Rany Battikh

PSIO Menu System Update 2.6.6

Cybdyn Systems have just released a new firmware update for their Playstation ODE, the PSIO.

The developers behind the PSIO have been, every since the official release a few years ago, constantly improving its compatibility and overall performance. While a very small percentage of the PS1’s gigantic library is still problematic, most of the games work just fine on the PSIO, with a little bit of tweaking in some cases (using the PSIO‘s companion software “Systems Console”).

Here is a comprehensive list of the fixes/improvements that got introduced with the latest firmware(s):

[Menu System Changes]
– [Bug Fix] Removing a controller will no longer reset the selection bar position.
– [Bug Fix] Stopped the “No Image Found!” dialog window from popping up on boot if no folders are detected on the SD Card.
– [Bug Fix] The “Load CD” option isn’t disabled anymore if no folders are detected on the SD Card.
– [Bug Fix] The “System Table” area in the kernel is now cleared before loading a game.
– [Bug Fix] The SPU memory is now erased which fixed an audio glitch in “Disruptor”.
– [Bug Fix] The “.fseventsd” (generated by Mac OS X) and “FOUND.000” (to save damaged files) directories are now also ignored.
– [Bug Fix] USB Mode would lockup the system for a while if the disc image was changed.
– [Bug Fix] If a search didn’t find any game image, the game list would become invisible.
– [Bug Fix] Wallpaper STP (transparency) bit enabled (fixes text layering issues when using a wallpaper).
– [Bug Fix] The “MadCatz DUAL FORCE Racing Wheel” buttons “Cross”, “Square” and “L2” are now working (ANALOG or DIGITAL modes only).
– [Bug Fix] USB Mode will no longer execute the “MENU.SYS” image until the image has been changed by the “Systems Console”.
– [Bug Fix] The “Restart the PlayStation” option from the options menu now works.
– [Improvement] The ‘System Information’ window now shows the username as “N/A” if nothing was saved on the cartridge.
– [Improvement] If an error has occurred, the wallpaper is now dimmed to a lower brightness level (makes it easier to read errors).
– [Improvement] The game selection window now dims the screen and displays “Loading” whilst processing data.
– [Improvement] The game selection window now auto-scrolls the game title if it’s truncated.
– [Improvement] There are now 6 selections available for the background music.
– [Improvement] The amount of files allowed has been increased from 512 to 1000.
– [Improvement] Boot times reduced by ~3 seconds.
– [Improvement] Started adding in a PlayStation debugger.
– [Improvement] The “Grey” setting in ‘Selection Bar Colour’ option was changed to a darker value.
– [Improvement] Added a “White” setting to the ‘Selection Bar Colour’ option.
– [Improvement] Performance significantly increased when returning from a game selection.
– [Improvement] A new option was added which lets users execute games by using either “Midboot” or “LoadExec”.
– [Improvement] “K1V4” was added as a new EXTDSP setting and is also now the new default setting.
– [Improvement] PSone BIOS CRC32 checksums added.
– [Improvement] The intro video can now be played manually from the “Options Menu”.

[Fastboot Changes]
– Completely re-written from scratch in assembler for ASMPSX.
– We now use the “Midboot” method (running entirely from ROM) which is executed via the BIOS.
– Checks for a Switch Board and shows an error if one is not found or has not been installed correctly.
– “CyberSpeed” fixed.
– “Marvel Vs. Capcom” fixed.

* Fastboot is now V2.4 *

[System Loader Changes]
– Changes have been made in how to return to the BIOS.

* System Loader is now V1.4 *

[ARM Firmware Changes]
– Seek calculation logic implemented.
– Stability improvements to certain games (“Micro Machines V3”, “Resident Evil”, “Final Fantasy”, etc).
– Increased LED activity.
– Fixed a bug where lost clusters could occur from a fragmented file on exFAT volumes.
– Fixed a bug where accessing any object on the exFAT root directory beyond the cluster boundary could fail.
– ATV logic updated (fixes crossed audio tracks in “Gamera 2000” and “Silverload”).
– Fixed the intro timing of “Crash Team Racing”.
– “Puzzle Bobble 3DX” fixed.
– “Gungage” fixed.
– “Image Fight (Arcade Gears)” fixed.
– “X-Multiply (Arcade Gears)” fixed.
– “Tekken 2” now has XA audio playing on all menus correctly.
– “Xenogears” fixed.
– “Tales of Destiny II” fixed.
– “Thrill Kill” fixed.
– “Tony Hawks Pro Skateboarding” XA track skipping bug fixed.
– “Transformers Transmetals” fixed.
– “Break Out” fixed.
– “Parappa the Rapper (Japanese Version)” fixed.

* ARM is now V2.6.2 *

[FPGA Firmware Changes]
– ATV register addressing fixed.

Updating the PSIO is a fairly straightforward procedure. First download all 3 required files from Cybdyn’s Downloads section (you do need your checkout’s credentials to access the files or else you’ll be stuck with your device’s current firmware), extract them, then place them on the root of the SD card, insert the latter into the PSIO, turn on your system and let it do the rest. The auto-update process takes a couple of minutes (you still need to take out the SD card, delete a couple of files then insert back into the PSIO, during the update), then you get prompted by a message asking you to turn off the system. Turn it back on and voila! Your PSIO is now up-to-date.

Unfortunately, someone on the official forums reported that the latest update completely broke Tomb Raider 1 & 2. The issue will be addressed, in a future update, as per Matt, PSIO‘s main engineer.

This new update seems to fix a lot of problems, but tread carefully since rolling back to an older firmware on the PSIO isn’t possible.