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European PS3 -- sacrificing backwards for forwards [update 2]

We're referring to a decreased percentage in the European PlayStation 3's ability in respect to backwards compatibility. How awkward of a sentence was that? Let us explain before the poo gets tossed around. See, the model being released in Europe was designed differently... instead of having a chip run backwards compatible games like in the current US and Japanese models, backwards compatibility will be taken care of solely by software. We imagine that old games will have trouble, but those released in the past year or so should be A-OK.

Analyst Alex Kwiatowski had this to say: "I'm as disappointed as the next game player about the reduced backward compatibility, but even the most nostalgic, misty-eyed gamers will have their steely hearts impressed by the new features that PS3 games provide." Not only will the games impress, but this new model of PS3 has improved sound and graphics capabilities to stir up interest. There weren't any specifics, but guys, you might want to keep your PS2 and plug it into a small TV or something. Mine's upstairs, but is getting very little use.

[also available in Joystiq flavor!]

[update: fixed a wonky sentence. Or tried to.]

[update 2: CVG has an update on the situation -- check it out!]

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. "Not only the games, but this new model of PS3 has improved sound and graphics capabilities."

???

Posted at 10:21AM on Feb 23rd 2007 by jgreath

2. The Europeon Market, has been so patient, they're last to get the system, and now on top of that they're being stiffed on the backwards compatibility. All will be forgiven if Sony delivers on their end... it had been discussed before about taking that chip out and using software for the BC... Sony realizes that they're number 3 and they need software that's going to make people realize that the Playstation 3 is worth 600. They need good exclusives from in house, because all exclusives from 3rd parties will eventually find their way onto other systems, as we've seen before in the past, and as we're seeing right now.

Posted at 10:21AM on Feb 23rd 2007 by Thomas

3. @1

I'm guessing he might be referring to it being able to play PS2 games that are backwards compatible with it at a higher quality due to the software emulation.

While it's concerning to see Sony jump into full software emulation of PS2 games so early (especially considering it wasn't that long ago that the jaggy image problem was fixed on PS3s with PS2 chips inside), it could be a good sign that Sony is pursuing an aggressive cost-cutting plan which should eventually lead to a price cut. While there may not be 98% backwards compatibility, somewhere around 90% is still reasonable as long as they work on expanding compatibility harder than Microsoft did.

Posted at 10:33AM on Feb 23rd 2007 by Someone

4. I have been a Sony fanboy for a long time. Inspite of all the missteps with the PS3 I patiently waited for them to fix their issues and regain their glory. I dont see that happening. For once, the traditional Japanese style management is going to fail them. They are so out of touch with the buying population, its scary and even funny.
What does Sony think?
They can make anything and expect millions to line up for it?. With every misstep, they are ensuring that they will lose every bit of fanbase it has accumulated carefully over the years. With this European compat fiasco, you can scratch Europe from the list of PS3 domains. NA is formally 360 simply because we americans love our FPSes. In Japan, the Nintendo craze seems to go from strength to strength. Europe was Sony's hope. With this, that is squashed. Expect Sony to rapidly fall from grace to a has-been in no more than a year.
PS3 fanboys, from one to another, the product is officially dead even before it had a chance. The irony is that the PS3 is a good device. Bad pricing, awful PR, mistake after mistake, and finally and most importantly the ego did it.
Today I will stop visiting the PS3 new sites. Simply because its akin to flogging a dead horse. Its been fun people. Sayonara.

Posted at 10:35AM on Feb 23rd 2007 by Onceuponatime

5. Unbelievable.

Less is more, eh Sony? This wouldn't ruffle my feathers so much if, you know, they actually launched it for a price reflecting the change in manufacturing. Sony saves a buck while sticking it to the consumer. I see ... make a quick dirty profit so you can possibly cut the price sooner?

Oh Europe, what have you done to deserve this?

Posted at 10:40AM on Feb 23rd 2007 by Dolla Dolla

6. This is bull.

The PS3 is (or was?) the system I want the most. I haven't bought it because I'm waiting for the system to get at least three or four games I really want. Yet backwards compatibility is probably one of the features I actually want the most on ANY console. If by the time that PS3 has 3-4 games I want, yet they botch Backwards compatibility (in Japan/America), then I might wait even more, and I doubt sony wants that.


Posted at 11:16AM on Feb 23rd 2007 by bootsielon

7. Could the modified ps3 include a 65nm version of the cell processor?

Posted at 11:35AM on Feb 23rd 2007 by proc0cell

8. I totally agree with Dolla Dolla, some of the price of the PS3 was to do with them including the hardware to enable back-compat (which was one of their main selling points), now that that's not even in there anymore and they're still charging us more than everywhere is a disgrace. We've always had a raw deal, and we've kinda gotten used to it, but this is just outrageous.

Admittedly, I'm not a huge Sony fan since they destroyed my beloved SEGA, but hearing their plans in 2005, I was extremely excited by this machine and its respective tech demos, but it's just gone downhill from there. £425 would have been a steal for what they were proposing and it would have sold loads, even to a hater like me. It's like paying for a cow and only getting the tail, or it's arse.

Posted at 1:06PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by [GeekPunk]

9. there is also the possibility that these Cells have all 8 SPEs? I'm curious now.

It didn't take long for a "viral blogger" to step up and say hat this was the straw that broke the camel's back. The "ex-sony fanboy that suddenly turned a 360 (ironic)" I'm glad the competition is right on top of this announcement and trying to make it out to be worse than it is.

How many PS2 games have I played on my 360? 0
How many did I put in just to see them run? about 10, then I got bored and went back to playing NFS and my other PS3 games.

I say, big whoop-de-freakin do. So your getting software emulation instead of hardware. Cry some more.

Posted at 1:25PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by Andir3.0

10. I agree with the above post. People are throwing this news way out of proportion and it's getting ridiculous.

Just get over it already. We all knew software emulation was coming, and I guess it did sooner rather than later. Europe should be happy that they're getting a newer model than us here in the US.

Posted at 1:35PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by Erren

11. GOD damm i posted that on a one of these commets age's ago, Team Sony Told us where we work lol its chasis B euro is getting LOL

How many people as it pissed off well lets say there console is not getting the Pre orders they should be getting, and how many will be getting returned ALOT


sony Fuking the UK once again Damm them

Posted at 1:54PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by knoxin

12. Emulation people, the 360 does it, the PS3 can too, after all it has a higher theoretical processing power

Posted at 2:08PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by Tyler

13. Is not like they will never have 100% BC. I think is great, with software emultion they can improve the graphics and frame rate of older games. Plus because they know the innards of their systems (PS1 PS2) it should not take a lot of time to get 100 % BC. What i do find disturbing is that our "PAL's" at Europe shoud pay more than the folks here in the Americas and Japan and their consoles wont have EE chip or GS old chip

Posted at 2:18PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by jigzat

14. I was looking forward to EVENTUALLY at long last getting PS3 in March- ages after everyone else. Now I find out today the following...
As I live in UK I have to wait longer than all the other major markets...pay MORE than all the other territories...and now GET A SH*T VERSION WITH EMULATED backward compatibility- NO PRICE REDUCTION THOUGH!!!!
CRACK ...that was the sound of the last straw breaking the camels back- screw you fony im getting a 360. I will avoid your products from now on.

Posted at 2:29PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by carl

15. I´ve said it before and I´m saying it again.
Sony seems to love assraping Europe.

Posted at 2:50PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by Foppe

16. I thought it was silly of Sony to have seperate chipset for PS2 games overall. The 360 uses emulation fpr old game, so it would make sense to do so on the PS3 as well. And like 13 said; It actually makes it easier to fix and/or add features to the emulation process thru updates since it is just software.

Posted at 3:53PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by Raycer

17. Is it really that big of an issue? If you think about it, if your going to be playing PS2/PS1 games, you already have the older hardware that the games were intended to be played on. Less parts also decreases the chances of hardware failure and mostl likely less heat, which is always a plus. Your not really getting less for your money since your still getting what you were said to get. Emulation might not be 100 percent from the start, but it's a developing process with that goal in mind. Software emulation brings about a lot of pluses also. For those wanting upconverted resolution from PS2 games, emulation makes those possibilities even more likely. If I was in EU and was going to be purchasing the PS3 this news is not going to deter me from getting one

Posted at 5:28PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by kman79

18. "there is also the possibility that these Cells have all 8 SPEs? I'm curious now.

It didn't take long for a "viral blogger" to step up and say hat this was the straw that broke the camel's back. The "ex-sony fanboy that suddenly turned a 360 (ironic)" I'm glad the competition is right on top of this announcement and trying to make it out to be worse than it is.

How many PS2 games have I played on my 360? 0
How many did I put in just to see them run? about 10, then I got bored and went back to playing NFS and my other PS3 games.

I say, big whoop-de-freakin do. So your getting software emulation instead of hardware. Cry some more."


This has to be one of the dumbest posts I've ever seen on this blog.

Posted at 8:12PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by TheNatural

19. I was getting jealous thinking about what UK fans are going to get in the way of "improved sound and graphics". And all comentors have is bitching about decreased compatibility? Once you get your PS3, you are not going to want to look at old PS2 games, I played them a few times and sold them to buy more PS3 games. I can't believe everyone is so worried about getting screwed. I think it is just more 360 players posting hate.

Posted at 8:41PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by Ted Nemeth

20. People that say "this isn't a big deal" don't know what they're talking about. This really IS a big deal. One of the primary reasons I adopted a PS2 so fast was that my entire PS1 collection was playable. I was going to do the same with PS3 once a few games come out, but if there is no decent backwards compatibility by then (that is, the original model is discontinued and BC isn't fixed), then I refuse to buy it as soon as that happens.

If Sony doesn't get this fixed as soon as possible, then they can kiss goodbye another 10 million users or so, because one of the selling points of the PS3 was this, and that was one of the great reasons why PS2 was more successful than PS1.

This is a HUGE deal. I'm tired of Sony shooting themselves in the foot. I'm gonna own all consoles, but I wanna see Sony succeed (and I don't want an expensive paperweight either).

Posted at 10:08PM on Feb 23rd 2007 by bootsielon

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