Developer Vojtěch Salajka has created a new adapter using the Raspberry Pi Pico that’s sure to blow the minds of fans of the original PlayStation 1 (PS1). Using his custom Pico adapter, he’s able to plug in a USB mouse and use it for input to play games on the PS1 console.
Salajka is no stranger to microelectronics as evident by his history of projects on his Franticware website. Recent projects include things like this clever low blue light filter that works with VGA interfaces as well as this mesmerizing kalaeidoscope application.
To recreate this project, you don’t need to sacrifice any old hardware but you will need a cable compatible with the PS1 controller port. A third-party controller will work fine, just remove the controller by cutting the cable and separate the wires. Salajka provides details on how to wire the cable to the Pico along with a mini PFM control DC-DC USB 0.9V-5V to 5V DC boost step-up power module board.
There weren't too many games that supported the official PlayStation Mouse, but most notable are the Broken Sword series, Command & Conquer, Doom and Quake 2.
The software for the project is open-source, as is the case with many of his past projects, and available at GitHub for anyone to download. Flashing the software to the Pico is as easy as dragging and dropping the uf2 file to the Pico. There are a few nuances with the compatibility of the adapter, definitely look through the project notes to understand its limitations—for example, the adapter won’t work with every USB mouse but it will work with most.
There seems to be no limit to what the Pico can do for enhancing our retro gaming experience. Sure, you can’t use it to run RetroPie, but time and again the community has proven it’s an excellent tool for souping up old hardware with new features. Most recently we’ve covered a Pico-powered PS1 memory card as well as a GameCube modchip built with the Pico that adds access to a whole new boot menu for emulation access.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.