News/Feb 2020 Group Buy (Part 1) - PlayStation 2

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Feb 2020 haul.jpg

.Hack Infection Part 1 (Jan 9, 2004 prototype)
Amplitude (May 27, 2003 prototype)
Black (Aug 16, 2005 prototype)
BMX XXX (Oct 9, 2002 prototype)
Capcom Fighting Jam (Oct 29, 2004 prototype)
Carol Vorderman's Sudoku (Jun 7, 2006 prototype)
Cold Winter (Feb 9, 2005 prototype)
Crisis Zone (Jun 18, 2004 prototype)
Dead to Rights (Apr 25, 2003 prototype)
eJay Club World: The Music Making Experience (Jun 27, 2002 prototype)
EyeToy: Play (Mar 19, 2003 prototype)
Guilty Gear Isuka (Oct 6, 2004 prototype)
King of Fighters 2002 (Apr 7, 2005 prototype)
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (Aug 8, 2002 prototype)
Midnight Club: Street Racing (Oct 17, 2000 prototype)
Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny (Jul 24, 2002 prototype)
RoboCop (May 14, 2001 prototype)
Soulcalibur III (Oct 4, 2005 prototype)
Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror (Jun 22, 2007 prototype)
Tekken 4 (Jun 13, 2002 prototype)
TimeSplitters 2 (Aug 25, 2002 prototype)
TimeSplitters: Future Perfect (Jan 7, 2005 prototype)
Transformers (Mar 22, 2004 prototype)
Viewtiful Joe (Sep 2, 2004 prototype)
Warhammer 40,000 - Fire Warrior (Jul 7, 2003 prototype)
Without Warning (Aug 8, 2005 prototype)
XIII (Aug 7, 2003 prototype)
XIII (Jul 31, 2003 prototype)
Discuss this release on our Discord server!

Hello everyone! Today we'd like to share with you a nice assortment of confirmed PlayStation 2 prototypes that were acquired during our community group buy. This lot covers prototypes for various systems such as the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, original Xbox, and much more. This is just a fraction of what we were able to acquire through the efforts of our very own community! We were even able to acquire a few more prototypes as well. In the upcoming weeks, we'll be sharing all the prototypes that we were able to confirm as being different from the final build. Check out the group buy lot page for a complete list of all the prototypes that were acquired from this lot specifically, including items that were identified as final or matched a preexisting dump.

Ps2 logo.jpg

First of all, we'd like to apologize for the incredibly long wait on getting these out the door. We originally started the group buy sometime in February this year and received the discs sometime in late March. By that point, the COVID-19 pandemic had started to spike and hindered many aspects of our personal lives. As we were dumping the items from the lot, we noticed that there were some discs that we wouldn't be able to dump properly unless we acquired additional drives to meet's dumping standards for submission. At this point, many opportunities for acquiring the hardware had become unavailable and we were unable to get the drives necessary to complete the project. Of course there were other factors that made everyone's lives a living hell which ultimately forced us to put the project on hold.

Now that things have settled down (at least temporarily), we can finally focus on this project once again. We did a number of streams on our Twitch channel showcasing and dumping the prototypes live which you can still check out here. At the time, we were using a LITE-ON DS8A8SH (with firmware KH61) drive for DVD-Rs and two Plextor PX-760As flashed with firmware 1.07 for CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. The LITE-ON drive was connected directly into the SATA port on a workstation while the Plextor was powered by a UGREEN SATA/IDE to USB 3.0 adapter. Various versions of DICUI (a GUI frontend for DIC, or 'DiscImageCreator') were used to create each dump. Each game was dumped at least twice, with some games dumped multiple times until at least two dumps with the same checksum on the image files were created. Some discs were unable to be dumped using DiscImageCreator for various reasons (either due to physical issues with the disc or the way the disc was mastered), but were able to be dumped using CloneCD either accurately or with errors intact.

Final retail versions were able to be determined by comparing the hash values of the contents of the prototype dumps against the contents of an equivalent final build. The prototypes that are being made available in this lot have non-master differences in comparison (in other words, changes that physically affect the actual files written on the disc). Games that are directly comparable to a final equivalent are considered final and aren't being made available, since they're final versions. The majority of the discs were PAL prototypes most likely meant for preview/review in magazines in Spain.

Most of the PS1/PS2 discs were able to be dumped with these two drives. Some of the original XBox prototypes that were authored on DVD-Rs were able to be dumped with a normal DVD drive as well. However, it became apparent that to properly dump the rest of the items in the lot more reliably, we had to look for more drives. Plextors are normally recommended for their ability to utilize specific features of the drive to produce the most accurate dumps, features that are missing from many modern CD/DVD drives. Plextors that can dump both CD/DVDs usually do not fare as well as CD-RW only drives. In general, Plextors aren't recommended for DVDs but most other DVD drives can be utilized instead. However, given the age and rarity of Plextor drives in general some models are harder to find than others, especially in good condition.

In the end, we purchased a Plextor PX-W4012TA CD-RW drive for handling CD based prototypes. Then we bought a Samsung SH-D163B preflashed and tested with Kreon 1.00 firmware to handle Xbox/360 discs. Finally, we bought a LG WH14NS40 (with SVC NS50) and flashed it with Asus BW-16D1HT 3.02 firmware to give us yet another drive that can theoretically handle both DVDs and CDs accurately (on a similar level to a Plextor) while also giving us a drive to handle Blu-Ray discs as well. In total, we have about six usable drives that we can use to dump most CD/DVD/BD based prototypes. By acquiring more drives, we're hoping we can create a setup that can speed up the process of creating accurate dumps from massive lots of discs just like this one.

Unfortunately, there were some discs from this part of the lot that weren’t able to be dumped. A table of discs that had non correctable consistent sector errors or discs that flat out wouldn’t read can be found on the group buy lot page. We will make the bad dumps available in the future once we officially determine what can be done with the discs. We plan on trying to revisit these discs in the future using other means (disc resurfacing, etc). If you have any suggestions please let us know!

Finally, we'd like to thank all those who donated for all the prototypes featured in this lot. We'd like to thank b-damandude, baruk0, Cliff Racer, DarthDub, Demon, DRW, burninrubber0, ehw, Fred Wood, HorrorTroll, kabojnk, KailoKyra, Kneesap, kuriatsu, LedInfrared, mementomori,, Sazpaimon, StarlightChaos, The Swarming Dark, TheAdmiester, TiKAL, TONY9675, XJR9000, mlk, ZeaLiTy, and Zoda-Y13. Without your help we would have never been able to acquire and preserve so many prototypes.

Next week we'll be releasing the prototypes that were discovered for the original PlayStation. Stay tuned for some more treats very soon!

Until next time!