This PS2 mod is a handheld dream come true

Technology

GingerOfOz, the console modder you might remember from his excellent Game Boy-sized portable Wii, is back with another home console-turned-handheld. This time it’s the turn of the PS2, objectively the best console ever made and the one that just so happens to be the first I ever owned.

Dubbed the “PS2 Eclipse,” the mod involved trimming down an original PS2 motherboard and packing it into a 3D printed chassis with a set of PlayStation Vita buttons, Nintendo Switch joysticks, a 5-inch 480p display, batteries, and a couple of extra custom circuit boards.

It’s a very neat little handheld, and the fact that it’s using original PS2 hardware rather than emulation means it doesn’t have any major compatibility issues with the console’s library of almost 4,000 games. That said, the way the console loads games slowly off a USB drive means that some titles can stutter slightly, and load times are apparently a bit arduous. Battery life sits at around two and a half hours.

Although GingerOfOz has done a great job with the handheld’s usability, including building in speakers, a headphone jack, and a battery life indicator, he admits that it can sometimes struggle to detect that there’s a controller attached. As such, some games will refuse to load, and are effectively unplayable. GingerOfOz says he hopes this can be fixed in software at a later date.

Unfortunately, if you want to get your hands on the portable, GingerOfOz says he has no plans to sell them like he did with his previous portable Wii. After making fifty of the handheld consoles over the past two years, the modder says that building this many to order “is just miserable.” So if you’re interested in taking your PS2 library on the go, you might need to get your soldering iron and 3D printer ready. In the meantime, I thoroughly recommend subscribing to GingerOfOz’s YouTube channel, and reading his full writeup of what went into the PS2 Eclipse.