Swap Trick FAQ by JMuir

Version: 2.25 | Updated: 04/01/96 | Printable Version

From: john.muir@almac.co.uk (John)
Newsgroups: alt.games.video.sony-playstation,rec.games.video.sony
Subject: Play Imports For FREE!
Date: Wed, 08 May 1996 22:57:36 GMT

||                                                                          ||
||               Mini FAQ --- Version 2.25 --- April 1996                   ||
||                     (c) Copyright John Muir 1996                         ||
||       Beware of cheap imitations : Get the ORIGINAL and the best!        ||
||       Latest version at http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/4943        ||
||                                                                          ||


  Copyright and Usage Conditions:

   Anyone who wishes to post this MFAQ on a Web page or some other Internet 
   or non Internet resource may do so providing the MFAQ is left in its 
   ORIGINAL form and the work is not credited as your own.  I reserve the
   right to deny permission for ANY commercial use of this MFAQ whether  
   that is in printed or digital form.  Please remove ALL versions before 
   2.22 as they are now outdated.


   I cannot be held for responsible for any damage caused through direct or
   indirect use of the instructions detailed within this MFAQ.  Got that  
   doofus5@aol.com and beavis12@ix.netcom.com?


 > Why does this MFAQ exist?
   Sony, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that you should only be 
   able to play officially released games for your area.  European games 
   in Europe, Japanese games in Japan and so on.  This MFAQ is for people 
   who wish to play "foreign" or "import" games.

 > What?  You mean I can't run Dragon Ball Z in my American machine!?
   I'm afraid not.  Try booting ANY Japanese CD in your US machine and it
   won't work.  You will get a message stating this is not a suitable CD
   for your machine.  Needless to say, this also applies to all other
   possible combination of machines and software.

 > Is the situation hopeless?  Will I never be able to play "imports"?
   Not at all.  Datel UK *hope* to have a commercial adaptor ready soon
   which will plug into the I/O slot at the back of your machine, this
   will remove the regional boot-up protection and allow you to use ANY
   title on ANY machine without reverting to any form of trick or kludge.
   Check their Web page (there is a link to it at my URL above) for any 
   Also, certain less-than-scrupulous dealers now have blue PlayStation 
   development ROMs which allow you boot ANY game without the need for a 
   boot CD (including pirate copies.)  I have been quoted a price of 50 UKP 
   (US $75) plus shipping for this ROM so I think I will stick with the 
   humble swap trick for now (any warranty you have will also be invalidated 
   by this procedure, obviously.)  
   NB: Remember that ANY company offering these blue PlayStation ROMs could 
   well be subject to a law suit from Sony which would negate any warranty 
   you many have been given by them as they would be too busy staying out of 
   jail to fix your machine.  How this ROM swap would affect your machine
   with regard to running games in the future is unclear as I have been told
   that a simple check can detect the blue ROMs and prevent software from

   Another modification exists which involves the fitting of a small
   daughterboard inside your PlayStation but details are sketchy at the 
   present time.  However, as far as I can ascertain this mod is legal.

 > But I want to play imports NOW!
   OK, since you asked here is how you can play most (if not all) 
   foreign CDs on your machine.


  Please check the table below to determine what Swap Method is best for
  your particular machine.  NB: the Double method will work on ALL models
  of the PlayStation but is NOT very easy to do so I have only listed it
  if your machine ONLY supports this method and no other.

  Model Number                  Country of Origin             Swap Trick?


  SCPH-1000 [Initial batch]           JAPAN                   Yes, all
  SCPH-1000 [Second batch]            JAPAN                   Yes, black
  SCPH-3000 [Initial batch]           JAPAN                   Yes, black
  SCPH-3000 [Second batch]            JAPAN                   Yes, double
  SCPH-3500 [Third batch]             JAPAN                   Not known
  SCPH-1001 [Initial batch]           USA                     Yes, all
  SCPH-1001 [S/N 592xxx or higher] *  USA                     Yes, double
  SCPH-1002 [Initial batch]           PAL                     Yes, all
  SCPH-1002 [Second batch]            PAL                     Yes, double
  SCPH-2000 [Development machine]     N/A                     N/A

  * S/N = serial number, importantly linked to date of manufacture.


  There are five methods which allow you to use almost ANY PlayStation CD
  in ANY PlayStation, regardless of origin.  I have yet to hear of any 
  hardware damage using these methods although this doesn't mean that it 
  hasn't happened.  Please understand NOT all PlayStations are created the

  The five methods are detailed below (one very easy, three quite easy and 
  one difficult.)  Various terms are used below, please be sure you know
  exactly what they mean before attempting any of the swap methods:

  A CD which is intended for your region, most likely bought at a local 
  store.  The pack-in demo CD is a "local" disc.


  Any CD which contains territory information other than that of the host
  machine.  Japanese, European and Australian CDs are all foreign if you  
  have a US machine.

  NTSC and PAL:

  It is important to note that running a PAL (Australia, Europe) on your
  NTSC machine (US, Japan) or vice versa can cause display problems.
  Take this into consideration when buying/using imports.  See below for
  possible solutions.

  The Read Only Memory section of your PlayStation where the different
  country protection routines are stored.


  Designed for listening to audio CDs or the audio tracks stored on PS 
  CD-ROMs but also provides a handy backdoor for swap trick-ers.


  A small button shaped object located near the CD tray at the rear on the
  right hand side.  Indicates to the PlayStation whether the lid is open or
  closed and essential for any swap trick.


  The White screen is the initial screen that appears on bootup and the
  Black screen is the first thing to appear when you boot a valid CD-ROM. 


  METHOD ONE:  The Audio Menu [Safe and very easy]

  Works on :  Very early Japanese, European and American machines.
  Success  :  80%  
  Problems :  Music is often corrupted.  The TOC (Table of Contents)
              from the boot CD is always used which is less than ideal. 
  o  Power up your PlayStation WITHOUT a game or demo CD in it.

  o  Select the CD Audio menu.

  o  Get a local CD that matches the country of the machine you
     have.  (ie a Japanese game for a Japanese PlayStation etc.)

  o  Find some tape, Blu-Tak or something similar.  Several people I know
     have found the corner from a cornflake packet works well <shrug>.

  o  Open the lid and look at the top right of the bottom section,
     near where the hinge is.  See the small circle in the groove?
     Good.  This is the lid sensor.

  o  Insert your local CD.

  o  Put the tape, Blu-Tak or whatever over the sensor and *gently*
     push it down.  The CD will now spin for a few seconds.

  o  When the CD has finished spinning take it out and replace it
     with the foreign game you wish to play.

  o  Now shut the lid and exit the CD Audio menu.  The game should
     now work fine (see above for exceptions.)

  o  When you have finished playing, open the lid and remove the
     tape, Blu-Tak etc from the sensor.  This will stop the CD.


  i    Try and get a local CD with as many tracks on it as you can.
       The local CD must have at least as many tracks as the foreign CD
       or you won't get all the music.  Depending on the boot CD the
       foreign game may give poor results or even crash.
       Unfortunately the number of music tracks is NOT the only deciding
       factor (the length of the data track is another) and you may find
       that you are unable to get your foreign game to work satisfactorily
       with the choice of boot CDs you have.  See the other methods, they
       may give better results.

  ii   Owners of Japanese SCPH-1000 (later batch), SCPH-3000 machines and
       later European/US models will find that this method does NOT
       work.  Sony has removed this particular loophole in the latest ROM

  iii  You can ONLY run PAL games on NTSC machines if you have an RGB
       cable (not s-video, composite or ANYTHING else.)  This also
       applies to NTSC games on a PAL machine.  In Europe this problem
       is easily solved by investing in an import spec RGB/SCART cable
       as sold for use with Japanese/US PlayStations.  In North America,
       Australia etc you will need to look into the options available to
       you (an old or expensive monitor, probably.)  I understand a cable
       for 1084 monitors will shortly be available in the US.

  METHOD TWO:  The OLD Black Method [Fairly safe and easy]

  Works on :  All early machines, see above for meaning of "early".
  Success  :  85%  
  Problems :  Most games will work albeit sometimes with music glitches
              or unexpected crashes.

  o  Follow the Audio method with a local CD in your machine.  The lid
     should be up and the lid sensor held down.

  o  When the black PlayStation screen appears (after the white Sony one) 
     QUICKLY lift the original game out and replace with the foreign one.  
     You have a few seconds to do this and it soon becomes second nature.

  o  If you must have the music working 100% or have a really stubborn
     foreign game then try the NEW Black method detailed below.

  METHOD THREE:  The NEW Black Method [Fairly safe but tricky]
  Works on :  The same machines that can do the OLD Black trick.
  Success  :  100%  
  Problems :  Not supported by all models.

  o  This method is a variant on the White Audio menu method but involves
     an extra step where you basically "piggy back" the OLD Black method
     onto the White Audio menu hybrid.

  o  Try and get a local CD with lots of music tracks as this gives you a
     little extra time to perform the first swap.

  o  Go to the Audio menu and press down the sensor, remove the local CD
     just before the audio tracks pop up and replace with the foreign CD.
     The foreign CD's tracks should appear and NOT those of the local CD.

  o  Replace the boot CD and exit the CD Audio menu.

  o  At the Black screen, replace the import CD as in the original method.

  The territory information that normally appears before the TM at the 
  Black screen will be corrupted, this is normal.
  METHOD FOUR:  The White Method(s) [Fairly safe but tricky]

  Works on :  The same very early models that can do the Audio method.
  Success  :  100% 
  Problems :  Not supported by all models.

  o  Switch on your machine and count  1..2..3..4 and THEN swap discs.  You
     need to do this *JUST* before the white Sony screen appears.  The
     timing is tough, you want the PS to read the country code but NOT the
     TOC so don't expect to get it right every time.

  o  Another variation is to use a hybrid Audio Menu swap trick:  remove the
     boot CD and replace it with the "foreign" game just after the original
     country code is read and before the TOC.  Many people find this method
     easier then the original White method.  


  If you have performed the swap correctly then the import CD audio tracks
  will be shown NOT those of the local CD.

  METHOD FIVE:  The Double Swap Method [Fairly safe but pretty tricky]

  Works on :  All PlayStations to date, including the latest models.
  Success  :  100%   
  Problems :  Do not kid yourself, this method IS difficult.  The end

              result is well worth it (especially if you have no other 


                              I M P O R T A N T

  I can NO LONGER accept any more questions on this method, everything you
  need to know is here.  Please, please do not e-mail me asking for help.


  1x and 2x refer to the CD motor speed (single speed and double speed), 
  watch a few of your games boot up with the lid open and you can easily 
  see and hear the "gear changes".  To get full music timing is highly 
  critical otherwise the original TOC is used.
  o  Insert your local CD.

  o  Remove the local CD when the motor changes to 2x and replace it
     with your foreign CD.

  [If you did this right, you *SHOULD* see the black PS screen now.]

  o  Watch and listen to the CD motor.  It will slow down and then
     speed back up to 2x.

  o  After a few seconds, the CD motor will slow down again.  Replace
     with your local CD once again.

  o  After another half second or so, the local CD will speed up again.
     Finally replace your foreign CD.  

||                                                                          ||
||                               C R E D I T S                              ||
||                                                                          ||
||  Marty Chinn ....................... (for the SCPH-1000 and other info)  ||
||  Joe @ Tronix ...................... (for the White method)              ||
||  Tony in Hong Kong ................. (for the Audio and Black methods)   ||
||  Nelson Fong ....................... (for the Double method)             ||
||                                                                          ||