Console Features FAQ by ATadeo

Version: 1.2 | Updated: 06/27/01 | Printable Version

        S O N Y   P L A Y S T A T I O N   2   F E A T U R E S    F A Q
                 FAQ for the US Playstation 2 Console Features
                                 Version 1.2
                              Model: SCPH-30001
                                By: ďAĒ Tadeo
                            Created: May 7, 2001
                      Date last Updated: June 27, 2001
                     Mail me at:
                      Home Page:


Greetings again! Here I am exploring new grounds again. Iíll just explain to 
you what you need to know about the Sony Playstation 2 Consoleís (US SCPH-
30001) uses and features. Hopefully, Iíll be able to go as in-depth as I can 
to explain the parts/peripherals and their uses. If ever I commit any 
mistake, please feel free to send in your corrections/suggestions. They will 
be most welcome. But please remember that I wonít be including any other 
models of PS2.

Now, my goals in writing this FAQ is to let owners of PS2 have a greater 
experience by knowing more about their system. As for those whoíre still 
planning to buy the PS2, this will give them a look ahead and see the cool 
features of the system. Take note that Iím putting everything in my own words 
and some infos here are not included in the PS2 manual. That means, Iíll be 
explaining almost everything from experience. I also wonít delve into the 
specifications and configurations as it would be the manualís turf, Iíll just 
concentrate on what you can do with your system. Here we go.

                     I.     The Console
                            A. The Package
                            B. Console Body
                            C. Plugging in your PS2
                    II.     Features
                            A. Playstation 2 Games
                            B. Playstation (PS One) Games
                            C. DVD Playback
                            D. CD Audio Playback
                            E. Video CD Playback
                            F. Peripheral Backward Compatibility
                            G. The Expansion Bay
                            H. USB and IEEE Ports
                            I. Internet Capabilities
                   III.     Issues
                    IV.     Frequently-Asked Questions
                     V.     Credits and Acknowledgements


Version 1.2 (Started: June 27, 2001)
        - Internet Capabilities Update
        - New Issue

Version 1.1 (Started: May 16, 2001)
        - more DVD info
        - Peripheral backward compatibility info

                               THE CONSOLE

The features of the console are the powerful 128-bit Emotion Engine, a 
specially designed processor for the system, running at approximately 300 mhz 
(300 Million Instructions per second). It has a 32 Megabyte RAM and a 
powerful 128 mhz (approx.) Graphics Processor. It is able to read DVDs and 
CDs and play games, movies, and audio. The system also features pure digital 
sound with Dolby Digital Surround Sound that will literally rock your place 
with its immense power.


Hereís what youíll get when you purchase a US (SCPH-30001) Playstation 2 
Console. First, it will be encased in a blue box with the Playstation 2 logo 
in front and some specifications at the back. Youíll see the black console 
itself, a Dual Shock 2 Controller, an audio/video Cable, and a plug. There 
will be a manual inside where you can read about the configuration of the 


The PS2 in a rectangular black box with Memory Card and Controller Slots. 
Thereís also a 4X DVD-ROM Drive (compatible with CD-ROM at 24X speed). There 
are 2 USB ports and an IEEE port at the back. It also has an empty Expansion 
Bay at the bottom the console and youíll also find the AC and AV Cable 
connectors. In front, youíll find the Reset and Eject buttons at the right 
side. All in all, the system is well-designed and looks very cool. 


This is where first-time users sweat the most. The plugging in of your 
console into the electrical outlet. The US Playstation 2 is for 120 volt 
outlets. 110 volts is also fine. So, make sure that you plug in your console 
in these voltage specifications or else youíll destroy your console, 
literally. I saw my friend plug-in a 110 volt PS into a 220 and it smoked and 
eventually burned out. That will most likely be what will happen to the PS2 
when you plug it in the wrong outlet. There are many ways to plus the console 
in voltages other than 110-120. You can use an AVR (Automatic Voltage 
Regulator) or a Transformer. I really recommend using AVRs because most of 
them also have surge suppressors incase of blackouts or power surges. 
Transformers will work fine but they overheat very quickly.



Now, the Playstation 2 is designed to play Original Sony Playstation 2 games 
in either DVD or CD Format. DVD Playstation 2 games will have a Silver CD 
(bottom side) and CD-ROM Playstation 2 games will have a Blue CD (bottom side 
also). These Playstation 2 games use the immense graphics power of the 
Playstation 2 to deliver unbelievably realistic graphics at lightning speed.


Itís true. The Playstation 2 can play original Playstation games. You can 
even experiment on texture smoothing (using the system configuration in the 
main menu of the PS2) to enhance the graphics. But some games will slow down 
when textures are smoothened. Another option will be the CD read speed. You 
can actually increase (selectable in the system configuration too) the speed 
in reading PS games, therefore minimizing load times as you experienced in 
the PS console. The catch is that some games wonít work if the Speed is 
increased. Choose Standard if you want to play the game normally. The PS2 
also uses the original Playstation Processor by the way.


Another cool feature of the Playstation 2 is its ability to play DVD movies. 
Thatís a lot of thumbs up from different people, even those who do not play 
games. The US Playstation 2 can play Region 1 DVDs or those DVDs that are 
all-region compatible. Japan PS2s will play Region 2 DVDs and the other 
countries/places are designated as region 3-8 (the list is quite long so I 
wonít include it yet). Remember that the DVD feature of the PS2 is very much 
the same as with most DVD players out there. The only difference is that 
youíll be watching your movies using your controller. Donít worry, there are 
remote controllers out there for the PS2.

Iíve used the DVD feature a couple of times and Iím shocked to see that the 
PS2 actually makes the movies look excellent (applicable also to dedicated 
DVD Players). DVDs look a lot better then VCDs, VHS Tapes, and even Cable 
Movies. Take advantage also of the System Diagnosis feature of the 
Playstation 2. It will automatically configure your PS2 to be able to play 
DVDs on your TV. To enable this, choose the playstation Driver (by selecting 
it in the driver menu) and enable Diagnosis.

Note in playing DVD: Read the back portion of your DVD Movie to see whatever 
feature it has. Examples are subtitles, multi-language support, and 
audio/video features (Dolby Digital, Wide Screen, etc.)


The Playstation 2 can play Music CDs just as the Playstation did. With 
Digital Audio, youíll never experience listening to music as good as with the 
PS2. It even beats out some dedicated CD Players. The interface is easy, just 
put the CD in and select the track you want to hear.


To the dismay of many, the Sony Playstation 2 does not provide Video CD 
Support. Time will come, third-party companies will create movie cards and 
such that will enable you to play Video CDs. But remember that Sony doesnít 
recommend Video CD playback from third-parties. Sorry folks.

Minor note to those who have Movie Cards for the Playstation 2, that enables 
VCD playback. These peripherals (especially for the 9xxx series of the 
Playstation) will NOT fit anywhere in the PS2. So, donít force Ďem.


One excellent feature of the Playstation 2 is its ability to use your old 
Playstation peripherals such as Controllers and Memory Cards. This way, you 
can just use your old Dual Shock controller and you wonít have to buy a new 
Dual Shock 2 controller anymore. But then, if youíre a hardcore gamer, you 
probably will still buy a new one.

Some other peripherals might not be compatible (repeat, might not) with the 
PS2. These are the Dexdrives and some controllers (third-party). So, be sure 
to check the peripheral that you are buying is theyíre compatible before 
actually purchasing it.


You might be wondering what the expansion bay at the bottom of the console is 
for. It will be used to house the hard drive that Sony is planning to 
incorporate into the system. You can then, download software/updates from the 
internet and maybe even store save games, who knows. Iím a little excited 
about this. 


These ports, found at the back of the console, will be used for future 
peripherals such as digital cameras, printers (maybe, who knows), modems, 
palm tops (who knows too), and more. But as of now, Iíve never heard of any 
use about these ports yet. Iíll post it up once something is released for 
their use.


As you may now, the Sony Playstation 2 is capable of going online for 
Multiplayer gaming and even Internet surfing/downloading. Sony planned for a 
Modem and will be released in the future.

Update (06/27/01): Well November (when most of the PS2 peripherals are 
expected to be released) is near and Sony unveiled a couple of plans already. 
Here are the news I got. Sony and AOL will be teaming up to give PS2 its 
online capabilities. Parallel to the Internet Capabilities of the PS2, Sony 
will be releasing a Modem, Mouse, Keyboard, and its own Monitor to make the 
PS2 a PC-like Internet Machine. There are also news about Sony integrating 
Java into the system. More to come.


Chipping your PS2

This is a delicate topic but it needs to be explained further. Chipping or 
modifying your PS2 to play bootleg or out-of-region discs is definitely 
Illegal. Why? First, when you open up the console and put in custom parts 
that makes the PS2 do something it was never intended for, violates certain 
laws that prohibit manipulation of registered electronic devices (if I 
remember correctly). Plus, Sony will ignore your questions and your warranty 
will automatically be removed. Also, it requires delicate work and youíll 
risk destroying your system so donít dare even if ďamateurĒ electricians 
offer to do it for you. Love your system and take care of it. 

Pirated PS2 Games

Some people doesnít have conscience eh... I got some news that in Singapore, 
DVD copies of games are already selling. Tsk tsk tsk... That is a terrible 
news for the developers and publishers. It goes the same for us legit PS2 
gamers. When will this stop!!

                        FREQUENTLY-ASKED QUESTIONS

Well, this will be the place where Iíll put in FAQs from readers if there are 
any. You can e-mail me at my address on top of this FAQ. If your question is 
relevant to the features of the system, most likely Iíll put it up here.


- Very Special thanks to Sony for bringing to us the best gaming console 
ever. At first I was very hesitant to get the system but itís very well worth 

- Thanks to for asking about the Diagnosis Function of the 
PS2 (DVD playback). I forgot that in the first release.

- And last but absolutely not the least, thanks to GameFAQs where you can 
view and download this FAQ. CjayC deserves all the credits given to him. 

These are all that I would like to thank as of now. If I happen to forget 
anyone, please inform me. Iíll check it out on my inbox if you really have 
something to be credited (I never delete important ones). Note, that if there 
are same info sent to me, it is on a first come first serve basis. Any 
suggestions, comments, additions, etc. will be duly credited to you once 
youíve submitted one to me through my e-mail address written at the very top 
of this FAQ.  Thank you very much!

         Playstation 2, Playstation, PS One and their accessories(tm)
           Are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment

          All other devices and instances are registered trademarks 
                       of their respective owners

               The Unofficial Sony Playstation 2 Features FAQ
                         May 7, 2001, ďAĒ  Tadeo