I live and work in Shanghai, China where Sony's newest version of the PS2 is commonly found. Apparently, these units are imported from Japan as Sony had chosen not to commercially distribute their consoles in China.
The thing is, the vendors *always* sell the retail PS2s with mods that can play backup media. The results vary, depending on the mods. If one were to ask a given vendor what media the console can play, he or she would tell you that it can play only backup game media, but not backup DVDs, while another may tell you that their consoles can handle all backup media, but not original media. The prices vary quite a bit according to what the console can handle. Obviously, its a headache trying to figure out which console is the best buy.
The cheapest deal I've found for a PS2 slim (SCPH 9000x) is one that has had no hardware mods made, but some kind of software change allowing it to handle on backup game media, sorry no backup DVDs. (It sounds like some kind of firmware change to me.) Ugh! So, here I ask the forum veterans what would be the best way go about enabling a console such as this to play original and backup media, providing that no dubious Chinese mod chip was installed?