The third version of the Play Vision Portable (PVP3) handheld gaming system is a small, cheap handheld similar in form factor to the Sony PSP but without the quality. Any quality. Anywhere. The PSP3 has only one purpose, and that is to put dodgy hacks of old SEGA games into your hands as cheaply as possible.
The PVP3 can be found on eBay for under a tenner (£3 at your local car boot) and is supplied with two "cartridges": '900000 IN 1' and '999666 IN 1'. These don't actually contain any games since those are built into the system, and there are only 150-ish anyway. The cartridges simply dictate which list of games is displayed when you start.
Crack open a cartridge and you'll find a simple board that literally just connects a couple of pins to ground. The difference between the two is simply the pins used, nothing more. There are no components and I can only surmise it was done to give the illusion - feel free to laugh - of quality.
Examining the boards we can see that there are six pad pairs that could be used. In each of the carts, two of these pairs are shorted, connecting them to ground. Since that's all that is required, it's time to get out the soldering iron.
Rather than trying to solder both pads in each pair individually I simply soldered wires across them both, then cut the common ground between each pair. I also skimmed a bit of the coating from ground and added a wire there. Since the carts all have two pad pairs connected, I used same-coloured wires for each of the them.
So now we have:
For testing I put the board back into one of the cartridge cases and left the wires free so that I could easily see which wires do what.
The results were equal parts predictable and disappointing:
It appears that the leftmost pins on the cartridge card are not required at all - not grounding them has no effect whatsoever. Of the remainder, red and yellow do exactly what we expect, but connecting blue prevents the unit from booting. I had hoped to find another games list or at least a debug menu.
All that remains now is to remove the blue wiring and add in a 3-position slide switch to allow easy hopping between the banks of games. Just in case the extra red and yellow wires do anything later down the line I'll keep those in as well. Hot glue it all together and we're done. Splendid.
Here are the games on my version of the handheld - other versions may differ. If I have a title wrong... well actually I don't care. Quality Control is not something the creators of the PVP3 give much thought to so I'll be darned if I'm going to do the same.
No Cart Inserted (80 games)
'999666 IN 1' (39 games)
'900000 IN 1' (37 games)
All of this came about because my brother picked up a PVP3 at Hemswell car boot sale and found it only had one cartridge with it, so he was without the final 37 games listed above.
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