PS2:PS2 Model Differences

From ConsoleMods Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Page content & researching collaboratively taken from's PS2 page with permission.

There are two (or five) PS2 models, and a variety of revisions within two of them.

Models + Revisions

Models are arranged chronologically. Revisions are underneath their respective model.

PlayStation 2 (2000-2004)

Commonly referred to as the "fat" or "phat", these systems have the most concise set of features compared to the Slim. It features a tray loading CDVD drive, 2 memory card and controller slots, 2 USB ports, 1 IEEE 1394 port (earlier revisions), AV out, IR port (SCPH-500xx revision), and an expansion bay for the Network + HDD adapter. Quality and featureset varies by the revision. Typically the most reliable, with some variance across revisions.

SCPH-10000/15000 (AKA: The 'ProtoKernels') (2000)

The original launch models of the PS2, exclusive to Japan. These systems lack the expansion bay of later fat models, instead having a slot for a PCMCIA card (SCPH-10190) which offered the same functionalities as later network adapters, but keeping the HDD external.

These two launch models are named by the community as 'ProtoKernels' due to their early kernel software which had a bunch of issues. The only fix for these kernel issues as of today is the usage of a kernel replacement, such as the ones provided on HDD-OSD and PSBBN.

Unlike the later models which have the expansion bay, these models can't boot HDD software autonomously (intentionally designed by Sony this way).

Chassis wise, these PS2 models had 10 screws on the bottom while the bottom casing was the first thing you had to remove to begin disassembling.

SCPH-18000 (2000)

The last retail PS2 to use the PCMCIA interface for the HDD.

Sony made the first major hardware redesign for the console, clearly in preparation for models released outside Japan.

The kernel issues of the previous models are completely fixed on this one.

The same issue in regards of HDD software remains, but this time the issue was caused because the built-in DEV9 driver (the one that talks to the SPEED chip inside the network adapter) is not compatible with SCPH-10190.

SCPH-300xx (without 'R' at the end)

The PS2 launch models outside of Japan.

Hardware wise, they're very similar to the SCPH-18000 but with an expansion bay interface for the HDD.

These models can be easily spotted as they are the only FAT model with expansion bay that still has iLink port aligned to lower USB and 10 bottom screws.

Please note that SCPH-30000 (Japan) do not correspond to this model, they're equivalent to the 30xxxR. Because by the time the launch models outside of Japan were released, Japanese market still had the SCPH-18000 circulating.

SCPH-300xx(R)/350xx (2001-2002)

These models got some heavy redesigning on the motherboard. This wouldn't change much up to the 390xx series.

The major difference was the chassis redesign, as these models have the amount of bottom screws dropped to 8 with disassembling now required to start from the top side of the casing.

SCPH-37000 (2002)

Japanese exclusive model. Power consumption was reduced compared to previous models.

These models featured exclusive colors, never seen again on any other PS2 model. These are:

  • SCPH-37000L: The 'Ocean Blue' model, featuring a semi-transparent blue colored casing.
  • SCPH-37000B: The 'Zen Black' model, featuring a semi-transparent black colored casing.

SCPH-390xx (2002-2003)

This is the second to last revision of the original PlayStation 2. It is similar to the SCPH-37000 but released outside Japan.

These models are believed to be the best in regards of disc reading and reliability. The truth is that this was a myth fueled by modchip installers at that time, because these revisions are the easiest to install a modchip on.

This is not a minor detail, because this is also the first model to be susceptible to the MechaCon Crash (this is probably not a coincidence). The frequency in which this issue occurs was so low that many people still believe that MechaCon crash was introduced on the 500xx models.

SCPH-500xx (2003-2004)

The last major hardware revision of the original PS2. The main aspects are:

  • Introduction of built-in IR receiver for DVD remotes
  • Replacement of the MechaCon with a new model
  • Removal of the SYSCON chip, whose functionality was moved into the new MechaCon
  • Ability to update MechaCon software via patches on encrypted area of EEPROM (this feature is the one exploited by Mechapwn)
  • Removal of the IEEE 1394 (iLink) port

On these models, the frequency in which the Mechacon crash can happen increased considerably.

There's also a hidden feature on the BIOS in these models. Two new drivers (rom0:FLASH and rom0:XFROMMAN) were intended to operate the XFROM, a memory card flash chip installed as a DEV9 Subsystem (just like HDD and networking), the console OSDSYS (main menu) was coded to load these drivers and search for software updates inside XFROM. However, Sony never made a network adapter revision which had this new hardware implemented, resulting in this feature to be useless. Only the PSX DESR systems had the chance of seeing this feature working.

PlayStation 2 Slim (2004-2013)

A much smaller version of the PS2 that was manufactured for quite some time. These systems lose the expansion port and the IEEE 1394, and often times required an external power brick. The DVD drive was also changed to be a top loading tray. All Slim PS2s have a built in IR receiver.

SCPH-700xx (2004-2005)

The first Slim model. The first batches of this model are essentially a smaller version of the SCPH-500xx models.

To maintain network compatibility, Sony manufactured these models with a built-in SPEED chip. While not officially supported, they retain the capability of internal HDD usage due to having this chip. However, it is unable able to load HDD software autonomously like the original SCPH-1x000 models.

This model has at least three major revisions. In one of them, the Graphics Synthetiser was merged with the Emotion Engine. (EE+GS)

These models were very susceptible to the MechaCon crash, up to the point where Sony was sued on the USA. Thanks to this, Sony fixed the issue on the last revision of this model (Which can be identified by the MechaCon software version, has to be 6.04 or higher) with extra circuitry that was added to shut down the console when MechaCon crash is about to happen.

SCPH-750xx (2005-2006)

The first PS2 without hardware retrocompatibility.

Sony removed the PS1 MIPS R3000A which acted as the I/O CPU, replacing it with a PowerPC CPU. It was in charge of emulating the behavior of the PS1 CPU, and also took control over the network features of the SPEED chip which was the removed from the design of the console. This allowed Sony to finally and completely ditch the hard drive support.

The replacement of the PS1 CPU affected both PS1 and PS2 software. Compatibility fixes where introduced for some of those affected games.

SCPH-770xx (2006-2007)

Not much has changed with these compared to the 750xx, except game compatibility. Software changes starting from this revision improved compatibility with a few more PS1 and PS2 games, which in essence makes it a slightly better 750xx.

SCPH-790xx (2007)

Sony’s shrinking trend has continued, as the 790xx is the lightest and smallest (internally) of all Slims. Otherwise, they’re pretty much the same as the 770xx.

SCPH-900xx (2007-2013)

PlayStation 2 label.png

Finally, the shrinking trend has reversed with the final Slim. This is because Sony returned to an internal PSU design with these systems, while also adjusting the external cosmetics slightly. Reliability has also been enhanced a significant amount. However, the one huge issue is that most all 900xx's are incapable of running homebrew automatically, since Sony found out of FreeMcBoot's existence and removed the memory card system update mechanisms from OSDSYS, which was the entry point of FreeMcBoot. The old firmware is found, with very few exceptions, on P-chassis consoles which comprise mostly of Fall 2008 (datecode 8C) and earlier units.


PSX (2003-2005)

A DVR with a built-in PS2 released exclusively in Japan. Has a built-in Ethernet jack, as well as a built-in HDD. HDD was either 160GB (DESR-5xxx) or 250GB (DESR-7xxx). DESR-7500 and DESR-7700 models also have an IEEE 1394 port. It was the first device Sony made that used the XrossMediaBar, which would later be used in the PSP and PS3. The console is incompatible with multitaps, limiting game selection to single or 2 player games. The system is also known for poor reliability, with its HDD having high failure rates. The HDD cannot be replaced due to software security on the DVRP chip, which has no public cracks as of 2023.

Although it's based on SCPH-500xx, PSX consoles do not experience Mechacon crashes. Thus, they don't need a PIC fix modification to prevent laser burning.

Their HDD use a modified scheme. The first 40gb behaves exactly like a common PS2 HDD. After that, the rest of the HDD is encrypted sector by sector, and can only be accessed with specific software capable of interacting with the DVRP chip, this encrypted area holds only two partitions, which store information for the XMB, including recorded video.

Unlike common PS2s, the PSX does not boot HDD software autonomously. First, it searches for memory card updates (like a common PS2), if it can't find any card update, it launches a special bootloader stored on the console internal flash (XFROM), this bootloader performs some minor tasks, then it proceeds to run the HDD MBR bootstrap, which will then perform some minor HDD integrity checks, and then run XMB if everything is okay.

DESR-7000 and DESR-5000

These are the release models of the PSX. They feature the 1.06 firmware when stock and can be updated up to 1.31. They do not feature the IEEE 1394 port or support exporting videos to Memory Sticks. All models have an input for a satellite TV tuner and VHF/UHF tuner.

DESR-7100, DESR-5100, and DESR-5100S

Minor revision to the PSX. They instead come with the 1.30 firmware, but the maximum updatable firmware is still 1.31. I/O is the same as the original revisions, and also feature satellite/VHF/UHF inputs.

DESR-7500 and DESR-5500

These models of the PSX were a major revision to the console and featured a new motherboard. The weight of the consoles also increased around 1kg. The DESR-5500 no longer has a satellite inputs, as that was reserved for the 7500. The DESR-7500 also featured a satellite output. Power consumption on the DESR-5500 was slightly reduced compared to older 5xxx models, but the DESR-7500 had slightly increased power consumption. The DESR-7500 also added the IEEE 1394 port for iLink compatability. DESR-x500 models come with the 2.06 firmware, and can be updated to 2.11. Exporting video to memory sticks was enabled on these models with the 2.11 firmware.

DESR-7700 and DESR-5700

These are a minor revision to the DESR-x500 series. They instead come with a 2.10 firmware version, but are otherwise very similar. The stock firmware already supports exporting video to memory sticks, but can also update to 2.11.

KDL-22PX300 (2010)

A 22 1366x768 Sony Bravia TV with a built in PS2.

Debugging Stations

Throughout the life of the PS2, several Debugging Stations were created for game developers. Both fat and Slim models exist. These models can be identified by a model number beginning with DTL-H instead of SCPH- as well as the word TEST written on top of the system (excluding DTL-H10000S). Debugging Stations are region free.

Contrary to what the name on the sticker indicates, these debugging stations were not capable of performing any debugging tasks on their own. For this, they needed a memory card known as 'TDB Start Up Card' which provides similar and much more limited debugging functionalities compared to those of the true development station, the PS2 TOOL (DTL-T models).

Without the TDB Start Up Card, the DTL-H models were basically consoles to perform cheaper QA (due to its ability to read backup disks with the only need of having special information in the first sectors of the disk, also known as a master patch)

References (community bests) (community bests)