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The entire PlayStation 2 Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer as found on the current North American PS3 motherboard (Source: DailyTech, Kristopher Kubicki)

View from the side of the 80GB MotorStorm PS3 bundle box
Snatch up those remaining 60GB PS3s if you want to play old games

All eyes directed to the PlayStation 3 earlier this week were on its $100 price drop, with few paying much attention to the future 80GB PS3 bundle that will soon occupy the $599 price point. Those planning on waiting until August for the MotorStorm bundle should take note that the hardware inside the 80GB version will differ from all the PlayStation 3 systems released in North America thus far.

Taking a magnified view of the box art of the 80GB PS3 bundle supplied by SCEA, one can clearly read on the side of the package the following text:

“This product has limited backward compatibility with PlayStation and PlayStation 2 format software. Many PlayStation and PlayStation 2 format software titles operate, but full compatibility is not guaranteed. Updating the system software may improve compatibility. Visit for system software update.”

The move to using software emulation instead of hardware backwards compatibility is a cost-cutting measure for Sony. It is unclear when or if the 60GB PlayStation 3 consoles will be affected, though it would be logical to assume that both console variants will inevitably share the same hardware aside from differing hard disk drives.

In February, Sony revealed that its European-spec PlayStation 3 consoles are shipping with revised hardware that are without the Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer chips used for PlayStation 2 software backwards compatibility. Instead, the PlayStation 3 hardware would emulate the older systems through software, though Sony admitted that backwards compatibility suffers without the dedicated chips. 80GB PlayStation 3 hardware without the dedicated chips first appeared at the console’s launch in South Korea.

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I dont get it.
By retrospooty on 7/11/2007 9:48:51 AM , Rating: 5
The lower priced model has the advantage of the better feature set, and the latest 80gig ones rolling off the production line have what I can only assume is an intentional omission of that feature? So you are expected to pay more and get less? Typical Sony.

RE: I dont get it.
By IcY18 on 7/11/07, Rating: 0
RE: I dont get it.
By RubberJohnny on 7/12/2007 12:13:17 AM , Rating: 3
Why i think most people buying a PS3 could care less about backwards compatibility Sony...

This is completely OT (and a little picky) but so many people in this forum continue use this incorrect expression.
The proper saying is "couldn't care less".

RE: I dont get it.
By SirLucius on 7/11/2007 10:08:05 AM , Rating: 2
I feel the same way. I understand that Sony doesn't have to support all PS2 games on the PS3, and I'm sure the most popular PS2 games play just fine, or can be easily fixed through a software update, but it would be nice to have seen the support. I mean, the PS2 can play PS1 games just fine, and the Wii can play Gamecube games just fine. Last I checked, the 360 still wasn't 100% backwards compatible, which I find very annoying. Sony could have set themselves above Microsoft in this case, but they're failing to deliver. As it is, I'll have to be sure to pick up one the 60GB models before Sony switches the production over to all software emulation.

RE: I dont get it.
By omnicronx on 7/11/2007 1:22:14 PM , Rating: 3
I know most people want full compatibility but its probably harder than it looks. The wii is essentially an overclocked gamecube, (same cpu gpu at higher clock speeds) so i can see why it was so easy there, and the ps2 im guessing was very similar to the ps1 engine wise. Meanwhile both the 360 and ps3 are based on totally different hardware specs, both essentially built from the ground up.

What im trying to get at here is adding full backwards compatibilty is harder than it looks and probably costs a considerable amount of money. Its kind of like trying to integrade BASIC into c++ or JAVA.

dont take my word for it, but it wouldnt surprise me if sony saved a good 30 dollars a console by taking out hardware emulation of ps2 and ps1 games.

RE: I dont get it.
By JimFear on 7/12/2007 3:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
Also dont forget software emulation has greater possibilities as its not constrained by the original hardware performance of EE+GS :)

I expect people think SCE should pass on the savings to them instead of investing them into developer positions to help code the backwards compatibility.

*note that wasn't directed at you omni!*

RE: I dont get it.
By killerroach on 7/11/2007 10:22:00 AM , Rating: 4
It's a technological Catch-22 right now: Software backwards compatibility will never be as complete, but it also does allow for a greater ability to do stuff to enhance the visual quality of the games being played. I'm going to take a bit of a wait and see approach on this, but the improvements to scaling plus a few more updates' worth of compatibility patches and tweaks might make the demand for hardware emulation seem almost silly.

RE: I dont get it.
By PrinceGaz on 7/11/2007 11:19:58 AM , Rating: 4
Yes, software-emulation is better in the long-term as all kinds of enhancements like texture filtering and upscaling can be applied, but it tends to take a long time before the emulator is complete enough to run everything perfectly.

Even a very simple computer by today's standards like the ZX Spectrum had hardware quirks which took a lot of work to emulate perfectly in software, and which caused certain games to malfunction or at least not look right until fixed. All the undocumented Z80 instructions needed to be emulated exactly as the original chip performed them, as quite a few games used them (they were actually quite useful at times), and then the R-register updating and timing in general had to be perfect, and interrupt handling of course. And that's just for a very simple CPU compared with what is in the PS2, and then the PS2 has lots of other complex chips performing other tasks.

It's good that Sony have got as many games as they have running on the PS3's emulator, but the fact they are saying that this new model has limited backwards compatibility suggests they may have decided to all but terminate further development of the emulator. It would need many more years work before it was anywhere close to being perfect, and I can't see them doing that.

RE: I dont get it.
By plonk420 on 7/12/2007 4:01:11 PM , Rating: 2
"Software backwards compatibility will never be as complete"

aren't you coming from the standpoint of emulator writers where the authors don't have access to all of the platform's secret/complete(ish) documentation that the console makers do? i think the platform maker has a better chance at completeness than anyone else... (except for those game makers that "went out of spec", if there even IS such a thing)

RE: I dont get it.
By Griswold on 7/11/2007 11:16:54 AM , Rating: 1
This move was inevitable and in a year, its all you can buy if you want a new PS3. As mentioned in the article, the euro-PS3s have been emulating the PS2 hardware from the get-go. It was a cost reduction meassure and of course the latest revision will be the same, regardless of continent.

RE: I dont get it.
By cane on 7/11/2007 11:54:01 PM , Rating: 2
It's time for the people that worked on PS and PS2 emulators (for PC) to to get going and try to enhance the PS3 emulator. Who knows, in the end they might even be able to revers engineer it to work on PC...
When PS2 came out, PCs couldn't really keep up when trying to emulate the PS2 hardware. But this time around, with quad core CPUs, multiple graphics cards etc in the same computer it might work to emulate even the newer machine. And lets face it, even if they started today. It could still take a year or more for a decent PS3 emulator.

RE: I dont get it.
By retrospooty on 7/12/2007 2:23:51 AM , Rating: 3
"It was a cost reduction meassure and of course the latest revision will be the same"

I get that, but the point is a manufacturing cost reduction should be passed on to the consumer. In Sony's lineup, the higher model that costs more has less features. So in the end, you pay $100 more for an extra 20gigs, the 80gig drive likely costs Sony the same as the 60 gig, if not, its likely pennies more per unit.

RE: I dont get it.
By Fallen Kell on 7/12/2007 9:13:04 AM , Rating: 2
"I get that, but the point is a manufacturing cost reduction should be passed on to the consumer."

You miss the fact that Sony is already giving the consumers a HUGE cost break on the price of the unit by selling it UNDER cost. Unlike other manufacturing that sell their items for prophit, when selling at a loss, the cost reduction has already been giving to the consumer in the previous price point, and as such no price adjustment is implied if manufacturing costs are brought down lower. This isn't a manufacturer padding their profit margin on the item, since in this case the manufacturer is lessening their margin of losses on the item.

As for the rest of your coment, it might be true. For the extra $100, you get a game ($60 value?), the larger hard drive (this will be a cost difference, remember they are using laptop hard drives, not desktop. The cost difference between a 60GB and an 80GB do have a difference this disk category (unlike the desktop drive market). Right now, the difference between a Western Digital 60GB 2.5" SATA drive and the 80GB of the same line is $0.50 a gig, or $10. In the desktops, well, I couldn't find a 60GB drive, but going by the price of the 80GB, they cost about 25% less then the laptops. Also do not forget they are including the HDMI cable now, which is probably another $10.

So while it isn't as good a deal as the 60GB model, there is only about $20 or so that Sony is saving. However, as a consumer to upgrade your system, and get the game, you would spend more then the $100 difference in price, as you would be left with the old hard drive.

RE: I dont get it.
By colonelclaw on 7/12/2007 6:35:37 AM , Rating: 2
the thing is, if i were to buy a ps3 now i would sure as hell want absolute backwards compatibility. why? well because decent ps3 games are somewhat thin on the ground and i have millions of ps2 and ps1 games

RE: I dont get it.
By nemrod on 7/13/2007 8:23:17 AM , Rating: 2
You could add that 60G model will disappear, so this is a short time promotion...

This important?
By Mitch101 on 7/11/2007 9:51:01 AM , Rating: 1
You know nothing plays PS2 games better than a PS2.

If compatibility means that much then why not buy a PS2 if you dont have one. Arent they like $120.00 for new?

RE: This important?
By Zigazoid on 7/11/2007 10:05:48 AM , Rating: 5
Because its nice to have one console as part of your entertainment center that plays all your Playstation games. Which was is something the 60GB PS3's did. Plus the Sony PR machine always rants on and on about how your PS3 can be your one stop media/gaming setup.

Sony lowered the price and downgraded an important feature to of lot of people, it doesn't make sense.

RE: This important?
By LittleMic on 7/11/2007 10:07:40 AM , Rating: 3

You should have a look to this thread... And for the part that can't be seen an a screenshot : Shadow of the Colossus is more fluid on PS3 too

RE: This important?
By nordicpc on 7/11/2007 10:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
I like the upscaling that was brought out recently, and the ability to have one console to rule them all. And, honestly, if my old PS2 wasn't dying, I would've waited to buy the PS3. Why pay for two consoles when you should only have to buy the newest one?

RE: This important?
By tedrodai on 7/11/2007 11:58:03 AM , Rating: 3
I feel the same way--though I haven't bought a PS3 yet. I never would have bought my PS2 when I did (back in 2002) if it couldn't play my PS1 games. I got a lot of mileage out of my PS2, but only ever bought 4 games unused (FFX, FFXII, Metal Gear Solid 2, NCAA Football). As of last fall, however, my PS2 quit working. I still want to play some of my old games, but I don't want to pay $120 just for that opportunity--not when I could buy a PS3 that can do the same thing and provide access to a new generation of games.

I'm a pretty hardcore gamer, but I play PC games as much or more than console games. So frankly, I'm not in the market to buy a PS3 yet because of the price. It was time for me to buy a new console this summer, however, so I jumped all over the Wii. I never bought a Gamecube, because several of my friends in college had them, but there were a LOT of great games available for it. I missed out on a lot of them, so now I can buy them for $5-$20 bucks used--and I have access to the newer Wii games in the retail stores.

I've rambled quite a bit, but I'm not out to preach Nintendo over Sony, etc. To someone with an outlook like me, Sony is doing everything wrong this time. They priced the PS3 as if it were the ONLY option for a current gamer and entertainment system enthusiast--far from it. I want amazing graphics as much as anyone, but my PC has better graphics AND games at this point in time and is a sunk cost. If the PS3 doesn't support some of my PS2 games when I next consider a console purchase, it's just not going to fill that niche I'm expecting.

RE: This important?
By Chaser on 7/11/2007 4:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
How many potential PS3 buyers (that don't browse tech driven websites) would be comparing that against a PC for their purchasing decision?

The PS3 may not be the only option but it is a very unique product that also plays Blue Ray DVDs which also and (to them) connects easily to a home theatre system for both the video and audio advantages that a decent home theatre system adds to the gaming experience.

RE: This important?
By tedrodai on 7/12/2007 11:23:27 AM , Rating: 2
Aye, I understand, but I was talking about someone with an outlook like mine--just one group of people to market to, and not even the majority. I'm just amazed that, as one example of a hardcore gamer and someone who loved the PS1/2 so much, Sony's initial image of the PS3 to me is one of:
"If you don't want one, it's ok. We'd rather have this group of customers over here."

RE: This important?
By omnicronx on 7/11/2007 1:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
haha did you actually read any of the posts that people left?
hey that looks like 360 gfx!!!LOL
(comparing Shadow of the Colossus).
and i thought 360 fanboys were bad haha. I guess that guy didnt hear the part where almost all games on ps3 right now are ported 360 code haha.. the games look almost identical on the two machines. not saying it will stay that way as ps3 seems a bit more powerful but its still funny.

RE: This important?
By Goty on 7/11/2007 6:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
That's an example of this little thing called sarcasm.

RE: This important?
By eyebeeemmpawn on 7/11/2007 11:31:41 AM , Rating: 2
just picked up a ps3 last night...
I was waiting GTHD, but I decided to for it.

The couple ps2 games we played on the ps3 looked much better with the up-conversion and smoothing on my 37 inch LCD than with the old ps2.

I'm glad I got the system with the dedicated hardware, since we plan on using it with ps2 games quite a bit. Hopefully sony can ad more backward compatibility list with system updates

Ask one of our European PS3 owners
By Chaser on 7/11/2007 10:34:11 AM , Rating: 5
From what I have read the software emulation works fairly well. I'm sure if it didn't we would have read about that from the usual chorus of PS3 experts on here that don't own a PS3 and don't plan to buy one.

By PrimarchLion on 7/11/2007 3:03:24 PM , Rating: 2
I would not be surprised if Sony dropped the 60GB version in the next 6 months as they did the 20GB version. They would probably sell the 80GB (with or without Motorstorm) for $499 shortly after that. It just seems inconvenient to be producing 2 different versions of the same board, 1 with and 1 without the PS2 chip.

By darkpaw on 7/11/2007 4:27:48 PM , Rating: 2
As soon as I heard about the 80gb version I figured the 60gb version was on the way out. They'll probably only ship 99% 80gb systems from next month on out then claim "low demand" to kill the 60gb system.

You asked for it...
By LordConrad on 7/11/2007 4:17:51 PM , Rating: 2
This is no surprise to me. The PS2 hardware will no longer be in the 60GB version once the existing units are sold off. Everyone always whined and complained about the price of the PS3, but never gave it much credit for it's feature set. It was always price, price, price... Well, guess what? You got what you wanted, It costs less now (for 60GB). You lost something in the process, but you were more concerned about cost anyway, so who cares?

"Be careful what you wish for, you may get it."

Oh wait, you say you wanted that feature? Well, hardware costs money, and you were more concerned about cost anyway.

"You get what you pay for."

This goes out to anyone who ever whined about the cost of the PS3: After all that PS3 bashing about how much it costs, you have no right to complain about this. It costs less now. You got what you wanted, so shut up and be happy!

Personally, I'll be happy with the 60GB unit I got in February. Units with full backward compatibility will increase in value once they are no longer made.

RE: You asked for it...
By Scrogneugneu on 7/11/2007 11:06:47 PM , Rating: 2
The PS3 costs too much, that's true.

We asked for price drops, that's true.

However, the lowering in price has nothing to do with the removal of the chip. The chip isn't included in the 80 GB version, but it is in the 60 GB version. And it's the 60 GB version that's going down in price. With the chip.

So in the end, you can either get the same PS3 than before, but 100$ less, or you can pay 100$ more and get a mighty 20 GB more. And a game. And lose backwards compatibility with half your currently owned PS2 games.

Pushing the 80GB version makes sens for Sony's pockets, but not for the consumers. Guess who will win this one...

Knew this was coming.
By bysmitty on 7/11/2007 12:10:01 PM , Rating: 2
This is a very expected move. It is also one of the reasons why I bought my PS3 already instead of waiting. I hate having to check the xbox compatibility list for every xbox game I want to play on my 360. I've also found a fair number of xobx games that I wanted to play that just weren't compatible. I'm glad I got a PS3 unit with FULL backwards compatibly so I don't have to worry about compatibility nor do I have to keep a PS2 hooked up to my already overcrowded entertainment center.


Before people go overboard...
By cubby1223 on 7/12/2007 1:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly how do they define "limited backwards compatibility?" I've already got a PS3, so I don't care myself. But if I were buying new, 50% compatibility would suck, however 95% compatibility would be perfectly fine. I think people just get so wrapped up in competing products & headline grabbing, that they forget to just enjoy the technology that is there.

By Believer on 7/13/2007 4:50:01 AM , Rating: 2
This new hardware iteration gives you (in the US) the exact same chip setup, meaning without the EE+GS, as more or less the rest of the world's only viable PS3 option ever (all PAL based countries anyways).

So what are you whining about, how did you not see this coming?

They're unifying their development processes to minimize support and cost, so no more special treatment (or hardware) for you and welcome aboard the software emulation train. Enjoy your stay and please be free to feel European.

Did we all forget?
By ruibing on 7/16/2007 10:37:40 AM , Rating: 2
You know the 360 has had software emulation all alone...

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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