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40GB's loss of backwards compatibility explained

Now that Sony has finally come clean and announced its new 40GB PlayStation 3, it's got some "splaining to do." The biggest issue on most gamer's minds is why Sony decided to cut the backwards compatibility feature that linked the PS3 with the PlayStation consoles that came before it.

SCEE managing director Ray Maguire said Sony will use the money it dedicated towards backwards compatibility to invest in new games or to perhaps lower prices so more gamers can afford to buy a PS3. "It was a big decision, and we know it is a very emotive subject as lots of people think that backwards compatibility is high on the agenda and yet few really use it," he said.

We're not sure how Maguire came to this conclusion, but the PS3's backwards compatibility feature is always one that we've appreciated for a long time. With Sony's commitment to a 10-year life span of its hardware and games still being published for last generation's console, it seems like an odd choice to "cut the cord" at this point.

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(Page 1)

1. i NEED backwards compat. thats why i got a 60gb.

Posted at 2:09PM on Oct 5th 2007 by Paul

2. if it comes here im definetly getting this for real. i didnt need 4 usb ports or any of those things it lost. give me hdmi, and blu ray playing capabilities and im there. dont need any of them other gizmos. if i want a bigger hard drive il buy one.

Posted at 2:09PM on Oct 5th 2007 by Jay

3. i still don't get how they can "cut b/c" if it's all done through software emulation.
i could see them saying that it's not guaranteed, but that'd be like buying a computer and having the manufacturer say that your new computer doesn't have Firefox on it. well, that's fine, but can't i just install the basic program later?
can someone explain...?

Posted at 2:10PM on Oct 5th 2007 by Solace

4. If you really want to have BC fork out a 100 euro more and you have it. As well as an extra controller and 2 games. Better deal than the 400 euro consoel if you ask me. Spin it all you like but the fact remains the PS3 just dropped 200 euros in price from 600 to 400 euros.

Posted at 2:11PM on Oct 5th 2007 by Egster

5. "...that backwards compatibility is high on the agenda and yet few really use it,"

Is this guy for real?! What other games beside Heavenly Sword, Resistance and Warhawk are out here that gamers play on their PS3? I dare you to name one.
This, by far, is the absolute worst explanation I’ve heard this year from any executive. I’m speechless

Posted at 2:13PM on Oct 5th 2007 by john

6. I think it's a load of crap too. Seems like they're just punishing the consumer for not buying the more expensive version. Kind of like how Intel apparently used to sell the same processor, but underclocked to different speeds at different prices - it costs the same for them regardless.

But I also think people make too big of a deal out of backwards compatibility. I mean, I love games, but how many games for the PS2 have you played (for however many YEARS at this point) that you STILL feel the need to play? I would definitely buy a non-BC PS3 if it'd save me money.

Posted at 2:14PM on Oct 5th 2007 by Stef Geiger

7. Cheap People get what you pay For!

Posted at 2:20PM on Oct 5th 2007 by sicklesdawg

8. @6
FFVII, the only game thats always fun to play through after 10 years

Posted at 2:21PM on Oct 5th 2007 by coplice

9. man who cares if it isnt b/c? KEEP UR OLD PS2 MINE WORKS FINE AFTER 4 YEARS... i don't mind there's no bc in this new 40gig model and others shouldn't care either. i even have my original ps hooked up even though i don't play it. so who gives a crap if there's no b/c?! sheesh... lmao :)

Posted at 2:23PM on Oct 5th 2007 by MetalKingSlime

10. Its not a big deal I think, I mean don't a bunch of people still have their old PS2's? Did yours suddenly break the moment you got a PS3. Its no big deal unless you only have a PS3 which a lot od people don't. Most people have a PS2 and PS3

Posted at 2:27PM on Oct 5th 2007 by Valin

11. I'm really glad I bought my PS3 when I did. Backwards compatibility is what I use my PS3 for the most. I own several PS3 titles, but I have a huge library of PS2 games and a bunch of PS games that I still play, alot. I retired my PS2 when I bought my PS3 last January. The only exception was Guitar Hero, but I finally got an adapter that works and I gave my PS2 to our niece and nephew.

I don't want to have a bunch of consoles hooked up if I don't have to. Sony said pre-launch that the PS3 would be fully backwards compatible. But it seems only if you bought the it early when it had a higher price tag.

Posted at 2:29PM on Oct 5th 2007 by coalhalo

12. I can see Sony's point about cutting the backwards compatibility. It's a feature not a lot of people use once they've got a taste of PS3 gaming. It's also a very redundant feature because everyone with a collection of PS2 games also has a PS2 (duh!). So why don't they simply continue to play PS2 games on an actual PS2....

Posted at 2:33PM on Oct 5th 2007 by ymmv

13. They're full of **** plain and simple.

Does this mean they're cutting all software emulation patches/fixes even for the 60GB and 80GB units if they're moving funding? What about PS Store download titles which pretty much use that? Does this mean they're not going to offer more? Someone needs to get some real details from them here.

Posted at 2:36PM on Oct 5th 2007 by Maurice M

14. Who the hell is going to want such a gimped console?
And I have a sneaking suspicion that BC being cut here is going to lead to no more BC list updates either, for the consoles that do support it.

Posted at 2:37PM on Oct 5th 2007 by ClarkyCat

15. My understanding is Backwards Compatbility is going nowehere, there will always be With/Without models on the market, at least I hope so.

BC is very important to me and many others, there are still great PS1/PS2 games, that are still very enjoyable, despite how many great PS3 games there are.

Sony, please don't drop BC, make it optional fine, that is sensible, but don't drop it.

Posted at 2:37PM on Oct 5th 2007 by Mak

16. All my ps2 games I have look like crap on my PS3 so i dont even play them on it. I'm glad I kept my ps2. People wanted a lower price on the PS3 now that you have it you got something to say. Damn its a no win with you guys. For the price to come down they had to cut cost. Go buy you a PS2 ONLINE for like $50 and be quite.

Posted at 2:40PM on Oct 5th 2007 by drdre74

17. @#3 I think the emulation is just emulating the EE chip that was removed. There are other supporting hardware that looks like is being removed to save money. It wasnt all software emulation. Just software emulating the EE chip. I guess just from readying posts that there is a "GS" chip for video or something that is getting removed.

Now the 80gig isnt losing anything correct so people still have a choice right?

Posted at 2:42PM on Oct 5th 2007 by wonway01

18. I think Sony faced a choice: keep all the features of the PS3 and rely on exclusives and Blu-Ray movies to drive sales; or, cut some of the features, annoying a portion of your user-based, but end up reducing the price and spike sales this Christmas. I bet it was a much-debated choice but it seems like the right one. Europe is probably the most pro-Sony place around, so this way they are going to end up selling more consoles.

Also, this whole 'software emulation' thing still required the PS2's 'GS' graphics chip to be included. While you can get away with taking out the Emotion Engine, there's no way for the RSX to replicate the GS's capabilities with sufficient performance. They've taken the GS out of these new models - that's why this 40GB model can't do backwards compatibility.

Posted at 2:44PM on Oct 5th 2007 by navsimpson

19. I've got to chime in on the lousy BC on my PS3 too. It's the European model and BC thru software emulation was limited. I wanted to play the Ratchet & Clank series to get into the mood for Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction. It ran fine, but it was also slow ... far too slow to be playable and fun, so I had to go back to my PS2 to replay the game.

So losing the BC is not a big loss, cause it didn't work so great anyway. If you want the real thing, you have to use the real thing, not emulate it thru software.

Posted at 2:48PM on Oct 5th 2007 by ymmv

20. What other choice do they have if they want to cut cost? Sony can't win no matter what. If you want backward compatibility, fork over an extra c-note. But you can't begrudge Sony for trying to make the PS3 more affordable for consumers.

Posted at 2:48PM on Oct 5th 2007 by Sy

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