I love finding unique Taiwanese consoles and that’s exactly what I got with this Sony Playstation. Originally I thought it was a regular Japanese version (the front of the box clearly shows NTSC-J), but after checking the back I saw the Traditional Chinese text and did a bit of research on the model number – SCPH-5503.
It turns out that the SCPH-5503 revision was released in Asia in 1996. It’s unique in that the internal PSU supports 110v – 240v, so it can be used in all countries throughout the region. For instance, Taiwan is 110v, and Hong Kong 240v. While the console is the NTSC-J region, the included boot ROM is actually in English – presumably English was used as a default language so the same console could be released in various regions without supporting the language of each country. This makes it the perfect console for playing imported Japanese games on, regardless of where you live, and without requiring a step-up/down voltage convertor. There’s some chat about HK region Playstation consoles in this Assembler Games thread.
I had to see if this was really the case and tested it with my 110v > 240v step up convertor and it worked fine.
Reviewing the list of Asian Playstation models on Wikipedia it looks like there’s one version that is even more interesting – the SCPH-5903, which also natively supports VCD. Though according to the information it had an extra security chip to prevent piracy, so I’m sure this version didn’t sell well in Taiwan.
Here’s some more box shots: