PlayStation Universe
What's New?

SCEE explains loss of PS2 b/c for 40GB PS3

9 October 2007

Many were surprised, even bewildered, to hear that the new 40GB model wouldn't offer any sort of backwards compatibility with past PlayStation titles. That's mostly true.

Nick Sharples, SCEE Director of Corporate Communications, spoke to Joystiq and shed some light on the subject.

"We have no plans to [offer emulation software as downloadable content] at the moment. 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," said Sharples.

"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," he continued.

Fortunately, it was revealed that all PS3 consoles contain the necessary architecture allowing them to play PSone games, a factor no different with the 40GB model, explained Sharples.

"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.

"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.

Lastly, Sharples reminded gamers that they could still purchase the 60GB model, which comes complete with full PlayStation and PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility. However, as reported yesterday, it is worth remembering that this is for a limited period only until the model is sold out.

"The current PS3 system software and future updates will continue to support backwards compatibility for the current 60GB and 80GB models.

"Keen gamers in Europe, 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."


  • submit to reddit

Comments