Any serious PlayStation 2 (PS2) gamer knows the frustrations when it comes to playing the most graphically intense games. There is often a tremendous load time associated with getting from the point of putting the PS2 game disc into the console, and having it load the game. Not to mention the time it takes to load between levels. Or how about those times when you're on a mission to thwart he bad guys, but you see the rendering getting choppy or freezing up for a second or two. We used to blame it all on game glitches or bugs. You know, those little “mistakes” that were just never fixed, because the game itself was working as it should. I know I thought that was the issue. Until I got my hands on the PlayStation 2 HD Loader disc, and all of a sudden, my games were “glitch” free, and load times were a thing of the past. Let me start by explaining just what the HD Loader actually is.
Utilizing exciting new technology, The HD Loader allows you to install and run your PlayStation 2(TM) games directly from a hard disk drive connected to your console (Sony PS2 Network adapter(TM) and compatible hard disk drive required). The HD Loader is a revolutionary piece of software which allows you to store games on any modern high capacity IDE Hard Drive connected to your PS2 (Sony Network adapter required ). Now you can install, delete and manage your games and files on your HDD with just a click of a button. The simple and intuitive multi lingual user interface allows easy navigation and selection of files stored on your Hard drive. Games are executed at lightning speed and accessed directly from the HDD, no need to insert your game disc. Just launch HD Loader and select the game you wish to play.
The HD Loader essentially turns your PlayStation 2 console into what could be called a portable hard drive. Except that it not only allows you to store the games and the game data on the hard drive, but it also lets you LOAD those games directly from the hard drive too. And just what does all of this mean for you and me, the gamers? It means that once we've copied the game from the disc, onto any old IDE hard drive plugged into the PlayStation 2, we're able to put in the HD Loader disc, and select whichever game we want to play, a game we've already put on the Hard Drive.
You see, the PlayStation 2(TM) is capable of reading data from a hard disk drive much faster than it can read from a CD or DVD. Using The HD Loader to run your games from a hard disk drive leads to significantly reduced game loading times. And updating as your on a level or load times between a level become things of the past. Never again will you need to endure painfully slow loading times which sadly plague so many PlayStation 2 games. This applies for old and new games alike. One of the things that either Sony or game developers never really “worked on” was game loading time on the PS2. Take for example the same game title on either an Xbox or a PS2 console, and if you sat and times load times, you would notice a very big difference between how quickly a game loads on an Xbox (especially between levels) and how much faster the load times are than that same game on the PlayStation 2. The reason for this is actually quite simple. The Xbox loads parts of the game data onto the built in, internal hard drive. Because the game data is already on the hard drive, it is essentially ready to “go” when the next level is loading, and it loads at lightning speeds.
Until the HD Loader was released, PlayStation 2 gamers were envious of their Xbox counterparts. What the HD Loader does though, goes even beyond the simplistic level loading or reducing load times. It actually allows you to put the ENTIRE game, on the hard drive. And not just one game, as many games that will fit on to the hard drive you have installed into your PS2. So you'll not only be able to have faster load times, but you'll also be able to store the actual games, digitally, on your PlayStation 2 hard drive, without having to damage your game discs in the process. There is no need for the discs to be used, so you can put them away for safe keeping. In fact, you can keep them as good as new because you'll be loading the entire game from your hard drive, and not the disc itself.
I keep making mention of the fact that a PS2 Network adapter is required, if you want to use the HD Loader. This is in fact true, but the reality is, the PlayStation 2 can NOT have a hard drive connected without a Network adapter. You see, the Network adapter acts as your IDE converter. While it is designed to let you get online, and play online games, it also has a plug on the inside, which allows you to connect a Hard Drive to the game console. This was developed mainly for the Final Fantasy game, which actually required a Hard Drive to play, to store and load content from the hard drive. Now before you go thinking that you'll be stuck with a 40 gigabyte hard drive, the one that comes with the Final Fantasy game. It's important for me to state that while you could use that 40 gigabyte hard drive, the HD Loader is compatible with both standard IDE hard disk drives and the official PlayStation 2(TM) hard disk drive.. So you won't be stuck with just 40 gigabytes, you can go right up to 120 gigabytes or 250 gigabytes of space. Any standard IDE Hard Drive will work, something that was also impossible before the HD Loader.
But much more than just playing games from your hard drive, you can also load MP3 music, your digital pictures, and a wide variety of other “data” on to the hard disc, and have access to it on the fly.
If you're thinking “That's great, I've got games on my Hard Drive, but how the heck to do I load them, or even see what's there” then you're in luck. The HD Loader user interface is designed with simplicity in mind – just boot up the HD Loader and begin playing your games without wasting any time navigating through a complex user interface. The interface lists all of your games and options, in an very easy to use and easy to navigate manner. The intuitive user interface allows easy management of games currently installed on your hard disk drive. Adding or removing games is as easy as pushing one of the buttons on your controller.
In short, the HD Loader is the ultimate Hard drive storage and management solution for your PS2 game console. Not only will it get rid of those awful load times, but it also offer you a chance to protect your expensive PS2 game collection, but storing the games on the Hard Drive while you're playing them, and keeping the original games safe from scratches, dirt, or dust. So if you're tired of long load times, and want to get into the action right away, then the HD Loader is probably THE must have item on your list for the holidays.