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Is backwards compatibility an issue? Analysts debate

So, the 40GB PS3 is losing backwards compatibility with PS2 games. Is that a big deal? You voted, but let's hear what the analysts have to say. From a business perspective, it makes sense for Sony to remove the feature. "Cost is hard to gauge, probably $30 - $50 per unit," Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter told GameDaily. A significant savings, when one considers the thousands of systems Sony must sell. Will the lack of PS2 support affect PS3 sales? "I thought lack of backward compatibility would hurt the Xbox [360], but it really didn't," Pachter noted.

However, NPD analyst Anita Frazier has some data that might concern Sony. "Nearly 70 percent said that [backwards compatibility] was an important feature to them."

Regardless, when it comes down to the choice between backwards compatibility and saving $100, the choice will be clear for most consumers. Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets noted: "It appears that pricing is becoming more of a priority, which makes sense given where the PS3 is selling in terms of market share. I don't believe removing backwards compatibility is a huge deal, considering that most people who want to play PS2 games will continue to do so on their PS2s."

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(Page 1)

1. Well that's all fine and good but what pisses me off is how Sony was ripping Microsoft for gimping BC and then they turn around and remove it altogether in this package. I'll never trust Sony again with their closed-type of marketing/publicity. This isn't Japan.

Flame on...

Posted at 7:56PM on Oct 9th 2007 by marklar

2. This is just Sony's response to the demands. Obviously now, atleast for a short while, you can choose whether you want the cheaper version with no BC or the more expensive version which does have BC.

I for one applaud Sony because I can now finally afford one!

Posted at 8:03PM on Oct 9th 2007 by Yellowmc

3. well i think they really thought about it, and anyone who wouldnt want to get the full 60 gig package most likely doesnt have any ps2 games. if you want the full package, get the 60 gig model, at least they're giving consumers a choice in the matter. for 360 users, its the 360 standard, 20 gig hard drive, or the 360 elite, which as far as i can tell doesnt have anything different from the standard one except for a 120 gig hard drive, but :P coz we ps3 users get to use any 2.5 inch hard drive, and around where i live they go up to around 500 gig.

Posted at 8:04PM on Oct 9th 2007 by animekid3515

4. @1
Though I hold no love for hypocrites and find some of Sony's business decisions peculiar, I don't understand your point about the close marketing. Sony has done a bad PR for awhile now but they have not been misleading the public though. I've seen the 40GB boxes and they clearly state that they can't play PS2 games, while the 80GB said its limited. And as for how you'll never trust them again, it must mean you actually trusted them once, either with the PS2 or MDs, which means for people like you backwards compatibility shouldn't be an issue.

I think Sony just needs to have two SKUs, the 40GB and the 80GB, one for people who want to play PS2 games and the other for people who already have a PS2 or just don't care.

Posted at 8:06PM on Oct 9th 2007 by ruibing

5. sure BC isn't a requirement....

once sony actually releases some games for the PS3 that are worth sticking with, and not the tripe that's currently on the system...

for early adopters, BC is still important seeing as how there is lots of quality games still being released on the ps2, and the lack thereof on the PS3...

hence why it's not as important on the 360....the 360 has a solid library of quality games that people are able and willing to play...

solve the library issue, BC will be cease to be an issue


Posted at 8:21PM on Oct 9th 2007 by Jason

6. PS3 BC VS. 360 BC

On the 360, you can still play Halo and... that's really all you would still want to play.

On the 40gb PS3, you can't play GoW, Metal Gear, Katamari, Okami, Ratchet and Clank, and a myriad of other AAA games that still are just as good.

Posted at 8:53PM on Oct 9th 2007 by SKI

7. Sony hasn't removed BC... you can buy a 60GB or an 80GB and get it.
Sony is giving you the choice, and where the surveys say 70% think it's important, they are most likely already PS3 owners.. and guess what.. they have BC.
So stop winging, it doesnt effect you, and if it does then congratulations on making the decision to save the money at the expense of BC. Not a decision i'd make, but that's why i've got a 60GB.

Posted at 8:53PM on Oct 9th 2007 by Da

8. if the 80 GB outsells the 40 GB by a large margin and consumer studies show that it's because of the lack of BC, then I imagine sony will go back to pushing models with BC. But if the 40 GB model sells better then they'll decide that dropping the price was worth the sacrifice, and they'll probably start to phase out the BC models entirely (as they've already decided to do in Australia)

Vote with your wallet.

Posted at 8:54PM on Oct 9th 2007 by Tim

9. Its best to have and not need, rather than need and not have. Say what you want, Sony did this to make sure that all new PS3 purchases include a game to help their game sells which are horrible.

Posted at 9:06PM on Oct 9th 2007 by The1

10. I think it's hard to compare to Xbox because it's not like Xbox had nearly the game library nor popularity that PS2 had, so it's not like there are 110 million Xbox users that need to hang onto their machines. With PS2 owners they are going to need to be aware of the 40gb's lack of BC and hold onto those machines.

The biggest issue here is that it's breaking PlayStation tradition by ending the BC factor it's always had.

Posted at 9:11PM on Oct 9th 2007 by OrganicShadow

11. The best bet is 2 SKUs, then people who want to pay the extra can have the BC, which will hopefully grow. As more games come out you'll hear less about it, especially since the newer versions will look (not necessarily play) so much better on a big TV. Sony really had little choice but to lower the price and this is one way to do it. I just hope they keep BC in at least one of the models, as it's a great feature to have and keeps games alive that are still well worth playing.

Posted at 9:12PM on Oct 9th 2007 by Starfire

12. For those guys who can afford the 40gb and can't afford 60gb when it $100 dollar more but doesn't have ps2 when it only around $150, I think because they are cheapo, those guys can buy a ps2 and 40gb version, I mean if you can buy ps2 and the 40gb why don't just buy the 60gb version when it the same price or cheaper because it come with bundle and I just heard that the 60gb version have price cut so why do you complain, it like people can never satisfied with anything, did you know that it also a blue-ray player the most popular of next gen format and gaming, how can you not satisfied with it, maybe it have not as much games compare to it rival at the moment but just a wait for few more months it just 1 or 2 months when great games hit.

Posted at 9:39PM on Oct 9th 2007 by Mr.X

13. @4
What I meant about the closed marketing was that they aren't as open to the community as their competitors. It's hard to put a finger on it, but don't you feel awkward about their marketing strategies?

Anyways, yes I used to own a PS2 and a PSP but that all changed soon after they stumbled out of the gate with the PS3. I don't own either of them anymore (thanks to Gamestop trade in offers). For the record, I have a 360 and I'm pretty happy with it...

Posted at 9:46PM on Oct 9th 2007 by marklar

14. I don't think Pacher has ever been right about anything. Why does he still have a job as an analyst?

Posted at 10:16PM on Oct 9th 2007 by Skyfire360

15. Sooo....any chance I can rip the emotion engine and graphics synthesizer out of my ps2 and stick it in a PS3 myself? It would give a use to any PS2's that aren't "with us anymore."

Posted at 10:25PM on Oct 9th 2007 by Barndo111

16. I made a post on joystiq today about this. In my opinion, backwards compatibility is only important to ps3 users because it really doesnt have a good game selection. I say this because MS hasnt updated the 360 b/c list in almost a year and no one has complained.

Still, its good to see sony addressing their 800lbs gorilla. Now they need to address the 500lbs gorilla, delays. I would seriously like to think that after 6 months of delayed ps3 games, that sony is asking why and incorporating a solution into their dev tools. However that doesnt seem to be the case as even the newest ps3 games are suffering from delays.

Posted at 10:36PM on Oct 9th 2007 by Easo

17. People seem to forget that Sony has had trouble selling these things. All i've heard for the last 2 year is "oh its too expensive" now they have gone and dropped $200 off of the price of the thing within the last 5 months and people still complain.

I am sure that Sony wanted to continue offering BC but hey if people aren't picking up the systems they had to find a way to make the price competitive or they'll be screwed BC or no BC.

plus its really not going to be an issue a year from now.


Posted at 10:56PM on Oct 9th 2007 by babash

18. Actually, once again Microsoft put the price on BC with the core. Sony is just following in their footsteps. If you bought a Core, you would need a 20GB HD($100) to get the BC. If BC is an issue to you, keep your PS2 or pay the same $100 for a BC Ps3.

The only difference is the double standard.

Posted at 10:57PM on Oct 9th 2007 by Matt B

19. The difference is MS didn't ream Sony for BC issues, Sony reamed MS, and used it as a bullet point. There's plenty of quotes out there from Kaz on down ripping on MS for their gimped BC. I think that's the thing that pisses people off.

Posted at 11:23PM on Oct 9th 2007 by Knight Marquise

20. @19 The same as: "1080p is impossible" "HDMI is unnecessary", Microsoft is the worst in making useless comments.

Posted at 12:12AM on Oct 10th 2007 by omega15

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