S O N Y P L A Y S T A T I O N 2 M E M O R Y C A R D F A Q
FAQ for the US Playstation 2 Memory Card
By: "A" Tadeo
Created: May 7, 2001
Date last Updated: August 18, 2001
Mail me at: email@example.com
Home Page: http://surf.to/aaronph
Greetings again! Here I am exploring new horizons again. This will be my very
first console system peripheral FAQ. Iíll just explain to you what you need
to know about the Sony Playstation 2 Memory Card (SCPH-10020). How to use it
and how to take care of it for your gaming pleasure. Hopefully, Iíll be able
to go as in-depth as I can to explain it. If ever I commit any mistake,
please feel free to send in your corrections/suggestions. They will be most
Now, my goals in writing this FAQ is to let owners of PS2 Memory Cards to
have a greater experience by knowing more about it. Take note that Iím
putting everything in my own words. That means, Iíll be explaining almost
everything from experience. Also, the layout Iíll be using would be
Frequently Asked Questions Style. Here we go.
II. The Memory Card
A. Whatís a Memory Card?
B. Where can I acquire those Memory Cards?
C. How do I use it?
D. Do I need more than one Memory Card?
E. How do I know if I have an Original Memory Card?
F. Whatís the difference between a PS and PS2
G. How many saves can I make?
H. Whatís Magic Gate?
I. Some issues regarding Memory Cards
1. Third-party memory cards
2. Playstation (PSOne) saves
3. DVD Driver in Japanese PS2 Memory Cards
III. Taking Care of your Memory Card/Troubleshooting
IV. Credits and Acknowledgements
Version 1.4 (Started August 6, 2001)
- Clarification and Example for PS1 Saves
Version 1.3 (Started June 26, 2001)
- Corrected some typographical errors
- Taking Care of your Memory Card section update
Version 1.2 (Started June 24, 2001)
- Taking Care of your Memory Card section update
- short update on third party memory cards
- Troubleshooting Update
Version 1.1 (Started May 15, 2001)
- Saving your PS games to the PS2 Memory Card
- The Magic Gate Technology
- (Issue) Japanese Memory Card with the DVD driver
- Credits Section Update
THE MEMORY CARD
For use with: Sony Playstation 2 (tm) Console
Dimensions: L(5.5 cm) x W(4 cm) x H(.7 cm)
Size (storage): 8 MB (8,192 KB)
Retail Price: $34.99
Colors: Gray and Black
WHATíS A MEMORY CARD?
Memory Cards are small cards that you insert into the Sony Playstation 2
Console that will enable you to save game data such as game progress (for
RPGs), records (time records for races), and even secrets (new characters for
fighting games). Then, you can load them again when you decide to play that
particular game once more.
WHERE CAN I ACQUIRE THOSE MEMORY CARDS?
You can buy Memory Cards at your local Game Retail Story for approximately
$35 each. You can also buy some other third party (non-Sony) Memory Cards at
around the same price too. Another thing, you can also buy second-hand Memory
Cards which other users doesnít need anymore. Check first if the memory card
still works. Do some extensive testing like, saving games, deleting games,
and copying it from card to card. (more info on the other sections)
HOW DO I USE IT?
First, Plug in your Memory Card in either Slot 1 or Slot 2 on the console.
You can find the slots above the controller ports (if the console is standing
horizontally) and beside the controller port if the console is standing
You can do lots of things with your memory like copying from one memory card
to another, delete save games that you do not need anymore, and most of all
saving your games (duh). First, remove any CD or DVD from the Disc tray of
the Playstation 2 and press Reset (or turn on the power if you havenít done
so yet). Youíll now be in the main menu. Choose browser and then select the
memory card you want to view. From then on, you can choose to delete a save
game or copy a game save from this particular memory card to the memory card
on the other slot.
Now how do you save games? Well, there are lots and lots of ways to save on
your memory card depending on the game youíre playing. There are games where
you need to save very often like RPGs. There are also games where you just
need to save records of your best times. So, for more information on how to
save a particular game, please read the manual of your game provided in its
DO I NEED MORE THAN ONE MEMORY CARD?
With an 8MB capacity, most likely you donít need a spare memory card. Save
games usually take up at most 450 kb such as in Onimusha by Capcom. Other
saves only take up small space in your memory card. But if you really have a
lot of games and you need/want to save for all of them, it wonít hurt to buy
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE AN ORIGINAL MEMORY CARD?
First of all, consider where you bought your Memory Card. If you bought a
memory card from respectable stores (or online stores for that matter) you
need not worry. Samples are Toys Ďr Us, Electronics Boutique, Amazon.com, and
Now, if you somehow forgot where you bought it of if it was only given to
you, you can check the actual Memory Card and the packaging itself. First,
the common Sony Memory Card (PS2) is Black colored. It is encased in a
plastic cover with a cardboard and the manual should be inside. Youíll also
have a warranty/guarantee from Sony (included in the small manual). Check
also for the logo of the Original Playstation and the word Playstation 2
should be present and the logo of Sony. Original memory card (just like other
peripherals for the console) have model numbers. You should see this model
number in the casing of the Card: SCPH-10020 u / 97027. And it is made in
Japan, not Hongkong or Taiwan.
Time will come that bootleg memory cards will look almost the same as the
original memory cards just like what happened in its predecessor, the
Playstation (PSOne) memory card. The packaging and the card looks very much
the same and the performance are almost the same. Youíll just know that your
are cheated when the bootleg one deteriorates in performance. Sony Memory
cards are tough and are long-lasting. No other can match it.
So to make sure, buy from known stores and donít be afraid to ask. Even
though the price is high, itís very well worth your hard-earned money.
WHAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PS2 and PS MEMORY CARDS?
There are many obvious differences between the 2. The PS2 Memory Card can
save Playstation 2 games only, and the Playstation ones can only save
Playstation games. Another difference is that the PS2 has more capacity (more
than 65 times) than the first one. But then, you can use both cards on the
Playstation 2 console, except that the PS2 Memory Card wonít work in your
Playstation (PS One) console.
HOW MANY SAVES CAN I MAKE?
This wonít have an exact answer. If you have a PS1 Memory Card, you can save
1-15 games (some use up the entire 15 blocks such as Diablo and some use up
only 1 slot) because of the 15 Block limit. In the PS2 Memory Card, you have
a Maximum of 8 Megabytes or 8,192 kilobytes of storage. Now, why did I say
that this doesnít have an exact answer? First, itís because the PS2 Memory
Card doesnít have slots like in the PS1. Playstation 2 Games save in
Kilobytes instead of Blocks. To know the amount of KB needed for a game to be
saved, check the back of the box of you game. The KB amount is listed below
together with the other features (players, analog function, etc.). So, my
advice is to plan on how to save your games. Always check the amount of KB
needed for saving and the amount of KB left on your memory card. And donít
forget to save only those games where you really need to save such as RPG
WHATíS MAGIC GATE?
Now, most of you might be wondering what the Magic Gate is (as you can see in
the memory card)? From what Iíve heard, the Magic Gate technology is some
sort of a safety device regarding online security. I, for one, havenít tried
it yet because it isnít implemented yet. Iíll try it at once when I get the
modem and go online in future.
Take note also that the Magic Gate technology is present in all US Memory
Cards. In Japan, only the latest versions of the Memory Cards have that
SOME ISSUES REGARDING MEMORY CARDS
1. Third Party Memory Card
As you may know, Sony isnít the only one making Memory Cards for the
Playstation 2. There are also some other third-party companies that make
memory cards such as Mad Catz, Blaze, Nyko, and more. First of all, they are
meant to do the same thing as a Sony Memory Card does. They can save games
and some even have additional features such as incorporating game cheat codes
in it and some have even bigger capacity than the Sony Memory Card. One thing
you must remember that these memory cards are not official peripherals for
the Playstation 2. It doesnít mean that you shouldnít buy them. Some of them
have lower prices than the Sony Memory Cards. Time will come that some
companies might be able to create a better Memory Card than Sonyís. As of
this moment, Original Sony Memory Cards are much recommended than the third
party memory cards.
As of now, preferrably the best third-party memory card is Mad Catz (just as
it did in the Playstation 1). I've also heard that Pelican has their own PS2
memory card, but I haven't seen that one lately.
Now, what about fake memory cards (most are illegal) that try to copy the
original ones? Well, if you see a fake one (check the "How do I know if I
have an original memory Card?" section in this FAQ to know how to
differentiate an original from a bootleg) do not buy them. Buy only from
Sony. Even though Bootleg Memory Card cost at least around 50% less than the
original ones, their performance is deniable and youíll waste your hard-
earned bucks. Plus, youíll run the risk of ruining your console as some
bootleg memory cards destroy the memory card slot therefore, making it
unusable even for original ones. Paying more for an original card wonít hurt
at all. So, you choose, performance or price? =)
2. Playstation (PS One) saves
Now, many of you are wondering if you can save PS games on your PS2 Memory
Card. The answer is no. You canít save them. First, itís clear in the package
of the Memory Card that it is compatible with Playstation 2 Software only
(see upper left hand corner at the back). Iíve tried it with some games and
they wasnít even able to detect the PS2 Memory Card.
But donít fret. You can still save your PS1 games by putting in a Playstation
(PS One) Memory Card. Your PS2 console will be able to save and load from it.
Additional info: Iíve tried this out (as Douglas Wardell told me), and I
found out that you could actually copy your Playstation games onto the
Playstation 2 Memory Card. It really works. But you can not directly load or save
your PS games in the PS2 Memory Card. This means that, when the PS2 memory card
is in the slot, and you're playing a PS1 game, the game won't recognize your
Memory card. But,This will be very useful as you can store your old Playstation
games to save memory card (PS) space. Each block in the PS memory card uses
only 8 kb of space. =) You can actually save 1,024 blocks of PS saves onto a
blank PS2 memory card. How Ďbout that.
For a better understanding of these (as some people didn't quite get it),
here is an example. On your PS2, let's say you're playing Final Fantasy 9 and
you have inserted a PS1 Memory Card. Now, when you save your game within
Final Fantasy 9, you will be allowed to do so. But if you inserted a PS2 Memory
Card, your Final Fantasy 9 won't be able to recognize it as a memory card and
thus, you can't save your game. About saving PS1 games. Put your PS2 Memory
Card in Slot 1 and your PS1 Memory Card in Slot 2. Open up the PS2 Browser
(by resetting the system without a CD/DVD in the drive) then choose the
PS1 Memory Card. You can then, copy your save onto the PS2 Memory Card in
Slot 1. I hope that's clear enough for everyone. =)
3. Japanese PS2 Memory Card w/ DVD Driver
If you donít know yet, the early release Playstation 2 consoles in Japan has
a free Memory Card within the package. It contains the DVD driver that will
enable the Japanese PS2 to play Region 2 DVDs. Unfortunately, saving games
into the Memory Card will corrupt the DVD driver, thus disabling DVD playback.
Lucky for us who have US Playstation 2s, the DVD driver is no longer included
in the Memory Card. The hard part is that there will be no Memory Card that
comes along with the system. But then, thereís a new Japanese Memory Card
with a driver that doesnít get corrupted anymore when saving games. And the
latest info about this is that, new Japanese consoles have their DVD
capabilities built-in the console. Thus, they also don't have memory cards.
The Memory Card has a 90-day warranty from Sony. It is stated that it is only
applicable in the US or Canada only and factory defects are the only ones
covered by the warranty. Accidents arenít covered in most cases but itís rare.
(examples are: when you have your Memory Card shipped through a Courier
Service and the damage was incurred during its delivery).
What will void your warranty? Here are some instances. Opening up your Memory
Card. Deliberately causing defects to your Memory Card (i.e. throwing it
away, pinching it, crushing it, etc.). And most of all, asking Sony for
warranty for third-party or bootleg memory cards. They will just ignore you.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR MEMORY CARD
Proper care of your Playstation 2 Memory Card will ensure long life. Iíll
enumerate everything in this section according to what you should do and what
you must not do.
Things you should do...
1. Store it in a place with room temperature after use.
2. Put it back in the plastic cover (not a case like the ones for the
Playstation) after use.
3. Put it firmly in the memory card slot of the PS2 console.
4. Save the games when you really need to.
5. If you have new games today, you'll notice that the box has a small Memory
Card Holder. I saw this one on games like Dark Cloud and Midnight Club.
Once you place the memory card, it'll fit perfectly. Just be careful while
taking them out.
6. From time to time, Browse your memory card to see what it contains so that
you can organize well, the contents of the card. Delete those unneede
save games or files.
Things that you must not do are...
1. Do not remove a Memory Card while a game is currently saving. Youíll
regret doing this because the Memory Card will be unusable afterwards.
Youíll then need a replacement for it and I bet you donít want that to
2. Try your best not to let the Memory Card fall to ground or bump into
anything hard. Also, donít apply much force in it like sitting on it,
stepping on it, or even crunching it in your fists.
3. Do not put your memory card somewhere wet. It will damage it and most
likely it will become unusable.
4. Do not even dare to open your memory card. Exposing the innards of the
card will, most of the time, make it unusable.
5. Do not put you fingers in the opening of the memory card where it connects
to the PS2 memory card slot. You might damage your data.
6. Do not blow into the opening if your Memory Card isnít saving or loading.
Call a Sony representative and ask for help or contact them by any other
means and tell them the exact problem.
7. If it doesnít fit in your Memory Card slot, donít force it. It might not
As you can see there are a more things that you should not do than the things
you should do. There your have it, just follow these and Iím sure your Memory
Card will live a happy long life.
Sometimes the inevitable happens and something weird happen to your Memory
Card or your saving procedure. There are lots of things involved here and
Iíll list the most common problems you might encounter.
Problem: The game does not save
Probable Causes: Your Memory Card might be damaged. Your Memory Card Slot in
your PS2 console is damaged or itís unclean. Your game is damaged.
Solution: Diagnose first the cause of your memory card. If it can save in
other games, the game might have a problem. In other instances, it
may be the Memory Card or the Memory Card Slot in the PS2 may be
damaged or unclean so call your retailer or Sony to ask for help.
Problem: The Memory Card doesnít fit in the Slot
Probable Causes: Youíre using a non-PS2 Memory Card. A Screw might be loose.
Solution: Check if you have a PS2 Compatible Memory Card if not replace it
with a PS2 Compatible one. Sometimes, the screws at the back become
loose so screw them in gently. Donít put too much force in your
Memory Card. Better yet, as for a professionalís help.
Problem: I saved a game but it didnít appear in the browser menu of the PS2
Probable Causes: You didnít save at all. The Memory Card is damaged or
Solution: Make sure that you actually saved your game. You probably pressed
the cancel button unknowingly. If youíre sure about it, the Memory
Card might have problems. Format it first if it is your first use.
Most PS2 games offer Memory Card Formatting.
Problem: I cannot copy this game to the other memory card
Probable Causes: The second memory card is damaged. Copying from PS2 to PS1
or vice versa.
Solution: Check if the second memory card is functioning properly. Also, you
shouldnít copy PS2 saves to the PS1 Memory Card.
Problem: I have a third-party memory card that is damaged. What do I do?
Probable Causes: Poor performance of the memory card
Solution: Contact the manufacturer or retailer and ask for help. Do not
contact Sony about third-party or bootleg memory cards.
- Very Special thanks to Sony for bringing to us the best gaming console and
for their hefty memory card.
- Special thanks to Douglas Wardell (firstname.lastname@example.org) for informing me
about the PS1 saves on the PS2 Memory Card.
- 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 images and instances are registered trademarks
of their respective owners
The Unofficial Sony Playstation 2 Memory Card FAQ
May 7, 2001, "A" Tadeo