Sony Computer Entertainment America’s Vice President of Marketing and PlayStation Network, Peter Dille, has gone on record to state that the company made the decision to remove PS2 backwards compatibility in the new 40GB PlayStation 3 in favour of keeping Wi-Fi.
Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz this week, Dille highlighted the importance of keeping costs of the new machine as low as possible, stating, "We've been hearing loud and clear that price is more of a primary concern to consumers.”
"We know that getting down to USD 399 will open up the PlayStation marketplace to a much broader swath of consumers that we had been at, at either USD 499 or 599."
Of course, keeping the cost at a minimum means removing a number of features present in earlier models. In addition to having only two USB ports, Sony ultimately decided to remove the graphics synthesizer chip needed to play PS2 games in favour of maintaining Wi-Fi compatibility.
The decision, Dille says, simply came down to fact that Wi-Fi is becoming an ever-growing feature of the PS3 gaming experience, and one that many companies, including Sony, are looking to take advantage of in the future.
[W]e'll be rolling out more and more features that take advantage of the connectivity between the PSP and the PS3, and Wi-Fi is really essential to that experience," said Dille.
"We've got some cool things you can do today with Wi-Fi, but there are also a lot more on the horizon that will help people understand why we left Wi-Fi in."
He also pointed out that consumers can now purchase a PS2 and PS3 at a lower cost than when PS3 first launched: "If you take the USD 129 plus the USD 399 that the PS3 is being sold for today, you are still getting into the game for less than the USD 599 price we launched at."
"In practice, once you get the PS3 home, the ability to play games in high-definition is more what [consumers] are interested in than their back catalog of PS2 games”, he concluded.