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Action Replay MAX - so much more than a cheat system

The chances are that if you're looking for a product to unlock all those extras for your PlayStation 2 games you'd look no further than Datel's Action Replay. It's a product that's always delivered the goods in this regard and it's constant high sales prove that's it's the cheat system of choice. Datel's latest version, Action Replay MAX does a lot more than provide you with cheats for every game you can think of. In fact it expands the capabilities of the PlayStation 2 and turns it into a complete entertainment system. Even if you don't use cheats this is still a very desirable product.

Main features include:

NEW! Preloaded with over 50,000 powerful cheat codes for the latest and greatest PS2 games.

NEW! Easy to update with new codes in a variety of ways - no other cheat system provides so much flexibility.

NEW! USB flash/pen drive support - now you can download all the latest cheat codes quickly and easily via any internet-enabled PC.

NEW! Includes custom PC software (MAX Media Creator) letting you burn your own Action Replay MAX-compatible CD-Rs that play on any regular PlayStation2.

NEW! Enjoy MP3 music via your TV or music system using your PS2 - enjoy over ten hours of music on just one CD-R (encoded at 128kbps).

NEW! Watch DivX movies on your PS2. One CD-R contains up to three hours.

NEW! Play GenesisÆ/Mega DriveÆ game ROMs using the built-in player.

NEW! PS2 online chat and instant messaging - enjoy real-time discussion with other gamers from all over the world!

Turn your PS2 into a multi-region DVD player and watch movies from other countries
Pack up to ten times more data onto any memory card using the MAX Memory Manager feature.

Download game-busting PS2 game saves direct to your memory card.
The only cheat code system that can be updated directly via a PS2 broadband internet connection (optional), USB Flash Drive or CD-R!

Alex Edge, Datel's Technical Director, recently gave an interview on the Action Replay Max.

• In a nutshell, which of Action Replay MAX’s new features should we be most excited about?

Action Replay MAX is the only product in the world that lets you burn your own music, movie and retro-game discs and then play them directly on a standard, unmodified PlayStation 2. This means you can insert an ordinary CD-R into your PS2 and instantly experience DivX movies, MP3 music and Genesis/Mega Drive games on your TV, effectively freeing your digital media library from the constraints of the PC. With over 50,000 preloaded cheat codes and the best code support in the business, Action Replay MAX is the ultimate video game enhancer.

• What is Datel’s philosophy behind releasing a video game enhancer with enhanced media support?

Action Replay MAX may be the best-selling cheat code system, but we’re not a company rests on its laurels. Over the years we’ve continued to set the standard against which other video game enhancement products are judged. Action Replay is a constantly evolving product, and it’s always fundamentally been about enhancing the gamer’s experience. The Action Replay community is always interested in getting content before anyone else, whether it’s the latest cheat codes, game saves or trailers for the latest games or movies. They’ve got it to get it somehow, and that’s where we come in. For most people the PC is still their access point for digital content, because it’s usually hooked up to a broadband connection. We wanted to give Action Replay MAX users a seamless way of tapping in to that content and experiencing digital media on their PlayStation 2.

• What’s the difference between DVD and DivX movies?

The PS2 is already a great DVD player, but think of all the movie trailers, home video clips and independent films that you can only access via a PC. We’ve already revolutionised the PS2 home cinema experience with our multi-region DVD player, DVD Region X, and it’s still an important feature within Action Replay MAX. But we wanted to go further and provide access to popular new formats like DivX, which is attracting a lot of interest from gamers. The web is filled with great movie content, but you need to be sitting in front of your PC to view it, which is not the most comfortable experience. With Action Replay MAX you simply burn your downloaded movie content to a CD-R using your PC, pop it in your PlayStation 2, and watch it on the big TV set in your living room - or anywhere else there’s a TV set. It’s exceptionally easy to use, too.

• What advantage does MP3 audio have over playing audio CDs on a PS2?

In a word, quantity. A standard audio CD can contain up to 80 minutes of music, and we all know that most albums are a lot shorter than that. With MP3, you can fit over ten hours of music onto one CD. Not only that, but you have complete freedom in deciding which tracks you’re going to burn onto your disc, so you can leave off any stinkers. The PC application supplied with Action Replay MAX makes all this a piece of cake - you just drag and drop the files to make your own music compilation.

• Is it true you decided against support for streaming digital content over a network?

With support for music and movies already built into Action Replay, it would seem like a natural thing to do. However, we believe in a real world setup this is simply not what people want. With MAX you've got the ability to take massive amounts of content from any source, burn it straight to CD-R and use it directly whenever and wherever you want to. Once you've got this capability, messy WAN setups simply don't cut it.

• There’s been a great deal of interest in Action Replay’s support for USB flash drives. How does this work?

For large music or movie files, it makes sense to burn them to a CD-R because you can fit over 600MB on your disc, and you get faster data transfer rates. But for small files like Action Replay MAX codes, PS2 saves and retro games, the flash drive is a small, neat and fast way of moving your data between a PC and your console. You can use our own PS2-compatible MAX Drive, or other manufacturers’. We’ve successfully tested many different brands of flash drive with Action Replay MAX.

• The emulation feature has created quite a stir in the media. Why do you think that is?

Well, it’s the first time you’ve been able to play ROMs on a standard, unmodified PlayStation 2, so everyone is very excited about it. People are really interested in the roots of gaming. They’re used to the lush environments of games like Metal Gear Solid or Grand Theft Auto: Vice City which really push the boundaries. But as great as modern games are, many gamers still get really excited about the 16-bit classics that they grew up with. I’m not saying gamers will play retro games instead of today’s epics, but there’s definitely a fascination in seeing the games that inspired and influenced today’s titles. Action Replay MAX is the only video game enhancer that supports emulation, so it’s natural there’s a big buzz about it.

• What about the legalities surrounding downloaded game ROMs?

Public domain Genesis and Mega Drive ROMs can be found easily on the internet, and its perfectly legal to download and play them. Some of them are surprisingly good - you should try them! Of course, we ask all gamers to be responsible. Only download ROMs from a web site if you're certain that they have the permission of the legal copyright owner, otherwise you could be breaking the law.

• Will other retro gaming formats be supported in the future?

We have the capability to do this, so it could happen. That’s all I can say right now.

• The new online chat feature within Action Replay MAX sounds interesting.

We’ve incorporated our new MAX Instant Messenger software, which lets you chat online with other gamers. We envisage users swapping cheats and game tips, and basically chatting about anything they like. You can enter text using a standard PS2 joypad or our Powerboard PS2 keyboard. The chat client is packed with features like smilies, public or private chat rooms and all the things you’re used to seeing on similar high-end PC applications. Uniquely, you can even post messages alongside PC and Mac users on our CodeJunkies web site discussion forums - all from your PS2. So now it’s easier than ever to be part of the growing Action Replay community.

• Does Action Replay MAX still feature broadband code support via Sony’s network adaptor?

Yes. Action Replay MAX is the only system with live code updates. If you’ve got a broadband-enabled PS2, you can download the latest Action Replay codes in just a few seconds. It’s the fastest, and most seamless way of getting new cheats for new games. With broadband take-up increasing at an incredible rate, it’s not hard to see why this has become a very popular feature.

Having said that, we realise not everyone has a broadband connection, which is why you can easily obtain new codes in a variety of other ways. In fact, no other game enhancer offers as much flexibility as the new Action Replay MAX. You can download our latest codes via an internet-enabled PC and then transfer them to your PS2 using a USB flash drive or burn them to a blank CD-R. You can still manually enter the codes yourself using a compatible USB keyboard such as our Powerboard, or a standard PS2 game pad - it just takes a bit longer!

For more information on the new Action Replay MAX (available June 2004), visit www.codejunkies.com.



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