Gran Turismo 2 Reference Manual

Gran Turismo 2 Reference Manual

Here’s the first museum post in a while, the reference manual from Gran Turismo 2 for the Sony PlayStation. The game itself is circa 1999, but this manual is from the re-release “Greatest Hits” version. I probably got it in 2002. Prior to that I played a bootleg version from Hong Kong.

In these past couple of weeks, I have sold off or donated a lot of my old video games. Something that used to be inconceivable, I have now parted with all of my Sega Genesis things. The Sega Genesis, the Sega CD, the last few games and accessories: all gone. All the SNES games are gone. A quarter of the Master System games are gone. Now, it’s Sony PlayStation’s turn.

This will be one of very few PlayStation items that I scan. I’ve been scanning a bunch of Sega manuals and it is quite taxing and time-consuming going through and rotating and cropping each page. Only the truly sentimental items will be scanned at this point.

Reading this booklet was the first time I ever learned anything about cars. I remember reading it late at night and learning the driving techniques, then applying them in the game the next day. Some even worked in the real world, though I won’t say which. 😉

It’s really nice to get such an in-depth source of information from a video game. Something like this would be few and far between today. Hopefully whoever ends up buying the game will enjoy it as much as I did. As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post.

Gran Turismo 2 Reference Manual (PDF, 102 MB)

Sony PlayStation Japanese Catalog, June 1995

Continuing on the same retro-gaming vein as the previous post, we now have a circa 1995 Sony PlayStation catalog from the Japanese market. For the past 21-and-some-odd years, this catalog has remained in the plastic bag that came with my original SCPH-3000. I probably looked at it a few times in the beginning, but I don’t remember looking at it at all in subsequent years. Tonight, I finally scanned it. Although the scanning process was a destructive one, I do believe it is better to have it digitized and posted where people can see it, versus continuing to leave it buried inside the Trapper Keeper in my room.

While it doesn’t show in the scan, it is interesting to note that the middle pages (JPGs 5 through 8) were in a centerfold-style, so that you would see three pages of games at once when you unfolded it. Since the pages throughout the entire catalog show four columns of games each, I wonder if this was a marketing decision, to make it seem like the PlayStation library up until that point was expansive, which is always important early-on in a console’s life.

Enjoy!

Sony PlayStation Japanese Catalog, June 1995 Sony PlayStation Japanese Catalog, June 1995

PSP Inserts

In a previous museum post, I posted my PlayStation Portable and some of the inserts that came with it. Apparently, I didn’t throw away all of the inserts as I found a couple of them while tidying up. With my scanning skills (and patience) having increased over the years, here are the inserts in their entirety. Amazingly it is now over 9 years since I got the PSP, and I still use it regularly. Enjoy!

PSP Network Access Code

PSP Network Access Code

YOURPSP.COM Promo

YOURPSP.COM Promo

Street Fighter II (PlayStation Version)

I actually uploaded this video to YouTube back in September after doing the SNES versions but never got around to putting it here. So, here goes.

If I remember correctly, I got this game as part of Capcom Generations 5 in Hong Kong around May/June of 1999. It was pretty much a perfect port of the arcade versions, save for the loading times which were normal for PlayStation back then. Although I did play this game a lot, it might have already been too little, too late as I no longer had as much enthusiasm for Street Fighter II as I had in the early 90s.

It had already been 8 years since the game came out in the arcades. Piracy was also rampant at that time and it was easy and cheap to procure pirated game after pirated game, with purchases often including multiple games at one time. As a result, I did not value each game like I did when I had to buy each one individually. With so many choices, it was also difficult to choose which game to spend time on. I’d look at one game and think “oh I don’t want to spend time on this one when I could play that other one” and do this repeatedly. To this day, there are some games that I still haven’t touched because of this.

Still, it was enjoyable beating up on the computer as Guile, and later on when I got my PSP I converted the game to run on it so I could play on the go. Once Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded (which included Street Fighter II) for the PSP came out, it was the end of playing SF2 via Capcom Generations 5.

Making this video, I realized how much I put up with just to play Street Fighter. Although they didn’t seem long at the time, the loading times on this game really are terrible! Perhaps our old TV’s picture-in-picture function made the load-times bearable. 🙂

Hong Kong Market PS3 Super Slim – Box

After settling in to our new place in Hong Kong, one of the first things I did was go to the electronics store Fortress to check out their TVs. Coincidentally we lived near Fortress Hill, and the Fortress at Fortress Hill had the LG television that I had been looking for – at an unmarked and substantially lower price! I ordered it on the spot, then proceeded to buy the PS3 to go with it. This was my third PS3 and my first super slim, and despite having no TV yet I was excited to bring it home. I replaced the hard drive with a 7200RPM 500GB one, then hooked it up to my new computer monitor with HDMI so I could update the firmware and download my games. Like the previous post, good times.

One interesting thing to note is that although the specs on both the box and the actual hardware (well, the outside anyway) state 220-240V, the console actually works on 110V as well. This has been tested and confirmed, and if one is still in doubt, one can open up the console to look at the internal power supply which should state 100-240V on it somewhere. I didn’t do this for the super slim (I did for my now-dead fat model though), but I’m not going back to HK any time soon so I didn’t mind taking the slight risk to confirm.

Lastly, I have to say that Sony’s packaging has always appealed to me. They really know how to make a product attractive. Enjoy the museum post!

Box - PS3 Super Slim - HK Version
Another Dual Shock 3 controller for my collection…
Box - PS3 Super Slim - HK Version
Look at all those cool peripherals!
Box - PS3 Super Slim - HK Version
Left side of the box
Box - PS3 Super Slim - HK Version
Right side of the box…
Box - PS3 Super Slim - HK Version
Looks like I got a fresh one, just a couple of days after the date on the label
Box - PS3 Super Slim - HK Version
Still no HDMI cable…
Box - PS3 Super Slim - HK Version
Everything is made in China now, even the box
Box - PS3 Super Slim - HK Version
HK5 and CECH-4012B yes, but 220-240V? I think not

Playing PlayStation Games on PC, Step by Step

Was itching to play some of my old PlayStation games but didn’t want to pull out the machine from storage, so I tried using an emulator. Here’s one way to get started quickly:

  1. Go to www.ePSXe.com and download the latest version of ePSXe (1.9.25 as of this post).
  2. Extract the ePSXe emulator files into a new folder (I named mine ePSXe), making sure to preserve the folder structure.

    ePSXe Folder Structure
    Be sure to preserve the folder structure when unzipping
  3. Use a search engine to find and download a PlayStation BIOS (ePSXe recommends SCPH1001.bin), then download it into the bios folder. For legal purposes it’s better to match the BIOS with the model of your own PlayStation (my original PlayStation is SCPH-3000, but for some reason only SCPH1001.bin will work with the wizard in the next step. Any other version will require a manual configuration afterwards in Config->Bios).
  4. Launch ePSXe.exe. If ePSXe has not previously run on the machine, the config setup should run automatically.

    ePSXe Configuration Setup
    This wizard runs automatically when starting up ePSXe for the first time
    Click the Config>> button.
  5. Select the SCPH-1001 BIOS downloaded from step 2, then click Next>>.

    ePSXe - Configuring the BIOS
    Only SCPH1001 will show up in this list – any other version will require going to Config->BIOS after completing the wizard
  6. Select Pete’s OpenGL2 Driver 2.9 (should work for any modern system), then click Next>>.

    ePSXe - Configuring the Video
    Pretty much all cards support OpenGL nowadays
  7. Select ePSXe SPU core 1.9.0., then click Next>>.

    ePSXe - Configuring the Sound
    Only one option here
  8. Select ePSXe CDR WNT/W2K core 1.7.0. for Windows 7, then click Next>>.

    ePSXe - Configuring the Cdrom
    Choose appropriately for your OS, though probably at this point nobody uses Win9x
  9. Click Controller 1, then click inside each box to map a key/button to the corresponding PlayStation controller button. When finished, click OK, then Next>> again. Super easy whether you have a PlayStation->USB adapter or a keyboard.

    ePSXe - Config Gamepad
    Click inside each box, then press the key/button you want to use. The upper-right dropdown selects the type of controller.
  10. Click Done. ePSXe should now be ready to run at the most basic settings (they can be fine-tuned later).

    ePSXe Configuration Complete
    Almost there!
  11. Insert PlayStation game into optical drive.

    Resident Evil - Director's Cut
    This game is almost 20 years old
  12. Click File->Run CDROM.

    ePSXe - Launching a Game
    This is it!
  13. Play!

At this point the game will run fine but some of the settings might not be perfect (e.g. full screen vs. windowed, etc.). You can play with the settings (Config->Video->Configure) to get the quality and speed that you want. Below are the settings I chose and the result. Note that my machine is from 2011, so I’m guessing most machines today would be able to meet or exceed the settings I chose. Hope you found this guide helpful. Have fun!

My ePSXe Settings
My settings after some trial and error
ePSXe - Resident Evil
Looking good – enjoy!

PlayStation Portable

Unbelievably, it has been nearly 7 years since I bought my PSP. Like my basketball shoes, I bought this PSP when I visited Hong Kong back in 2007, and as with the shoes I didn’t have room to bring the box back. At that time, the PSP had already been out for 2 years and I wasn’t planning to spend my hard-earned money on a system that didn’t have too many games (good ones, anyway). I usually prefer to spend only my own money, but for some reason that year I allowed myself to use my mom’s HK credit card that she’s always trying to get me to use. I’ll admit, it’s easier in some ways (a guilty pleasure?) when you’re spending someone else’s money. It’s also nice to think that my mother bought me a PSP, like how she used to buy me Sega games when I was a kid.

Because I bought this PSP in a local video games mall (as opposed to a licensed retailer), it is a European version complete with European manual and power adapter. That’s the thing with buying electronics in Hong Kong; you can get models from all over the world, or you can get the local one. The former is usually cheaper, but the latter usually has a better warranty.

Over the years, my PSP has accompanied me on various travels, and even more simply, just around town. When we were kids, we would imagine taking our Sega games on the road with us, but it never seemed like it would ever be a reality. With the homebrew/emulation scene being quite active for the PSP, I was able to realize that dream, playing Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, and Super Nintendo games on the road. Nowadays, you can get emulators on smartphones, but for me it was the PSP that was first to that party.

As you can see in the last photo (taken just before writing this post), my PSP has held up pretty well over the years. I hope you enjoy this PSP museum post.

PSP Box

PSP Box

PSP Box

PSP Box

PSP Box

PSP Box

PSP Insert

PSP Insert

PSP Manual

Ceramic White PSP-1004

PlayStation Memory Card, Original Japanese Box (SCPH-1020)

Saw a photo of this in my slideshow today, the box of my first PlayStation memory card. I got it along with my first PlayStation back in 1995. Unlike their American counterparts, Japanese memory cards came with a plastic case. I remember telling this to someone at my first job (at a video game company) and they asked me why it was necessary. I suppose the extra protection would be helpful if you carried your memory cards around in your pocket.

These days, the PS3 no longer uses memory cards, but an unfortunate reality is that not all games support the transfer of saved games, so you can’t bring the game you were playing over to a friend’s house to show him how far you’ve gotten, for example. Is this another instance of DRM gone awry? I don’t know, I just know that it’s a step backwards from how it used to be.

Enjoy the photos.