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The PlayStation Classic has a secret debug menu that can be reached with specific keyboards

The PlayStation Classic has a secret debug menu that can be reached with specific keyboards


The door to mods may have been opened

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Just a day after the release of the PlayStation Classic, the Retro Gaming Arts YouTube channel has discovered that you can access the emulator’s settings menu by plugging a keyboard into a free USB slot and hitting the Esc key. Doing so reveals a host of settings for the built-in open-source PCSX ReARMed emulator, potentially allowing access to options, including save states, controls, and cheats.

The discovery has raised hope that some of the criticisms of the retro console, such as a limited game library and poor image quality, could soon be addressed with third-party modding. In the discovered menus, an option to “Load CD Image” is clearly visible, which suggests it might be possible to load additional games or perhaps just the better-performing 60Hz NTSC variants. An option to enable scanlines, the horizontal lines that allow an LCD screen to emulate the look of a traditional CRT monitor, is also present.

Despite the discovery, it’s unlikely that the hardware limitations of the retro console’s ARM processor can be overcome entirely. After all, games are still unable to run at full speed when emulated on the significantly more powerful (yet still ARM-based) Nvidia Shield.

Actually replicating the discovery has proven to be tricky, despite it apparently being as easy as plugging in a keyboard and hitting the right key. One Twitter user reportedly tried 15 keyboards on his PlayStation Classic with no success. At present, the only confirmed keyboards that are working are the Corsair K70 and K95, although Logitech was mentioned in the description of the original video.

If you own one of the keyboards listed above, accessing the menus is as simple as plugging it in and pressing the Esc key. Be careful if you plan on changing any settings, though: since access to these menus isn’t sanctioned by Sony, there’s no telling what damage you might do to your miniature console.