Saturday, May 6, 2017

Weekend Headlines - Nintendo/PlayStation Prototype

So you may recall a little while back that Terry and Dan Diebold discovered a prototype for the Nintendo PlayStation – a one-time partnership between Nintendo and Sony that never saw the light of day, leading Sony to instead produce its own PlayStation model in 1995. It was a marvelous thing to look at, even if it didn’t necessarily work 100 percent, since it was a prototype and all. But here’s the thing – now it truly does.

Master tech guy Ben Heck, who works on The Ben Heck Show over on YouTube as part of Element 14, recently posted a video about how he was able to get the system much more operational – and some of it was just based on luck.

“I was working on this yesterday and the CD-ROM wasn’t even detecting the disc,” he explained. “I came in this morning and jiggled the cables around and got ready to work on it some more, and all of a sudden it works…did a magic elf come in overnight?”

Heck tested a number of formatted discs on it to attain “focus gain, tracking balance and tracking gain,” and while not everything worked (Super Boss Gaiden produced an error message), others loaded up just fine with small glitches.

He made note that some “unexpected IRQs from the disc system” were causing certain behavioral issues with homebrew software, but he managed to get things working. “I should really loan this to one of the emulation writers,” he said. “The bootstrap code to load games needs to be tweaked now that programmers know how actual hardware works…now it’s down to the programmers learning what the hardware can actually do versus what they thought it could do.”

While the system isn’t quite 100 percent just yet, or “fully functional” as Heck puts it, it’s definitely a step in the right direction, and enables the Diebolds to show off the Nintendo PlayStation in higher working order.