It’s almost hard to believe these days, what with modern game consoles packing terabytes of internal storage, but there was a time when the totality of your gaming career would be stored on an external memory card that held just a few megabytes of save data. Of course, before that you had to write down a sequence of random letters and numbers to pick up where you left off, but that’s a story for another day.
While the memory card concept might be quaint to the modern gamer, its modular nature does provide the hacker with some interesting avenues to explore. For example, take a look at the very impressive PicoMemcard project from [Daniele Giuliani]. Hardware wise, it doesn’t get much simpler than this. You just take the PCB from a cheap (or dead) PlayStation memory card, and solder seven jumpers to the edge connector contacts so you can plug them into the Pico. Then you’ve just got to upload the firmware to the Pico, and you’re done.
So what do you get for your troubles? Well for one thing, a fully functional PlayStation memory card. But more importantly, a memory card with a USB interface that allows you to backup your saved games to the computer.
Naturally you can also write new save files to the Pico from the computer, which opens up all kinds of possibilities. As we’ve covered in the past, there are ongoing efforts to exploit the PlayStation’s copy protection system using carefully crafted save games. The PicoMemcard will allow you to easily get these saves on your own console, allowing you to join in on the fun.
Don’t want to trash an existing memory card? [Daniele] is working on a custom PCB that implements a suitable edge connector, meaning you’ll no longer need the sacrificial card. While not currently implemented, the board design also includes an SD slot, which eventually should allow the PicoMemcard to hold even more data. If you’re still rocking the original PlayStation after all these years, we’d strongly recommend ordering a Pi Pico and keeping an eye on this project. We’d recommend the same for all you Game Boy aficionados, as well.
Thanks to [Andrea Campanella] for the tip.