A number of models of Sony's PlayStation video game console were produced.
The PlayStation (except PSone) went through a number of variants during its production run, each accompanied by a change in the part number. From an external perspective, the most notable change was the gradual reduction in the number of external connectors from the back of the unit. This started very early on with the original Japanese launch units; the SCPH-1000, released on December 3, 1994, was the only model that had an S-Video port, which was removed on the next release. This also led to a discrepancy where the US and European launch units had the same part number series (SCPH-100x) as the Japanese launch units, but had different hardware (Rev. B silicon and no S-Video port)—they were followed by the Japanese SCPH-3000, so for consistency should have been SCPH-3001 and SCPH-3002 (this numbering was used for the Yaroze machines, which were based on the same hardware and numbered DTL-H3000, DTL-H3001, and DTL-H3002). Also, the first models (DTL-H1000, DTL-H1001, DTL-H1002) had problems with printf function and developers had to use another function instead. This series of machines had a reputation for CD drive problems—the optical pickup sled was made of thermoplastic and placed on the power supply that accelerated and eventually developed wear spots that moved the laser into a position where it was no longer parallel with the CD surface—a modification was made that replaced the sled with a die-cast one with hard nylon inserts, which corrected the problem.
The PAL region consoles from SCPH-1002 up to SCPH-5552 were different from the systems released in other regions in that they had a different menu design; a grey blocked background with square icons for the Memory Card (an icon showing a PlayStation with 2 memory cards inserted) and CD player (an icon with musical keyboards) menus. The CD player also included reverberation effects unique to those systems until the release of the PSone in 2000, which featured a slightly modified version of the BIOS.
With the release of the SCPH-5000 series being produced only in Japan, it followed the same exterior design as the Japanese SCPH-3xxx series, its only differences being that it upgraded some flawed components from previous models and a reduced retail value. This model was followed by the SCPH-550x and exclusive PAL SCPH-5552 units, released in April 1997. A number of changes were made to the SCPH-550x series internally (CD drive relocated, shielding simplified, PSU wiring simplified) and the RCA jacks and RFU power connectors were removed from the rear panel and the printed text on the back was changed to reliefs of the same. Starting with the SCPH-550x series, PAL variants had the "power" and "open" buttons changed from text to symbols which later will be used on the redesigned PSone models. Originally, the PlayStation was supposed to have provision on Video CD support, but this feature was only included on the Asian exclusive SCPH-5903 model.
These were followed by the SCPH-700x and SCPH-750x series, released in May 1998—they are externally identical to the SCPH-500x machines, but have internal changes made to reduce manufacturing costs (for example, the system RAM went from 4 chips to 1, and the CD controller went from 3 chips to 1) and these were the last models to support parallel port for Gameshark devices. In addition, a slight change of the start-up screen was made; the diamond is seen as longer and thinner and the trademark symbol (™) is now placed after "Computer Entertainment" instead of after the diamond, as it was on the earlier models. New to the SCPH-700x series was the introduction of the "Sound Scope" - light show music visualizations. These were accessible by pressing the Select button while playing any normal audio CD in the system's CD player. While watching these visualizations, players could also add various effects like color cycling or motion blur and can save/load their memory card. These were seen on the SCPH-700x, 750x, 900x, and PSone models.
The final revision to the original PlayStation was the SCPH-900x series, released in May 1999. These had the same hardware as the SCPH-750x models, except the parallel port was removed and the size of the PCB is slightly reduced. The removal of the parallel port is partially due to the fact that Sony did not release an official add-on for it; it was used for cheat cartridges for the parallel port to defeat the regional lockouts and copy protection. The SCPH-900x was the last model to support PlayStation Link Cable connection, as the Serial I/O port was removed on all PSone models.
The PSone, released on July 7, 2000, was originally based on essentially the same hardware as the SCPH-900x; the serial port was removed, the controller / memory card ports moved to the main PCB and the internal power supply replaced with an external 7.5VDC power adapter with the other required power rails being generated internally on the main using a mixture of regulators and DC/DC converters for the various rails. It also incorporated a slightly modified version of the menu design previously used only on PAL consoles. The later revision (still designated as SCPH-10x, but with a different PM-41(2) main circuit board) was functionally identical, but reduced manufacturing cost by moving to more highly integrated chips (mostly this was the replacement of external RAM with on-chip RAM, which both reduced the parts count and allowed the use of smaller and cheaper packages by reducing the number of pins required).
There were also debugging consoles - these were generally in either blue or green cases, although there were some special production units (mostly intended for use as show demo units) that were grey, the same as the retail consoles. The debug units were designed to be as close as possible to retail consoles, so they only had 2MB of ram (the developer boards had 8MB) and had standard retail boot ROMs. The only real difference is that the CD controller was reprogrammed so that it would identify any disc that had a data track as being "licensed", rather than requiring the region code in the lead-in that was present on pressed PlayStation CDs. This was done to allow developers to burn games to CD-R for testing - a side effect of this was that most debug consoles would also boot discs from other regions (one notable exception being the later NTSC:J debugs, which only boot Japanese titles), although this was not officially supported - Sony made specific debug consoles for each region, and the TRC documents for each region required you to test your title on the correct debug stations.
The reason for the two different case colors was a hardware change that Sony had made fairly early in the PlayStation production cycle - the original machines were built using Rev. A (early Japan market units) or Rev. B (later Japan units, US and Europe) GPU chips. They also used VRAM to store the video data - the later models used Rev. C silicon and SGRAM - although the two chipsets had very similar performance, they were not identical - the Rev. C version was significantly faster at doing alpha blending, and hence the PS "semitransparent" writing mode - it was also rather slower at certain screen memory block moves (basically, ones involving narrow vertical strips of the display) on top of this there were some minor hardware bugs in the older silicon that had been addressed by including workarounds for them in the libraries - the later library versions checked the GPU type at startup time and disabled the patches if they were not needed. Because this made the two machine types quite significantly different from each other, you had to test your title on both of them before submitting it. The blue debugs (DTL-H100x, DTL-H110x) had the old silicon and the green ones (DTL-H120x) had the new silicon.
In 1997, Sony had released a version of the PlayStation called the Net Yaroze was also produced. It was more expensive than the original PlayStation, colored black instead of the usual gray, and most importantly, came with tools and instructions that allowed a user to be able to program PlayStation games and applications without the need for a full developer suite, which cost many times the amount of a PlayStation and was only available to approved video game developers. Naturally, the Net Yaroze lacked many of the features the full developer suite provided. Programmers were also limited by the 2 MB of total game space that Net Yaroze allowed. The amount of space may seem small, but games like Ridge Racer ran entirely from the system RAM (except for the streamed music tracks). It was unique in that it was the only officially retailed PlayStation with no regional lockout; it would play games from any territory. It would not however play CD-R discs, so it was not possible to create self-booting Yaroze games without a modified PlayStation.
|Manufacturer||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Type||Video game console|
|Generation||Fifth generation era|
|Retail availability||July 7, 2000 – March 23, 2006|
|Units sold||28.15 million|
The PSone is Sony's smaller, redesigned version of its original PlayStation console. (Dimensions are 38 mm × 193 mm × 144 mm versus 45 mm × 260 mm × 185 mm.) It was released on July 7, 2000, and went on to outsell all other consoles throughout the remainder of the year—including Sony's own PlayStation 2 (yet the PlayStation 2 overtook this eventually). The PSone is fully compatible with all PlayStation software. This also serves as the final model/revision for the entire PlayStation lineage.
There were six differences between the PSone and the original PlayStation.
- There was a major cosmetic change to the console; it became much smaller.
- Instead of having a separate reset button, the user "resets" this console simply by turning it off and then on again (the power button also has the word "RESET" on it to reduce confusion by users reading a game manual referencing a reset button that is effectively nonexistent).
- The system menu Graphical User Interface was changed to a gray blocked background with 2 icons (Memory Card placed on a red bar and CD Player placed on a yellow bar). This is a slightly modified version of the menu used on early PAL PlayStations (SCPH-1002–SCPH-5552).
- There was an added protection against the use of modchips (by changing the internal layout and making previous-generation modchip devices unusable).
- The original PlayStation's parallel and serial ports were omitted. These ports allowed multiple consoles to be connected for multiplayer, or to connect a console to debugging software, as well as to third-party game enhancement devices such as the GameShark.
- When the console is started up, instead of a trademark symbol (™) beside the words "Computer Entertainment" there is a registered trademark symbol (®).
Sony also released a version with a 5" LCD screen and an adaptor (though it did not have a battery: it is powered by plugging the adaptor in a main socket, or in a car). It was called the Combo pack. However, it includes a headphone jack (for headphones or other audio connection) and an AV mini jack for connecting camcorders or other devices.
Comparison of models
|Model:||Case:||BIOS:||Hardware:||Region:||A/V Direct Out:||Parallel Port:||Serial Port:||Notes:|
|SCPH-1000||Original (Grey)||Unknown (1994-09-22)||Rev. A||NTSC-J||Yes||Yes||FMV skipping issues. S-Video direct out.|
|SCPH-1001||2.2 (1995-12-04)||Rev. B||NTSC-U/C||FMV skipping issues.
Based on the SCPH-3000 series.
|SCPH-3000||1.1 (1995-01-22)||NTSC-J||FMV skipping issues. Earliest units had a PU-7 board, further units featured a PU-8 board like the SCPH-1002.
2 controllers were included.
|SCPH-5000||2.2 (1995-12-04)||Rev. C||FMV skipping issues.|
|SCPH-5500||3.0 (1996-09-09)||NTSC-U/C||No||CD-ROM drive re-located on right side of CD bay.
Lens carriage reinforced and power simplified, fixing FMV skipping issues.
A/V direct out and RFU power connector removed.
Model numbers synchronized worldwide.
Lens assembly attuned specifically to the black disks to circumvent piracy.
A very rare Men in Black promotional model exists with a black case and the film's logo on the CD lid.
Only model capable of playing Video CD movies.
This model also has RCA plugs, like earlier PlayStation models.
|SCPH-5903||Original (White)||2.2 (1995-12-04)||NTSC-J||Yes|
|SCPH-7000||Original (Grey)||4.0 (1997-08-18)||No||DualShock now standard.
Introduction of Sound Scope.
Major manufacturing cost reductions took place from this model onwards.
The number of memory chips and CD-ROM controllers were reduced, other components were simplified.
SCPH-7000, SCPH-7001, and SCPH-7002:
Available in midnight blue as promotional item to celebrate the 10 millionth PlayStation sold.
|SCPH-9000||4.0 (1997-08-18)||No||Yes||Parallel port removed (hidden under case on earlier 9000 units, completely removed on later 9000 models.).
Motherboard PCB reduced in size.
|SCPH-100||PSone (White)||4.3 (2000-03-11)||No||Redesigned smaller case.
Controller and memory card ports integrated onto motherboard.
Serial port removed.
Has external power supply.
|DTL-H1000||Original (Blue)||Unknown (22/09/94)||Rev. A||NTSC-J||Yes||S-Video direct out.||Debugger.|
|DTL-H1000H||Original (Grey)||1.1 (22/01/95)||Rev. B|
|DTL-H1001||Original (Blue)||2.0 (07/05/95)||NTSC-U/C|
|DTL-H1001H||Original (Grey)||Unknown (Unknown)|
|DTL-H1002||Original (Blue)||2.0 (10/05/95)||PAL|
|DTL-H1100||2.2 (06/03/96)||NTSC-J||Has external power supply.|
|DTL-H1200||Original (Green)||2.2 (04/12/95)||Rev. C||NTSC-J|
|DTL-H3000||Original (Black)||Unknown (Unknown)||Rev. B||NTSC-J||No||Net Yaroze hobbyist development system.|
*All models feature A/V Direct Out, Parallel Port and Serial Port; none feature Sound Scope
*All models use a low-quality CD drive.
*All models can boot software with any region code.
Summary of PlayStation models
The last digit of the PlayStation model number denotes the region in which it was sold:
- 0 is Japan (Japanese boot ROM, NTSC:J region, NTSC Video, 100 V PSU)
- 1 is USA/Canada (English boot ROM, NTSC:U/C region, NTSC Video, 110 V PSU)
- 2 is Europe/Australia/PAL region (English boot ROM, PAL region, PAL Video, 220 V PSU)
- 3 is Asia (English boot ROM, NTSC:J region, NTSC video, Wide range 110-240 V PSU)
Quality of construction
The first batch of PlayStations used a KSM-440AAM laser unit whose case and all movable parts were completely made out of plastic. Over time, friction caused the plastic tray to wear out—usually unevenly. The placement of the laser unit close to the power supply accelerated wear because of the additional heat, which made the plastic even more vulnerable to friction. Eventually, the tray would become so worn that the laser no longer pointed directly at the CD and games would no longer load. Sony eventually fixed the problem by making the tray out of die-cast metal and placing the laser unit farther away from the power supply on later models of the PlayStation.
Some units, particularly the early 100x models, would be unable to play FMV or music correctly, resulting in skipping or freezing. In more extreme cases the PlayStation would only work correctly when turned onto its side or upside down.
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