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MGS4 80GB PlayStation 3 to carry on PS2 legacy

The PlayStation 3’s status of being backward compatible has been slowly eroding with each new hardware revision. While the original 20GB and 60GB models featured dedicated PS2 hardware, the 80GB model that followed arrived without the Emotion Engine.

With only the Graphics Synthesizer component of the PS2, the 80GB PS3 still retained some backwards compatibility by software emulating the functions of the Emotion Engine processor.

It was the 40GB PS3, however, that finally did away with all of the PlayStation 2 software support. In an effort to further reduce costs and steer the customer towards buying new PS3 games, the latest 40GB hardware is without any tools to play classic PS2 discs.

Gamers looking for a PS3 that will support their older libraries may be out of luck these days, as retailers reported the discontinuation of the 80GB PS3 MotorStorm bundle. But Sony doesn’t appear to be phasing out the PS2 support just yet.

Coming this summer will be a special 80GB PS3 package that will come bundled with Metal Gear Solid 4 and a DualShock 3 controller. Furthermore, SCEA has clarified that the upcoming 80GB hardware will be similar to that found in previous MotorStorm package, which means select PS2 backwards compatibility.

While the backwards compatibility of the 80GB PS3 is far from perfect, Kotaku points out that it should be adequate for those looking to catch up on the Metal Gear Solid series. The first Metal Gear Solid game will run on any PS3, including 40GB models, due to software emulation of the original PlayStation. Metal Gear Solid 2 will run fine on an 80GB model, but the video sequences of Metal Gear Solid 3 will encounter some issues.

For hardcore PS2 gamers, a 20GB or 60GB machine is still the one with the best backwards compatibility.

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RE: The problem is...
By evalese on 3/6/2008 1:36:16 PM , Rating: 2
You need to consider the upconverting capability of the PS2 capable PS3 versions. Ever played a PS2 game at 1080P with smoothing enabled? Not too many jaggies there, I assure you. Anyone who plays older PS2 games and even PS1 games would prefer to use a PS3, I would think. I also still buy more PS2 games than PS3 games, and have even picked up a few PS1 games recently to complete a series. I haven't used my PS2 since the upconverting firmware was released. I'd be very unhappy if my 60GB system died, and I was forced to buy a system without the Emotion engine. Very unhappy indeed...

RE: The problem is...
By deeznuts on 3/6/2008 1:40:04 PM , Rating: 2
I have. Still looks like ass on my HDTV.

RE: The problem is...
By mmntech on 3/6/2008 3:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to post this but you beat me too it. GTR4 looks amazing on my 27'' HDTV upscaled to 720p. I never owned a PS2 and since the games are cheap and plentiful, I appreciate the PS2 BC and upconverting capability of my 60gb PS3.

I think another thing that has to be considered is consumer confusion, since I know a lot of people don't know the difference between the SKUs. When I first heard of the MGS4 bundle, I was led to believe that it was just the old 80gb with a new game and DS3 bundled. Why they're cutting back software BC further doesn't make sense to me. Sony seems to be neutering the console with each new SKU. What they should do is just keep the 40gb model and bring back the 60gb as a "Premium" system. One with full BC, one without. No middle road, no confusion.

RE: The problem is...
By evalese on 3/6/2008 3:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. It's still hard to believe that there's a system that can't play the older games at all. I've heard the cost savings argument, but in the end I'm sure there are a lot of people who'd buy a 60GB now if they could. Especially if the other reductions in manufacturing costs still managed to pull the price down.

RE: The problem is...
By AlphaVirus on 3/6/2008 5:44:09 PM , Rating: 2
I think its for multiple reasons they are slowly getting rid of BC.

1.I am not sure about costs because you can purchase a PS2 for under $100 so lets just say the emotion engine is 20% of the cost, you are still looking at a small piece of the pie of a $500 PS3.

2.I still have not seen a thermal review about this. Maybe having the EE causes more heat which we all know is a bad thing for electronics.

3.Sony knows people still own PS2 and are happy with it and do not plan on buying PS3 for whatever reasons. Sony might have broken the market segment into PS2 owners and PS3 owners and probably decided to keep them seperate in the hardware arena. (far-fetched but you never know)

4.Manufacturing process is much easier with less parts, and not having an extra Engine makes it easier for the entire plant. This helps cut down on turnaround times and possibly labor costs.

5.Implementation might be getting difficult with all of the firmware updates. Trying to code/update for both a PS3 system + PS1/2 hardware might be causing issues with further updates. (Unlikely but still possible)

I for one do not mind not having BC because I play PS3 games and have all but thrown my PS1/2 games in the garbage disposal.

RE: The problem is...
By Jovec on 3/6/2008 6:29:06 PM , Rating: 2
It's simply because Sony and all the PS devs do not make any money off the huge PS2 used game market. They want you to buy new PS3 games instead. The cost is a non-issue as they could easily add $50 - $100 to the price for a model with PS1/2 backwards compatibility and those who wanted it would pay.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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