The Sony PSX is rarely mentioned in the gaming world and that could be for many reasons. One of the most notable reasons for this was its inherent failure rate and due to very low sales numbers in the Sony PSX life cycle, the machine was never released outside of Japan. Now you might ask ‘how could a console made by Sony, at a time when Sony consoles were dominating; fail?’ The Sony PSX was a console secondary to being a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). The hard drive was encrypted to the console which made it very difficult for the hard drives to be replaced one the PSX had broken. The DVR function was Sony’s efforts at penetrating in to broader markets that stemmed beyond the games room what with the DVR being able to record TV shows and more.
The Sony PSX plays PS1 and PS2 games (Japanese NTSC region titles). From a gamers perspective the Sony PSX is an attractive piece of kit. The downsides being that it weighs in at 13lbs, has blocky ergonomics and overheats very easily. You’d be very lucky to find a PSX in working order but it is possible. In 2005 the Sony PSX was discontinued and never left Japan commercially. When compared to the PS1 and PS2 consoles alike; both are much smaller, more reliable and run cooler. So why bother owning a Sony PSX at all?
Here in to 2019, almost 16 years after the original launch I recently acquired a fully functional Sony PSX (thanks to a top friend; Reece). You can see the system booting up in my video here and what you’ll notice is that the interface is almost identical to the PS3 interface (as well as PSP). I was surprised to see this considering the PS3 was not released until 2006 in Japan. Perhaps this was a gentle nod to the upcoming PlayStation 3 but that is speculation. Either way, it looks sleek and easy to use. Soft modding will allow users to change the language from Japanese to English so be mindful that there is not ‘change language’ setting from Japanese to English. I watched an English guide walk through the XMB menus so I was able to find my way around.
The Sony PSX has two memory card slots at the front of the console along with the buttons to control the DVR functions. The PSX has two controller ports at the back (which I found odd) that support both DualShock and DualShock 2 controllers. Other ports such as Ethernet, USB and more. As someone who is more focused on the gaming aspect of the PSX the only features I am concerned with are being able to load and save my games. I certainly don’t plan to use it to listen to music CD’s or to record gameplay.
The Sony PSX needs more attention. Despite its flaws the PSX is a part of the PlayStation history despite the DVR functions being classed as primary. This was so much so that according to Wikipedia the PSX DualShock controller was sold separately but the remote for the DVR was included. What can you expect to pay? For a fully functional Sony PSX you can expect to pay £185 and upwards. You can buy them extremely cheap direct from Japan but most do not work. Good luck in acquiring one and I hope you can enjoy this piece of gaming history as much as I have.
Blog by Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
Retro Game Reviews. Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast and more
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