Sony: Backwards compatibility too hard

Oct 9, 2007

It would be "technically challenging, time consuming and costly" to enable the newly announced 40GB PS3 to play PS2 games through backwards compatiblilty software, Sony has grumbled.

If you're at all confused by the whole backwards compatibility shebang, then here's thetechie bit: PSone games can be played by all PS3 versions, as the process is performed completely by software emulation. However, PS2 games are different.

The first PS3s (available in Japan and the States) contained both the emotion engine and graphics chip from PS2, using full hardware emulation to play the old games. The edition released in the UK, though, contained only the graphics chip,requiring software emluation to plug the gaps. With us so far?

However, the new 40GB edition (which also loses 2 USB ports and the card reader) won't include any PS2 hardware. But devising a software solution to emulate the whole PS2 back catalogue would be far too much work than Sony is prepared to put in. Or, as Sony explained to gaming blog Kotaku:

"To ensure accurate software emulation for the majority [of PS2 games] would be technically challenging, time consuming and costly. As we have mentioned on several occasions, our engineering resources are now focused on developing new and innovative features and services for the PS3 and, as a result the 40GB model does not have backwards compatibility with PS2 titles."

So there you have it. Though, we'd have thought anyone with a desperate need to emulate their PS2 games on a PS3 would have already bought the 60GB edition. If you've held back be aware - once the 60GB backwards compatible editions are gone, they're gone for good.