An SCPH-10000 motherboard
An SCPH-30001 motherboard
An SCPH-39001 Motherboard
An SCPH-70001 motherboard
An SCPH-79001 motherboard

The PlayStation 2 technical specifications describe the various components of the PlayStation 2 (PS2) video game console.


The sixth-generation hardware of the PlayStation 2 video game console consists of various components. At the heart of the console's configuration is its central processing unit (CPU), a custom RISC processor known as the Emotion Engine which operates at 294.912 MHz (299 MHz in later consoles). The CPU heavily relies on its integration with two vector processing units, known as VPU0 and VPU1, the Graphics Synthesizer, and a floating-point unit (FPU) in order to render 3D graphics. Other components, such as the system's DVD-ROM optical drive and DualShock 2 controller, provide the software and user control input.

PlayStation 2 software is distributed on CD-ROM and DVD-ROM. In addition, the console can play audio CDs and DVD movies, and is backwards compatible with original PlayStation games. This is accomplished through the inclusion of the original PlayStation's CPU which also serves as the PS2's I/O processor, clocked at 36.864 MHz in PS2 mode.[1] The PS2 also supports limited functionality with the original PlayStation memory cards and controllers. The PS2's DualShock 2 controller is an upgraded version of the PlayStation's DualShock with analog face, shoulder and D-pad buttons replacing the digital buttons of the original.[2] Like its predecessor, the DualShock 2 controller features force feedback technology.

The standard PlayStation 2 memory card has an 8 MB capacity and uses Sony's MagicGate encryption. This requirement prevented the production of memory cards by third parties who did not purchase a MagicGate license. Memory cards without encryption can be used to store PlayStation game saves, but PlayStation games would be unable to read from or write to the card – such a card could only be used as a backup. There are a variety of non-Sony manufactured memory cards available for the PlayStation 2, allowing for a larger memory capacity than the standard 8 MB. However their use is unsupported and compatibility is not guaranteed. These memory cards can have up to 128 MB storage space.

The console also features USB and IEEE 1394 expansion ports. Compatibility with USB and IEEE 1394 devices is dependent on the software supporting the device. For example, the PS2 BIOS will not boot an ISO image from a USB flash drive or operate a USB printer, as the machine's operating system does not include this functionality. By contrast, Gran Turismo 4 and Tourist Trophy are programmed to save screenshots to a USB mass storage device and print images on certain USB printers. A PlayStation 2 HDD can be installed via the expansion bay in the back of the console, and was required to play certain games, notably the popular Final Fantasy XI.[3]

Central processing unit

Emotion Engine CPU as found in the SCPH-7000x
The combined EE+GS+RDRAM+DRAM found in the SCPH-7900x and SCPH-9000x series
The ASIC from the SCPH-90001 (CXD2976GB) shaven down to show the EE+GS+RDRAM+DRAM silicon



System memory

Graphics processing unit

Graphics Synthesizer as found in SCPH-390xx

GS effects include: Dot3 bump mapping (normal mapping),[31] [21] mipmapping, spherical harmonic lighting,[32] alpha blending, alpha test, destination alpha test, depth test, scissor test, transparency effects, framebuffer effects, post-processing effects, perspective-correct texture mapping, edge-AAx2 (poly sorting required),[9] bilinear, trilinear texture filtering, multi-pass, palletizing (6:1 ratio 4-bit; 3:1 ratio 8-bit), offscreen drawing, framebuffer mask, flat shading, Gouraud shading, cel shading, dithering, texture swizzling.


I/O processor (IOP)


^† Standard RGB mode only allows interlaced modes up to 480i (NTSC) and 576i (PAL) and progressive modes up to 240p. A display or adapter capable of sync on green (RGsB) is necessary for higher modes. Furthermore, the PS2's Macrovision copy protection isn't compatible with either RGB mode, and thus DVDs cannot be played with RGB. However, motherboard modifications have been known to bypass these issues.
^†† VGA connector is only available for progressive-scan supported games, homebrew-enabled systems, and Linux for PlayStation 2, and requires a monitor that supports RGsB, or "sync on green" signals.
^††† Contrary to popular belief, the PS2's YPBPR/component output does fully support 240p outputs, including games from the original PlayStation. However, 240p isn't part of the YPBPR standard, and thus not all TVs and HDTVs support it. Upscaling can be used as a workaround.

Optical disc drive

See also


  1. ^ Stuart, Keith (12 December 2013). "PS4 and Xbox One: so why aren't they backwards compatible?". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Dual Shock 2 Review". IGN. September 27, 2001. Archived from the original on 2011-05-15. Retrieved February 7, 2011. The biggest difference between the Dual Shock 2 and the original… all of the buttons and even the digital pad offer analog support. This means that the d-pad, the four face buttons and the four shift buttons are all pressure-sensitive and have 255 degrees of sensitivity. It is also worth noting that the Dual Shock 2 is a bit lighter than the original Dual Shock because it appears to have less in the way of gears for the vibration function of the controller.
  3. ^ "Final Fantasy XI Review for PlayStation 2 – GameSpot". March 23, 2004. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
  4. ^ John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson. "Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, Third Edition". ISBN 1-55860-724-2
  5. ^ Keith Diefendorff. "Sony's Emotionally Charged Chip". Microprocessor Report, Volume 13, Number 5, April 19, 1999. Microdesign Resources.
  6. ^ a b c Hennessy, John L.; Patterson, David A. (29 May 2002). Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach (3 ed.). Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN 978-0-08-050252-6. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  7. ^[bare URL PDF]
  8. ^ "ソニー、65nm対応の半導体設備を導入。3年間で2,000億円の投資". Archived from the original on 2016-08-13.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Tapping into the power of PS2" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 20, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2010. See bits on ps2's TnL & data setup. Also, look to pages 25 & 26 for a comparison of the ps2 to a PC architecture & memory setup, showing ps2 is based more around fast streaming of assets, as well as page 42 for a simple FSAA example.
  10. ^ "Emotion". Kim L. Vu. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  11. ^ "Aaron D Lanterman" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-10-24.
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-09-19. Retrieved 2016-02-07.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Vector Unit Architecture for Emotion Synthesis". Archived from the original on May 10, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  14. ^ "Designing and Programming the Emotion Engine" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on April 28, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  15. ^ a b c "Inside the Playstation 2". Archived from the original on March 4, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  16. ^ Malice PS2 Q&A See second question.
  17. ^ a b Amon Ra Prototype
  18. ^ Coding Secrets/Game Hut See Coding Secrets video on PS2's poly count and particle effects.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-09-30.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ Reaching for the Limits of PS2 Performance See pages 15 & 18, also, for an example of the default setup including sending textures, stored into main RAM at load up, to the GS, via the GIF.
  21. ^ a b c d e f PS2 Optimizations See pages 11-13 about texture syncing & transfer methods, an example of the ps2's setup. Also, see pg.29 for fill-rate for 4 passes, per second, likely at the standard PAL or NTSC rates of 50hz or 60hz, along with more evidence about using full-screen passes to implement bump mapping, with an example for alternative fogging being shown on pg.31.
  22. ^ MDK2 Armageddon Chat Transcript "DavidBioWare What we've found since then is that the PS2 has enough bus bandwidth to transfer each texture from main memory to video memory as it's needed. That's on the order to 100s of Mb per second. We hadn't anticipated that the PS2 had that kind of brute horsepower on its bus. No other machine I've used does, including any PC or the Dreamcast. We had to reorient our thinking after that. :) So now we have almost more texture memory than we know what to do with."
  23. ^ a b Sony's Emotionally Charged Chip See pages 1, 2 & 4
  24. ^ a b PS2 Dev Wiki - IOP
  25. ^ Introducing PS2 to PC programmers See pg.10 for IOP/SPU2 block
  26. ^ PS2 Dev Wiki - SPU2
  27. ^ "GS Mode Selector: Development & Feedback". Archived from the original on 2014-12-03.
  28. ^ a b c d e f GS User's Manual, Sony Computer Entertainment, 2001. See chapter/section 5.1.2 for ps2's output resolutions. Also, see chapter 1.2, specifically the diagram of pg.16 & "Pixel Pipeline" of pg.17, as well as chapter 3.1, namely Rasterizing (DDA) of pg.37, showing all the pixel pipes are involved in doing these operations, in parallel, including texture mapping. Lastly, look at pg.18 for GS performance figures.
  29. ^ GS User's Manual Supplement. See chapter 1.4 about texturing via the DRAM & pixel engines.
  30. ^ Using the Z Buffer for Visual and Special Effects
  31. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-05-16. Retrieved 2016-01-25.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ "Practical Implementation of SH Lighting and HDR Rendering". Archived from the original on 2016-10-09.
  33. ^ "Model numbers for PlayStation 2 and PS2 accessories". Archived from the original on 2010-03-16.
  34. ^ "Model numbers for PlayStation 2 and PS2 accessories". Archived from the original on 2010-03-16.
  35. ^ "PlayStation 2 SCPH-39001 Instruction manual". Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
  36. ^ "SCEI Launches PlayStation 2 New Model SCPH-50000" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-10-27. Retrieved 2013-12-16.