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European PS3 To Play Fewer PS2 Games

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the give-a-little-get-a-little-more-money dept.

PlayStation (Games) 150

Mondrian_was_a_square writes "When Sony launches the PS3 in Europe, consumers there won't be getting the same thing that US and Japanese buyers picked up at launch—they'll be getting less. Sony has just announced that the new revision of the PS3 will be less backwards compatible with PS2 games. 'Sony is looking to decrease the production cost of the Playstation 3, and they have opted to replace dedicated hardware with software that will replace its functionality. The hardware had been providing full backwards compatibility of PS2 games, but Sony makes it clear that the new configuration will not offer the same level of support. Certain PlayStation 2 format software titles may not perform properly on this system, the statement reads.'"

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150 comments

Not a good move (4, Informative)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122428)

Not only are we in the UK paying (or not in my case) £425 per unit (approx $850), we are getting an inferior machine to boot? Jesus wept.

That's odd... (0, Offtopic)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122502)

The article here doesn't have a "reply" button beneath the summary. What gives?

Re:That's odd... (1)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122686)

You can reply by hitting the link underneath the new-fangled threshold selection bar on the left-hand side. They've done a great job of hiding it, I have to say.

Re:That's odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18122716)

If you're using the new discussion system, it's in that little box on the upper left.

Re:Not a good move (2, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122536)

Additionally: The mainland price is 599€. The cheaper but not much worse 499$ (would be 499€) version will not be sold in Europe.

Now all this needs is ANOTHER press statement about how Europe is used to getting more expensive, inferior goods much later than everyone else and Operation Sell No PS3 In Europe is a full success.

Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (2, Insightful)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122732)

Before I continue, want to make it clear that I'm not trolling. I'm just curious about this.

What's to prevent you from purchasing a US version? Yes, you will most likely be restricted to purchasing games and movies from the US thanks to bullsh*t region coding, but from what I understand most TVs in the UK will support NTSC as well as PAL. Hardware like controllers or cables should work regardless of the version of the PS3, or so I would think. And when it comes to software, when I buy CDs or DVDs from around the world they generally arrive in less than a week using standard air mail. One of my friends in London buys DVDs from the US regularly.

Obviously, getting everything native to the UK would be infinitely more convenient for you, but if backwards compatibility is that important, would not a US PS3 be an acceptable inconvenience? Plus the exchange rate is definitely in England's favor!

Again, just curious.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18122914)

Yes, you will most likely be restricted to purchasing games and movies from the US thanks to bullsh*t region coding

Games are region-free on the PS3.

Personally, as a 360/Wii owner, I wish the others would do this. I have no idea why Nintendo makes their handhelds region free, but locks their consoles.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (2, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123126)

The games on the Wii are pseudo-region free ...

The reason it is difficult to produce a region free console (as compared to a region free handheld) is the NTSC/PAL standards are not compatible. 4:3 PAL has a resolution of 720 x 576 pixels and a refresh rate of 25/50Hz whereas 4:3 NTSC has a resolution of 720 x 480 pixels and a refresh rate of 30/60Hz. The end result is that some things (like HUD and Text) have to be redone in order to actually be useable on both an NTSC and PAL display.

The PS3/XBox 360 don't have to worry about this as much because (IIRC) the HD standards 720p/1080i/1080p are universal

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (1)

Criffer (842645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123920)

The PS3/XBox 360 don't have to worry about this as much because (IIRC) the HD standards 720p/1080i/1080p are universal


Not quite. The resolutions are fixed, yes, but there is still the issue of refresh rate. Badly ported games originally written for 60Hz field-rate compensate by reducing the clock rate, resulting in an overall slower game. But yes, it is good to finally be rid of the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (1)

SenorCitizen (750632) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124064)

Not quite. The resolutions are fixed, yes, but there is still the issue of refresh rate. Badly ported games originally written for 60Hz field-rate compensate by reducing the clock rate, resulting in an overall slower game.
Actually, this should be a thing of the past for HD resolutions. The HD Ready label used for marketing HDTVs in Europe requires compatibility with both refresh rates. Of course, if the devs want the game to be compatible with PAL SDTV sets, then they still have to do some porting.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125682)

Every game on my PC supports a large number of display modes and refresh rates. Hell, I think it'd be easier to make one game version which adjusts itself for different resolutions than to keep two different versions in sync. Refresh rate would be more difficult, but only if you code it for a FIXED refresh/frame rate in the first place (which you shouldn't).

Almost every HUD system I can think of for PC not only allows the developer to specify absolute coordinates from the top left corner, but *gasp* allows for a distance of an element from any screen edge or corner regardless of resolution. Some HUD systems will even automatically scale the graphics or fonts based on resolution (HL2 comes to mind).

It's not as hard as you seem to think it is, PC devs have been doing it for over 20 years.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125734)

Afterthought: How do you think devs make their games for more than one system? Do you think they start over from scratch for each new machine? No! One way of doing it is to make high-level functions based on what you want them to do (DrawPixelToScreen, RenderPolygon, etc) and then have these functions, based on what platform you compile the program for, call the appropriate game console dev kit APIs. Same idea for differing refresh rates or screen resolutions, although different APIs are more discrete than ranges of refresh rates and resolutions.

UK != Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18122944)

I wasn't aware that they release games in the US that localized for each of the European countries' languages...

Plus the poor Brits would have to give up their U and S in "color" and "localize"!

Idiot. (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123050)

At what point did I say that I was talking to all of Europe? At what point did I say that all of Europe should consider buying a US PS3? In fact, I was responding specifically to someone from the UK for a scenario that involves only the UK.

Idiot.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (4, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122964)

This is exactly what I, as a UK gamer, have done. My PS3 arrived a couple of weeks ago and I've got a fairly extensive comparison of it with the other two "new gen" consoles up in my journal. The tipping point for me was when I saw the UK launch price. All told, if I were to buy the PS3 package I'd wanted in the UK, it would cost me the equivalent of about $1100. I got the same thing on import from the US for a shade over $800. What's really handy is that the PS3 just has a standard PC-style power input, meaning that I can use a standard kettle power-cable, rather than needing to buy a new step-down converter. Of course, pretty much any UK TV purchased in the last 8 or so years, barring some really, really low-end portables, is perfectly happy with either PAL or NTSC.

Sony have promised before that the PS3 would be region-free for games. I'm now picking up some worrying rumbles that this might not be the case as far as the UK goes and frankly, this latest news doesn't bode well either. However, while it would be nice to be able to walk into a UK shop and just buy a game when I want one, I'm willing and able to import. Sad to say, the US still does get more games and get them earlier than the UK. Still, I'm also hearing that US machines may be getting an update to allow them to play European/Australian games. If this is indeed true, then my decision to buy a US machine really does seem to have been the right one.

The only drawback right now is that I can't sign up to the online store with a UK credit card. However, once the European region is enabled on launch-day, I understand that I'll be able to sign up for the EU store from my US console.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122984)

What's preventing us is that SCEE have something of a history about destroying any company that dare try to sell import consoles here. So the only practical option is to pick one up next time I'm in the US.

Which is certainly the way I'd buy a PS3 if I were to get one.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124286)

They've destroyed companies that were reselling Sony products from Japan. I hear Japan doesn't have the rights to first sale or whatever it is we have here in the US. Thus, it'd be safer to import from the US because it's unquestionably legal to do so here, but not so much in Japan.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (1)

J-F Mammet (769) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122998)

Well the biggest thing that'd prevent you from getting a US or even JP system is that Sony is actively making sure that you can't get one online. Remember lik-sang?
I've got a japanese PS3, and it was a nightmare getting it here in France.

Regions are the problem (1)

Jare (790431) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123128)

PS3 games are region-free, but PS2 games are not. If I am not mistaken, a US PS3 will reject PAL PS2 games. Wonderful, eh?

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123132)

Obviously, getting everything native to the UK would be infinitely more convenient for you, but if backwards compatibility is that important, would not a US PS3 be an acceptable inconvenience?

Unless he uses that compatibility only for newly bought games a US PS3 would be even less compatible with his games than a European one, provided the lack of region lock on the PS3 does not extend to the "emulated" consoles.

Of course with Sony complaining about trademark "infringement" for importing there's a chance your PS3 gets intercepted at the border since the trademark holder has the right to have goods bearing his trademark confiscated AFAIK (was meant to prevent importing counterfeit goods from China and such, I think).

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123460)

The point about backwards compatibility is true. However, given I had both US and UK PS2s and games for both, I was always going to need to keep one of them unless I wanted to buy two PS3s (which I very much don't).

The import statement, however, is misleading. I looked into this myself before importing, as I intended to pick up the machine myself on a trip to the States that had already been arranged, and hence would be carrying it back in my hand-luggage. I didn't much feel like being arrested. Basically, while there is a grey area regarding the *sale* of consoles across region boundaries, where Sony currently appear to have the upper hand, there is no restriction on just buying a machine in the US and then carrying it back to the UK with you. After all, it would be ridiculous if you had a situation whereby a family living in the US who decided to up stakes and relocate to the UK (the fools) would have to leave their consoles behind. Even if you import remotely, I don't think there's any risk of the machine at the border. It's the importer that gets stomped on... the machines themselves that are in transit are perfectly legal goods.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123884)

Of course that doesn't apply if you go there yourself but who can afford making a round trip to the US for a PS3? It may be cheaper there but not THAT much cheaper.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123982)

Like I say, my understanding was that even if you import remotely (ie. order via the web), you're not actually at risk yourself. The importer is at risk, but unless he gets stomped between billing you and shipping your console, you are safe. I've never heard of anybody having an incoming console, that had actually been shipped, siezed.

You will, of course, need to pay customs duty on the console. I should have made this clear before.

It's unlikely (very, very unlikely) that I would have arranged a trip to the US specifically to buy a PS3. However, my employer needed me to go for a few days, I knew I'd have some time on the last day to hit the shops and I knew that I could fit it in my hand-luggage provided I packed everything else into the hold. No, it's not an option for everybody, but anybody else who wants a PS3 and has a trip to the US coming up might want to consider it.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (3, Interesting)

sebi (152185) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123146)

There are no overwhelming reasons not to get an American PS3 in Europe, but there are enough hassles not to make it worthwhile for anyone but the most dedicated. Even though the machine itself might be cheaper the games won't be. After all you're going to have to import them for as long as you want to keep playing. If you import region 1 DVDs you can still watch the ones you buy locally on the same player, and even if you couldn't DVD players aren't exactly a big investment.

Then there is the problem of different voltages. European mains run somewhere around 240 compared to the American 110(ish). I don't know if the PS3 has an international power-supply, but if it doesn't you're going to need another accessory. Depending on how the online functionality of the PS3 pans out you might be restricted to playing on American servers against American opponents, which might put you at a disadvantage.

Importing is worthwhile if you are into the kind of games that are not getting released in your market. I always thought that that meant the kind of wacky Japanese game that lacks mass-appeal in the west. American games that don't see releases in Europe? The only thing that immediately comes to mind is Baseball. And even then the Mario Baseball for the GameCube is available over here.

But you're right--the TVs aren't a problem anymore these days. Seems to me that all sets made relatively recently speak PAL and NTSC. It's easier to sell one model around the world, after all.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (3, Informative)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123176)

What's to prevent you from purchasing a US version? Yes, you will most likely be restricted to purchasing games and movies from the US...
The issue here is backwards compatibility with PS2 games. Chances are that most Brits don't have large collections of American PS2 games that would makes buying an American PS3 worthwhile.

Re:Buy a US PS3 perhaps? (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123678)

I'm not from the UK, but I imagine the problem would be to do with the region coding for the games that they already have.
The scenario basically is that someone has a large library of PS2 games. The European PS2 is going to have a more limited support for PS2 games as compared to the North American or Japanese systems. Since the PS3 is region coded to enforce the region locks on the games, they can't buy a North Amerian or Japanese PS3 to play those games, because those systems are region coded to their specific areas, and won't play european PS2 games.
In the end, I'm not sure how big of a deal it will be. Microsoft seems to have had good luck in doing the same thing with the 360, although the PS2 does have a much larger library to accomodate.

Re:Not a good move (1)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123626)

I would like to point out that first of all, this doesn't sound like it's completely ruled out of the U.S. version either. As this is done in software, it will be upgradeable. The PS3 has more than enough horsepower to do this in software, and long term I doubt you'll actually see much of a difference as they tweak backwards compatibility. Well, IF they do anyway...

Re:Not a good move (1)

Maxwell (13985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124426)

Sony's press report says nothing about reduced functionality. And nothing about fewer PS/2 games working on PS/3. Ars apparently made that part up.

JON

Re:Not a good move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125952)

Geez. Live in denial much?
http://www.scee.presscentre.com/Content/Detail.asp ?ReleaseID=4331&NewsAreaID=2 [presscentre.com]
" It also embodies a new combination of hardware and software emulation which will enable PS3 to be compatible with a broad range of original PlayStation® (PS) titles and a limited range of PlayStation®2 (PS2) titles."

Now why don't you go wait for the Great Pumpkin to show up while you're at it.

That's Sony for you. (4, Interesting)

Kirin Fenrir (1001780) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122436)

Is the the first time in console gaming history a launch system may be 'better' than the revisions of the same product?

Re:That's Sony for you. (3, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122496)

Gamecube DOL-101. That thing removed the digital out (necessary for progressive scan). Nintendo offered to replace a DOL-101 with a DOL-100 (original model) if the user sends it in but I'm not sure if you get a new or a refurbished one.

Re:That's Sony for you. (2, Informative)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122554)

You could maybe count the slimline PS2. It did improve on a few things, but it also cut out the HDD compatibility. It really only affected FFXI players. Still, in those people's eyes, the slimline was probably an inferior machine.

Re:That's Sony for you. (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124076)

The first revision of the slimline had a lot of problem with the lasers though, which was a shame because Sony had finally started to get the laser quality problems under control with the v.7 fat PS2s and then made a huge step backwards with the first slimlines.

Re:That's Sony for you. (2, Insightful)

springbox (853816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123812)

Nope. As far as I know, the launch consoles are the best. Every Dreamcast after revision 2, for example, can't boot CD-Rs.

Re:That's Sony for you. (1)

SenorCitizen (750632) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124194)

Nope. As far as I know, the launch consoles are the best. Every Dreamcast after revision 2, for example, can't boot CD-Rs.
It was a bit more complicated with the Xbox. The first revisions were louder since they had an extra fan for cooling the video chip. The original DVD drives wouldn't read CD-Rs, but OTOH would read both DVD+/-R discs, while the later Samsung drives would do CD-R, but not DVD+R. Then again, the last revision was much more work to mod

A Shame (2, Insightful)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122438)

One of the nicest things about the PS3 in the US is its backwards compatibility. I'm basically able to buy any game from anywhere and play it without a problem using the newest firmware. Not having a PS2, this was a pretty nice feature. FFXII looks and plays really nice, as does older games like Deus Ex, which I bought specifically to test whether the PS3 would play it. Makes even less sense that they're going to do this without lowering the cost of the console for consumers.

Re:A Shame (1)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122548)

My guess is when they lower the price of the console in the US, this will be the machine they are selling here as well. It definitely lowers the chance of me getting one any time soon, because I don't have room for two consoles, and for a while at least, more of my games will be PS2, specifically FFXII for now. I also occasionally like to go back and play RPGs again. Hopefully the number of games that won't work is very small.

Re:A Shame (1)

wev162 (721318) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122646)

It makes perfect sense from their perspective, they are trying to increase their profit margin per console sold so why would they want to lower the price to consumers at the same time and negate the drop in manufacturing cost?

Re:A Shame (1)

oc255 (218044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122756)

Yeah I agree. The PS3 has great backwards play. I was severely impressed with how the PS3 creates a virtual memory card on the hard drive from the XMB. It's a great feature.

At the same time, I wonder if they are digging a bigger hole. Have they identified cost as the major reason no one is buying the PS3? Should they not wait for MGS, GT5, FFXIII before jumping to that judgement? I think it's a lack of titles and a software cost-reduction like this is just going to force them to emulate. Now before I say that's a bad thing, they could enhance an emulator and make a superset of the PS2 with save states, scanlines, network play on non-network games and all kinds of features that emulators can offer but the original hardware can't. But the trade-off is making sure that the software implementation is absolutely perfect. Otherwise it's going to be another Sony database of backwards compatibility bugs [playstation.com] (this bug database has been quite good with the real ps2 chip in the ps3).

This whole backwards vs forwards thing reminds me of Windows.

Re:A Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18123750)

What drugs are you smoking dude, the US and JP PS3's only play their own region PS2 games. All PS3 games are supposed to be 'open', but the PS2 is still locked to the home country.

The europeans and aussies are getting screwed over, AGAIN.

It amazes me that europeans and aussies don't import all their consoles and games from Japan or US and flip the bird at the local crippled game consoles.

Re:A Shame (1)

Maxwell (13985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124482)

Sony's press report says nothing about reduced functionality. And nothing about fewer PS/2 games working on PS/3.

So we have a rumour of a rumour on top of a purely speculative compeletly unsupported assumption that is now a fact. Sweet!

JON

Re:A Shame (1)

Bugs42 (788576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125322)

So we have a rumour of a rumour on top of a purely speculative compeletly unsupported assumption that is now a fact.
Welcome to /.

Re:A Shame (1)

androvsky (974733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125276)

You make it sound like PS2 games are now region-free on the US PS3 since a firmware update... if that were true, I'd buy one tonight.

Ripoff Europe (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18122526)

So yet again here in Europe we get it after everyone else, pay more, and get less.

Not that I was considering one anyone, got my Wii on launch.

Interestingly, even though the major online retailers here in the UK sold out of their preorder allocations of the Wii within minutes of going live, I've noticed a couple stating they will remove availability of the PS3 for online ordering as soon as they are gone too... well it's been over a week now the "Buy Now" button is still available. So maybe for one people are actually voting with their wallets :-)

I'm sure one this gets out even more people will be buying your console sony.... well done! How many feet do they have?! Cos they keep on shooting themselves there.

Re:Ripoff Europe (1)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122758)

It's an interesting marketing strategy, isn't it? Late, worse and more expensive. I'm starting to wonder why any Europeans will actually bother to buy the thing.

Let's hope that they don't.

Re:Ripoff Europe (1)

ideonode (163753) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123224)

I'm starting to wonder why any Europeans will actually bother to buy the thing.

So am I. Some personal, anecdotal evidence for you: when the Wii went on pre-order on amazon.co.uk, it sold out in something like 11 minutes. The Playstation 3 went on pre-order on the same site last Thursday and at the time of writing, units were still available [amazon.co.uk] .

Now this means one of two things:
1. Sony have sorted out supply problems in a way that Nintendo couldn't, and are shipping vast quantities to our shores to quench our demand.
2. The Playstation 3 isn't in as much demand as Sony would like.

It's a bit worrying if even the pre-orders aren't selling. Perhaps Europe has had a chance to see what's going on in Japan and the States and are playing wait-n-see.

And this latest news regarding backward compatability is more worrying still. I'll be honest - I'm a Nintendo fanboy, and am loving the Wii. However, I was contemplating a PS3, for mainly two reasons - firstly, as a cheap(ish) high-def movie player, and secondly, so that I can play some of the PS1 and PS2 games I missed out on by never having owned a Sony system to-date. Games like Katamari Damacy, Okami, Ico. Great games exist on all platforms, and I'm hopefully not that much of a fanboy to discard genuinely good gameplay regardless of platform. However, the news about 'gimped' backward compatability makes me reconsider the PS3.

(I also think that the console looks ugly as sin, and I happen to think that aesthetics are important in my living room, but that's a different gripe altogether)

Anyway, ramble over. I hope that this issue with backward compatability is only a temporary one, and that future software updates will resolve the issues. Until then, I shall wait, and wii.

Re:Ripoff Europe (1)

Kazzahdrane (882423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125074)

For what it's worth, the specialist games store chain that I work for here in the UK is getting almost double the number of PS3 units as we got Wii for its launch. I seriously think my store might have PS3s on the shelf on Day One.

Cool, does that make it cheaper then? (4, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122534)

Yeah, less hardware means it will be cheaper!!!

Oh, wait, it's £425. That's $835, sure that includes 17.5% VAT, but it's still ridiculous.

Fuck you Sony. Fuck you for ripping us off, and doubly fuck you for selling us substandard hardware compared to other countries. Fuck you for being Sony to boot.

Then just don't buy it, stop being a baby about it (1, Flamebait)

acomj (20611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124366)

All that cursing. Buy A MS XBOX 360, because we all know they have YOUR best intest in mind (sarcasm). Just make sure you buy a ZUNE and MS VISTA ULTIMATE to make sure they all work together! And be sure not to forget to subscribe to xbox LIVE at 50$+ /year (6 years = 300$!).

You should probably just buy a wii a ps2 or wait a year or two. The PS2 is still a viable platform unlike xbox1 or gamecube.

The PS3 is expensive because blu-ray drives are expensive.

ahh slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125146)

you post a response to cursing you get modded flame bait..

Re:Cool, does that make it cheaper then? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124480)

That makes the pre-VAT (we have sales tax here, but it varies state to state and isn't included in the advertised price) cost of the PS3 $710, more than a hundred dollars more than the U.S. price.

Yeah, you're getting screwed. Don't you guys get screwed on pretty much all console prices? Isn't even the Wii the equivalent of like $300 there?

Even considering that, if Sony doesn't announce that they are also dropping the price of the EU PS3 (since they're making the hardware cheaper), then yeah, you're getting extra-special screwed by the arrogant bastards at Sony. Of course they're probably just trying to reduce their losses, which are still going to be substantial even at $710 and with cheaper hardware.

Oh come ON! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18122566)

Oh for christ sake! Come on! I am not a sony basher but jeez.

Europeans are people too

Well, don't throw awat the PS2... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18122632)

...if your name is Müller, O'Connor, Rossi, Johansen, or Kowalski.

Re:Well, don't throw awat the PS2... (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122896)

Not to worry. I know people with four out of five of those last names here in the U.S. who are native-born, U.S. citizens. I'm sure that they're not willing to throw away any PS2s that they might have because of the inferior, European PS3. :P

It looks like.... (3, Insightful)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122648)

Europeans will be playing less PS3 games too... on the plus side, they will be playing a lot of Wii games.

Right now, their biggest danger is developers changing their focus to the fast growing installed user base of Wii (and 360 though not growing as fast as the Wii). That sales potential is the main performance figure developers sweat about.

Actually, I remember once when Sony made great products and had savvy marketing. Of late, watching their tactics has been like watching a drunk fall down a long staircase.

Re:It looks like.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18123316)

I am not sure the wii is as big in Europe as it seems to be doing in the US. It will not be a threat to the playstation or the xbox I don't think, It will more likely complement these consoles.
One major reason for this is that in Europe soccer games are extremely popular especially among console owners. And the wii doesn't have one yet, also these games are one of the few where a gamepad is the pretty much the optimal configuration for playing it, so while the wii can be used this way it is not playing to its strength.
Madden in the US is doing very well for the wii and although the majority on this site seem to have a disdain for people who play sports games, they are very important and I would think that the inclusion of that title in the launch lineup is a big plus for the american market.
  The impression I have from reading slashdot is that in the us everyone is buying wiis everywhere, old men who never saw a console before are now big fans - don't tell me this site doesn't give an accurate world view?

But over here it is different, Alot of people I have talked to outside of tech circles haven't heard of it and so that is leaving it with the traditional console market, not the industry changing experience it is having in the states.

Re:It looks like.... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123454)

I am not sure the wii is as big in Europe as it seems to be doing in the US.

But I'm sure that both in Europe and in the US, the average wii is bigger than in, say, Japan ;)

Oh dear (2, Interesting)

Hennell (1005107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122684)

From a manufacturing point of view it might make sense, but from a PR viewpoint its ridiculous. The only way it could have worked is if it offered the same (or better) functionality, or they passed the price-drop onto the consumer.

People will hear 'functionally reduced - doesn't play PS2 games" no-matter of what real situation is. I think the people who were thinking of trading in their ps2 in for money off/towards a ps3 might wait their time...

This might be a good move for sony, thats more of a bad move for sony.

I was hoping to buy one of those traded-in PS2s :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18122872)

I was expecting the price of a second-hand PS2 to drop significantly once the PS3 came out here. I guess it won't happen, now.

I can't say that I'm that pissed off - obviously, if I really wanted a PS2 I'd have got one already, and they aren't that expensive right now. But I can't really justify buying one when I'm already happy with the ample PC+DS libraries (and the not-so-ample-cube), so I'll breathe a sigh for missing out on Ico and get back to playing FreeCiv.

Re:I was hoping to buy one of those traded-in PS2s (1)

antiseptic_poetry (1022107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123230)

ASDA UK are selling slimline PS2s for £50 at the moment. I don't see how a 2nd hand one would be any cheaper - if you want one get it now.

Good News, Bad News (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122706)

The Good News is Sony has enough honesty to come out and say this before Europeans are royally screwed.

The Bad News is, that really sucks.

Honesty? Where? Look at the comp list, (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124746)

When exactly is Sony going to tell the europeans what exactly the capabilities are of this new system? Right now, still a month away from launch? No.

3 weeks before launch? No.

Two weeks? One week? 5 days? 2 days? 1 day? No.

They say they will (no actuall guarantee) announce it on launch day. So that gives customers how much time to cancel their pre-order incase they don't find the list to satisfaction?

That is right. NO TIME.

Honesty? No, sorry, not this time.

Oh but they said it now right? Well yeah, their lawyer told them too, if people had found out AFTER launch date they would have gotten their ass sued off.

Lets not forget that this is the EU, NOT the US or japan were big money rules. Holland is the EU country that forced Sony to exchange EVERY PSP with ANY defective pixels. (A rule that by the way goes for ALL LCD's, under dutch, and EU law, a product has to be fully functional and defective (sub)pixels are not part of it)

So they announce it now, in a queit way, hope people forget and then claim, well we had a list up on launch day to cover themselves out of deceptive sales lawsuits.

Sony and honesty? Yeah right.

Until we see the actually specifics... (5, Insightful)

Mark Gillespie (866733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122718)

Anything else is blowing smoke. It may be inferior to US/JAP PS3, how HOW inferior, the US machine plays close to 100% (it was 98% but many things were fixed in the 1.5 firmware). If the compatability initially drops to say 80%, and improves over time to say 90%, i don't think thats too bad. It's certainly offset by the fact I am getting a rev2 model, with for sure other hardware tweaks to improve reliability, based on the US beta test programe.. As for the price, people forget, the US price does not include any sales taxes or local taxes, the UK, and EU prices do include all taxes... Whilst it's still more expensive, it's 17.5% less than it was... Plus, EU gets 1Yr warranty minimum on all new purchases, I think the US is 90 days.. I would imagine this also has a bearing...

...we might as well assume the 'worst case' (1)

DingerX (847589) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123160)

It boils down to this: PS2 compatibility is not a feature that's moving a lot of units. If people are buying PS3s, it's because either: A) They have money to burn and "must have the best", B) That want a blu-ray player or C) they're hoping to play some fun games on it.

The PS2 is currently outselling everything but the Wii, so PS3 owners who don't have PS2s and want to purchase PS2 games are a distinct minority.

Of course, there are those PS3 owners who want to play old PS2 games on their new machines: well, Sony doesn't see the margin in that. They already got their splash by claiming the PS3 plays PS2 games, unlike the Xbox 360, which won't play xbox games (except for a whitelist). But now they've gotta face the bill, and as the PS3 US and Japan launches showed, PS2 emulation was neither trivial nor problem-free. It didn't drive purchases either.

Re:Until we see the actually specifics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18123760)

Just let's get the figures right. The price before VAT at 17.5% is £361.70. Google today says that is $706.66

So it's more than $100 more expensive than in the States.

Not apropos this, but it does strike me that nobody has commented on the fact that the amazing Cell processor doesn't seem able to emulate a little ol PS2.

Re:Until we see the actually specifics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125480)

About the warranty, if I would spend over 600 euros on a product it better damn well work for longer than just a year. With a price like that I _demand_ quality and longlivity, something sadly Sony abandoned long time ago.

The written above doesn'r mention... (5, Interesting)

TransEurope (889206) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122772)

...that the software emulation will allow to scale the PS2-games to 720p high def resolution.
It doesn't mention that Sony want's to bring the backward compatbility to an level almost
as high as the hardware emulation in the US/Japan PS3 is too. See http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/85781 [heise.de]
(in German). Not so bad as ist sounds.

Re:The written above doesn'r mention... (5, Insightful)

Slashcrap (869349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123348)

...that the software emulation will allow to scale the PS2-games to 720p high def resolution.

So, the current PS3 with hardware support for PS2 games plus all the extra power of the Cell isn't enough to allow you to play old games at 720p, but removing the hardware assistance will magically enable this?

Maybe it didn't mention this because the journalists aren't fucking deluded?

It doesn't mention that Sony want's to bring the backward compatbility to an level almost
as high as the hardware emulation in the US/Japan PS3 is too.


Sony would probably also like their customers to submit to anal rape whilst wearing an "I Love DRM" T-Shirt, but I can't see that happening either.

Software emulation of XBox games on the 360 is a fucking mess from what I hear. I challenge you to explain how Sony will succeed where MS failed without saying anything retarded.

Re:The written above doesn'r mention... (1)

TransEurope (889206) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123886)

Yes, exactly that does it mean, since the original PS2-Hardware, which is build in the US/Japan PS3 in a higher level of integration, never supported high definition. Ist's a feature added to the soft emulation only.

Re:The written above doesn'r mention... (2, Insightful)

hexix (9514) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124128)

So, the current PS3 with hardware support for PS2 games plus all the extra power of the Cell isn't enough to allow you to play old games at 720p, but removing the hardware assistance will magically enable this?

I'm not an electrical engineer, but I'm guessing you can't use the existing PS2 chips AND do scaling to 720p+ unless you're scaling after the 3D rendering, which would basically be useless as the TV is doing that anyway. There probably just isn't a way to use the PS3 hardware to help out without going fully into software emulation.

However, I'm doubtful Sony even cares about making PS2 games look nicer on the PS3. One big possibility is they have been working very hard on software emulation because they want to allow downloading of playstation and playstation 2 games from their online store to the ps3.

It's anyone's guess as to what's up right now. The fact that they haven't stated even an estimate as to how many titles will be compatible with the software solution is probably an indication that it's going to work like shit.

Re:The written above doesn'r mention... (1)

twosmokes (704364) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124464)

However, I'm doubtful Sony even cares about making PS2 games look nicer on the PS3

Maybe it was an unintended side effect, but the last PS3 update made my PS2 games look much better. I was hesitant to play them before the update because they looked terrible.

Re:The written above doesn'r mention... (1)

hexix (9514) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124562)

That's not what I meant. The last update fixed a problem that people were being very vocal about.

What I meant is I don't believe Sony is going the software route because they want the ability to actually improve the graphics of ps2 games. That is, have ps2 games look better on the ps3 than they would if you played them on actual ps2 hardware.

Re:The written above doesn'r mention... (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125030)

the software emulation will allow to scale the PS2-games to 720p high def resolution.

I'd rather that my PS2 titles work at 480i than NOT work at 720p.

It doesn't mention that Sony want's to bring the backward compatbility to an level almost as high as the hardware emulation in the US/Japan PS3 is too.

And Microsoft "wants" the 360 to emulate every Xbox title flawlessly, but it doesn't mean they've been able to make it happen. They're up to what now, 60% back-compatibility?

When do they do this in the US? (2, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122788)

So at what point do the US models fall victim to the same fate? I want to hold off on buying a PS3 for as long as possible, but I'll probably end up with one eventually (I typically end up buying all the major consoles...) and I don't want a crippled one. I need to know exactly how long I can wait before picking one up and still be able to get the good backwards compatibility.

Re:When do they do this in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18124368)

baboval@spineless.org

Ignore this post. Just posting to make it easier for spiders to pick up the address above.

What the FUCK? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18122858)

They'll sell the PS3 for 6200:- in Sweden (approximately $880), and they DARE trying to pull this off? Nintendo is also trying to fuck Europe by hiking up the price of the Wii to that of an american fucking PS3. Seriously, someone tell me what the fuck they're thinking.

Not all bad... (1, Interesting)

sifi (170630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122862)

The reason that the backwards compatibility is not as good, is because the original Japanese versions of the PS3 had a PS2 chip inside to handle the backwards compatibilty.

The newer versions of the PS3 will do the backwards compatability using emulation and not the actual PS2 hardware.

This means that the machines might be:
a)Quieter.
b)A better spec machine than the original version (less H/W bugs).
c)Less prone to breaking.

Re:Not all bad... (2, Insightful)

Yosho (135835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123208)

Unfortunately:

a) Chips don't make noise. Fans do. I'm not familiar with the PS3's interior design, but I'd be willing to bet that the PS2 chip does not have a dedicated fan -- or, if it does, it's only active when the chip is running. That means the system won't be any quieter when playing PS3 games.

b) In modern electronics, different aspects of the system are kept highly componentized. It is unlikely that the removal of a PS2 compatibility chip will have any effect on the rest of the system, positive or negative.

c) See B. The PS2 emulation aspect of the system will be the only part that is less prone to breaking, simply because it doesn't exist any more.

Re:Not all bad... (1)

KillaBeave (1037250) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123492)

I call shenanigans. Show me your Sony Employee Badge this instant! A) Quieter - How will the new spec PS2 chip used in the PS2 Slim without a fan be louder than increasing the load on the main processor(s)? B) Better spec machine - Granted there will be less manufacturing induced hardware errors, after the initial run of these new spec machines and the bugs potentially introduced at the time of changeover are worked out. Not to mention that Sony is essentially swapping 6 year old, battle proven and time tested H/W for new software. That won't introduce any bugs C) Less prone to breaking - Redundant with B) but would be more accurately stated "1 less thing to break." Has any statistically significant number of people had a processor failure with the PS2 in any of its forms? I always thought it was the DVD Drives that crapped out. (Plus there's the manufacturing changeover to remove the chips ... very likely that this will introduce errors and just as likely to introduce new "weak spots" in the hardware, at least in the initial few runs.)

PS9 will play all PS2 games just fine (0, Troll)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18122894)

The PS9's [methodstudios.com] emulation will be good enough. Good luck playing PS8 games though.

Available 2078.

Ohh good move (0, Troll)

finkployd (12902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123446)

I mean, since the overpriced, over hyped PS3 is doing such a bang up job against the Wii, why not scale back one of its best features?

Sony seems to have a strong need to shoot itself it the foot every chance it gets.

Finkployd

hmm (1)

TB (7206) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123616)

Interesting how the poster didnt mention this allows for the PS3 to support more games, or how it can be updated even easier that before or how the US PS3s didnt play all PS2 games or how things like texture filtering and icnreased resoltuions are an option. Its not like this is news, sony announced the move to software a long long time ago and everyone knew itd be less compat at the start but with some updates itd be more compat than the hardware. Always interesting to see posts from people who dont bother to do any research.

I hate sony. (1)

mcai8rw2 (923718) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123778)

Thew subject says it all really. I hate sony. Detest them. I was nearly going to buy a PS3. Not anymore...they've just pissed me off too much.

Expensive AND inferior console? OMGWTFLMAOROFL!

How in gods name can you do that sony?! You must get through a hell of a lot of horlicks in order to sleep at night.

custom firmware (1)

Fedarkyn (892041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123862)

the psp uses the same OS as the PS3.

Thanks to dark alex we have a custom firmware that enables psp owners to do a lot of neat stuff.

I wonder how long will it take to someone make custom firmwares for the PS3?

What does this do... (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124210)

... to the PS1 compatability that I have at the moment with my PS2? Will the PS3 play PS1 games?

Re:What does this do... (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124316)

As anyone with hacked PSP firmware can tell you, Sony have got their PS1 emulation running pretty well now. The press release also states that most of them will work. It's only PS2 emulation it refers to as 'limited'.

Numbers? (4, Insightful)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124254)

I read this story this morning too on a number of sites but the one thing I could not find were numbers.

All I've read is that the Euro PS3 will play fewer PS2. Exactly what does that mean?

1 less than the US version is fewer. But so is 2, 3 or even 10.

Does anyone know what the severity of the "issue" is and what games are likely to be affected? If it means God of War 2, FF12 and Manhunter 2 won't work now then that's pretty bad. But if it means that Red Faction or Fantavision now won't work then who honestly gives a shit?

Re:Numbers? (1)

Hennell (1005107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124944)

>Does anyone know what the severity of the "issue" is and what games are likely to be affected?
It would seem not. And my guess is no-one will until the console is launched and some gamers start posting game results.

Which means your best bet is to wait to see what games work before purchase. (Also giving you the fun of getting to laugh at sony if PS3's don't sell out on launch ;)

Re:Numbers? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124988)

All I've read is that the Euro PS3 will play fewer PS2. Exactly what does that mean?

Well, Sony's press release said they will have a compatability list up on the EU launch date in March. They also called the system's support for PS2 games "limited", so I'm thinking that means a lot more than 1 less game (since the US/Japan PS3 supports nearly all PS2 games, at least enough that Sony has never refered to the number as "limited").

Assume- Ass of U and Me (-1, Troll)

Maxwell (13985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124388)

The press release says nothing about reduced ps/2 support. Sony never said that. Period. And slashdot has launched another massive anti-sony tirade for no reason at all! Way to go!

Just think, if you guys can kill Sony, then Microsoft will be free to take over the living room just like they did with the office! Won't that be great!?

JON

What you assume we won't check your story? (3, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124792)

True, Sony never said anything about PS/2 support.

But if you meant the PS2, as in the Playstation 2, then U are the only Ass around here.

Linky to press release: http://www.scee.presscentre.com/Content/Detail.asp ?ReleaseID=4331&NewsAreaID=2 [presscentre.com]

Selected relevent quotes:

"The European PS3 will feature the Cell Broadband Engine(TM), 60 GB hard disc drive, Blu-ray Disc player, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, SIXAXIS(TM) wireless controller. It also embodies a new combination of hardware and software emulation which will enable PS3 to be compatible with a broad range of original PlayStation® (PS) titles and a limited range of PlayStation®2 (PS2) titles."

"Rather than concentrate on PS2 backwards compatibility, in the future, company resources will be increasingly focused on developing new games..."

"Certain PlayStation 2 format software titles may not perform properly on this system."

And other references in the press release about future software patches to support more PS2 games, and a special list of compatible PS2 games for the EU version of the console (that isn't live yet).

Oh, and before you pull some blatant fanboi linguistic bullshit and say that Sony never literally said "reduced", then realize what everyone else does: They don't call the US/Japan PS3's support for the PS2 "limited", ergo being "limited" is a reduction. If it was the same level of support as the US/Japan version, they would have said words to that effect and let it drop. Instead they said words to the effect that the new PS3 is not designed with backward compatability as a major feature, new games are better, only a limited selection of old games will work. You'd have to be mental to not understand that this means a reduction. Maybe you are mental. We're not.

Re:Assume- Ass of U and Me (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18125024)

Yeah. On /. it seems that people are stop hating Microsoft when it comes to consoles. When there are any other Microsoft news everybody (minus the astroturfers) seems to agree that Microsoft is evil.
How did MS get the free pass on the XBOX and XBOX360? They're doing the same evil stuff there. Pushing DirectX into the throats of developers, the usual marketing fluff, deceiving people with crap like XNA and so on.
I don't get this attitude of /. readers. Why do they just switch Microsoft with Sony when it comes to the consoles? (..not saying Sony doesn't do its fair share of shit.. like the whole PS3 Europe or rootkit debacle.. but that's still nothing compared to freaking Microsoft)

WTF is wrong with sony (2, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124442)

Europeans are always screwed when it comes to launch dates. We are used to that but at least sometimes this results in us actually getting a better product. Patches applied and production problems sorted out. So we get every single console after everyone else has had it but at least we usually get better systems.

Offcourse we also pay more, even if you account for different tax systems. But hey, that is the price to pay for the rest of the world beta-testing the product right?

Now along comes Sony, who already has enough trouble selling the PS3, and they give europe NOT only the usual long delay, the usual unexplained price difference BUT they give a lesser product AND ask us to accept an untested product (untested software emulation vs proven hardware) on top of it all?

I actually think the PS3 might have something intresting in it because of its linux capabilities (although so far it seems Sony has made every effort to kill this possibility) but just how far do they expect people to go?

Did Sony hire a mole from MS or Nintendo? Did they hire someone from the remains of british industry to make their decisions? Has the long japanese working week finally caught up with management and driven them utterly mad?

Yes, in theory it makes sense to reduce costs per unit especially with the PS3 but to screw over the europeans by given them a lesser untested product months after everyone for more money just doesn't seem to make a lot of marketting sense. Especially given that PS3 games at the moment are not exactly setting new sales records.

Oh well, Sony got a couple more weeks. They could still announce that the EU PS3 will not be able to play HD movies. Can't take any risks, can we? Must make sure this product tanks.

Perhaps this is all a cunning plan to avoid those nasty stories about shortages and people fighting over the PS3 at launch. Make it even more expensive, still have no good games out and reduce functionality.

Rememeber the tale of how MS won the desktop from IBM and Apple and the homecomputers? Not because MS was so brilliant but because IBM and Apple and the homecomputers all made really stupid decisions?

That is too simple for Sony's taste. It seems determined to make every boneheaded decision themselves.

It is pitifull. Lets face it, the hardware costs for the PS2 hardware can't be that high, but in order to save a few dollars they are willing to remove a key feature from their product. A key feature that is desperately needed as long as their are no killer PS3 games out while there are plenty of intresting PS2 games out, and in fact still being launched.

I have seen attempts to introduce laws that require older people to take driving exams again to prove they are still fit to drive.

Perhaps as management gets older HR should do re-hire procedures to see if they still qualify. Alternatively, maybe management that has been there longer then a decade should be just humanily put down. Put the sony leadership out of its misery.

Re:WTF is wrong with sony (2, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124662)

Rememeber the tale of how MS won the desktop from IBM and Apple and the homecomputers? Not because MS was so brilliant but because IBM and Apple and the homecomputers all made really stupid decisions?


I have argued (several times) that Sony was successful with the Playstation mainly because Sega and Nintendo made some massive mistakes; Sega had released several (unnecessary) upgrades (Sega-CD, 32x) and released the Saturn with no games, Nintendo offended third parties, used cartridges and gave Sony an 18 month head start. You can argue that (in a lot of ways) the PS2 was also successful because of similar mistakes made by Sega, Nintendo and Microsoft.

Backward compatibility, All or Nothing (1)

Jestrzcap (46989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124542)

Why have backward compatibility on a console? As I see it there are 2 reasons:
1) As a consumer, if your console has backward compatibility you only have to have 1 device plugged in and hooked up to your TV. It helps with space issues and power issues.
2) As a company, it's a tick mark on a "features" list.

In order for number 1 to be useful it needs to encompass your entire library of games. If it doesn't then you still need to have your old console setup to play your old games. This defeats the purpose of backward compatibility entirely as no consumer I know gives a damn about item 2. There's no recourse to this sloppy craftsmanship other than to not buy the console, but that doesn't specify to these companies why.

Should they remove the feature? No. But as a consumer you should not take this "feature" into consideration unless your game library happens to match their compatibility list exactly.

Aim at foot... pull trigger (-1, Troll)

Tragek (772040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125770)

God, they just keep shooting themselves in the foot don't they? There was one of the reasons I ever even CONSIDERED a PS3, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Of course, I don't live in Europe. I just wonder, will these defanged PS3s slowly make their way to north american shores?
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