reliable backup.


Random thought: what's your dust situation like? See, my system had to go in for repair, but my fiancé's launch unit ran so well, by the time the laser started dying the free repair period was long since over. I remember once going to dust his system (I'd read somewhere it helped keep them going), and being shocked at how clean it was compared to my newer unit. We decided it's likely becuase I have pets & he doesn't. Perhaps a geographical or household situation has resulted in higher dust that's clogging up your machines.

Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2019, 12:24:17 am »
I've been a long time physical media collector but the sad truth is all this stuff is going to break down at some point. I recently picked up some flash carts after I had a GBA game actually just die on me and my next project is to put a SATA drive in my fat PS2. I'm a little paranoid about my laser wearing out or my discs rotting, but I would still like to be able to play the games I own on their original systems so I think modding is going to be the best option for me. 



Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2019, 09:10:17 am »
I have only had 1 PS2 go out on me and it was the disk drive not the laser.

aliensstudios

Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2019, 12:21:55 pm »
I bought a brand new PS2 at Target in 2010 and it still works great to this day. The only problem is it's one of the last manufactured so it can't use Free McBoot, but other than that it's been steady every time I've turned it on. I never wanted a fat model because I knew how unreliable they were but one of my best buddies has an early PS2 (probably 2001 or 2002) and it still works. I guess it really is just a crapshoot with these systems lasting long-term.

I think solid state options are the way to go, especially since some of the mods allow you to use your original discs in conjunction with flash memory
I collect vidya games and vidya game accessories I tell you what.

Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2019, 03:34:51 pm »
Somehow my used PS2 phat still reads all the different types of discs, and it is one of the vary first models of PlayStation 2. it used to freeze up but a technician fixed the problem. He said he cleaned it and it works fine as far as I know. Because it's been some time since I played it. But I definitely played it quite a bit after it was fixed.

I don't know of any PS2 clones or alternatives. PlayStation 3's phat models are iffy I heard when it comes to PS2 games, I heard many stories that the PS3's compatible with PS2 games often overheat and melt to death when used for any length of time :(



I leave all my consoles unplugged and only hook them up, when I want to play them. My PS2 phat according to the shell it's in. Says it is the actually the virgin model of the phat and most notable the one said to cause major problems, so yea I'd say leaving the slims plugged in to a power source is a bad idea, after all. I am sorry to hear how much issue your having with them @bikingjahuty  :(

not sure but maybe your electric plug in your home is faulty, I am guessing that your PlayStation 2's may be getting short circuited or trolled. Every time I used my N64 at my dads home years ago it would erase my WWF No Mercy cartridge memory as an example. Sometimes even a bad surge protector or power strip or even a bad circuit breaker in your home would be some theories, but only theories
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 03:44:55 pm by oldgamerz »
(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire, in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life.

Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2019, 04:10:44 pm »
Random thought: what's your dust situation like? See, my system had to go in for repair, but my fiancé's launch unit ran so well, by the time the laser started dying the free repair period was long since over. I remember once going to dust his system (I'd read somewhere it helped keep them going), and being shocked at how clean it was compared to my newer unit. We decided it's likely becuase I have pets & he doesn't. Perhaps a geographical or household situation has resulted in higher dust that's clogging up your machines.


Not bad. I do have to dust occasionally, but every time I've cleaned out a console it's never had a ton of dust in it. I honestly feel like my situation just boils down to bad luck and also the PS2 having a well documented history of bad lasers and disk drives since they launched. I'm probably going to do an SSD mod at some point, but in the meantime I am probably going to stockpile PS2s whenever I come across them for cheap as sort of an insurance policy for when the next one breaks, and so on and so on.

Re: PS2 clones and alternatives
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2019, 05:04:14 pm »
Sorry to hear about your ps2 problem. Guess I've Been really lucky im still on my original fat system.But I do have a couple extra just in case.