Swap Magic For Slim Playstation 2
Recently my Japanese PS2 that I got way back at the Japan launch died on me. Seeing as I need to have a machine that plays Japanese PS2 games I went looking around at prices for a new one and unfortunately found the price tags to be in the $180 range. With that in mind I set out to find a more cost effective method of playing import games. I’ve always been fond of tinkering with my consoles which is evidenced by my blue see through modified Dreamcast and the mod switch on the side of my Gamecube, so I looked around at the current PS2 mod options since I already own a Slim US PS2.
I’m absolutely terrible at soldering and I’m not a fan of the PS2 modchip scene seeing as it’s rampant with piracy so I didn’t want to install a modchip. After searching a bit I came across the Swap Magic product. It looked interesting but upon further inspection I realized that it required opening up the console to install. I looked a little further and found a new version of the product which required zero modification to the console. This looked to be the solution to my problems. Luckily I had the PS2 version it supported, the Slim PS2, so I took the plunge and ordered it up from ModChip.Com.
Then I got to play the waiting game. I waited for weeks for this thing to be delivered before I finally gave up on it. I also tried many times to find and e-mail the staff of this website store but their support e-mail is so well hidden, if existent, on their website that I could never find it. So with one scam under my belt I looked for a more reliable store. I found that store at modchipstore.com. It took less than three days to arrive and the product was in perfect condition. With the import enabler in hand, I set out to play some Japanese PS2 games on my US Slim PS2.
The kit comes with a CD, for CD based games, a DVD, for DVD based games, and three small plastic parts which are to be inserted into crevices under the popup cover of the Slim PS2. There were no instructions included in the package so I headed over to the website in search of directions but came up with only a dead link. After about a half hour of searching the web I finally found a PDF with instructions that were very detailed and contained great pictures of the installation process. With instructions in hand, so to speak, I give the installation a try.
The first thing I had to do is install the three small plastic pieces. The first plastic piece required that it be pushed into a small hole. My fingers alone didn’t do the job so I had to grab a screw driver and shove it into position. After quite a bit of fiddling, it finally stayed in place. The next piece had to be slid in between a latch of some sort and was somewhat difficult to make stay in place. The third piece slipped into place easily. With all the plastic pieces installed the physical work was done. Unfortunately I dropped the PS2 after this and all the pieces flew out. I tracked them all down, reinstalled them, and was ready to go once again.
When all the plastic pieces are in place the next step is to go ahead and boot up the swap CD or DVD. The game I was testing with was a CD so I popped in the swap CD and turned on the PS2. With the plastic bits in place you don’t have to keep the flip top closed, so I left it open. A flash screen appears followed by a second screen that allows you to adjust the video mode. If you are using a US PS2 set the video mode to NTSC and not the default “Normal” mode otherwise it won’t boot the game you’re trying to play.
Next the swap CD or DVD will stop spinning and you’re ready to swap in your import PS2 game. With the import game placed in the PS2 all you have to do execute the load command from the menu on screen and the game will start up spinning and load. Once I had the game loaded it played and looked perfect. Another big plus is that you don’t have to buy another memory card just for import games due to the fact that you can save all different regions of save games on one memory card.
Swap Magic for Slim PS2 has allowed me to play import PS2 games for a fraction of the price of a new Japanese PS2 and I have to say it works great. I have yet to come across a game that doesn’t work using this product. That said, it’s not something for the lazy out there as it does require swapping discs every time you want to play a game. So if you’re short on cash and already have a USA or PAL Slim PS2 then get this product but if not and you have the cash go ahead and grab a Japanese PS2.
* Relatively Easy Install
* Low price
* Requires Some Effort
* Requires A Slim PS2