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PlayStation Cheats and Tips

Written By: James Dunford

(a) CPU
(b) Geometry Transfer Engine (GTE)
(c) Data Decompression Engine (MDEC)
(d) Memory
(e) Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
(f) Sound
(g) Graphics
(h) CD-ROM Drive
(i) I/O System Overview
(j) Operating System (O/S)
(k) Peripherals
(a) CPU

The CPU also contains the GTE, the MDEC and the DMA controller.

R3000A from MIPS(SGI) and LSI Logic Technologies
32 bit RISC processor
Clock 33.8688MHz
Operating performance 30 MIPS
Instruction Cache 4 KB
Data Cache 1 KB
BUS 132 MB/sec.

(b) Geometry Transfer Engine (GTE)

The GTE performs high speed matrix multiplies.

3D Geometry Engine (High speed matrix calculator)
Clearing capacity: 66 MIPS
1.5 million flat-shaded polygons/sec
500,000 texture-mapped and light-sourced polygons/sec

(c) Data Decompression Engine (MDEC)

The MDEC is the propriety video decompression hardware. It gives fullscreen high-quality video playback and also decompress graphics into VRAM.

Motion JPEG Hardware Decompression Engine Operating performance 80 MIPS (Clearing Capacity) Directly connected to CPU bus Compatible with MPEG1, H.261 files (both via additional hardware?)

(d) Memory

Main RAM - 2 Megabytes (16Mbits)
Video RAM - 1 Megabytes (8Mbits)
Sound RAM - 512 Kilobytes (4Mbits)
CD ROM buffer - 32 Kilobytes (256Kbits)
OS ROM: - 512 Kilobytes (4Mbits)
RAM cards - 128 Kilobytes (1Mbit) flash-memory cards

(e) Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

Handles everything that is drawn on screen. Rendered in hardware - Upto 360K polygon/sec. Texture mapping. Flat or Gouraud shading.

(f) Sound

ADPCM audio source. 24 Channels. 44.1KHz sample rate. Digital effects include.: - Pitch Modulation, Envelope , Looping, Digital Reverb.

* Load up to 512K of sampled waveforms - Supports MIDI Instruments

(g) Graphics

16.7 million colours, Adjustable frame buffer, No line restriction , Simultaneous backgrounds , NTSC Display Resolution.


| Mode | Resolution (H x V) | Scan |

* Colour Depth


| Mode | Colours |


| 4 | 16 |

| 8 | 256 |

| 15 | 32,768 |

| 24 | 16,777,216 |


     All calculations are performed to 24 bit accuracy 
     Texture mapping colour mode 

- 4 bit CLUT (Colour Look-Up Table) (16 colours)

     8 bit CLUT (256 colours) 
     15 bit direct (32768 colours) 

* 2D Graphical Capability

Sprite display capability (Size: 1 X 1 Pixels to 256 X 256 Pixels)


| Sprite | Bit Depth |

| Size +--------------------------------+

| | 4 bit | 8 bit | 16 bit |


| 8 x 8 | 280K | 280K | 160K |

| 16 x 16 | 110K | 70k | 40k |


| Rectangles per Second |


* 3D Graphical Capability

Polygon drawing rates

     For a 50 Pixel Triangle (10 X 10) 


| Texture | Shading | 

| Mapping +-------------------+

| | Flat | Gourard |


| OFF | 360K | 200K |


| ON | | | 

| | | | 

| 4 bit | 200K | 140K |

| 8 bit | 100K | |

| 15 bit | 60K | |


| Polygons / Sec |


* Sprite And Background Graphics

The PlayStation is virtually unlimited in:

size (up to 256 x 256), number of sprites on a line, number of sprites images , number of CLUTs .

* Sprite Special Effects

Rotation , Scaling up/down , Warping , Transparency , Fading , Priority (What the?) , Vertical and horizontal line scroll.

(h) CD-ROM Drive

* Data Transfer Rate (DMA TO RAM): - 150 KB/sec. (Normal) - 300 KB/sec. (Double speed)

* Maximum Capacity 660 Megabytes

* Features: - Audio CD play - XA Interactive Audio

(i) I/O System Overview

At the front of the PlayStation there is:

* Control Pad socket - Two control pad connectors -- expandable with multitap connector

* Memory Card socket - Backup RAM in the form of two removable cards 128 KB Flash Memory; larger configurations possible OS support for File Save, Retrieve and Remove At the back of the PlayStation there is:

* External I/O (covered by screwed plate) - For connecting future devices like hard drive or modem

* Communication Port - Serial Port I/O Asynchronous Data Transfer For linking two PlayStations together

* Audio Left and Right - Red Right and White Left RCA phono plugs for connection to a hifi.

* DC Out (5V) - 5V power line for external RF convertor

* Composite video - Yellow RCA (Phono) plug

* S-Video DIN socket (Japan only) - This available only on Rev A PlayStations. (Japan)

* AV Multi Out expansion port - Supports RGB Video, S-Video video, and stereo audio

* AC In - I know this isn't really part of the I/O system, but try playing your PlayStation without it. :)

(j) Operating System (O/S)

Designed by game engineers for gamers , 512KB ROM , Small 64KB RAM footprint , Multi-thread task handling , Interupt logic control , Suite of device drivers , Extensive high-level C libraries.

(k) Peripherals

Sony Brand Products:

* Mouse with Pad

For some games a mouse does make a difference. Try controlling A-Train VI without one.

* Combat Cable (SCPH-1040)

This, for me, is the most important add-on. This two-player linkup cable allows you to link two PlayStations (and t.v.s) together for head to head PlayStation action. Providing, of course, you have any friends left after boring the pants off them with your claims of the PlayStation being better than sliced bread. The cable has a peak baud rate of 4Mbits/sec and feeds data directly to the CPU, which processes it and transmits it to the other machine at the baud rate specified by the programmer.

* RFU Adapter (SCPH-1061)

The true nightmare device. If your TV doesn't support S-Video or SCART then why did you buy a PlayStation? RF gives a poor picture. Why have a Next Generation console, if you are going to play it on an RF TV! Go and stick with your Genesis or SNES until you can afford a decent screen. Incl. RFU Adapter, Antenna Adjuster Integrator and Antenna Converter.

* Controller (SCPH-1080)

This is a well designed, ergonomic controller. It has four direction buttons on the left and four fire buttons on the right, in the same formation as the left. It also has four shoulder buttons, two marked Left and two marked Right, especially designed for 3D games. It has been reputedly being enlarged by about 15% after complaints that in Western hands the Japanese controller was too small.

* Memory Card (SCPH-1020)

You can save your game at any time - even when the game is not being played. Each memory card holds 128KB and divided into 15 blocks. Different numbers of blocks are used depending on the titles.

* Multitap Unit

Upgrades your PlayStation by allowing up to 4 controllers or 4 memory cards to be used simultaneously, per joypad port.

* Analog Joystick

Other Brand Products:

These may or not be available outside Japan officially, but may get a release sometime.

* Namco NegCon (pronounced NegjiCon) controller

This is a strange twisting type device that was designed for Ridge Racer, Cybersled and Starblade Alpha. Could be ideal for all games that require analog control.

* Hori Fight Stick

This is a chunky piece of kit, a solid based joystick with six buttons.

It sells on import in England for UKS 100 (US$150!!)

* Datel Action Replay cartridge

This is the famous cheats device used on many other platforms. They are used for accessing hidden levels and characters, invincibility, unlimited lives and continues etc. Unlike the Saturn one, this Action Replay is limited to 15 games, hard coded in. (The Saturn one can be used with codes to access any game.) Volume 1 includes Tekken; King's Field; Kileak The Blood; Parodius Deluxe; Crime Crackers; Ridge Racer etc. Datel have promised to release several volumes, as and when they fill a cart up. However see rumours for more developments on this front. Datel can be contacted on their 24 Hour Mail Order Hotline,

UK: 01782 744 707 FAX: 01782 744 292

INTL: +44 1782 744 707 Intl: +44 1782 74

Please note that the views expressed in this review are those of the writer and not of A.P.I