The finest Raspberry Pi tasks (opens in new tab) are those that handle a necessity we didn’t know we had, and that’s definitely the case with this extremely intelligent PlayStation reminiscence card hack from Daniele Giuliani (opens in new tab), which makes use of a Raspberry Pi Pico (opens in new tab) board to completely emulate the console’s reminiscence card, including a USB interface so sport saves may be copied on and off.
Say the phrases ‘reminiscence card’ at this time and also you most likely consider half a terabyte of micro SD card, sufficient to lose your total music library down the again of the sofa, however as soon as upon a time they have been decidedly chunkier in construct and with a single megabyte of capability. The reminiscence playing cards that have been used for saving sport information on the unique PlayStation console, launched in 1995 outdoors Japan, have been this odd mixture of small and enormous, however due to Guiliani and his Raspberry Pi Pico, they’ll at the very least be backed up. The PlayStation and different CD based mostly consoles relied on these playing cards to ensure that avid gamers to avoid wasting their progress, excessive scores and finest instances in Gran Turismo.
The PicoMemcard (opens in new tab) undertaking’s simplicity is overshadowed by its usefulness to retro avid gamers. Whereas official Sony reminiscence playing cards have been typically dependable, these made by third occasion producers with bigger capacities tended to lose saves in consequence, it’s speculated, of their flash chips not supporting as many learn/write cycles because the official playing cards. Sony’s 1MB playing cards have been break up additional into 15 ‘blocks’, and a save typically used as much as three of those, limiting the quantity of information every card might maintain. Save information may very well be copied from card to card utilizing the console’s two card slots, however there isn’t any simple solution to plug the playing cards right into a PC on account of their bespoke chunky plastic connections.
Enter the Raspberry Pi Pico (opens in new tab). By soldering seven jumpers from an undesirable PS1 reminiscence card PCB to the Pico’s edge connectors, then importing a customized firmware to the board, you get your self a working PlayStation card that additionally sports activities a easy USB interface. Your saved video games may be simply backed as much as PC, and new saves may be written to the cardboard the identical means. This consists of unethical saves which exploit the console’s copy-protection system.
Guiliani is engaged on a customized PCB, in order that the Pico can be utilized with out destroying a PlayStation reminiscence card first, and the board design will combine a Micro SD card slot, so you may fear about shedding your PlayStation saves down the again of the sofa too.