PlayStation 2: Online Beta Trial discs

Recently I was able to snag a set of discs from the PS2 "Online Beta Trial" set (a PAL only set). These discs were part of an exclusive Sony program for testing their network capabilities with the new games.

Discs here include:
  • Commandos Strike Force [TLES-52768]
  • Crash 'N' Burn [TLES-52339]
  • Eyetoy Chat [TLES-52339]
  • FIFA 07 [TLES-54240]
  • Forumla One 04 [TCES-52042]
  • Monster Hunter [TLES-52707]
  • This Is Football 2004 [TCES-51613/B]
There exists a strange paradigm about these discs... they are only made to work with the PS2 online network - which is no longer functional. As a result only menus are functional - however due to the size of these disc images, it's clear there are hackable assets - something I'll leave to the pros. That said, a few Monster Hunter features can be accessed straight from the disc: "E3 2003 Demo Movie", "Opening" movie, and a character design function:

Discs have been "let loose" and will find their way into wider availability soon :)

Looking further into the rabbit hole...
Luckily eBay seller hellomachine was able to get me on a good path to finding more info, here are the descriptions from his past listings.:
"What’s a Beta Trial Code?
Back in 2003 before the official launch of the Network Adapter, Sony needed to try out the functionality and legitimacy of PS2 online gaming within their network and so required some volunteers to help test and iron out any difficulties. They advertised for participants on a Sony forum and of those who applied, some were chosen (apparently between 100-150) and issued with a Network Adapter and Beta Trial Code discs in order to test their network. (Rather cheekily, Sony still asked the volunteers to pay £40 for a Network Adapter Trial Kit.) The volunteers registered their efforts on the Sony forum and a small community was built up over time as they agreed to attend Test Sessions and filled out their relevant surveys for Sony. This trial went on for a number of years as Beta Trial Codes were issued for a number of games throughout this time."

My research led me to a few more answers. First of all, there are a fair handful of discs in this program. Secondly, also included in the program were at least a couple regular demos (with serial numbers matching demos commonly found on ebay). Here's what's left on the missing list:
  • Destruction Derby Arena Demos (green/turquoise disc with silver lettering) [SCES-50781/1.00/Beta]
  • Everybody's Golf 4 [TCES-52582]
  • Fire Warrior ("Pre-Production", white lettering on a silver background) [SLES-50958/0.02]
  • Forumla One 05 [TCES-53033]
  • Hardware Online Arena Beta (pink label) [SCES-51593/0.01]
  • Jak X [TCES-53286]
  • Killzone [TCES-52004]
  • Metal Gear Solid Subsistence [TLES-82043]
  • Mirage (video streaming software) [TCES-10001]
  • Ratchet and Clank 3 [TCES-52456]
  • S.L.A.I. Phantom Crash [TLES-52940]
  • SOCOM US Navy Seals Beta (online Game Only, network adaptor and headset - white disc with orange text and a SOCOM logo at the top) [SCES-50928/B1]
  • SOCOM II: US Navy Seal (orange text) [TCES-51904/1]
  • Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow [TLES-52149]
  • Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain [TCES-52033]
  • This is Football 2005 [TCES-52426]
  • Twisted Metal Black Online (silver disc with black lettering) [SCES-51480/A5#]
  • World Rally Championship 4 [TCES-52389]
  • WRC 5 WT (aka WRC: Rally Evolved) [TCES-53247]
  • WWE: Smackdown Vs Raw [TLES-52781]
It's not uncommon to see these pop up on ebay, but the prices are usually prohibitive for me to buy more. If you have one of these discs - and would be willing to make a perfect disc image for preservation, please reach out to me on the Contact page at the top of this website.

Update: See Online Beta Trial Part 2 post here.
PlayStation 2: Online Beta Trial discs PlayStation 2: Online Beta Trial discs Reviewed by Dizzzy on 1:01 AM Rating: 5

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