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Next-generation having problems with last-generation

Early reports from Japan say that PlayStation 3 is having problems playing older PS2 games, despite the fact that inside every PS3 are Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer chips included for the sake of backwards compatibility.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 console continues to be quite limited in its ability to play older Xbox games, although it must do so with software emulation as it does not include any of the original Xbox's hardware.

Sony announced this problem on its Japanese Web site on November 11, and said it expects similar compatibility problems to remain for the North American launch on November 17. According to Sony Computer Entertainment spokesman Satoshi Fukuoka, a select number of the 8,000 PS2 games are failing to work properly on the PS3, some that couldn't be played and others making the wrong sounds or images.

On the Japanese PlayStation page, there is a form where users can check the status of their software by inputting the title, publisher name, release date or product number. IGN and QJ has a list of problem titles they have encountered:

  • Tekken 5: A number of modes don't play background music properly.
  • Xenosaga Episode II: The opening movie sometimes stops and sometimes doesn't properly play background music.
  • Code Age Commanders: Problems (including data loss) with save game data.
  • Radiata Stories: Background music during movie scenes may not play back properly.
  • Star Ocean Till the End of Time (includes Directors Cut): Movie scenes may not have proper sound playback.
  • Driving Emotion Type-S: BGM may not properly play back during races
  • Gran Turismo 4: The screen may freeze following the title demo.
  • Hot Shots Golf 3/4: Some sort of problem with the controls becoming unresponsive
  • Operator's Side: The game freezes at the logo screen when started up with the Seamic controller
  • Onimusha Dawn of Dreams: Screen will occasionally appear 2cm to the right
  • Hyper Street Fighter II Anniversary Edition: The screen will not appear correctly in some instances. The S.F.II Movie cannot play properly.
  • Megaman X7: There are times when the background music won't play properly
  • Devil May Cry: The screen will sometimes freeze during the title demo
  • Onimusha: During movie playback, the sound will occasionally stop
  • Suikoden III: Cannot read PS1 data during the game.
  • Silent Hill 2: When going from the title screen to the demo screen, the screen may freeze
Sony says that compatibility issues arise due to hardware differences such as the lack of physical memory cards, no controller rumble feature, and other issues related to different hard disk and USB specifications. Games which make use of the PS2 HDD, such as Final Fantasy XI, will also not work on the PS3.

According to IGN, Sony commented on its backwards compatibility that it never had expectation for all of its titles to be playable on PS3, and that "some people can put up with playing games that lack sound."

Sony states on its Web site that future system updates, and perhaps even software-specific patches, will improve backwards compatibility with older software.

UPDATE November 20: Sony has made a PS2 compatibility status page to serve its U.S. customers. Find it here.

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Another ignorant statement from Sony
By solgae1784 on 11/14/2006 9:17:56 PM , Rating: 4
"some people can put up with playing games that lack sound."

Yet another ignorant comment from Sony.

I don't know why, but they seem to be doing their best to lose their credibility from their customers.

By threepac3 on 11/14/2006 9:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
Do you really care what Sony says anymore? Look pass the PR BS translated from Japanese to English.

Anyways, Don't look at it as Sony "lied" and couldn't provide full compatibility. Look at it as problems with a very small list of incompatible games. If you compare it to other "next-gen" consoles, it certainly could have been worst. Though some of the best games for the console have some sort of annoyance.

RE: Another ignorant statement from Sony
By squeezee on 11/14/06, Rating: 0
RE: Another ignorant statement from Sony
By solgae1784 on 11/14/2006 11:02:59 PM , Rating: 3
It's all over on Asian sites already, so in a way, this news is late.

And yes, that is EXACTLY what Sony said.

While I didn't expect 100% compatibility, (even PS2 didn't ran all PS1 games) this is getting out of hand. At least Microsoft was a little bit nicer to inform us that there WILL be incompatible games way before they started selling Xbox 360s.

RE: Another ignorant statement from Sony
By othercents on 11/15/2006 10:46:51 AM , Rating: 2
Well now that you know you don't have to buy one. I guess your stuck buying the Wii since it is supposed to play all the old GameCube games.

This really won't stop people from buying the PS3. Granted I wanted to be able to play the PS2 games on the console, but I know that Sony could not have tested all the games before launch especially when they are focused on just getting the PS3 side working to compete against the Xbox 360.

I'm sure in time they will make an adjustment to allow the PS2 games to think there is a memory stick installed and the hard drive available. Give them time. This is actually a better option that what Microsoft did which was port a few games and say none of the rest will work.


By solgae1784 on 11/15/2006 11:19:10 AM , Rating: 3
At least we can expect software updates with PS3, indeed.

PS2 was worse when there was no online capability at launch.

By pekingu on 11/15/2006 6:53:18 PM , Rating: 3
“What would you say to consumers who like Sony and want to buy your products, but perhaps feel that because they’re in Europe they’re always last in line?

European consumers have shown that historically they don’t mind that, because they end up buying as many PlayStations, if not more, than the US and Japan. In Europe, it doesn’t seem that the release of our platforms after the US and Japan - in the long run - affects how consumers feel.”

Sony best moments, Europeans in third line and insulted, Batteries exploding, ps2 games without rumble and sound, rootkit drm, just waiting the next sony big line.

By PrinceGaz on 11/21/2006 6:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
The only people that normally ever have to put up with games that lack sound are those using emulators from third-parties, where the sound emulation hasn't yet been implemented. Those emulators are written by people in their own time for no financial gain, so it is understandable sound is missing or incomplete in early versions.

For Sony to say that it is okay for their PS3 console to not emulate sound correctly is not acceptable.

This is kind of good news for Sony
By ATC on 11/15/2006 3:35:47 AM , Rating: 3
Don't get me wrong. I'm no sony fan. But right now I'm on my third 360 after a number of hardware failures and there are many xbox games I cannot play. So if this is the worst news coming out of the PS3 camp (a select number of PS and PS2 games having problems, with Sony sure to release a fix soon) they're doing pretty good.

Early reports from Japan about PS3 gaming are all positive. No glitches, no graphical stutters and the system is near silent with the power supply built right in! My 360 you can hear from upstairs (drive noise - not fans) which kills the mood for quiet late-evening gaming.

I don't know about you, but considering all that, this is pretty good news for Sony I would say.

RE: This is kind of good news for Sony
By evanhaut on 11/15/2006 8:26:38 AM , Rating: 2
Hardly. While software builder Microsoft is turning away from even trying to fix their XBOX/360 compatibility issues, I can only think that SONY is announcing the beginning of the end of their PS I & II backlog by claiming to fix their compats with a simple update..

They migth have sold all of their PS3's in Japan, but they sold a lot less PS3 software titles.. just the corner where to look for profit.

RE: This is kind of good news for Sony
By ATC on 11/15/2006 8:54:43 AM , Rating: 2
Well you can argue that it's much tougher for MSFT to do anything right now about it since they pretty much planned from the start for very limited back-compatibility and hence you're statement might be true in reference to them, but Sony, on the other hand, went into all the trouble and cost of putting PS2 hardware right into the PS3 console. Why would they do that if they didn't truly intend for full backwards compatibility?

Further, it would make no sense at all not to fix these seemingly minor issues unless they're asking for a PR disaster.

Of course, only time will tell but your statement does not make much sense.

By peternelson on 11/15/2006 11:17:33 AM , Rating: 5
Let's get this in perspective.

There are problems with 200 games, out of a catalogue of around 8000 titles.

Lets see that means 7800 titles are backwards compatible.

Expressed another way, 97.5 percent of titles are compatible, and Sony hope to fix some of the others by an update in future.

As a ps2 owner I'd say its a big benefit to use lastgen games.

PS3 in this respect is far superior to xbox360 compatibility because it is not restricted to the premium console (with hard drive), does not require large download (and storing them) for each title made compatible, and attempts to work with all titles rather than just a minority (MS gave up attempts).

I'd say 97.5% (it's actually higher) is a great achievement.

There are some games I probably could play without sounds ;-)

For the games that don't work, I can always buy new ps3 specific titles in their place.

By evanhaut on 11/15/2006 11:37:22 AM , Rating: 2
PS I & II never did receive such an urgent update. I meant for SONY Entertainment's PR tank to pump up its tires as SONY Electronics' reputation of firmware updates is likely to scratch more than the PS3's face..

BBC tells a slightly different story
By jay0110 on 11/14/2006 9:34:39 PM , Rating: 3
I read this half an hour ago on BBC news:

"Japanese newspaper Sankei has reported that the problems affect about 200 games sold for the original PlayStation and the PlayStation 2. Sony has declined to give numbers."

In all honesty, I don't think this is a major crisis for PS3 owners. After all, I think the majority of them are looking forward to play PS3 games.

After a year of its release, Xbox360 still struggles with original Xbox games. So for those bash-sony-no-matter-what fanatics, you might as well start with Xbox360 first.

P.S. Someone at DT should give Marcus Yam a break; seems like he's stuck covering all the bad news related to the PS3.

RE: BBC tells a slightly different story
By Xeeros on 11/15/2006 1:25:17 AM , Rating: 2
Total Hardware Sales: 81,639
Total Software Sales: 66,684
source- Media Create

Clearly the people in Japan would agree with you about buying a PS3 for PS3 games with those amazingly great software sales. /sarcasm

Looking at those sales numbers is very depressing considering Sony needed to have some great 5:1 ratio numbers in their own home territory. I wonder what the 14,955 people who didn't buy a game for their brand new PS3 did (assuming nobody got more then 1 game)?

Sony is probably facing the same problem that they had with PS2 people are buying for a cheap Blu-ray player for now. Now what is the most likely outcome in the US where the 360 is actually having a good year? and also nobody I have talked with on our Reserve list is particularly excited about the launch titles.

By jay0110 on 11/15/2006 3:51:55 AM , Rating: 2
Clearly the people in Japan would agree with you about buying a PS3 for PS3 games with those amazingly great software sales.

Heh, I see where you're coming from. However, who said Sony doesn't get any green from whoever is buying those BR movies?

Now what is the most likely outcome in the US where the 360 is actually having a good year? and also nobody I have talked with on our Reserve list is particularly excited about the launch titles.

We can all wait and see, however:

1) the 360 didn't get an HD-DVD drive till 2 days ago, unlike the PS3, and that might drive some to grab a few BR titles.

2) Excitement over launch titles can change dramatically once the console hits the market.

3) Even if those folks you talked to on the Reserve list might not necessarily be happy with the launch titles, I'm nearly positive they'll be thrilled once titles like Call of Duty 3 and FF XIII hit the shelves; that and those pleasant folks might not represent the majority who are buying the PS3 after all ;)

By Loc13 on 11/15/2006 9:37:57 AM , Rating: 2
There is no doubt that some of those people are planning to sell them on auction sites. But you also need to take into account the number of launch titles in Japan, five! It is very sad that Sony only has five titles for launch in its own territory, and seems like only two of the five games, Gundam Story and Ridge Racer, appeal to Japanese gamers. And some Japanese gamers MAY simply buy the system first, and wait for more appealing titles to come up.

By Sock on 11/15/2006 11:46:24 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder what the 14,955 people who didn't buy a game for their brand new PS3 did (assuming nobody got more then 1 game)?
Total Hardware Sales: 81,639
Total Software Sales: 66,684
source- Media Create

Easy answer, the were bought for re-sale on ebay or who knows where else. That is why you see poor software numbers. Why buy a game if you are going to sell system?

By InvisibleEcho on 11/14/06, Rating: 0
RE: Awesome
By cnimativ on 11/14/2006 9:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. I wonder if car companies would ever market a car like that? "Some people can put up with only 5 cylinders firing instead of 6."

uh, a more approprieate analogy would be:

"some people can put up with only gas but no break."

RE: Awesome
By Lord Evermore on 11/14/2006 10:33:20 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, that's still an issue of being sold something that is a basic feature of the car, that is required to consider the car functional at all, and which doesn't have any compatibility issues (maybe you have to be driving on new roads to get proper stopping?).

RE: Awesome
By squeezee on 11/14/2006 9:50:22 PM , Rating: 3
The PS3 does actually contain the EE+GS PS2-on-a-chip that is in the latest PS2 slim systems. So (near)perfect emulation is possible its also why the PS3 doesn't provide any enhancements for the PS2 games.

RE: Awesome
By Lord Evermore on 11/14/2006 10:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
In fact:

Great big picture of the EE+GS.

RE: Awesome
By Lord Evermore on 11/14/2006 10:31:34 PM , Rating: 2
Your car cylinder analogy is flawed. For that to be relevant to the PS3, they would have had to say that people don't mind if only one controller can be used at a time, or that you can only get red and green video signals. Backward compatibility is an added feature, but not one they guaranteed would work in all cases, and not one that can be legitimately complained about not being perfect. In the car analogy, it would be like the radio not being able to tune in weak signals even though a different radio can get them. Or with the gasoline analogy, like expecting old gasoline to burn clean without leaving sludge in the engine.

Not at all unexpected...
By BBQmyNUTZ on 11/15/2006 12:18:27 AM , Rating: 2
Neither is the M$ fanboy reaction on most sites.

Considering the fact that as of today, over 5 years since the release of the PS2, there as been no software emulator that works with any degree of stability... I think its safe to say that software emulation of the PS2 just wasn't going to happen. By comparison, PSone and N64 emulators were running retail software within 2-3 years of the system's releases.

A far bigger deal to me is Sony not doing away with the region restrictions for PSone and PSTwo titles. Talk about a kick in the face.

RE: Not at all unexpected...
By Xavian on 11/15/2006 12:40:29 AM , Rating: 2
but its not software emulation, the EE+GS (Emotion Engine+ Graphics Synthesizer) chip that is on the PS3 motherboard, is the same one that's in the Slim PSTwo's. This should allow for near perfect or perfect hardware emulation of PS2 games.

What would happen if the Wii couldn't play all GCN games as they should be? this is exact same situation here, the Wii uses GCN hardware from the GCN itself to perform hardware emulation on the games, i don't see why Sony should get any slack for performing sub-par hardware emulation.

RE: Not at all unexpected...
By jay0110 on 11/15/2006 3:12:20 AM , Rating: 3
This should allow for near perfect or perfect hardware emulation of PS2 games.

Having 200 games out of <insert total number of PS2 games> comes close to to the average perception of "near perfect" emulation IMO.

What would happen if the Wii couldn't play all GCN games as they should be? this is exact same situation here ...... i don't see why Sony should get any slack for performing sub-par hardware emulation.

Exact situation? sure .... with the exception of:

1. The concept of Wii is totally different from the PS3. Nintendo already stated from day 1 that "one" of their main objectives is backward compatibility, while the PS3 prioritized goals like 1080p, BR and near-realistic gaming experience, with backward compatibility being on the back burner.

2. I can totally understand the concept of spending $250 on a console to enjoy a mix of old and new games, among other features like the Wiimote. But honestly, how many would spend $600+ on the PS3 and then go "NO WAY, this doesn't play PSX and PS2 games, return it right this second !!!"

I'm no PS3 fanboy by any means, but for once let's compare apples to apples, shall we?

Now how about Xbox360 vs PS3 in terms of backward compatibility on launch day.

RE: Not at all unexpected...
By zombiexl on 11/15/2006 8:38:36 AM , Rating: 2
Now how about Xbox360 vs PS3 in terms of backward compatibility on launch day.

MS never promised backwards compatability of all games. Nor does the 360 contain a full xbox (celeron 733 + nvidia gfx) inside. It was known from the beginnign that the 360 would not fully support xbox games. Does that suck, yes.. Is it a surprise, no..

One of the points sony stressed (to sway people from the 360) was that the 360 wasnt going to have full backwards compat. The PS3 contains a full PS2 inside (for the most part) and still has problems. That should be somewhat of a concern.

Before you flame me as an Xbox or Wii fanboi...
I'm not rooting for or against anyone in this round. I have my 360 and I have pre-orders (crossing my fingers) for a PS3 and a Wii. I will let gameplay and games decide which i like better.

sony needs to do more testing
By rika13 on 11/14/2006 9:40:58 PM , Rating: 3
note some of these are BIG ps2 titles, tekken, GT4, xenosaga 2

RE: sony needs to do more testing
By cnimativ on 11/14/2006 9:48:08 PM , Rating: 2

Even Sony's own GT4 has compatibility problem? WTF?

But oh well, people don't really buy PS3 to play PS2 games so I guess this isn't that big a deal, but it's still fun to watch Sony to swallow its own foot.

RE: sony needs to do more testing
By aos007 on 11/15/2006 12:57:35 AM , Rating: 2
No kidding! How about Silent Hill 2, Radiata Stories,
Star Ocean 3 (one of my favourites), even
Devil May cry - those are cream of the crop! It's like
KOTOR not playing on Xbox360. This is huge, huge. I am
extremely dissapointed, considering necessary
hardware is inside. Talk about rusheed. I wonder if
it is even possible to get this fixed in firmware.

Side Note
By Alpha4 on 11/14/2006 11:27:02 PM , Rating: 3
First off I'd have to agree that compatibility issues with 200 games should not be a concern. Its almost negligable compared to the volume of games that do function properly. Besides, the very same thing happened with the PS2 back in 2002.
( )

Anyway, I'm actually a little disappointed Sony didn't stick to the rumored plan that PS2 games would be emulated on the console rather than directly rendered with the PS2core/EE chip.

Despite the hit the list of playable PS2 titles would take due to engineerical complications, there are benefits to emulation. Emulation would enable PS2 games to benefit from the PS3's superior hardware, as well as limit any controller complications. This was proven with the Xbox 360 as all compatible Xbox games are now playable in 720p resolution with 4x AA & anisotropic filtering. There's also a reduction in instances where the framerates dip below a game's cap. Gamespot has an example here:

RE: Side Note
By Arkham1 on 11/15/2006 4:34:25 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently the hardware compatibility chips are there temporarily, until the software emulation is finished. I just read that in a recent interview. The chips will become redundant after the software solution is made available in an update.

I suspect that will be the first cost-cutting step: removal of hardware emulation.

And the news is?
By Lord Evermore on 11/14/2006 9:43:21 PM , Rating: 2
If they warned people ahead of time, what's the big whoop? They have legitimate technical reasons for the problems, and they are working to resolve it, but getting it completely solved would have delayed the thing so much it might never have come out.

However saying that they thought it was okay to release it that way because some people wouldn't mind the problems was just dumb. Just say that you got it as completely compatible as you could without inordinately long delays for diminishing returns, and that you are continuing to work on improving compatibility.

They certainly went the right way by putting in the PS2 hardware. Be thankful for that, otherwise you might not have gotten any compatibility. It's too bad an XBox won't be possible to be scaled down for a long long time, to the point that it will be able to fit on a single chip, and you'll buy a small retro device to play the games on, like the new NES-replacement systems.

And the first thing everybody did when they got their PS3 is go home and try out all their old games?

RE: And the news is?
By Christopher1 on 11/15/2006 12:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
Problem is that they DIDN'T warn people ahead of time. They said bluntly that "All PS2 Games and PS games will work on the PS3", no if's, and's, or but's.

That is what you call a lie, or at least a uneducated statement.

Actually, an XBox can be scaled down to fit on a single chip. They have already said in numerous sites that with the tech of today, it is possible and should have been done with the XBox360.

Yes, one of the first things that most people did was probably go home and try out all their old games. When I was thinking of buying a PS2, I told my parents that the first thing that I was going to do, was try all my old PS games on the system to see if they worked.

I bought a XBox instead, but that was what I was planning on doing when I was thinking of buying a PS2.

In this day and age, where all games are on CD's, DVD's and other format disks, there is no reason why ALL systems and games made by the manufacturer shouldn't be compatible.

For the next 100 or so years, every console that comes out from the same manufacturer should be able to play earlier games, by being backwards compatible, period and done with.

By encryptkeeper on 11/15/2006 9:03:54 AM , Rating: 2
"some people can put up with playing games that lack sound."

I'm just going to put my head in my hands and await the Wii.

RE: ...
By peternelson on 11/15/2006 11:24:07 AM , Rating: 2
His statement is TRUE.

SOME PEOPLE ie those who are medically DEAF will be happy to play their console even if no sound is present because they would not be able to hear it if it was.

There are a large number of deaf people. So, if you don't like playing games without sounds, why not donate them to a deaf friend?

197 out of 8,000 is 2.5%
By walk2k on 11/15/2006 2:57:57 PM , Rating: 2
Big deal, 2.5% is that all?

Also, Sony never promised 100.0% compatibility - from

Can I still play my PlayStation®2 games, DVD movie, and CD music collection on PLAYSTATION®3?

Yes, you can play thousands of PlayStation® and PlayStation®2 software titles as well as your DVD and CD collection on PLAYSTATION®3.*

* Some PlayStation 2 or PlayStation format software titles may perform differently on this system than they do on PlayStation 2 or PlayStation systems, or may not perform properly on this system. In rare instances, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and other media may not operate properly when played on the PS3 system. This is primarily due to variations in the manufacturing process or encoding of the software. For more info, visit

RE: 197 out of 8,000 is 2.5%
By Arkham1 on 11/15/2006 3:28:52 PM , Rating: 2
Did anyone actually read the article?

A number of the issues appear only to be freezes related to the self-cycling demo at the title screens. There's no mention of gameplay problems.

This issue continues to be blown out of proportion. (Though not as much as the news radio reports yesterday... They kept saying the PS3 had problems with "over 8000 Playstation games." Oh my.

By Phenick on 11/14/06, Rating: 0
RE: OK...
By osalcido on 11/15/2006 12:52:25 AM , Rating: 2
how is sony 'putting up a fight'?

Sony new this the whole time!
By AssMonkey76 on 11/15/2006 5:25:10 AM , Rating: 2
I am pretty confident that Sony knew that there would be compatibility issues with there PS2 games on PS3. There marketing people told them to not release it so they could tell how their system was backward compatible and Xbox was not.

IMO, M$ is upfront that they wont have every game backwards compatible...Sony, well they lie to the fans and wait until they are sitting with their PS3 in their living room, about to load up FFXI...and oops, doesn’t work. SUCKER! You just dropped all that doe and cant play this game. You know who is laughing? Sony, because they have your money!

Falling Down!
By Quantium on 11/15/06, Rating: 0
some people can't
By michal1980 on 11/14/06, Rating: -1
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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