Modchips & All That Jazz !
The answers you all want to know, for the questions you dare not ask...
- Sony, in its wisdom, decided that it was not in the best interests of consumers (read
profits) to allow end users to play games which were not destined for that users location.
For example UK PSX users cannot play games imported from Japan, USA etc. Games from other
countries are available earlier and are often more graphic (gory etc.), however UK
consumers must wait until the games companies decide to ship to the UK (e.g. Tekken3). The
PAL ports from NTSC versions are often inferior and buggy!
- To enforce regional restrictions a country code is included on PSX CD's which prevents
their use on a non compliant PSX (i.e. a PSX from a different region to that defined
on the CD).
- The Modchip intercepts the validation checks which are carried out and confirms that the
CD in the PSX is valid for the operating region.
- Many game suppliers recommend taking a backup of your legally acquired PSX CD's, and
include a clause in the licensing agreement which allows the backup to be made and used in
the result of damage/loss to the original. However these backups will not boot and are
- PSX CD's contain a boot sector which contains a number of accurately positioned
"bad" sectors, these sectors are checked for existence before a CD is allowed to
- When making backups from original PSX games, "bad" sectors are ignored,
resulting in a backup which whilst technically accurate, does not contain the magic
"bad" sectors which are required for booting.
- The Modchip intercepts these checks and confirms that the CD in the PSX is a valid
- Copies (Gold Discs)
- As with backups, copies (whether bought or home-made) lack the required boot sector. The
Modchip performs the same actions as per backups, verifying the copied CD.
- A Modchip is a microcontroller with an embedded program which allows it to function as a
Modchip. The Modchip program code is freely available.
- As explained in "Why do I need a Modchip?"
the Modchip intercepts the PSX's checks for regional and original CD's. The method by
which this is achieved is complex and will not be explained here.
- Once installed there is nothing you need to do. Simply insert your original, imported,
backup, copied CD's into the PSX and hit the reset/power-on button! The games SHOULD boot
- It is impossible to tell if a game is copied/imported whilst playing. There are no
obvious external signs.
- If you wish to play imported games which are not in PAL format (i.e. NTSC etc.) then you
will need a SCART lead. These are available from most stores selling Playstations. These
leads are available here as well.
- Yes! Believe it or not it is perfectly legal to install and use a Modchip in a Sony
- However... the copying of games is illegal in many (if not most) countries. PSX On-Line
or any other associated companies do not condone the illegal copying and/or distribution
of computer software for the Playstation or any other format.
- PLEASE, do not ask for advice on where to buy copied games. We do not know, nor do we
wish to know. No links will be included to sites selling games, please do not ask for
- You cannot make your own microcontroller (unless you are prepared to invest several
million dollars in a chip fabrication plant!), however you can program your own.
- The Modchip is a 12C508 microcontroller which is programmed with the Modchip program
code - this code is freely available on the Internet.
- Simple, see the installation instructions.
- Read all the instructions before attempting installation.