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Playstation FAQ (PS) by JDunford

Version: 1.5 | Updated: 09/26/1995

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		 * MAINTAINED AND PRODUCED by: James Dunford

			      - CONTENTS -

   (1)		What is this FAQ for?
   (2)		What is the Sony PlayStation (aka Sony PSX)?
   (3)		What is the history of the Sony PlayStation?
   (4)		Who is supporting the Sony PlayStation?
   (5)		Where/when will it be available? And for how much!?
   (6)		What do you get for your money?
   (7)		What are the differences between the US and European releases?
   (8)		What is the best way to view a PS (or any Next Gen thing)
   (9)		Will the American, European, and Japanese PlayStation be
   (10)		Which machines can/will be compared to the PlayStation?
   (11)		Which PlayStation should I buy?
   (12)		What is the arcade connection?

   (13)		Technical Specifications

	(a)	CPU
	(b)	Geometry Transfer Engine (GTE)
	(c)	Data Decompression Engine (MDEC)
	(d)	Memory
	(e)	Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
	(f)	Sound
	(g)	Graphics
	(h)	CD-ROM Drive
	(i)	I/O System Overview
	(j)	Operating System (O/S)	
	(k)	Peripherals

   (14)		PlayStation to RGB SCART Connection

   (15)		Release Sheet
   (16)		On-Line Resources
   (17)		Off-Line Resources

   (18)		Rumours!!!
   (19)		Acknowledgements
   (20)		Other Stuff...


(1)     What is this FAQ for?

This is my attempt to gather as much useful information regarding the Sony
PlayStation as possible, and to present it in a concise, readable form that
answers many of the repeated questions that are posted to rec.games.video.sony
and rec.games.video.misc every day.

I am only covering Western releases, since I have no way of accessing accurate
information from Japan and the many of titles will never be seen here in
the West as official releases (Patchinko games!).  However I will keep track of
important releases by the major players Namco, Konami, Taito etc.


(2)     What is the Sony PlayStation!?

The Sony PlayStation, aka PSX, is the initial video gaming console by
electronics giant, the Sony Corporation of Japan. The Sony PlayStation has been
admittedly been in development for the last 2 or 2.5 years - remember the SNES
CD!? <see history> Development included both working with LSI Logic
Technologies and creating a video game/electronic media department, known as
the Sony Computer Entertainment of Japan (SCE)

The PlayStation is the initial hardware entry by the Sony Corp. into the video
gaming arena. The release in Japan in December 1994 has been a resounding
success with sales of over a million units (as of Summer '95). The US release
in September 1995, was also a success, selling 100,000 units in the first
weekend of being on sale.

The PlayStation is pitching against the current 'next generation' of consoles,
which include: 3DO; 3DO M2; Sega 32X; Sega Saturn; Atari Jaguar; Atari Jaguar
CD; and Nintendo Ultra 64

Technically, the PlayStation is a 32-bit RISC, CD-ROM/XA2 based video
game console.  The PlayStation is capable of spectacular graphic effects that
include: high volume of texture-mapped polygons, incredible sprite renditions,
hardware tri-axial rotation, and gourard shading, among others.

Although 3D is seemingly stressed in the majority of the scheduled games, there
is a built-in sprite engine <see specs> Also, instead of having on board RAM
for saving game positions and games (like Sega Saturn); Sony Corp. has opted
for a 'Neo-Geoish' option, which utilises memory cards <see specs>
PlayStation has two ports for two memory cards.

The PS has a built in communications port that will allow linking of two PSs
via the Combat cable. See <rumours> for more developments.


(3)     What is the history behind the PlayStation!?

The Sony PlayStation actually has a history... a quite controversial one at
that.  The PlayStation is the product of the un-consummated relationship
between the Sony Corp. and Nintendo of Japan. The PlayStation was the name and
designation of the <vaporware> SNES CD-ROM.  NOJ and the Sony Corp. briefly
combined in a joint effort in order to create a CD-ROM peripheral for the SNES;
for the purpose of competing with the Sega-CD. However, NOJ suddenly defaulted
on the agreement and re-announced the SNES CD, to be developed by Phillips
Electronics; an European corporation. This version of the SNES CD never came
to fruition, and the Sony Corp. was stuck with a working model of the SNES CD;
known as the PlayStation.

What to do!? Well, the Sony Corp. enhanced it, combined with LSI Logic
Technologies for chip design(s), and finally released it into competition with
the 'next generation' consoles; with its sights set primarily upon the Nintendo
Ultra 64. 


(4)     Who is supporting the Sony PlayStation!?

Sony have created three new divisions to cover the three main markets.
Sony Computer Entertainment Japan (SCE), Sony Computer Entertainment America
(SCEA), and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE).

Supporting the Sony Playstation are a number quality software developers. This
list includes: Konami, Capcom, Technosoft, Namco, Taito, SunSoft, UBI ASoft,
Psygnosis and Takara. 

SCEA has attracted over 160 third party licensees in North America alone and
over 400 worldwide to partner with the company. The major industry players
with a full commitment to supporting PlayStation including Acclaim, Electronic
Arts, Crystal Dynamics, Time Warner Interactive, Williams, Interplay, Virgin.

See 'Rumours' for other <possible> developers.


(5)     Where/when will it be available? And for how much!?

 |    Location      |   Model   |  Release Date         |  Price      |
 | Japan            | SCPH-1000 |  December 2, 1994     |  Yen 39800  |
 | Japan            | SCPH-3000 |  July 21, 1995        |  Yen 29800  |
 | USA              | SCPH-1001 |  September 9, 1995    |  US$ 299    |
 | USA + Ridge Racer|           |  Late September, 1995 |  US$ 349    |
 | Canada           |           |  September 9, 1995    |  CAD 430    |
 | Germany          |           |  September 21, 1995   |   DM 599    |
 | Britain          |           |  September 29, 1995   |  UKS 299    |
 | Finland          |           |  September 29, 1995   |             |
 | Norway           |           |  September 29, 1995   |  NOK 2990   |
 | Sweden           |           |  September 29, 1995   |  SEK 3200   |
 | Australia        |           |  October 13, 1995     |  $695       |

   *	PlayStation II and III

	The PlayStation II and III are already planned, but don't let that stop
	you from buying the PlayStation I, as the PS II is planned for 1998 and
	PS III in 2003. So relax and get on with it.


(6)     What do you get for your money?

Depending on which country you live, depends on what you get. This is the line
up for the US.

   *	PlayStation base unit (H 60mm x W 270mm x D 188mm)
   *	One controller
   *	A Stereo AV cable (Audio L+R and composite video)
   *	A Sampler CD
   *	A Power cable (Wahey!)
   *	An instruction book

In the USA A pack-in game is planned for Late September/ Early October with
Ridge Racer, which will save you $10, the bundle costing $349 dollars.

The sampler CD contains playable games demos, Toshinden (1 bout vs ); ESPN
Extreme (1 track rollerblade); Jumping Flash (1 level); and Wipeout (1 level).
The disk also 8 non-playable demos and intros of more titles. (Kileak - The DNA
Imperative, Philosoma, Tekken, Air Combat, Twisted Metal, Ridge Racer,
Destruction Derby and Warhawk)

If you registered (paid a deposit) with a shop for your PS before 27th August
'95, you also qualified for the "Hear It Now! Play It Later!" Sampler CD. It
contains several tracks of music (from Sony recording artists The The, Dag,
Korn, Mother May I and Dandelion) which can be heard on standard compact disc
players.  When the PlayStation arrives in stores on September 9th, you can use
the disk to access nine separate impressive visual demonstrations from a
plain-text menu overlaid on a gyrating rainbow background.

Each demonstration shows off a functional asset of the PlayStation hardware
and does so in a dramatic way, whether it's frame rate and speed, image
clarity, number of objects or texture-mapping power. This is a list of each
demo. (Also Ref: Demo controller button list By George Cifrancis
<gc3@infinet.com> version 1.0 (9-14-95))

   *	Title Screen: A moving rainbow backdrop provides a little excitement
	for some drab text.
   *	Balls

	Begins with a single coloured and shaded ball (a sprite) bouncing up
	and down off of the walls. Your controller increases the number of
	balls until thousands are simultaneously moving on screen without any
	slowdown or glitching.
	Up: Adds Balls
	Down: Subtracts Balls
	L1: Freezes screen when held down
	Select: Quits Demo
   *	Diffusion

	Begins with a cube made up of coloured flat pieces which explode in
	three dimensions out at the screen. The demonstration cycles
	repeatedly as your controller allows you to adjust the viewing angle
	and change the flat pieces to shaded ball sprites.
	L1: Changes from flat squares to balls
	L2: Toggles transparency??
	Triangle, Square, Circle and Cross buttons: rotate object
	Select:	Quits Demo

   *	Rcube

	Begins with a set of shaded polygonal cubes spinning in a matrix
	resembling a larger cube. Using the controller, you change the
	flat-shaded cubes to Gouraud-shaded, texture-mapped or transparent
	cubes, toggle a fog effect on or off, and change the viewing angle of
	the matrix. Pressing one button will shatter the cube into bouncing
	L1: drops cubes on the ground (hitting L1 repeatedly bounces surface)
	R1: Seems to change cube colors (also restores cubes after hitting L1)
	L2: Zooms out
	R2: Zooms in
	Thumb Pad Up: Rotates Cubes Up
	Thumb Pad Down: Rotates Cubes Down
	Thumb Pad Right: Rotates Cubes Left
	Thumb Pad Left: Rotates Cubes Right
	Triangle: Cycles cubes from solid, transparent, goraud shaded? and 
		texture mapped
	Square: toggles black and white background
	Select: Quits demo
   *	Mat

	Begins with a single frog-like creature hopping and casting a shadow
	on a flat polygonal mat. Your controller increases the number of
	creatures and changes the viewing angle of the scene.
	Thumb Pad Up: Rotates Mat Up
	Thumb Pad Down: Rotates Mat Down
	Thumb Pad Right: Rotates Mat Left
	Thumb Pad Left: Rotates Mat Right
	Triangle: Adds creatures
	Cross: Subtracts creatures
	Select: Quits demo

   *	Oden

	Begins with a Gouraud-shaded box, cone and sphere appearing on screen.
	Using the controller, you can opt to texture map any or all of the
	shapes while spinning them and adjusting the viewing distance.
	After brief self running demo....
	triangle,square,circle and cross buttons: rotate objects
	L1,L2,R1,R2 and Thumpad changes RGB light source positions
	Various combinations of L1,L2,R1,R2 and triangle,square,circle and
	cross buttons change the various light sources intensities.
	Thumb Pad Down: makes all 3 objects goraud shaded?
	Thumb Pad Right: puts brick texture map on cube
	Thumb Pad Left: puts brick texture map on sphere
	Thumb Pad Up: puts brick texture map on cone
	Select: Zoom In
	Start: Zoom out
	Both Start and Select: ends demo
   *	Movie

	Begins with a young Asian woman applying make-up and shows incredibly
	crisp, highly detailed video of clouds over a bridge, a bee hive,
	computer-generated morphing shapes and underwater scenes, among other
	things. You cannot control this demonstration except to stop it.
	Select: quit

   *	Texture Movie

	Begins with a small window in the bottom right corner containing
	looping snippet from the aforementioned Asian woman makeup scene, and
	a single, slow-moving globe with the same scene texture-mapped on its
	outer surface. Using the controller, you can change the position of
	the globe and increase the number of globes from one to three.
	Thumb Pad Up: adds video spheres
	Thumb Pad Down: removes video spheres (if more than one)
	Triangle,square,circle and cross buttons: rotate video sphere(s)
	L1: Zoom Out
	R1: Zoom In
	Select: quits demo

   *	Manta

	Begins with a manta ray swimming in the depths of the ocean,
	surrounded by fish. You can change the manta's position with the
	Start: Zoom In
	Select: Zoom Out
	Triangle,square,circle and cross buttons: rotate manta
	Thumpab buttons: move manta up down left and right
	Hold R1: Fish leave the area
	Hold R1,R2,L1,L2 (all at the same time) and hit start: reset demo
	Hold R1,R2,L1,L2 (all at the same time) and hit select: quit demo

   *	Dino

	Begins with a Tyrannosaurus Rex off in the distance, in front of a
	static Mayan temple-style background. Using the controller, you can
	change the dinosaur's position as he walks, move the viewing camera
	around, tilt his neck separately from the rest of his body, cause him
	to bare his teeth, and cause him to roar and open his mouth.
	Start: Zoom In
	Select: Zoom Out
	Thumpab buttons: move dino up down left and right
	Triangle,square,circle and cross buttons: rotate dino
	L1: Move head left
	R1: Move head right
	L2: make Dino growl!
	R2: make Dino scream!
	Hold L1 and R1 and press Thumbpad Up: Make dino stand upright and move
	Hold L1 and R1 and press Thumbpad Down: Make dino stand upright and move
	Hold L1 and R1 and press Select: Dino stops and just stand.
	Note:In the above stop and stand mode you can also play with the 
	R1,R2,L1,L2 buttons (trying holding all 4 down at once while in this
		mode! is this balloon mode?).
	R1,R2,L1,L2,Start,Select (all at once): Quit demo


(7)	What are the differences between the US and European releases?

In Europe (the UK certainly):

   *	The PS comes with an RF lead (and rumoured RGB SCART lead).
   *	The demo disk has a different line up of playable demos. Ridge Racer;
	BA Toshinden; Wipeout; Rapid Reload (Gunner's Heaven); Total NBA (NBA
	Jam TE)	and Destruction Derby. Plus video footage of other titles and a
	audio CD graphics package. (Which I presume is audio reactive).


(8)	What is the best way to view a PS (or any Next Gen thing)

The easy answer to the above question is to use your eyes. However once you tire
of that gag (like I did the minute I wrote it), then you can get to the serious

This is the one subject that seems to garner the greatest number of queries
regarding Next Generation consoles. The answer is pretty simple too, but with
the wealth of options it is easy to get confused. Recently I have seen worried
postings from people concerned that they will need a special monitor to be able
to use these 'Next Gen' machines, but rest assured Sony or Sega et al would not
release a mass market product that couldn't be used a regular tv.

When Sega were deciding which cable should be bundled with the European Saturn
release their research showed that 70% of European tvs, of the people who were
likely to buy a Next Gen machine, supported SCART. However on the day of release
shops were innundated with customers wanting an RF cable to replace the bundled
RGB SCART lead. So either Sega's research is wrong or people prefer not to see
a top quality picture.

Here is the run down of connections from your machine to your tv, going from
worst to best:

   *	The RF lead.

	The cheapest, most common and certainly the worst, this was the lead
	you traditionally got with games consoles. It carries a modulated tv
	signal combined with mono audio. (In the UK Sony are bundling this
	cable with the PS. I can only assume this is a nervous reaction after
	Sega sold out of RF cables on day of release, because they had shipped
	with the Saturn with a far superior RGB SCART cable. Top marks to Sega
	for that brave choice, bottom marks for charging UKS 20 ($30))

	My opinion is this if you are spending $300 - $400 on a machine, why
	would you want to cripple the picture you get from it?

   *	Composite audio video cable.

	This three lead cable has one for video and two left and right audio
	leads for stereo sound. (This is what is getting bundled in America
	with the PS.)

  *	S-Video cable

	Now we are getting somewhere, this is the first of the two high-end and
	most suitable options. It is a combined cable with 6 pins carrying a
	chrominance and luminance signal and the usual two stereo audio outputs.

  *	RGB cable

	The second high-end option is the best, it has three separate lines for
	the video, each one carrying the colour signal for each of the tvs
	'guns'. (Red, Green and Blue).

	The essential thing about RGB is that the video signal is split into
	it's constitutent parts, so any cable that does that job can be called
	an RGB cable. In Europe the standard connection is called SCART (also
	Euroconnector and Peritel), which carries stereo audio, RGB video and
	composite video. Hopefuly a cable specialist will make an RGB cable
	that could be used with a common games computer monitor like the
	Commodore 1084S or the Philips CM8833 (so could get the authentic
	arcade experience by playing Raiden in arcade mode with the monitor on
	it's side with a crystal clear picture!! Dreamy stuff)

(9)     Will the American, Japanese, and European PlayStation be compatible!?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no... Sony, and Sega, 
announced that there will be territorial lock-outs implemented on the Sony
PlayStation (and Sega Saturn).  However, there are a number of ways to defeat
this, (one involving a bullet!).

   *	The Disk Swap Method
	Pop open the door to the CD - make sure there is no disc in the unit.
	Now, with the controller move the cursor to the CD tracks screen (as
	if you were intending to play a music CD).  Put in a CD compatible with
	your system. Now - look under the door of the CD (the underside) - you
	should notice a long plastic notch. Follow where it would touch if you
	were to close the door - but don't close it. Notice the little round
	sensor on the base of the unit? When pressed, this sensor thinks the
	door is closed which starts the CD spinning. So, what you need to do is
	get something small- yet has a bit of weight to put on the sensor.
	Don't use anything WIDE - you don't want to block the actual CD when
	it spins!  People have had success with sticky tape; a .40 bullet; or
	even a AAA battery. Then pop in your 'foreign' CD, and Bob's Your

   *	Hardware Switch
	Make a switch that is soldered to the motherboard. (Full schematic to
	follow. Anyone?)  Tronix are now offering a modification service, that
	fits a switch to toggles between US and Japanese. This is probably the
	way the 'Blue' developers PlayStations defeat the protection, and is
	guaranteed to work.

   *	A third party Cartridge
	Buy a defeator cartridge (Datel) that plugs in one of the memory
	sockets. (Unreleased as yet, but see <rumours> for more info.)

PlayStation Differences

It has been announced that certain revisions (Rev) of PlayStations might not be
compatible. In Japan two versions of the PS exist. The original SCPH-1000
(Rev A) and the SCPH-3000 (Rev B), the latter does not have a dedicated
S-video port. This is an evil move on Sony's part, where they saved a dollar
on manufacturing, while we lose by having to buy the dedicated AV cable ($15) 
rather than a standard S-Video cable which would be much cheaper.

The initial worldwide release will be a batch of the SCPH-3000 (Rev B),
without the S-Video port, allowing you to buy the cable that suits you,
S-Video, SCART (RGB) or RF (Arrgggh!).

After the initial batch run out Sony will release the Rev C PS, enabling Sony
to bring the cost of the PS below the $299 price point, maybe by $20 or even
up to $50 in time for the holiday buying season (Xmas/Thanksgiving). The Rev C
machine potentially has compatibility problems with early Japanese software,
due to using cheaper RAM, however it is promised that no problems will exist
with US-released software.


(10)	Which machines can/will be compared to the PlayStation?

In order NOT to start a silly flame-war, the only thing that I WILL say is that
the PlayStation will undoubtedly be compared to (in NO particular order):

   *	3DO & M2 (upcoming upgrade to 3DO; utilising PowerPC chip(s)
   *	Sega Saturn (dual SH2 Hitachi chips)
   *	Nintendo Ultra 64 (MIPS design R4200 and SGI based Reality Immersion
   *	Atari Jaguar (with upcoming Jaguar CD) 
   *	Bandai Power Player (Pippin) - Apple multimedia edutainment, Power PC

Please keep your opinions to yourself on this thorny topic, the newsgroups rec.
and alt. aren't interested.  All it does is annoy people, take it to .advocacy

Remember that games make a system, not necessarily the hardware. There are some
titles on the Gameboy that are still better than many 32 bits titles!!


(11)     Which PlayStation should I buy?

For many people the decision which PlayStation to buy is an easy one; you buy
the one in your local High Street shop or store. You get a valid warranty, the
machine will work with your television, and if anything goes wrong, you can go
to the shop and play merry hell with the staff.

Outide Japan, people will always buy imported machines. Why? Some people buy
them because they want to play Next Generation titles nearly twelves months
before they are released in their country or they wish to play the games as
'nature' intended, full screen and full speed.

If you live in Japan, then you have no problems, the PlayStation was released
there first so you can walk into any game shop and buy one. The television
system is NTSC and your voltage is 100 Volts. Life is sweet.

If you live in the USA or Canada, then you may have imported a machine from
Japan to skip the 11 month wait for the US release or to play rare Japanese
RPGs, which are apparently unappealing to Western tastes. The television
system is also NTSC and your voltage is 110 Volts, which is nearly 100V, if
you are concerned you can buy a extra power supply that gives 100V. You can
plug in and go. Life is sweet.

If you live in Europe or Australia/New Zealand, things aren't so nice. Your
tv system probably isn't compatible with NTSC and your power supply is 220 -
240 Volts.  With other game systems, PAL versions of games are often released
much later than NTSC ones, and are often not optimised to run PAL so you get
black borders top and bottom of your screen squashing the games, so in
fighting games Cammy looks like Eddie Honda and Eddie Honda looks like Jabba
The Hut (Uncanny!). Life is sweet as a lemon.

Sony have promised that PAL releases will be optomised for PAL and will not
suffer any slowdown and will be fullscreen. Though Sega promised something
similar with the PAL Saturn, the fighters in Virtua Fighter are fatter and
move slower than the NTSC ones, and this game WAS optimised for the PAL
release. My feelings are that a US or Japan based 3rd party software house is
not going to spend time and money changing their game to run more efficiently
on PAL, when it could be making the thing run faster on NTSC!

Games are often released earlier in the US than in the other markets, so again
non-NTSC areas lose out.  The solution is to import, either a Japanese machine
and software and potientially have langauge problems (mainly RPGs, with their 
intensive use of text, things like Tekken are fine), or wait until September
95 and import a US machine and software, and pay less too! However there are a
few things that you need. A tv or monitor that supports a 60Hz refresh rate.
(Many new, expensive tvs support this automatically), and a stepdown
transformer that will take 220-240V @50Hz supply and change it to 110V @60Hz.


(12)     What is the Arcade Connection?

Namco, and more recently Konami and Takara, have based cheap coin-ops on the PS
hardware. Namco originally set out to make Tekken for it's System 22 board as
used by Ridge Racer, however due to price constraints and a gelling of their
relationship with Sony, Namco decided to produce the System 11 board and write
Tekken for it. This allowed Namco to release the PlayStation conversion quickly
and easily. This low cost system has proved popular with smaller arcades and
with Tekken fans. Namco plan another four System 11 coin-ops, all of which will
get a quick translation to the PlayStation.

Takara has announced the sequel to the Battle Arena Toshinden, which will first
be an arcade game first, debuting at the JAMMA arcade trade show mid-September
near Tokyo, before a PlayStation release possibly as early as late December.
Like Namco, the arcade version is built on a system board that is compatible with
the PlayStation architecture. However, Takara declined to identify which arcade
company will handle the arcade release.

See <rumours> for more information.


(13)    Technical Specifications

	(a)	CPU
	(b)	Geometry Transfer Engine (GTE)
	(c)	Data Decompression Engine (MDEC)
	(d)	Memory
	(e)	Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
	(f)	Sound
	(g)	Graphics
	(h)	CD-ROM Drive
	(i)	I/O System Overview
	(j)	Operating System (O/S)	
	(k)	Peripherals

  (a)   CPU

   The CPU also contains the GTE, the MDEC and the DMA controller.

   *    R3000A from MIPS(SGI) and LSI Logic Technologies
   *    32 bit RISC processor
   *    Clock 33.8688MHz
   *    Operating performance 30 MIPS
   *	Instruction Cache 4 KB
   *    Data Cache 1 KB
   *    BUS 132 MB/sec.

  (b)	Geometry Transfer Engine (GTE)

   The GTE performs high speed matrix multiplies.

   *    3D Geometry Engine (High speed matrix calculator)
   *    Clearing capacity: 66 MIPS
   *    1.5 million flat-shaded polygons/sec
   *    500,000 texture-mapped and light-sourced polygons/sec

  (c)	Data Decompression Engine (MDEC)

   The MDEC is the propriety video decompression hardware. It gives fullscreen
   high-quality video playback and also decompress graphics into VRAM.

   *    Motion JPEG Hardware Decompression Engine
   *   Operating performance 80 MIPS (Clearing Capacity)
   *    Directly connected to CPU bus
   *    Compatible with MPEG1, H.261 files (both via additional hardware?)

  (d)	Memory

   *    Main RAM        -         2 Megabytes (16Mbits)
   *    Video RAM       -         1 Megabytes (8Mbits)
   *    Sound RAM       -       512 Kilobytes (4Mbits)
   *    CD ROM buffer   -        32 Kilobytes (256Kbits)
   *    OS ROM:         -       512 Kilobytes (4Mbits)
   *    RAM cards       -       128 Kilobytes (1Mbit) flash-memory cards

  (e)	Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

   Handles everything that is drawn on screen.

   *    Rendered in hardware - Upto 360K polygon/sec.
   *    Texture mapping
   *    Flat or Gouraud shading

  (f)	Sound

   *    ADPCM audio source
   *    24 Channels
   *    44.1KHz sample rate
   *    Digital effects include:

		- Pitch Modulation
		- Envelope
		- Looping
		- Digital Reverb

   *    Load up to 512K of sampled waveforms

		- Supports MIDI Instruments
  (g)	Graphics

   *    16.7 million colours
   *    Adjustable frame buffer
   *    No line restriction
   *    Simultaneous backgrounds 

   *    NTSC Display Resolution

	|  Mode | Resolution (H x V) |       Scan        |
	|   0   |     256 x 240      |                   |
	|   1   |     320 x 240      |   Non-Interlaced  |
	|   2   |     512 x 240      |                   |
	|   3   |     640 x 240      |                   |
	|   4   |     256 x 480      |                   |
	|   5   |     320 x 480      |    Interlaced     |
	|   6   |     512 x 480      |                   |
	|   7   |     640 x 480      |                   |

   *    Colour Depth

	|  Mode |    Colours   |
	|   4   |      16      |
	|   8   |     256      |
	|  15   |    32,768    |
	|  24   |  16,777,216  |

   *    All calculations are performed to 24 bit accuracy

   *    Texture mapping colour mode

	- 4 bit CLUT (Colour Look-Up Table) (16 colours)
	- 8 bit CLUT (256 colours)
	- 15 bit direct (32768 colours)
   *    2D Graphical Capability

	Sprite display capability (Size: 1 X 1 Pixels to 256 X 256 Pixels)

	| Sprite  |            Bit Depth           |
	|  Size   +--------------------------------+
	|         |   4 bit  |   8 bit  |  16 bit  |
	|  8 x 8  |   280K   |   280K   |   160K   |
	| 16 x 16 |   110K   |    70k   |    40k   |
		  |     Rectangles per Second      |

   *    3D Graphical Capability

	Polygon drawing rates

	- For a 50 Pixel Triangle (10 X 10)

	|  Texture   |      Shading      |   
	|  Mapping   +-------------------+
	|            |   Flat  | Gourard |
	|    OFF     |   360K  |   200K  |
	|     ON     |         |         |  
	|            |         |         |  
	|    4 bit   |   200K  |   140K  |
	|    8 bit   |   100K  |         |
	|   15 bit   |    60K  |         |
		     |   Polygons / Sec  |

   *    Sprite And Background Graphics
	The PlayStation is virtually unlimited in:

	- size (up to 256 x 256)
	- number of sprites on a line
	- number of sprites images
	- number of CLUTs
   *    Sprite Special Effects

	- Rotation
	- Scaling up/down
	- Warping
	- Transparency
	- Fading
	- Priority (What the?)
	- Vertical and horizontal line scroll

  (h)   CD-ROM Drive

   *    Data Transfer Rate (DMA TO RAM):

	- 150 KB/sec. (Normal)
	- 300 KB/sec. (Double speed)

   *    Maximum Capacity 660 Megabytes
   *    Features:

	- Audio CD play
	- XA Interactive Audio

   (i)  I/O System Overview

At the front of the PlayStation there is:

    *   Control Pad socket

	- Two control pad connectors -- expandable with multitap connector 

    *   Memory Card socket

	- Backup RAM in the form of two removable cards 
	- 128 KB Flash Memory; larger configurations possible 
	- OS support for File Save, Retrieve and Remove 

At the back of the PlayStation there is:

    *	External I/O (covered by screwed plate)

	- For connecting future devices like hard drive or modem

    *	Communication Port

	- Serial Port I/O
	- Asynchronous Data Transfer 
	- For linking two PlayStations together

    *	Audio Left and Right

	-  Red Right and White Left RCA phono plugs for connection to a hifi.

    *	DC Out (5V)

	- 5V power line for external RF convertor

    *	Composite video

	- Yellow RCA (Phono) plug

    *	S-Video DIN socket (Japan only)

	- This available only on Rev A PlayStations. (Japan)

    *	AV Multi Out expansion port

	- Supports RGB Video, S-Video video, and stereo audio

    *	AC In

	- I know this isn't really part of the I/O system, but try playing your
	PlayStation without it. :)

  (j)   Operating System (O/S)

   *    Designed by game engineers for gamers
   *    512KB ROM
   *    Small 64KB RAM footprint
   *    Multi-thread task handling
   *    Interupt logic control
   *    Suite of device drivers
   *    Extensive high-level C libraries

  (k)   Peripherals

   Sony Brand Products:

   *    Mouse with Pad 

	For some games a mouse does make a difference. Try controlling A-Train
	VI without one.          
   *    Combat Cable (SCPH-1040)

	This, for me, is the most important add-on. This two-player linkup
	cable allows you to link two PlayStations (and t.v.s) together for head
	to head PlayStation action.  Providing, of course, you have any friends
	left after boring the pants off them with your claims of the
	PlayStation being better than sliced bread.  The cable has a peak baud
	rate of 4Mbits/sec and feeds data directly to the CPU, which processes
	it and transmits it to the other machine at the baud rate specified by
	the programmer.

   *    RFU Adapter (SCPH-1061)

	The true nightmare device. If your TV doesn't support S-Video or SCART
	then why did you buy a PlayStation?  RF gives a poor picture. Why have
	a Next Generation console, if you are going to play it on an RF TV!
	Go and stick with your Genesis or SNES until you can afford a decent

	Incl. RFU Adapter, Antenna Adjuster Integrator and Antenna Converter.
   *    Controller (SCPH-1080)

	This is a well designed, ergonomic controller. It has four direction
	buttons on the left and four fire buttons on the right, in the same
	formation as the left. It also has four shoulder buttons, two marked
	Left and two marked Right, especially designed for 3D games. It has
	been reputedly being enlarged by about 15% after complaints that in
	Western hands the Japanese controller was too small.
   *    Memory Card (SCPH-1020)

	You can save your game at any time - even when the game is not being

	Each memory card holds 128KB and divided into 15 blocks.
	Different numbers of blocks are used depending on the titles, the
	listing below shows you the number of blocks needed for each title.
	(So Far)

	     Ridge Racer                1 (per record)
	     Motor Toon Grandprix       1
	     Space Griffon VF-9 8 
	     Kileak the DNA Interactive 1
	     Myst                       2
	     Toh Shin Den               -
	     A IV Evolution             15 (!!!)
	     Delux Palodius             1
	     Crime Crackers             4
	     Twinbee Puzzle             1
	     Falcata                    4
	     Victory Zone               2
	     King's Field               5

   *    RGB Cable (subject to delay)

   *    S-Video Cable (subject to delay)
   Coming Soon:
   *    Multitap Unit

	Upgrades your PlayStation by allowing up to 4 controllers or 4 memory
	cards to be used simultaneously, per joypad port. Add a linkup cable
	and you have the potential of 16 players at once!!!
   *    Analog Joystick

   Other Brand Products:

	These may or not be available outside Japan officially, but may get a
	release sometime.

   *    Namco NegCon (pronounced NegjiCon) controller

	This is a strange twisting type device that was designed for Ridge
	Racer, Cybersled and Starblade Alpha. Could be ideal for all games
	that require analog control.

   *    Hori Fight Stick

	This is a chunky piece of kit, a solid based joystick with six buttons.
	It sells on import in England for UKS 100 (US$150!!)

   *	Datel Action Replay cartridge

	This is the famous cheats device used on many other platforms. They are
	used for accessing hidden levels and characters, invincibility,
	unlimited lives and continues etc.

	Unlike the Saturn one, this Action Replay is limited to 15 games, hard
	coded in. (The Saturn one can be used with codes to access any game.)
	Volume 1 includes Tekken; King's Field; Kileak The Blood; Parodius
	Deluxe; Crime Crackers; Ridge Racer etc.

	Datel have promised to release several volumes, as and when they fill a
	cart up.  However see <rumours> for more developments on this front.

	Datel can be contacted on their 24 Hour Mail Order Hotline, 
	UK:	01782 744 707		FAX:	01782 744 292
	INTL:	+44 1782 744 707	Intl:   +44 1782 744 292

(14)    PlayStation to RGB  SCART Connection

This is based on the diagram on John Lagerling's web page, somethings don't tie
up as yet, so until I contact him (or can anyone else here), please don't do
this as I have no idea if it will work. Scaredy cats can buy one from Sony.

   *    Playstation Connector

	  1  2  3  4  5  6
	| o  o  o  o  o  o |
	| o  o  o  o  o  o |
	  7  8  9 10 11 12

   *    SCART Socket

       20  18  16  14  12  10   8   6   4   2
   \   --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --   I
    \                                           I
     I   --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  -- I
	 19  17  15  13  11   9   7   5   3   1

   *	RGB connection using an 8-pin shielded cable:

	| SCART |       Signal       | A/V port |
	|   1   |                    |          |
	|   2   |   Right Audio      |     8    |
	|   3   |                    |          |
	|   4   |   Audio Ground     |          |
	|   5   |                    |          |
	|   6   |   Left Audio       |     ?    |
	|   7   |   Blue             |     5    |
	|   8   |        ?           |    11    |
	|   9   |                    |          |
	|  10   |                    |          |
	|  11   |   Green            |    12    |
	|  12   |                    |          |
	|  13   |                    |          |
	|  14   |                    |          |
	|  15   |   Red              |     6    |
	|  16   |   H-Sync (Blank)   | see note |
	|  17   |   Ground           | see note | 
	|  18   |   Video Ground     |    10    | 
	|  19   |                    |          |
	|  20   |   Composite Sync   |     9    |

	Note: SCART pins 17 and 18 are bridged together.
	      SCART pins 8 and 16 are connected to a () resistor.


(15)    Release Sheet

Note:	Items marked with * are available on day of release.
	In the PLAYERS column:
			L represents Mulitplayer Linkup via the Combat cable.
			M represents Multiplayer via the Multitap unit.
			S represents Multiplayer via a Split screen
   DATE       NAME          DEVELOPER          CATEGORY          ORIGIN PLAYERS
30 Aug 95  Total Eclipse    Crystal Dyn.  Into the screen blaster  USA       1
31 Aug 95  Powerserve 3D    Ocean         Tennis I reckon!          GB       2
04 Sep 95  NBA Jam TE       Acclaim       Arcade basketball        USA      4M
04 Sep 95  Street Fighter   Capcom        Beat Em Up             Japan       2
             :The Movie
07 Sep 95  Rayman           Ubi Soft      Platform game         France       1
07 Sep 95  ESPN Extreme     SCEA          Multi sports sim.        USA       2
07 Sep 95  Kileak: The DNA  SCEA          3D Action/RPG          Japan       1
09 Sep 95  Ridge Racer      Namco         Polygon driving        Japan       1
09 Sep 95  Raiden Project   SEIBU         Arcade Shoot 'Em Up    Japan       2
09 Sep 95  Battle Arena     Takara        Fighting               Japan       2
13 Sep 95  Air Combat       Namco         Arcade Flight Sim.     Japan      2S


(16)    On-Line Resources

This FAQ can be found at:

	Pete Lambie's site	http://www.gla.ac.uk/~gkrx11/PSX/
	Andy Eddie's site	ftp.netcom.com/pub/vi/vidgames/faqs
	Nils Jacobsen's site	http://bert.cs.byu.edu/~nils/psx.html

PlayStation Information can be found:

   *	PlayStation Only

	Nils Jacobsen		http://bert.cs.byu.edu/~nils/psx.html
	John Lagerling          http://www.algonet.se/~jlager/psx.html
	Out of Date?		http://www.pitt.edu/~aaronr/newps.html
	PSX cheats (working?)	http://www.kindafull.com/vgame/PSX/codes.html

	Game Cheats		http://hyperactive.com/games/code/bin/
	???????			http://stanmor.tnova.co.jp:10080/PS/PS.html

   *	General Video Games and Magazines

	Future Net		http://www.futurenet.co.uk/
	Game Zero		http://www.gamezero.com/team-0/
	Intellient Gamer        http://igonline.escape.com/
	Nuke!			http://www.nuke.com/
	Tronix Multimedia       http://www.phantom.com/~joecat

   *	Developers Sites

	Bullfrog		http://www.ea.com/drink.html
	Electronic Arts		http://www.ea.com/
	Interplay		http://www.interplay.com/
	Microprose		http://www.microprose.com/gspsx.html
	Namco			http://www.namco.com/psx/index.html
	Psygnosis		http://www.sepc.sony.com/SEPC/Psygnosis
	Ubi Soft		http://www.ubisoft.com/

   *	Sony Pages

	Publishing	http://www.sepc.sony.com/SEPC/PSX/PSXindex.HTML
	Adventure	http://www.scea.sony.com/SCEA
	SCE (Japan)	http://www.csl.sony.co.jp/InfoPlaza/SME/PlayStation/

   *	PlayStation Mailing Lists

	psx-list-request@cpac.washington.edu	psx mailing list
	psx-list@netcom.com			psx mailing list


(17)    Off-Line Resources

It has been suggest that I compile a list of magazines and fanzines and
official addresses that cover the PlayStation. This is probably the hardest
section to maintain as different publications are popping up and folding in
different countries all the time.

Here is my best shot at magazine names and subscription addresses:

   *	Die Hard Gamefan		?

   *	Edge				General Next Generation mag. Lots of
	Future Publishing		PS coverage. Aimed at more mature
	FREEPOST BS4900			gamers with big wallets.
	Somerset TA 11 7BR
	England				(edge@futurenet.co.uk)

   *	EGM^2                           "Sister" magazine to Electronic Gaming
	1920 Highland Avenue            Monthly (above).  Some duplication of
	Suite 222                       material between the two publications.
	Lombard, IL 60148

   *	Electronic Gaming Monthly       General video-gaming magazine which
	1920 Highland Avenue            available is almost everywhere.
	Suite 222                       (UK at least)
	Lombard, IL 60148               

   *	Game Players			?

   *	GamePro				General video-gaming magazine with
	951 Mariner's Island Blvd.	some PlayStation coverage.
	San Mateo, CA 91202

   *	Next Generation			Edge sister magazine. Differing content
	?				but with some article/news sharing.

   *	P.S.X.				From the Sendai (EGM) stable of mags.
					Has been described as "Fluffy". Has
	USA				a junior slant.

   *	The Official PlayStation	Future Publishing's official UK Sony
	Magazine			PS licence. Edited by former Edge
					editor Steve Jarrett.

   *	Ultimate Future Games		Next Generation only magazine.
	Future Publishing		A junior version of Edge, packed with
	FREEPOST BS4900			screen shots, tips, cheats and reviews
	Somerset TA 11 7BR
	England				(ultimate@futurenet.co.uk)

   *	Video Games			General video-gaming and computer-
	9171 Wilshire Blvd.,		gaming magazine.
	Suite 300
	Beverly Hills, CA 90210

How to contact Sony

USA		SCEA	1-800-345-SONY (7669)

Europe		SCEE	44-1-71-911-8700


(18)    Rumours

It seems that Namco has *joined* forces with Sony in order to extend the
competition between Namco and Sega, which is ferocious in the arcade world;
however, Namco WILL be supporting the Sega Saturn, which seems to be a conflict
of interests. I can only guess that Namco just wishes to make the most money

Ever wondered if the full version of Galaxians is hidden in Ridge Racer or
Galaga in Tekken? Well the answer is no, however Namco are rumoured to be
creating a compilation disk of full versions of the classics above and Pac Man
etc. When is another matter, maybe before Xmas in Japan, who knows.  Namco have
announced that it is to be called "Museum of Games, Vol.1". (Jap. trans.)
It will contain Galaga, Pole Position, Pacman, Rally-X, New Rally-X, Bosconian
and Toypop! Apparently this series is scheduled to Vol.5, so we got a few
good oldies coming our way!

Ken Kutaragi R&D manager of Sony of Japan has stated that the PlayStation
joypads will indeed be changed before the European and US release since they
are considered to small. Also he says that they are currently looking into a
possible telecommunication option for the PlayStation. Something which is
already implemented when it comes to connectivity. (Same port as the Link-up
cable will go into).

Konami has finished development of it's new PlayStation based coin-op board, up
to now unnamed.  Konami has announced three titles, one of which is rumoured to
be a 3D Gradius.

According to a telephone conversation I had with Datel, they have a lockout
breaker ready for September. They could not confirm whether they would do a
combined lockout breaker and cheat code access system like they have just 
released with the Saturn.

Takara have announced that Sega will be developing Toshinden S for Saturn under
license from them.


(19)    Acknowledgements

Thanks to (in almost no particular order):

	- John Lagerling (jlager@algonet.se)
	- Par-Salian (par@cloud9.net)
	- Craig M. Kazial (kazial@ascu.buffalo.edu)
	- Pete Lambie (gkrx11@udcf.gla.ac.uk)
	- Andy Eddie (vidgames@netcom.com)
	- Neil Hirst (Brid Gazzer)
	- Mike Liang (mike@lsil.com)
	- Intelligent Gamer On-Line
	- Game Zero Magazine (gmezero@gz.bomb.com)
	- Edge magazine (Future Publishing, England)
	- Ultimate Future Games (Future Publishing, England)
	- Sony Computer Entertainment of Japan/America/Europe
	- and all of the others that *helped* along the way...
	- The original is credited to WiLL McBEE
	- Special thanks to George Cifrancis III (gc3@infinet.com) for his demo
	disk control options additions.


(20)    Other Stuff

I have NEVER done a FAQ before; therefore, I could have seemingly left out
information that could and would be considered important information - if so,
it was done unintentionally and will be corrected in the future versions of
the FAQ(s).

ANY and ALL input is welcome... 

Comments and/or criticisms are also welcomed!   

Who am I? I am James Dunford, born in Redcar in 1966 on the North East coast of
England. My football club (if reading this in America, read soccer club :) ) is

I now live and work in Leeds, at Leeds Metropolitan University, for the
Management Information Systems department. I typed most of this there, and the
rest at home on my old Amiga A1200.


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