Thursday, 21 November 2019

Space Invaders (Arcade Original) on the Sony PlayStation / PSOne / PS1 / PSX

Question - Can I play arcade original Space Invaders on my PS1 (and hence the PS2, PSP and PS3)?

Answer - Well yes. Yes you can actually. If I had a penny for every time I've been asked this (1p and that was me asking myself....)

A brief review of your options here which include original releases, unlockables and homebrew.


Our first release is the imaginatively titled "Space Invaders". This release differs from the EU PAL release of the same title (which incidentally was called "Space Invaders X" in NTSCJ regions).

Contained on this release are four slightly different flavours of arcade original Space Invaders:

  • Table Top Monochrome
  • Table Top Monochrome with Simulated Colour Cellophane on Screen (Back in the day, this was the first mod for Space Invaders to make it colour)
  • Upright Monochrome with moon backdrop (Wasn't Space Invaders meant to be set on / In the skies of earth?)
  • Table Top Colour

Also included is a VS-MODE allowing you to play against a second player or the massive PS1 intellect..

So how much for the arcade wonderfulness? 2800 Yen or around £20. Expect to pay £5 to £20 on eBay to own this retroness.


Our next release is a rehash of the original Space Invaders release. The 2000 in the name doesn't refer to the year of release but instead was the price of this budget release; 2000 Yen or around £15.

Included are the same four releases of the original arcade Space Invaders and the VS-MODE. On top of this there is a Time Attack Mode.

And squeezed onto the remaining CD is playable demos of G.Darius and Densha De Go! 2.
This is still around on eBay. Expect to pay between £5 and £20.

Simple 1500 Series Volume 73 - The Invaders - Space Invaders - SLPM 86900

Our final official release is once again a budget re-release of the previous two reviewed, with the same four originals and the VS-MODE and Time Attack modes included.

Once again another mode has been squeezed in, This time Space Invaders 3D.

All for the princely sum of 1500 Yen or around 10 of your earth pounds. The less you paid, the more you got!

This release also has striking visual similarities to Space Invaders Virtual Collection on Nintendos Virtual Boy. See what you think..

Space Invaders EU PAL - SLES 02144

So onto the unlockable. The Space Invaders rehash / remake (Space Invaders X in NTSCJ areas) has the original arcade Space Invaders as an unlockable.

At the main menu, press Circle and a level select menu will appear. If you go to Level 00, you'll fight a retro boss, and once you defeat this boss, a new option will open up, allowing you to play in Classic Space Invaders Mode.

Space Invaders Emulator - Retrocoder

Anthony Ball of Double Dutch Designs aka Sinistersoft aka Deluxe Pixel Ltd wrote an excellent Space Invaders arcade board emulator that when combined with an original arcade rom set, could be compiled into a fully working Space Invaders emulator.

You will need to find the romsets yourself. I would recommend getting them from an old MAME romset release (0.36 to 0.37). The emulator supports several different flavours of space invaders including monochrome, Part II and Super Earth Invasion.

What's the easiest way to play all of this?

I'm not going to go into masses of detail on all of this but a very simple way to play PS1 ISO's from a USB stick needs the following:
  • PlayStation 2 or PSTwo
  • PS2 Memory Card
  • A USB 2.0 memory stick of 32 GB capacity or less (Formatted to FAT32)
  • Free Memory Card Boot - A program that installs to the PS2 memory card and adds functionality to the PS2 OS to run Homebrew Apps.
  • POPStarter - A set of PS2 files that allow PS1 ISOs to be run from USB stick.
  • Cue2POPS - A PC program that converts .cue/.bin CD images to POPStarter Images.
There is already a huge amount of information on how to use the tools listed above so I don't need to repeat it. Try googling "running ps1 games from USB".

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