A look at current PlayStation Classic hacking options – It’s pretty tempting to buy one at a price as low as $25 brand new just for hacking it!
Without a doubt, the PlayStation Classic is one of Sony’s biggest flops as it provided an unpolished experience at a time when the market was full with retro mini-consoles (and cheap Android boxes that do emulation just fine). Now, you can grab one for as low as $25 at places like Best Buy (not affiliated) and prices are plummeting in Europe as well so what are the hacking options for these consoles?
BleemSync is the earliest hacking solution for the PlayStation Classic and as a result, it’s probably the most well-known. It comes with a lot of features including:
- Support for playing the 20 built-in PlayStation 1 games while allowing you to add your own games in ISO/CUE&BIN/PBP/IMG format
- Built-in RetroArch
- Improved controller support
- A companion application for managing BleemSync that runs on Windows, Mac or Linux
- Support for various filesystems including FAT32, exFAT and NTFS
- A payload that is installed on the device itself containing FTP, Telnet and RDNIS software among many other features such as theme/mod support and the ability to run through a USB OTG adapter
As evidenced by the list above, BleemSync is pretty feature-packed and can do almost everything you’ll probably want to do your console. However, installing it isn’t as straightforward as other solutions since it requires you to follow a sizeable guide and adding games has only recently become less complicated.
To get started with BleemSync, follow this link and give its starting guide a read or two before attempting to install it.
While BleemSync can do whatever you want, getting it set up does take a while so if you want a quicker solution to hacking your microconsole, AutoBleem is probably worthy of your time.
AutoBleem is a project seperate from BleemSync since it focused on ease of use and doesn’t require you to use a PC for managing it since these things can be done on-device.
Among the features that it boasts of, we find:
- The ability to add games without using any tool or downloading anything extra on your PC. Just copy over your games to a USB pen drive in the games folder and you’re done
- It runs fully off the USB so you needn’t worry about an update potentially breaking the internal firmware of the PlayStation Classic
- Pretty easy to install as it only requires you to copy over a few files to a pendrive and that’s it
- Smaller in size than BleemSync due to not including RetroArch out of the box although it can be installed with little effort
- Comes with offline metadata and cover art if you choose to download the full version (archive is 200MB in size)
- Various other features such as theme support, multi-disc game support and an algorithm to detect /correct improperly installed games (missing CUE file or not creating a folder for the imported games among other things)
To download AutoBleem and hack your device in a few minutes, check out its README which has all the information you’ll ever need.
If you bought a PlayStation Classic on the cheap but PlayStation 1 games aren’t really your jam, then RetroBoot will probably be the best option for you. The main focus of RetroBoot is to provide a lightweight solution whose sole purpose is to run RetroArch with the best peformance possible and least overhead.
Among the features it includes, there are:
- It comes with all RetroArch cores available for the PlayStation Classic which is a staggering 109
- Support for XBOX controllers via xpad
- The ability to play the 20 built-in PS1 games in case you want to use your microconsole as intended
- A version that can be installed as an add-on to AutoBleem
- Support for compressed cores in order to reduce its storage footprint
- Other features like the availability of optional shader, icon and cheat packs among others
To grab RetroBoot and turn your device into a RetroArch machine, check out this link announcing the latest release as it doesn’t have a GitHub repository.
While I generally advise against buying not-so-useful stuff even if it’s cheap, an exception can be made for the PlayStation Classic as for $25, you get a nice-looking console bundled with controllers and some cables. Coupling that with hacks making the device a lot more useful, it might be a good idea to consider grabbing one until stocks last and prices stay this low!