Last night we received word of the initial USB Extreme GUI release which is, in most aspects, better than the Command-Line Tools previously available for USB Extreme. The GUI allows you to Delete, ReName, and Copy your images on the USB HDD, however, this initial GUI release is still "buggy" for formatting the drive with it. We have updated our USB Extreme F.A.Q. page to include a complete Tutorial on using BOTH versions for those interested.
After spending a few hours experimenting with USB Extreme (the software solution for PSTwo v12+ console owners who wish to store and run their games from a USB HDD) courtesy of [Register or Login to view links], here are our results thus far in comparison to HD Advance: USB Extreme seems more compatable initially with a broad range of PS2 titles, whereas HD Advance requires you to enable "modes" for many to work. However, according to the manufacturer USB Extreme still has an overall lower compatability percentage than its predecessor. If you are strictly seeking increased game loading speed, then we recommend you seek a v1-11 PS2 console and use HD Advance, but if you do not mind the loading times derived from playing games via CD/DVD then USB Extreme may be for you! On some titles (King's Field: The Ancient City, for example) we tested, the FMV scenes were a bit choppy so we had to skip through them... but others such as GTA: San Andreas played the FMVs smoothly despite occasional (but brief) lag prior to loading them. Feel free to use our USB Extreme Forum thread to discuss your own experiences with it as well.
One nice feature of the USB Extreme is that it works with both IDE HDDs (we're using a 120GB Maxtor 7200RPM) in a [Register or Login to view links] (only $18.47) or with standalone USB drives of course. This makes it really convenient, as you can just plug the drive into your PC, transfer games to it, and then plug it into your PSTwo to play them! Another thing we like about the USB Extreme is that it transfers games to the PSTwo HDD VERY fast. For example, a 2.66GB (2,867,822,592 bytes) PS2 DVD game transfers in under4 minutes via PC- cool indeed!
Finally, we're told those who purchase a USB Extreme from [Register or Login to view links] will receive a discount off of future upgrades of the software as stated [Register or Login to view links] simply by cutting out and saving the Upgrade Coupon located on the package. Our opinion: there simply isn't an easier way to play PS2 games from a Hard Disk Drive on a PSTwo console than the USB Extreme software to date- so go for it if you own a v12+ PSTwo!