The PlayStation 2 is a great console, but does have one annoying flaw: It’s not portable. So one YouTuber, GingerOfOz, decided to fix this glaring design deficit and in the process created a sweet-looking handheld console he named the PS2 Eclipse.
Yesterday, Ginger uploaded a video showcasing all the work that went into making a portable PS2. As he points out numerous times, he’s far from the first person to “portablise” a PS2. In fact, some of the ideas used to make the Eclipse come straight from folks like GmanModz.
For example, to build the smallest portable possible, Ginger needed to cut up the PS2 motherboard so it could fit in a smaller, 3D-printed case. And back in 2017, GmanModz figured out the best way to dice up a PS2 motherboard without breaking it.
Using this smaller motherboard and some extra custom parts connected to it, Ginger was able to hook it all up inside a surprisingly clean-looking handheld package. The PS2 Eclipse almost looks like a nicely made knock-off of an official product I’d buy from Sony. (Also Sony: Make a portable PS2 please.)
Because it contains real PS2 hardware, the Eclipse isn’t emulating games. As a result, games run at full speed like they would on a real PS2 console. (That said, some games don’t work with this particular setup due to an issue with the controller parts inside the unit.)
The only major downside of this homebrew console is its use of USB for loading games. To keep the console small, Ginger, like most other console modders, decided to go with solid-state USB storage instead of keeping the PS2’s typical DVD drive. An optical drive would’ve consumed a lot of space and battery power, resulting in a bulky, battery-guzzling monster. But relying on USB brings issues too, as the PS2 only supports the slow, outdated USB 1.1. standard. So some games, like Grand Theft Auto III, take nearly a minute to load, and cutscenes can get choppy.
For those wondering, the Eclipse can run for about two and a half hours on a single charge. Not incredible, but not bad for something put together by a person at home using hacked-together old parts and homebrew technology.
Sadly, you can’t buy this thing, as Ginger decided to stop taking on portable commissions after the process started leaving him tired and exhausted. It’s not surprising to hear he wants a break, as he’s made exactly 50 different portable console mods over the last two years. But if you want to try to make one yourself, Ginger provides various links to just the information you’d need. Good luck.