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Modchips & All That Jazz !

 

The answers you all want to know, for the questions you dare not ask...

Why do I need a Modchip?
What is a Modchip?
What does it do?
How do I use a Modchip?
Is it legal?
Can I make my own?
How do I install one?

 

Why do I need a Modchip?

Imports
 
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.
 
Backups
 
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 therefore unusable.
 
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 "boot".
 
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 original
 
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.

What is a Modchip?

A Modchip is a microcontroller with an embedded program which allows it to function as a Modchip. The Modchip program code is freely available.

What does it do?

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.

How do I use a Modchip?

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 as normal.
 
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.

Is it legal?

Yes! Believe it or not it is perfectly legal to install and use a Modchip in a Sony Playstation.
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 their inclusion.

Can I make my own?

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.

How do I install one?

Simple, see the installation instructions.
Read all the instructions before attempting installation.
 

 

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