The original PlayStation came with a CD drive, ending the reign of cartridges as the supreme game storage medium. Sony’s first console also had some extra features built into its hardware, adding value for everyday users who weren’t necessarily gamers. One of those features is the ability to play audio CDs like any regular CD player.
But can you play DVDs on a PS1? No, because the PS1 uses a CD reader and DVD technology hadn’t been invented yet. Data on a DVD is stored much more densely and requires a shorter laser wavelength to interact with, in comparison to CDs.
The major issue with a PS1’s CD drive is that it isn’t designed to be used as a dedicated CD player. Even though the feature is available, you shouldn’t use it as a replacement for your regular CD player. Besides, you can only play audio CDs on your PS1 (unless you have the Asian SCPH-5903 model).
Can You Play DVDs On PS1?
No, it doesn’t have a DVD-R drive and is only capable of reading audio compact disks (CDs). If you put a video CD into your PlayStation 1, it will detect the disk and tracks. But it won’t be able to play any of the data.
That’s because a PS1’s motherboard doesn’t have the necessary decoding hardware to read MPEG-1 files from a video CD. Rather than MPEG, the PS1 uses a format similar to MJPEG (Motion-JPEG). Which stores individual frames of an animated cutscene as JPEG images.
If you make a video CD at home with this format, you might get it to read on the PS1. But that is a lot of hassle. And you risk burning out the PS1’s CD drive laser because it isn’t designed to run for several hours on end.
Can The PS2 Play DVDs?
It can, and that is one of the reasons so many people purchased a PS2. Unlike the original Xbox, the PS2 doesn’t require an add-on kit to play DVDs. Each unit ships with the necessary software license to read DVDs.
Whether you’ve got music DVDs or movie DVDs, the PS2 can play them all. You can use the controller as a remote. It has all the necessary functions- play, pause, fast forward, next, rewind, etc.
Parental controls can also be enabled, so your kids don’t end up watching something they aren’t supposed to. The PS2 lets you set a 4-digit password for this purpose. And since the content is region-locked, you can only play DVDs sold in the same region as your PS2.
Can PS1 Classic Play Discs?
The PlayStation Classic is meant to look like the original PlayStation. But it’s an entirely different piece of kit underneath that grey plastic shell. It doesn’t have a disc drive, the cover on top is only for cosmetic purposes.
It can’t play discs like the original PS1. The Classic doesn’t even support external storage. So you can’t insert any USB drives or SD cards.
There is 16GB of eMMC flash storage to hold system software and preloaded games. It runs the PCSX ReARMed emulator on a MediaTek MT8167A quad-core SoC, with 1GB of DDR3 RAM. You can’t download additional games via the PSN, so what you get is what you’re stuck with.
Will A PS1 Work On A HDTV?
Not unless your HDTV has composite input at the rear. Some modern TVs have component input for analog signals, but that’s about it. If you want to play PS1 on your modern TV, I suggest buying an adapter cable that converts the output to HDMI.
You can find cheap adapters online, like this one from LEVELHIKE. These are active adapters since they are converting analog to digital. So you’ll need a power source to run them (usually micro USB).
If you want the best PS1 to HDMI adapter, there is the RAD2X. Or you could go full retro enthusiast mode and buy a line doubler like the RetroTINK 2x-Pro. But understand that dedicated hardware like this will cost way more than a refurbished PS1 or PS2 console.
Which PlayStations Play DVDs?
Every PlayStation starting with the 2nd one is capable of DVD playback. Only the original PlayStation can’t play DVDs, and that’s because the technology just hadn’t been invented in 1994. With a PS4 or PS5, you must connect to the internet and enable disc playback for your region (only has to be done once).
Why Won’t My PlayStation Play A DVD?
It could be an issue with the disc itself or the reader of your console. First, try other DVDs to find out if it’s an issue with one specific disk. Then, check your DVD to make sure it doesn’t have dirt or scratches on it.
Finally, make sure your DVD isn’t region locked. And that it isn’t a homemade DVD (PS4s and PS5s won’t play burned discs). If it is an issue with your console’s disc drive, you’ll find out pretty quickly since it won’t read game discs either.
I hope this article helped you understand how disc playback on a PS1 works. There are aftermarket video CD adapters that plug into the I/O port on the rear of a PS1. But these adapters haven’t been made since the early 2000s, so good luck finding one.
Even if you manage to snag one of these adapters, I don’t recommend playing video CDs on your PS1. Because it will damage the laser and put it out of commission within months. Retro consoles like the PS1 are in short supply, so hang on to the one you have.