When the Playstation 2 first hit the market, game hardware companies were finally starting to take serious preventative measures toward piracy of software. After seeing what happened with Sega and its accidental feature of taking any burned CD, Sony made sure the PS2’s architecture was locked tight…at least, so they thought.
No one really figured out how to jailbreak the PS2’s security measures during the console’s lifespan without serious effort. If you were that dedicated a pirate, you had to solder a special chip into the architecture itself — and that task was so tricky that modded PS2s never really posed a threat to Sony’s bottom line. A newly discovered loophole, however, might’ve…if anyone had known about it back then.
Software engineer CTurt discovered the glitch and documented it on this page. His explanation gets long and technical, but in a nutshell, his exploit uses a quirk in the machine’s DVD playback feature to bypass the native copy protection. Once you take advantage of the bypass, the PS2 will take any burned DVD as a game….no soldering required, no mess.
So what can you do with a PS2 that can take any disc? The bigger question is what you can do with it in modern times that other machines can’t do better. Throwing in a disc full of NES ROMs might have been exciting in 2004, but now the whole necessity of blank discs AND a computer that burns them gets in the way. But at the very least, if you can manage it there’s finally a less expensive way to play Haunting Ground.