A modder Has Made a Real PS1 Handheld Without Emulation!

Emulating the nearly 30-year-old PlayStation’s games is easy (the Steam Deck makes it easy), but one modder is running them on real hardware in a portable format with fair results.


Florida-based YveltalGriffin shared his work on BitBuilt. It’s a forum where people show how they make something new out of old consoles. The modder created a handheld PS1 that he named PS Hanami. He implemented elements of Sony’s hardware into the portable PlayStation. He called the PS Hanami an old-school portable platform with a lot of hot glue. The handheld is about 7 inches long and has a battery that lasts about two and a half hours on a single charge.

The PS Hanami was made by taking an original PlayStation motherboard, cutting it in half, folding it in half like a book, and rewiring it. The optical drive was left out, so instead it uses an optical drive emulator, the Xstation, so it’s possible to run image files from an SD card. The PS Hanami also has a DualShock controller, but the analog sticks have been omitted (making Ape Escape unplayable, for example), leaving only the vibration. This sounds like an unusual choice.

Although the result is not bad, YveltalGriffin stressed that there are several problems with PS Hanami. For example, there is no volume control, which means that the handheld will only play at maximum volume. The on/off button is finicky, so if it touches something, it can be pushed in unintentionally. The lack of a cooling system is also a big problem: the platform’s components can heat up quickly.

YveltalGriffin always pays great attention to the image and sound quality of its portable platforms. That’s why the PS Hanami has more powerful stereo speakers and uses its own open-source miniature GBS-8200 board, the Shinobi Scaler, through which it runs GBS Control for pixel-perfect 480p VGA resolution. Inside the platform you can see that this is a garage development.

But it’s not bad by comparison, since it’s not emulation after all (except that games are run from SD cards instead of CDs).

Source: VGC, BitBuilt

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