RGB311 :: Waka Up Scan Converter – Official PlayStation VGA Box / MY LIFE IN GAMING

(Intro Tones) – Back in the early 2000s, when most screens were still big fat tubes, I decided to save space in my college dorm room by buying a ViewSonic VB50HRTV to run consoles like GameCube and PlayStation 2 to my computer monitor via S-video to VGA At the time, I thought I was pretty clever, but this device probably would’ve blown my mind

This is the Waka Up Scan Converter by Waka manufacturing, a company that appears to still be around today What makes it a unique and collectable bit of gaming history though, is that it is an officially-licensed PlayStation product with its own PlayStation hardware code: SLPH-00016 The exterior design is not unlike a miniature PlayStation itself According to Hazard-City, an excellent hub for information about vintage video processors, the Waka was released in 1996 at a price of 20,000 yen These days you’re unlikely to find one to buy yourself

and you’d have to pay a pretty penny if you did Special thanks to Undamned for letting us borrow his own Waka Up Scan Converter Although sold for use with PS1, the Waka also works with PS2 and even PS3

Let’s start with the intended scenario: connecting a PlayStation 1 to a PC CRT monitor The lengthy hardwired console connector pulls RGB video from the console, where it’s linedoubled to 640 by 480 RGBHV at 31kHz, making it fit the VGA spec, not unlike other video processors of the time For your typical 240p PS1 game, this means that two lines are drawn for every pixel row, and it does indeed look very crisp and clean If you wanted, you could add a scanline generator to darken one of the lines to give it a bit more of a PVM-like look Now, if you were to just play PS1 games in a more typical scenario, each pixel would be the same size, but the way the Waka handles this input, you can see (upon very close inspection) that some pixels are wider than others

Depending on a game’s scrolling speed, this may cause noticeable shimmer with horizontal scrolling But in other cases, like with Symphony of the Night, it turns out to not be much of a problem at all? it's virtually a non-issue with your typical 3D game Of course, it’s not uncommon for PS1 games to use 480i graphics at times, and the Wakka handles this with its own form of “bob” deinterlacing, more modern devices that use a bob technique include the Open Source Scan Converter and GameCube HDMI solutions Bob deinterlacing is fast and the imitation of 15kHz interlaced flicker feels less out of place on a PC CRT than on a modern display via the OSSC Be sure you’re watching this video at 60 frames per second to see the intended effect

The 240p to 480i resolution switches that can make Chrono Cross, Silent Hill, Dino Crisis, and a few other games of that era rather unplayable in digital upscaling scenarios are no problem at all for the Waka, which is maybe the most useful thing about it The bob implementation is actually rather pleasing in my opinion, making the Waka extremely compelling as a PS2 device One downside to the bob technique is that objects in motion can at times look a bit pixelated You may also notice some jaggedness that wouldn’t exist under normal circumstances, most visible with 2D art in titles or menus And unfortunately, the Waka simply can’t handle 480p input, although there are other ways to get 480p console games on a computer monitor if you need to

Overall though, the downsides are fairly minor, resulting in what is in my opinion a very nice representation of your average 480i PS2 game when using a PC CRT A lot of PS2 compilation discs run in 480i despite the source material being 240p, but with the Waka’s particular bob deinterlacing, combined with a scanline generator, you can in many cases hide these flaws, and you can use the same technique with a PS3 playing PS1 games, where proper 240p output is also not possible Considering the benefit of the seamless 240p to 480i switching, I had hoped that the Waka might pair nicely with the OSSC for connecting to digital displays Unfortunately, default 4 by 3 settings on the OSSC (which normally work great for everything else) in this case provide unsatisfactory results because the Waka’s uneven horizontal pixel sizing conflicts with the OSSC’s own sampling Video quality flaws, like jailbars, are also made more visible in the digital realm, so even if it might be possible to dial in more optimized timings for the Waka on the OSSC, frankly it’s probably just not worth it

Maybe the cost of a product like this was just a bit too high to really catch on, but I do wish we could’ve seen more devices like it back in the 90s and early 2000s, or heck, just more support for VGA directly from the consoles themselves I’m sure that a similar, if not superior, look could be had for PlayStation and non-PlayStation consoles alike with many of the other analog line doublers that were popular in the underground videophile world of two decades back The Waka isn’t necessarily the secret best option for PS1 or PS2 games But it is special for being a very unusual official PlayStation product, and while that may make it seem like just a collectible, it is nonetheless a quality device that, when used as intended, does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and does that quite well (Captions by Jordan "Link584")

Source: Youtube