Grand Idea Studio

Playstation Extreme

Peripherals: Game Console Hacking book review
Saturday, Jan 1st, 2005   |  Issue: 4   |  Volume: 5   |  Read the Full Article

Not too long ago, I reviewed Hardware Hacking, an intriguing tome with several chapters devoted to devoted to the jiggery-pokery of game consoles. Syngress has now wisely devoted an entire 512-page book to the topic: Game Console Hacking delves into the inner workings of the Xbox, Playstation2, NEW, Game Boy Advance, Gamepark 32 (an unusual and very hackable handheld), Atari 2600, Atari 5200, and Atari 7800.

Written by jiggery-pokery experts Joe Grand [], Albert Yarusso [], and Frank Thornton, Game Console Hacking is teeming with cool projects. Here’s a phat list of examples: turning an Atari 2600 into a full-blown PC, running Linux on an Xbox, booting code from a PS2 Memory Card, slapping an Afterburner into a GBA, replacing the 72-pin connector of an NES, opening and replacing the batteries in battery-backup NES carts, making an Atari 2600 joystick for lefties, and creating and Atari 5200 paddle controller. Every project is clearly described and robustly illustrated, and while absolute newbies shouldn’t attempt them, anyone who’s grasped a soldering iron in his hot little hands should have no troubles. There’s even an “Electrical Engineering Basics” appendix for those of us who never got our engineering degrees. (And I was just a couple of weeks away from graduation, too!) A fine, fun read.



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