Make Old Games Work: Inventory

Before I get started on this adventure to make old video game consoles work on my modern TV, I need an inventory. I need to know what I have and what my consoles are capable of. For this exercise, I’m focused solely on the AV parts, as I comfortably have the power situation under control. For each console, I’ve made note of the particular output ports on the console and the model number as those two things will dictate what sort of video signal the console is capable of delivering.

Playstation 3

Model: CECH-4001B

Outputs: HDMI, AV Multi Output, Optical Audio

Playstation 2

Model: SCPH-30001

Outputs: AV Multi Output, Optical Audio, USB

PSOne

Model: SCPH-101

Outputs: AV Multi Output

Playstation cables: AV multi out to composite video (RCA), AV multi out to RFU adapter (coaxial)

Xbox

Product ID: 561 6026331 24902

Outputs: AV in/out

Xbox cables: AV in/out to compositie video (RCA), AV in/out to component video (RCA)

Wii

Model: RVL-001

Outputs: AV Multi Out, USB

Gamecube

Model: DOL-001

Outputs: Digital AV Out, Analog AV Out, Hi-Speed Port, Serial Port 1 & 2

Nintendo 64

Model: NUS-001

Outputs: Multi Out (matches GC analog AV out)

Super Nintendo

Model: SNS-001

Outputs: Multi Out (matches GC analog AV out), RF Out (RCA)

Nintendo Entertainment System

Model: NES-101

Outputs: RF Out

Nintendo cables: Wii AV multi out to component (RCA), Wii AV multi out to composite (RCA), analog multi out to composite (RCA), RF out to RF adapter (coaxial), analog multi out to RF out (adapter)

Dreamcast

Model: HKT-3020

Outputs: AV Out, Serial

Dreamcast cables: AV out to composite (RCA)

Multi-use cables/adapters: Playstation AV multi out/Xbox AV out/Xbox 360 AV out to component (RCA)/composite (RCA), component to HDMI adapter, composite (RCA) to HDMI adapter

That’s all for today. In two weeks, I’ll pick one of these to figure out.

Old Video Game Consoles

Okay, that time has come where I’ve decided to drag out my old consoles and try to make them work on modern TVs and capture hardware. Somebody said Disruptor and that kicked off my desire to try to play my own copy of Disruptor. It’s an early PS1 game. I have the disc. I have multiple Playstation consoles. This should work, right?

The PS3 offers many old Playstation games for digital download. Disruptor is not one of them. PS3 has no other PS1 backwards compatibility so PS3 is out.

I pull out my PS2. It’s one of the original models. I have a video cable that outputs component (YPbPr) video from a PS1/PS2/Xbox/360 input. None of my TVs accept component input, but I bought a component -> HDMI converter that works pretty well. I hook it all up. It’s working. I’ve got video. My PS2 still even has a close to correct clock.

I stick my Disruptor disc in. Disc read error. Oh hell. I haven’t touched this thing in a long time. It sat in my basement for something like the last 5 years. I’ve played some PS2 games on it, but that basement wasn’t perfectly dry. Did I kill my PS2?

Then I remember that my PS2 has been bad at reading CDs (PS1 games) for a while. That’s not new. I stick a PS2 game in and it works flawlessly. Okay. I have a backup. I have a PSOne.

I kept this PSOne for exactly this problem. I unhook the PS2 and hook up the PSOne. I put the disc in and fire it up. Nothing. No sound, no video. Now I’m digging around in my long term memory. While I can hook up my third party PS1/PS2/Xbox/360 component octopus to the PSOne, that doesn’t mean it’s going to output component video. And it won’t. It just doesn’t work.

Now this same octopus can do composite video, which is what the PSOne will output, and I have a composite -> HDMI converter, the video quality is absolutely terrible. It’s the reason why I bought the component converter in the first place. I don’t even want to dig it out. I’m stuck.

I could quit here. Disruptor isn’t the best video game. I could try to use an emulator and see how well that works. But I have this stack of old PS1 games. And I have a lot of other old consoles that won’t support native HDMI output. Am I just sitting on this more or less useless junk forever? Nah, I’m not done yet.

Let’s do something stupid. Let’s figure this out. Even if I just part out some solution and never buy it, I want to make this stuff work. To start, I’m going to take an inventory of consoles I want to make work.

  • Playstation 3 (more on this later*)
  • Playstation 2
  • PSOne
  • Dreamcast
  • Wii
  • Gamecube
  • Nintendo 64
  • SNES
  • NES

Next up, I’m going to have to make an inventory of what I have on hand and what the console will support. Stay tuned!

*Of course, my PS3 does native HDMI output. What doesn’t work is outputting to my El Gato HD60 game capture card. HDCP copy protection breaks it. So I need to do something else to make that HDMI signal clean.