Back in 2018, Paul DeCarlo, aka toolboc, developed some really cool software that allows you to connect a raspberry pi directly to your PS2’s ethernet jack and load games directly from it. That software is called psx-pi-smbshare. While I’m about 4 years late to the party, I think it’s awesome and wanted to share it with other folks out there who may not have known about it either.
Using a #RaspberryPi to load PS1 and PS2 backups on a PS2 and PS3.
No external network involved. SMB with DHCP and a net loader is all you need.
Full speed, loads faster than Disc or HDD
Article probably soon… pic.twitter.com/tmlcTITzGR
— Paul DeCarlo (@pjdecarlo) June 30, 2018
Toolboc’s custom version of Raspian OS essentially allows SMB sharing to Open PlayStation Loader (OPL) from the Raspberry Pi. Now, SMB sharing has existed as a feature of OPL for a long time, however, most people would connect the PS2 to their Local Area Network or directly to a PC and stream games that way. Toolboc’s method is novel because it allows you to have a more localized setup and the ability to take your games and PS2 on the go (ie you’re not tethered to your home network or PC).
One of the great things about this method is that, since the data transfer speed is considerably faster over the ethernet jack than the PS2’s USB ports, you get much smoother full motion video playback as well as decent loads times. Additionally, it’s relatively easy to get up and running!
The only problem with this method currently is that Raspberry Pi’s are hard to come by for a reasonable price. But if you have one lying around that’s just collecting dust, this is a great way to put it to good use.
Now, psx-pi-smbshare is not just limited to PS2 support. It also works with MultiMAN for the PS3, and also “supports an ability to route traffic from the ethernet port through a wireless network connection to the outside world” (ref. toolboc’s GitHub). In essence, XLink Kai Services can be used for online multiplayer support for the Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, and Gamecube when using toolboc’s software.
The video linked above only shows the psx-pi-smbshare software working with OPL on the PS2, but, this is a powerful and very cool way to utilize a Raspberry Pi!