Sony Could Run BC On 40GB PS3s. They Just Don't Want To.

sloth.jpgThis whole backwards-compatibility thing on the new 40GB PS3 is a pinch confusing. Why, exactly, can't the new model run PS2 games when the old one could? Tired of asking questions of the night, I instead asked SCEE, who fired back a super-detailed, super-helpful guide to the 40GB's BC capabilities. Which is published in full after the click. For now, though, let's just focus on the part where they tell us they could run PS2 games on the 40GB PS3. They just can't be bothered:

The 40GB model, to be launched in Europe on 10th October, is a new model and is not equipped with any of the semi conductors from the PS2, and backwards compatibility would therefore have to be achieved by software emulation alone. The sheer numbers of PS2 titles available, together with the increased complexity of using a software only solution for each and every title means that to ensure accurate software emulation for the majority would be technically challenging, time consuming and costly. As we have mentioned on several occasions, our engineering resources are now focused on developing new and innovative features and services for the PS3 and, as a result the 40GB model does not have backwards compatibility with PS2 titles.

Who doesn't enjoy a spot of corporate indifference, eh folks?Sony's Friendly Guide To 40GB PS3 Backwards Compatibility

PS one The PS3 has never been equipped with either the CPU or GPU that were used in the original PlayStation, and the backwards compatibility for PS one titles has therefore been made available through software emulation from the beginning. Therefore backwards compatibility for PS1 titles remains the same no matter how many times the model is changed.

PS2 On the other hand, backwards compatibility for PS2 titles is largely made possible through the use of actual semiconductors, supported by the PS3 system software. The 20GB and 60GB PS3 models launched in Japan and the USA were equipped with both the PS2 Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesiser chips and we could therefore guarantee over 90% backwards compatibility for PS2 titles.

The 60GB model launched in Europe was a new model (shared with the 80GB model launched subsequently in USA) which contains only a modified version of the Graphics Synthesiser chip from the PS2 and not the Emotion Engine chip. The European launch model therefore used a combination of software and the modified version of the PS2 Graphics Synthesiser chip to deliver backwards compatibility for PS2 titles. As a result the percentage of backwards compatible PS2 titles was slightly reduced.

The 40GB model, to be launched in Europe on 10th October, is a new model and is not equipped with any of the semi conductors from the PS2, and backwards compatibility would therefore have to be achieved by software emulation alone. The sheer numbers of PS2 titles available, together with the increased complexity of using a software only solution for each and every title means that to ensure accurate software emulation for the majority would be technically challenging, time consuming and costly. As we have mentioned on several occasions, our engineering resources are now focused on developing new and innovative features and services for the PS3 and, as a result the 40GB model does not have backwards compatibility with PS2 titles.

The current PS3 system software and future updates will continue to support backwards compatibility for the current 60GB and 80GB models, and publishers can check their new PS2 titles to ensure they play on the 60GB and 80GB models.

Keen gamers, for whom backwards compatibility is important, can still purchase the existing 60GB PS3 Starter Pack which contains an extra SixAxis controller, two first party titles and has extensive backwards compatibility with PS2 titles.

Think they left out the bit that says "keen gamers had also best get cracking", because if they don't get a 60GB model now they're up shit creek without so much as a paddle.


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    *Extends middle finger back @ sony*

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