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PS3's Back-Compat Loss Explained, Analyzed

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the can't-play-ffxii-god-of-war-ico-shadow-katamari dept.

PlayStation (Games) 266

The news came down last week that future low-end PS3s won't have any backwards compatibility features, and that surprised a lot of onlookers. In response, Sony UK's Ray Maguire has attempted to clarify their logic. Essentially, in Sony's view, the money spent on back-compat features is better spent on developing new games or reducing the price of the console. "When PS3 first launched, Sony felt that backwards compatibility was an important feature as there were relatively few games for the new system, Maguire explained. 'So it was a big decision," he said of facility's removal, 'and we know it is a very emotive subject as lots of people think that backwards compatibility is high on the agenda and yet few really use it.'" For more on this, Joystiq has a few words on the implications of Sony's decision, while Kotaku says the 40GB unit will be arriving in the US on Nov. 2nd. For those of you who already own PS3s: would you have purchased a unit if it didn't have BC? If you don't have one yet, does the removal of BC make you less likely to buy one?

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Probably Planned All Along (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20901175)

More lies to move consoles when it counted. Not really unique to Sony [penny-arcade.com] . Now that they're established, they can start dropping support left and right.

Beh. (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 7 years ago | (#20901183)

While at the current moment I have slight regrets of having bought a PS3 so early, I certainly don't regret the better visual quality that playing a PS2 game on a PS3 provides...God of War and Shadow of the Colossus look stunning being up-scaled, and run just as smoothly as they did on the PS2 (unlike many xbox games on the 360...then again, the 360 uses software emulation)

In light of a combination of the games that are available now for the PS3 and how long it will be until other stuff is available, I'm very glad I got one with extensive back compatibility...with it's current state of exclusives, no way would I have bought one without the ability to play PS2 games on it.

Re:Beh. (2, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 7 years ago | (#20901287)

Agreed. I always considered the excellent backwards compatibility to be one of the PS3's strongest points (I have the 60 GB model). I bought mine, in fact, specifically because my PS2 died, and I knew that since I wanted a PS3 anyway, it made more sense to get a PS3 than another PS2, and a PS3 later. Without the backwards compatibility, I wouldn't own a PS3 right now, and I probably wouldn't be planning on buying one, at the very least, until FF13 comes out.

Sony, you are making a huge mistake.

Re:Beh. (1)

Zephyros (966835) | about 7 years ago | (#20901525)

I was in the same boat. My PS2 is on its last legs, so I picked up a 60GB model when they dropped the price. The writing was on the wall at that point - backwards compatibility was going away, first to software emulation and then completely. That would've left me stuck with a fairly extensive PS2 library and no system on which to play.

I'm not as convinced as they are that there's no market for backwards compatibility, with as many PS2s as they have sold.

Re:Beh. (2, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | about 7 years ago | (#20901633)

I was in the same boat. My PS2 is on its last legs, so I picked up a 60GB model when they dropped the price. The writing was on the wall at that point - backwards compatibility was going away, first to software emulation and then completely. That would've left me stuck with a fairly extensive PS2 library and no system on which to play.

Ditto here, basically, although for me it's not that my PS2 was on its last legs (it's a launch system, actually, and is still going strong), but rather just that I saw no point in having two systems hooked up - and two sets of wires in my otherwise nice living room - when I didn't have to. I also appreciate being able to play PS2 games wirelessly without some unreliable third-party controller.

So I also bought the 60GB system when I heard they were being phased out - I wanted hardware back compatibility.

I'm not as convinced as they are that there's no market for backwards compatibility, with as many PS2s as they have sold.

I do understand their point - honestly, since buying my PS3 I've probably played a total of two PS2 games on the system. But still, I bought it because of the backward compatibility, whether or not I actually use it. This is what I don't get about Sony - it really doesn't matter how people actually use the stuff they buy, what should matter to Sony is why they buy the stuff they buy in the first place. So what if they don't use the backward compatibility? It's still a major selling point.

I also think that if manufacturers want us to keep upgrading systems every five years, then backward compatibility basically has to be a standard feature from now on. It can only benefit the manufacturers, because otherwise people feel like they're starting fresh every time out, and there's no reason to stick with the same manufacturer when buying a new console. If there was no backward compatibility in my PS3, I may as well have just bought an Xbox 360. I mean, if I'm gonna have to have two systems hooked up regardless... (or three or four down the line...)

Re:Beh. (1)

twilightzero (244291) | about 7 years ago | (#20902043)

And exact same here also. My PS2 was going strong but I got the PS3 when the price cut came because I knew I wanted one. After getting it, I've been kind of saving pennies that I'd be spending on new games. So I've been using it to play the 2 PS3 games I own and a ton of PS2 stuff. I agree, the PS2 games look great upscaled and smoothed. Still mad I can't play Guitar Hero 1/2/80's though...

Re:Beh. (1)

RailGunner (554645) | about 7 years ago | (#20902305)

Me too. (Hey what is this, a Usenet discussion with a bunch of AOL'ers?)

I bought the 60 GB PS3 because it had backwards compatibility. I will play through and revisit old games that I haven't played in awhile, and the ability to now play these upscaled to HD is a bonus.

Backwards compatibility is also one reason why I purchased a PS2.

After all, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is *still* a fun game - I've played through it several times, eventually I will refresh my memory and play it again.

Re:Beh. (2, Funny)

nwf (25607) | about 7 years ago | (#20902639)

Not me too!

I own a PS2, but I want to get another console. I really only have room for two (currently a PS2 and XBox.) If the PS3 isn't backwards compatible with all of my PS2 games, then I won't be getting a PS3. I'll likely get a Wii.

Re:Beh. (3, Informative)

Babbster (107076) | about 7 years ago | (#20901477)

(unlike many xbox games on the 360...then again, the 360 uses software emulation)

For the record, so does the 80GB PS3, soon to be the only backwards-compatible PS3 available at retail.

Re:Beh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20902243)

Minor issue but the 80GB PS3 uses a mix of HW and SW to become backwards-compatible.

Re:Beh. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20902663)

Yes, the Playstation 2 software emulator runs on Playstation 3 hardware. Good point.

Re:Beh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20901485)

IIRC, only the first generation PS3s actually have PS2 hardware - all later models rely on a godawful software emulator.

Re:Beh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20901575)

The first gen models (60gig US) have both the EE & Graphics Synthesizer
The second gen model (EU & 80gig Kor) have only the GS, the EE being emulated in software
The third (and so far latest, 40 gig EU models) have neither, making backward compatibility in its current form impossible

Or so i've read anyhow.

First gen of PS3 is best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20901993)

First generatio of PS3 (60GB) is the sweet spot for the PS3 and the primary reason I essentially overpaid for ths version. It has hardward emulation of PS2, with upscaling, along with WiFi built in.

It's like getting a split window corvette.

Has anybody else noticed... (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about 7 years ago | (#20902411)

that Sony doesn't seem to give a rat's ass - or much less even have something remotely resembling a clue - as to what the gaming public actually wants instead of the crap they seem to want to feed them?

Seriously now:

PSP gamers want the open platform to be able to extend it. They want a ported version of Opera or some DECENT browser (which would be easy enough to program, and the memory wouldn't be an issue if you used the memory stick as swap space). And they want decent games.

What does Sony do? Constantly push "updates" that break compatibility and try to fuck over the homebrewers who are making the killer apps, and try to push "sales" of PSX titles that require buying a fucking $600 access-box (PS3) to even get to.

Look at the PS3. Compare the shitty "Sony Online Store" to the ease-of-use in Wii or Xbox Live. Compare the crappy "games" (if you can call them that) offered by Sony to the games available on the other two consoles. Look at the half-assed "motion sensing" they threw in at the last minute to try to compete with the Wii.

Anybody else remember "people will be taking second jobs just to buy our console-aru!"?

Sony is the new Daily Radar - they have their heads so far up their asses they can probably smell their own tonsils.

Re:Has anybody else noticed... (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 7 years ago | (#20902587)

I completely agree.

In fact, the whole PSP fiasco pisses me off quite a lot. I know they are worried about piracy or whatever, but seriously...if they allowed the device to be as open as it was with firmware version 1.0, they would likely have a much stronger hold on the portable market. I'm not saying they necessarily would have outsold the DS, but they would certainly have a much larger piece of the pie.

The PSP could have been a SICK little piece of equipment. I can put e-books on there using a couple programs that format a document (pdf, doc, whatever) to fit on the screen and then another one to turn them into pictures so that I am essentially reading e-books. They should streamline that process to make things easier.

Also, there are a couple of comics designed for the PSP. Sony should support this openly and loudly! Go so far as financing some of the more popular ones...it wouldn't take much investment on their part, and the comic junkies would eat it up...hell, they could open an iTunes-like store in which you can buy digital comics which have been reformatted to work with the small screen size...I would DEFINATELY spend money in a store like that.

Also, not supporting things like DiVX/Xvid/etc was a bit foolish, methinks...their argument would likely be "those are primarily used for piracy", but think about it....they could sell software that would allow you to rip the video and reformat it to play on the PSP while using a codec that isn't quite as shitty as what we are stuck with now.

If they put their corporate bullshit aside and spent a little more money up front, they would probably have many more PSP's in the hands of the people. You know, the ones that actually keep them in buisness. They're called customers.

Primary Reason I Got One (1)

Jthon (595383) | about 7 years ago | (#20902609)

Odd that Sony's making this claim since the good backwards compatibility is on of the primary reason's I bought a PS 3. Having owned an Xbox this last console generation I've missed out on a bunch of great PS 2 games. I've played through God of War, Shadow of the Colossus, Odin's Sphere, GT 4, Katamri Damacy 1&2, FF12 and more since getting my PS 3.

As far as PS 3 gaming goes I've played Resistance. So I've played 1 ps 3 game, and 20 or so ps 2 games on my PS 3 since I've gotten it. If the ps 3 didn't have the backwards compatibility I wouldn't have purchased it when I did. I would have held off much longer (if ever).

That said, I've probably spent more time using the PS 3 as a Blu-ray/DVD player than as a gaming machine, especially recently (I blame this on some RL friends getting me back into WoW). I did the same thing with my Xbox despite owning a ton of games it spent a majority of it's time being used to play movies with Xbox Media Center.

Re:Beh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20902623)

After a decade of playing PS2 on my 14" TV that I took to college, I gave the old TV to my mother and bought a 40" (biggest I could fit in my car) 1080p LCD and a PS3.

Now I plan on spending the next few years playing PS2 games on my PS3. (First interesting-looking PS3 game so far is that Eternal Sonata port that got mentioned a while back. This'll give me time to catch up on all the older games I've set aside for newer ones.) With few exceptions (Odin Sphere has terrible, terrible deinterlacing artifacts in some cutscenes) they all look fairly good upconverted then blown up to a large TV.

I wouldn't have bought one without the backwards compatibility either.

TFAs are firewalled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20901187)

I can't access the sites linked to in TFAs due to the work firewall. I'm curious though, why is it more expensive for them to include backcompat vs. omitting it entirely? I know the initial US PS3s had the PS2 hardware under the hood, but I thought the Euro models were completely software emulated?

Re:TFAs are firewalled (1)

XenoPhage (242134) | about 7 years ago | (#20901547)

According to Joystiq, the back compat software emulation may not have been 100% software based. They seem to be removing the hardware that they were using for this, making back compat impossible.

That said, I have no desire to ever own a PS3 without back compat support.. They're killing themselves with this.. Backwards compatibility is one of the primary reasons I purchased a PS2 in the first place. And I have made extensive use of it as well.. Perhaps I'm one of the relative few that does, though..

I don't think I'd mind them dropping backwards compatibility for PS1 games, but definitely not PS2 games...

Re:TFAs are firewalled (1)

Zerimar (1124785) | about 7 years ago | (#20901871)

I have only used the PS1 compatibility on my PS2 to play a Dance Dance Revolution game and Diablo PS1. I don't have enough connections to my AV system to have a PS3 & PS2 along side my Wii, DVD player, and Dish Network box, so until I'm done with my PS2 library, I probably won't be buying a PS3.

Re:TFAs are firewalled (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 7 years ago | (#20901773)

My guess is that they are comparing it to the one with the PS2 hardware and just won't advertise any backwards compatility, even if it is there in software or not, since it requires so much work to get more/all titles running.

If PS3 had decent games, maybe... (4, Interesting)

SilentChris (452960) | about 7 years ago | (#20901201)

I've held off getting a PS3 specifically because there's a lack of quality games. However, I don't own a PS2, and stuff like God of War has always intrigued me. If they removed backward compatibility, the only reason I'd buy the system would be gone.

Microsoft and Nintendo, for all their faults, have at least recognized one basic fact: games first, everything else (e.g. Blu-Ray) second. Not the other way around.

Re:If PS3 had decent games, maybe... (1)

toolie (22684) | about 7 years ago | (#20901583)

I've held off getting a PS3 specifically because there's a lack of quality games. However, I don't own a PS2, and stuff like God of War has always intrigued me. If they removed backward compatibility, the only reason I'd buy the system would be gone.
The only reason I got the 60G version was because I wanted the hardware emulation (more choices are good - can run it either in hardware or software emulation). I never owned a PS2 either, and figured with them going to software emulation it was only a matter of time before they decided to get rid of that also. Sometimes, it sucks being right.

The games that get the most use on my PS3 are PS2 games. If I didn't have those to help pass the time while waiting for some PS3 games worth playing, I'd be a lot more upset about spending the money on the system.

Re:If PS3 had decent games, maybe... (2, Interesting)

CodyRazor (1108681) | about 7 years ago | (#20902101)

I think the sony guy actually got it right on the money this time. Everyone seems to think backwards compatibility is one of the most important features in a console yet in reality most people never or rarely use it. I thought it was a big deal when getting a ps3 and yet iv played one ps2 game on my ps3, and i have a ps2 anyway even if it didnt have BC. I thought it was a big deal when i got a ps2 yet I cant think of a single time I played a ps1 game on it. Theres no doubt it is a good feature, especially with upscaling and all, but i tihnk a lot people put more stock in it than its actually worth.

I agree the main problem is lack of games, I mean, its pretty much a joke at this point. iv had the machine for a very long time and theres one game iv enjoyed playing on it, and thats only good for multi player (FN3). Thats probably the main thing that makes BC an important thing for PS3, the only games you want to play on it are ps2 games.

Sony keep saying "we're dropping this feature to focus on new games, we're ignoring this area to focus on new games." I just wish they'd actually goddamn do it instead of simply using it as an excuse to be lazy or cut the price. I've already got one! I dont care about price cuts!

You cant just get the console to the consumer and then forget about it, your jobs not done yet. but sony seems to think they just need to sell as many consoles to new buyers as possible and it will be a success.

How does this save money? (1)

donour (445617) | about 7 years ago | (#20901221)

Is there actually hardware in the unit to run PS/PS2 games? I would think that the cell would have enough power to simulate the old hardware.

Re:How does this save money? (4, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | about 7 years ago | (#20901351)

Yes, there is. There are actually 2 chips in there. The EU PS3 that only does software PS2 emulation actually still has a second chip in there still. The new PS3 removes that chip as well, and they apparently have no plans to try to emulate it.

That doesn't mean they can't change their minds, but years of unofficial emulators has show how much work it is to emulate a chip with good speed, especially when the architecture is different. IIRC, you need 10x the CPU power to emulate a different architecture at full speed.

Re:How does this save money? (1)

statusbar (314703) | about 7 years ago | (#20901499)

But when the Cell processor was first being introduced they were saying it had much more than 10x the cpu power of the ps2!!!

This is a cop-out, either the CELL is not as good as they thought or they are very lazy - either way their sales are going to be reduced.

--jeffk++

Re:How does this save money? (1)

badasscat (563442) | about 7 years ago | (#20901683)

This is a cop-out, either the CELL is not as good as they thought or they are very lazy - either way their sales are going to be reduced.

Uh, the current 80GB system emulates PS2 games just fine in software (for the most part). The problem is it's a completely different architecture, and the emulation needs constant updating. This has nothing to do with the CELL. MS is doing the same thing with the Xbox 360.

Sony just decided it wasn't worth it, especially considering they're chopping $100 off the price.

Still, I'm happy now to have one of the 60GB models that actually has an emotion engine built in.

Re:How does this save money? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 7 years ago | (#20902035)

The PS3 Cell does have much more than 10x the CPU power of the PS2.

But raw power doesn't mean that the old games would run on the new chip. Or that there are enough programmers to port to the new chip, or that porting all those old games is worth doing, instead of just including the old chips and some glue.

Do you know how to program? Or are you saying "very lazy" without knowing what you're talking about? Making you both clueless and lazy...

Re:How does this save money? (1)

OK PC (857190) | about 7 years ago | (#20902313)

It's probably more of a licensing issue as they won't own all of the chips. The could try and hack it like the 360, but that takes time and money. It's a shame because it's one of the plus points of the machine. My PS2 doesn't work anymore and backwards compatibility is an incentive to buy a PS3. Though I wasn't planning to until it was cheaper and some must have games are available.

Well, there was... (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | about 7 years ago | (#20901353)

Quote from Sony, from somewhere:

The 20GB and 60GB PS3 models launched in Japan and the USA were equipped with both the PS2 Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesiser chips and we could therefore guarantee over 90% backwards compatibility for PS2 titles.

More on this... (3, Insightful)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | about 7 years ago | (#20901223)

From Joystiq [joystiq.com] :

The 40GB PlayStation 3 models, devoid of any PS2-related semiconductors, will likely not have any options for backwards compatibility in the future. Speaking to Joystiq, SCEE Director of Corporate Communications Nick Sharples said that there are no plans to offer emulation software as downloadable content at a later date. "We have no plans to do so at the moment. The sheer numbers of PS2 titles available, together with the increased complexity of using a software only solution for each and every title means that to ensure accurate software emulation for the majority would be technically challenging, time consuming and costly," he said. "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," he said.
What a douche.

are they emulating? (1)

benow (671946) | about 7 years ago | (#20901229)

Are they using the ps3 hardware to emulate a ps1 or ps2? If so, yeah, it would be alot of work to ensure compatability... It would probably be cheaper just to include modernized ps1 and ps2 hardware within the ps3, using overlapping components (controllers, video out, etc). Detect the type from the disc and activate the appropriate hardware. AFA the game would be concerned, it would be on the appropriate hardware and there would be no mapping layer to maintain.

Re:are they emulating? (3, Informative)

Ecuador (740021) | about 7 years ago | (#20901389)

The current US versions have the CPU and Graphics card of the PS2 in the box (reported to cost SONY $27 total a year ago), while the original EU models had only the Graphics in hardware and emulated the CPU. Now they are removing that too.
I will not comment on these facts, as I will be called a troll again ;)

If it's cheaper... (4, Insightful)

Scootin159 (557129) | about 7 years ago | (#20901245)

Seeing as an authentic PS2 can be had for ~$100, if the new model is more than $100 less, I'm more likely to get the new model. Otherwise, I'm less likely.

Re:If it's cheaper... (2, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | about 7 years ago | (#20901595)

The catch is that there are more implications than that... if you have infinite room near your TV(s), thats fine... personally, I have 2 TVs, and all the plugs near them have 1-2 power bars filled to the brim to the point Im starting to be scared of potential fire hazards, even if the wires are cleanly put away... adding more consoles mean more and more wires, especially if you have a surround sound system, etc... so it would have to (FOR ME personally) be much more than 100$ less to make me think 2 consoles is better than one :)

Re:If it's cheaper... (1)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | about 7 years ago | (#20902121)

I agree with your comment regarding space concerns. I collect video games and consoles and though I have only one TV, it is currently connected to no less than 11 systems. As a result, I have four chained input switching devices, three filled multi-out power adapters, two entertainment centers (and a partridge in a pear tree).

and thats exactly why they did it (1)

acidrain (35064) | about 7 years ago | (#20901725)

Lots of people are bashing Sony here, but considering the price of a PS2, how many people *actually need* a machine that plays PS2 games and don't have have one? Whereas the price tag of a PS3 *really is* a deal breaker. And they are even still selling backwards compatibility for those who want to pay for it. I can't see how this is bad, I mean if it allows them to actually sell real numbers of PS3s for a change.

Of course I'm secretly rooting for something to save the PS3 because I'm hoping in a few years developers will actually fully exploit the cell. You know, when Sony finally ships decent developer tools and developers wrap their heads around the madness that is SPU programming.

Re:and thats exactly why they did it (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | about 7 years ago | (#20901987)

Lots of people are bashing Sony here, but considering the price of a PS2, how many people *actually need* a machine that plays PS2 games and don't have have one?

As a PS2 owner who had interest in the PS3, I can say that I would NOT want to own both. First thing to go would be the PS2 because I can use the PS3 for it. It sucks enough having to switch my PS2 and Wii around every time I want to play a diff. game.

I was working on getting a Xbox 360 so I could buy Rock Band, but then the rumors of it coming out on the Wii started and I decided to just pick up Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii and wait for Rock Band. I'd think of getting Rock Band for the PS2, but the one feature I really want is to be able to download games (which I'm keeping my figures crossed that Nintendo will get their online store worked out so 3rd parties can use it for their games).

Summed up, consolidation is a good thing.

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:and thats exactly why they did it (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | about 7 years ago | (#20902145)

They're supposed to have the downloadable game service up next year, and one of the first titles will be Impossible Mission.

Re:and thats exactly why they did it (4, Insightful)

Bobartig (61456) | about 7 years ago | (#20902333)

Even if the Wii gets downloadable content, the experience will still be inferior without a better mass storage solution. Either you cough up for several gigs of flash media (hassle), or they have an external USB mass storage drive (expensive), or they do a hardware revision (splinters users into 'haves' and 'have-nots').

I don't think downloadable RockBand/GHIII content on the Wii will ever be comparable to the experience you'd have on the PS3, or X360.

And this is coming from a guy who's ONLY new-gen console is a Wii.

Re:and thats exactly why they did it (1)

meringuoid (568297) | about 7 years ago | (#20902533)

Either you cough up for several gigs of flash media (hassle), or they have an external USB mass storage drive (expensive)

Flash media is expensive, USB drives aren't. 250GB for £44 [dabs.com] . For comparison, Microsoft are charging £70 for a 20GB disk (the price difference between Premium and Core 360's).

Equipment piling up? (1)

athloi (1075845) | about 7 years ago | (#20901959)

Are others as concerned as I am about equipment piling up? I seem to end up with towering piles of hardware unless I restrain myself. Does this concern you when considering buying a PS/2 and new PS/3 as well? Or is this only something I experience and should tell my therapist about?

but... (-1)

joe 155 (937621) | about 7 years ago | (#20901279)

in Europe wasn't backwards compatibility done at a software level? I can't really see where any saving has been made apart from maybe £1 (at most) for a memory card slot...

For something that costs £300 I can't see why they are being so tight over such a small thing when I think to most people it would add real value and enable them to sell more games (which is where the money must come from, because they are losing so much on hardware).

Re:but... (4, Informative)

tuffy (10202) | about 7 years ago | (#20901387)

It wasn't done completely at the software level; the PS3 could emulate the CPU (somewhat), but still needed the PS2's graphics chip. Now that the graphics chip is being removed, backwards compatibility is no longer possible. The PS3 simply doesn't have enough power to emulate the entire PS2 anywhere near real time.

Re:but... (1)

Gravatron (716477) | about 7 years ago | (#20901755)

I think they took one look at the massive issue MS has emulating Xbox games and just decided not to go though all that with the ps3. It probabaly has the power to do it, but your looking at trying to emulate 9,000 games in software emulation...that's a massive undertaking.

Re:but... (2, Insightful)

geekboy642 (799087) | about 7 years ago | (#20901943)

Here's the problem with that viewpoint.

You're not having to emulate 9,000 games. Sony OWNS the PS2 in every sense of the word. They have all the developer documentation. Hell, they even have all of the source code used in the PS2. Emulation is difficult when you DON'T have access to the source code, and every new game means finding a new piece of the system that must be emulated.

Sony has all the pieces.

But, but, but, what about Microsoft?
Well, Microsoft is inept. Go on, prove that wrong.

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20902737)

Xbox1 is basically a PC and there's already a VPC in Microsoft's hands. GPU is from a different vendor, but I guess they somehow route D3D calls to a new GPU (Cbxb tried this as well).

But PS2: it's a system which is really hard to emulate, not really similar to either this generation or PC's. Yes, there is a emulator in development (PCSX2) but it uses every trick in the book to get a reasonable performance on a 2-3 GHz dual core CPU. And for emulation you better have a processor with a good branching unit, which 360 and PS3 apparently don't have.

Re:but... (1)

Rufus211 (221883) | about 7 years ago | (#20901841)

It does have the hoursepower to do complete PS2 emulation in real time, especially if you use the Cell and RSX chips to help. The plan originally was to be 100% software-based backwards compatable. Then it was a combination of software and some real PS2 chips. Now they're just dropping it all.

Re:but... (3, Insightful)

tuffy (10202) | about 7 years ago | (#20902399)

It does have the hoursepower to do complete PS2 emulation in real time, especially if you use the Cell and RSX chips to help.

I'm sure Sony claimed they could pull it off at some point, since they tend to wildly overstate the capabilities of their devices while early in development. But in reality, the Cell's massively parallel architecture isn't well suited for emulation (a very serial problem) and HLEing the entire Graphics Synthesizer to offload it to the RSX chip isn't likely.

But from a less technical perspective, Sony's engineers have had a long time to try and offload the PS2 functions from those chips and avoid this PR headache. If they had any intention of finishing such emulation, they would've done so by now.

Less important as time goes on (4, Insightful)

Shrubber (552857) | about 7 years ago | (#20901309)

Backwards compatibility is important, but mainly in the first six months to a year after a console launches. You have to get people to buy in and them not having to keep around another console to play older games is one of the ways to do that. However, the longer the console is around the less important it becomes. People typically play less older games as time goes on. Obviously there are going to be a handful of, "classic" games that people love and will continue to play for years, but the vast PS2 library is largely relegated to history as more new games are released.

Frankly Sony's biggest single problem with the PS3 is its cost. No matter what you get for the money, it's more money than many people are willing to pay and that keeps PS3s out of homes. Anything they can do to reduce costs is going to help them at this point, and removing some of the components that they are removing is doing just that. Yes they already have software emulation of the Emotion Engine, but supposedly there were still some other hardware components that were used solely for PS2 emulation. (I don't have any hard links, so if that is incorrect I apologize. I had read it previously.)

You are aware PS2 games are still being made? (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 7 years ago | (#20901655)

The X-box is dead, end of story, but the PS2 STILL have games being developed for it, first class titles too. One of the things the "old" ps3 could do, is take these new PS2 games and upscale them a bit, it can't do magic but with its more modern hardware it could give it a slightly better visual quality, not unimportant if you have a HD-TV.

How can a game that has yet to be lreased already be assigned to history?

In an odd way, Sony has created Microsofts problem with the PC. Sure sure, MS could WISH Vista was the new OS and everyone would just buy Vista only games and publish Vista only games, but the reality is that the market has far more XP games, even 2000 games, yes 98 games STILL being sold, among them, games published by MS itself.

So your argument falls flat, the PS2 isn't retired yet, and for Sony to remove compatibility with the PS2 from the PS3 means that this christmas, some of the hot game titles out there, will have people wondering if they should get a PS2 or a PS3. The economy ain't all that, can you guess what a lot will decide?

But surely everyone who wants a PS2 already has one? Then explain why the PS2 sales keep ranking near the top? No, this is very similar to MS and Vista when people really want to run their XP software.

As for the costs, they already got a working design, if they just focussed on that and made that cheaper they could have saved themselves far more in bad publicity. Sometimes you need to accept that a few bucks saved don't matter when its costs you a fortune in lost sales.

Re:Less important as time goes on (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 7 years ago | (#20902613)

"Backwards compatibility is important, but mainly in the first six months to a year after a console launches"

Backwards compatability is more important then you think. As time moves forward the ability to play old games when one gets the nostalgic feeling 10 years down the line, really matters. The truth is the whole Console and arcade emulation community is built on saving and playing old games. I think sony is writing off backwards compatability pre-maturely because OLD GAMES will get discovered by NEW GAMERS (i.e. new people) new kids are constantly being born who have not played all the "oldbies" and there were a lot of old games from the PS2 generation I have never played myself as I didn't have the time. So when a person finally gets thetime (Retirement, vacation, whenever), backwards compatability comes into effect. Just because it's not used 100% of the time or often enough, doesn't mean it will NEVER be used.

Not to mention Nintendo did a lot right with the Wii and downloadable SNES and other games. If enough interest (sales) is generated, wouldn't it be awesome to have sequels to old 2D games and continue old franchises? I think so. It's too bad Nintendo only equipped the Wii with 512MB of flash, but in the future I think downloadables will be a lot bigger then they are currently.

Sony is getting the reason for backwards compatability all wrong in the first place, for library of games that you don't have access to that will eventually be emulated on PC's as time goes on. Don't do it now and someone will find a way later. I think what companies need to do is find a way to update and release old games... this is one of the problems unfortunately with making commercial games - you can't tape community creativity like say
these guys:

http://www.opcoder.com/projects/chrono/ [opcoder.com]

It's a damn shame they had to get shut down, a remake of chrono updated for 3D with those kinds of skills would have been awesome.

It does make sense (4, Insightful)

the_skywise (189793) | about 7 years ago | (#20901325)

I was upset at first as well. But after calming down and thinking about it:

Sony continues to sell PS-ONE systems (for pretty cheap too) so it's unlikely they're going to stop selling PS-2 systems any time soon.

Incorporating a PS-2 inside of the PS-3 does increase the cost by about $100 (even with software emulation)

The major barrier to PS-3 acceptance (aside from games) is the cost.

Most PS-3 purchasers are already going to have PS-2s.

Sure, I'd like an all-in-one box (actually I already have one) to save more space in my entertainment center. But I already have a gamecube/wii and an XBox/XBox360 pair on my stand so a PS3 with one of the new tiny PS2's isn't that big a deal for space.

Logically, its a sound business trade-off to get the price down to increase sales. Prestige-wise it certainly hurts, but maybe that's all fluff anyway (The XBox360 certainly doesn't emulate all XBox titles and the Gamecube never emulated the Nintendo-64)

(I know the Wii plays all gamecube games, but I keep the gamecube around because it's easier to use the corded gamecube controllers during a party rather than pulling the Wii out of its base)

Re:It does make sense (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | about 7 years ago | (#20901623)

...Incorporating a PS-2 inside of the PS-3 does increase the cost by about $100 (even with software emulation)...
doubtful, the PS2s cost $130 these days, they're looking at a $30 price drop soon and IIRC last year Sony was estimated to be making upwards of $45 on every PS2 sold (it's probably more than that at this point). Retailers are making a profit on that to.. Not to mention that if you're just using the main chips from a PS2 you don't have to pay for the included controllers, power supply, video cables, console case, DVD drive, motherboard, or even the box paperwork, shipping, overhead etc. When it all comes down to it I'd be downright surprised if those two chips cost Sony more than $30 to add to the PS3. I realize every penny counts when you're losing money on a system and people still think it's overpriced. But the cost to Sony is a whole world less than the end value to consumers.

The Cost Difference (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 7 years ago | (#20902161)

A teardown revealed [isuppli.com] that the EE cost $27 each from Toshiba, and integrating it probably cost another $5 (including specify other mutual parts that will serve double, rather than single, duty, including security HW for PS2 games).

So you're probably nearly exactly correct. I wonder how much per revised unit it will have cost to redesign and change the manufacturing, across the first few million units sold. Possibly a breakeven, if the redesign/retool cost more than $30-60M.

I think they're just dropping PS2 compatibility so that PS2 game sales don't compete with PS3s. Sony is slightly immune to "planned obsolescence" criticism, because they still sell PS2 consoles fairly cheap, and even PS1 consoles. And PS3s will still run PS2 games, just in SW. This PS3 rollout seems to be running quite sensibly, especially for the recently erratic Sony strategists.

Re:It does make sense (1)

Babbster (107076) | about 7 years ago | (#20901687)

Logically, its a sound business trade-off to get the price down to increase sales. Prestige-wise it certainly hurts, but maybe that's all fluff anyway (The XBox360 certainly doesn't emulate all XBox titles and the Gamecube never emulated the Nintendo-64)

A few problems that keep this from entering the "no big deal" category:
1. Sony has pounded on backwards compatibility in terms of marketing and general rhetoric.
2. Every time Sony has a "price drop" they're closing out and/or removing features. Even the 80GB model added 20GB of hard drive space while reducing backwards compatibility (by removing the PS2 CPU).
3. The PS3 is behind on the "native" game front.

Folks have been criticizing the Xbox 360's level of backward compatibility from the start, but Microsoft has continued working on it and improving it for the life of the hardware (and the Wii is just plain GC compatible with no caveats - go Nintendo). Further, 360 hardware has actually improved since launch (nowhere to go but up?) while the PS3 keeps receiving downgrades. One can find justifications for Sony's actions if they're desired, but the bottom line is that somebody buying one of these 40GB units is getting a worse product than somebody who bought one of the [rare] 20GB units at launch. Even assuming the thing is $400-450 (probably $400 because Sony needs to lower prices rapidement), having zero PS2 compatibility is going to turn people off.

Re:It does make sense (0, Troll)

badasscat (563442) | about 7 years ago | (#20901827)

Further, 360 hardware has actually improved since launch (nowhere to go but up?) while the PS3 keeps receiving downgrades.

In Sony's defense, they basically got it right the first time, whereas MS has just been putting out fires since the beginning (literally and figuratively).

In fact, if anything the PS3 was criticized for being over-engineered, leading to its high price. Its cooling system is pretty insane. So now they're removing some features to get the price down; they're still ahead of where MS was when they launched the 360 on both features and stability. (You may not like Blu-Ray, but it is a feature, and the base PS3 still has more hard drive space than all but the top of the line 360.)

Re:It does make sense (1)

Babbster (107076) | about 7 years ago | (#20902129)

(You may not like Blu-Ray, but it is a feature, and the base PS3 still has more hard drive space than all but the top of the line 360.)

To be clear: I don't dislike Blu-ray (it's just too expensive). Further, increasing the capacity of one of the cheapest parts of the system doesn't impress me much, especially when the uses to which I would put that part of the system don't require a lot of space anyway. Whatever the reasons, the 360 bought today is superior to that bought at launch, and at a lower price - that seems like win/win to me.

I think people should be pissed that Sony started out including all this expensive hardware that is now apparently unnecessary. If nobody needs backward compatibility, and it's such a huge contributor to the cost of the console, why wasn't there a $400 unit without it at launch?

Re:It does make sense (1)

Babbster (107076) | about 7 years ago | (#20902219)

PS- Just for the marketing hell of it, I thought I'd note, too, that the 360 Premium and Elite models will come with Forza Motorsport 2 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance this holiday season. $350 for an Xbox 360 and two good games is pretty nice - not "Wii nice" but still... :)

Re:It does make sense (1)

Nossie (753694) | about 7 years ago | (#20901983)

It turned me off when I heard us Euros were losing backwards hardware compatibility when you Americans weren't.... Now I just wont bother my ass :-|

But then, I was always going to be a hard sell in the first place.

Re:It does make sense (4, Insightful)

Bobartig (61456) | about 7 years ago | (#20901807)

When backward compatibility was much better on the PS3 (for older playstation games), than on the X360 (for xbox games), and before teh PS3 had yet launched (and noone could evaluate the back compat performance) Sony went on and on about the importance of back compatibility, how it was a major focus, and how it was integral to building a brand that transcends any single piece of hardware. They went on and on about how the PS3 would have 100% back compatibility at launch so that your older PS titles would not lose value.

After several hundred PS2 and PS1 titles had incompatibilities with the PS3, and after the recent PS2 upgrades caused PS2 games not to work on the new PS2s, Sony spokesperson Reiko Sakamoto said: "It's hard to say the PlayStation 3 will be 100 percent backwards compatible, but as we said earlier this year, we aim to make it so as much as possible," Sakamoto said, according to IDG.

So basically Sony is a company that will straight out lie to you to get you to buy their products. They will say "You will get X", then later on say "X is not important. We will not be delivering X".

From a consumer's standpoint, it is not enough to say that this helps Sony recoup their losses. People have to be accountable for the things that they say they will do, professionally, ethically, whatever.

M$ always said "we will have some back compat for the best sellers/important titles", and they do what they can/want to do. They have like 200/700 titles, but they never promised 100%, or touted it as a core benefit of their platform.

Nintendo never claimed they would deliver any N64 back compat in the GC, although they're demonstrating that they can bring some N64 titles to the Wii. They claimed they'd have games from a bunch of platforms, but they never promised all of them.

Sony claimed 100%. They said it was important and a major focus. When they couldn't give 100% (they still delivered an amazing 97%), they said they would work on it to make it right. Then they turn around and dump the whole thing and expect consumers to keep scooping this shit up and scarfing it down.

Re:It does make sense (1)

gmezero (4448) | about 7 years ago | (#20902023)

This is ridiculous. I only actively keep three systems running in my entertainment center. Backwards compatibility has allowed us to keep more games in circulation to play at any given time without having to drag out a console and wire it up for a session.

Also on the idea of having to pull out the Wii out of it's base to play GameCube games. Haven't you heard of WaveBird controllers? Problem solved.

I've been waiting for the cost of the PS3 to drop and now damn it I'm faced with the decision of do I buy a used hardware emu unit? Buy the top end software emu unit? Or what? Damn it that system is so huge, there is no way I'm going to have a PS2, PS3, 360 and a Wii all crammed together on one shelf now?

Here I've been trying to figure out how I was finally going to buy a PS3 and a PSP to surprise my kids for Christmas and this news is really dropping my incentive to by a PS3 at all. Besides the kids got their Halo 3 so they could care less anyhow, and from what they've seen of "Home" they prefer building in Second Life on the teen grid.

Well where this starts to become a big deal (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 7 years ago | (#20902531)

Is people who are space limited. I was with you on never getting why people cared about backwards compatibility or things like DVD playback. I mean you have other devices for that, right? But then I live in the American southwest, where my 1800sq ft condo is considered normal, maybe even a bit on the small side. Now consider that many people live in very small apartments, things like 500 sq ft lofts and such. You can see how maybe it becomes a problem to own more than a few devices. Space is at a premium, if you are going to keep clutter down you want things like that kept to a minimum. Thus backwards compatibility IS a big selling point.

Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone, but there are enough people in situations like that (fairly common in Japan apparantley, and there's always dorm kids to think about) that it is a consideration.

PS-One was discontinued (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20902701)

Sony continues to sell PS-ONE systems (for pretty cheap too) so it's unlikely they're going to stop selling PS-2 systems any time soon.


Sony discontinued manufacturing the PS-One systems back in the spring of 2006. (See http://www.gamespot.com/news/6146549.html [gamespot.com] )

You can buy used ones on EBay and by independent sellers, but I don't think Sony is selling them anymore, and I don't think major retailers stock them.

Just get a PS2 (1, Insightful)

Zantetsuken (935350) | about 7 years ago | (#20901361)

I don't see why its such a big deal. There are only 2 reasons I could see why backward compatibility would be a must. The first is that its convenient to use the same console for both PS2 and 3 games. The second is that with PS2-bc on a PS3 people owning those models could get the PS3 and then just go buy PS2 games.

However, the only people that would really want bc is people with sizable PS2 libraries - which are likely to either still have their PS2 or be willing to go buy a new one.

People bitched like all hell when the PS3 cost $500/$600 USD - so Sony goes and tries to make it cheaper to produce so that they can pass some of the savings to the customer - and what do people still do? They still bitch just as much if not more than before. I mean, how many people will/did buy a PS3 just for the PS2 games? If people only wanted a console that played PS2 games, they'd buy a damned PS2 - yet instead they buy a PS3...

Hell, I'll even take a wild guess and say that the majority of PS3 owners forget that the PS3 ever even had backward compatibility with the PS2...

Re:Just get a PS2 (1)

Zerimar (1124785) | about 7 years ago | (#20901761)

The idea is that you can't give something to people and then take it away - it's bad for any business. If their plan was to eliminate PS2 compatibility in a year, they should have never put it in to begin with.

Re:Just get a PS2 (4, Insightful)

sabinm (447146) | about 7 years ago | (#20902325)

I don't see why its such a big deal.

You're obviously not price sensitive to the PS3.

People bitched like all hell when the PS3 cost $500/$600 USD - so Sony goes and tries to make it cheaper to produce so that they can pass some of the savings to the customer - and what do people still do? They still bitch just as much if not more than before.

People were upset because they felt that they were not getting the appropriate value or 'utility' for a set of features at a certain price point. Sony didn't listen. They thought that it was about the price. It's not. I spend six hundred dollars on a lot of things. Just not a video game console. Once you take out the features, you're introducing a new comparison. Now you're comparing a new set of features at a new price point. This is a different set of data to work with, for which Sony introduced a whole new set of unpredictable data. The sane thing to do was to either up the features at the same price point (another controller, another game a killer game) as an option or keep the features the same at a reduced price point. That way people can actually see their value or utility increase with a reference point that stays the same.

The problem that makes the PS3 expensive isn't the BC. It's the blueray player. It's unreasonable that Sony would require it's customers to pay for its own R&D and marketing costs and then take out other features just so it won't lose money on its money pit that is the blueray device on the PS3.

It needs to take a lesson from the 360. The 360 introduced more features at the same price point while at the same time adding features at a reduced price point for its older models.

Now one can argue until the cows come home whether there was actually added value in the HDMI and the 120 gb hard drive for the elite. The answer remains fixed to how the change was perceived. The 360 change was perceived as either "meh" or "positive". Whereas the PS3 change has been perceived as a ripoff. This is par for the course for Sony in this generation's video game console wars.

Funny (0)

FreddyKnockout (1114959) | about 7 years ago | (#20901391)

Everyone else is able to make their systems backwards-compatible, but Sony claims it's too expensive? Sorry Macguire, I'm not buying it. And by "it" I mean both your claim, and your console.

give me BC or give me (PS3) death! (2, Interesting)

captain_cthulhu (996356) | about 7 years ago | (#20901433)

BC is really important to me. Sony earned alot of respect from me by sticking to their BC guns... now I feel betrayed.

I want to play GoW1&2, MGS2, Shadow of the Colossus, etc... upscaled!!

And what happens if Blu-ray doesn't win the format war?? it's possible that Sony could be in for a major train wreck up ahead.

I've been waiting for cheaper, but not at the sacrifice of important features.

Re:give me BC or give me (PS3) death! (1)

toolie (22684) | about 7 years ago | (#20902071)

I've been waiting for cheaper, but not at the sacrifice of important features.
So get the (discounted) 60G version and quit bitching? Its not like the 40G version is the only one out there.

Re:give me BC or give me (PS3) death! (1)

captain_cthulhu (996356) | about 7 years ago | (#20902143)

if I didn't think it was overpriced, I would have already. I have been waiting for the price to drop to get a PS3.

but, since the 40Gb will soon become the only one available (unless Sony pulls ANOTHER 180), I guess I am out of luck... err, I should say that Sony is out 1 more sale... but who cares about 1 sale? right? it's just me that's troubled by this move... right?

Re:give me BC or give me (PS3) death! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20902331)

You sure make a lot of noise over something you don't even own. If you can't afford one, tough luck. How are you going to buy games? You do realize there are no pirate offerings?

To paraphrase the Simpsons... (4, Interesting)

glindsey (73730) | about 7 years ago | (#20901459)

Let me get this straight. Their console is doing worse than both of their competitors, and they're going to catch up by removing features that consumers want?

Makes sense to me.

casual gamer (1)

r6_jason (893331) | about 7 years ago | (#20901463)

The whole Sony game plan was to boast about how much more powerful the Playstation 2 and 3 were over the Xbox and Xbox 360, and while removing backwards compatibility doesn't take away CPU or GPU power, it does deal a psychological blow to the Playstation FanBoys, who are the only ones buying the PS3 right now. I think the backwards compatibility was aimed more at the casual gamer who had a few games they would like to keep playing than it was at the hardcore market. So the loss of the casual market is what will hurt the most in the long run. BC matters little to the hardcore who still have their PS1 and PS2 and don't need BC on the PS3.

In related news, Sony marketshare dropped more (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 years ago | (#20901491)

As the marketing and sales worlds wondered how Sony could be that out of it that they "got rid" of backwards compatability while Sony's market competitors continued to pummel Sony mercilessly into the ground not just in the PS3 gaming console sphere (vs Wii and xBox360, which have BC) but in HDTV-compatible movie sales (the HD-DVD plays and records old DVD movies).

Well, I WAS considering buying one. (1)

Perseid (660451) | about 7 years ago | (#20901521)

It looks like they're trying to market this as the gimped down poor-man's PS3. That would be appropriate if we were talking about the $99 model, but we're talking about the $399 model. From my point of view as a consumer $400 is still a lot of money and certainly too much for me to accept major features being axed and I don't care how much it costs Sony to make. So what is it going to be once it gets down to that $99 price point? An Atari 2600 with HDMI?

Re:Well, I WAS considering buying one. (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 7 years ago | (#20902569)

An Atari 2600 with HDMI
Look at the anti-aliasing on pac man! And those ships on river raid are unbelievable!

software emulation (1)

dstiggy (1145347) | about 7 years ago | (#20901537)

I thought with the new PS3 they changed the emulation from hardware to a software emulation. Wouldn't this development then already be sunk cost? It seems to me that it wouldn't be anything but adding a small bit of software whose development is already paid for in order to allow backwards compatibility. My guess is that they want to show a lower price for the PS3 but they're just trying to intentionally cripple it so everyone buys the more expensive one anyway.

BTW I'm not totally anti-PS3 here. In fact I bought one about a month after they came out (the 60Gb one).

Re:software emulation (1)

unapersson (38207) | about 7 years ago | (#20901967)

It's not entirely software emulation, it just has one instead of two PS2 chips. I got the 60GB UK model about a month ago and have been very happy with it. The backward compatibility has been very good, but I'll probably play about as many PS2 titles as I did PS1 titles on my PS2.

Depends on price (1)

SQLServerBen (987193) | about 7 years ago | (#20901549)

The value of compatibility hinges on the savings. If we're talking about $100, yeah, I can keep my old PS2 around for when I am Jonesing for some Wipeout action. If we're talking $10, then I'd prefer the convenience of one machine in my living room.

No...why why why?? (1)

Pluhveso (1026052) | about 7 years ago | (#20901573)

I would not purchase a PS3 without backwards compatibility. The few games I do play that are BC look good (not great) and its nice not to have to have my PSone and my PS2 taking up shelf space. I also 3 the blu-ray player. If I were to break it down: 40% as a blu-ray player 35% as a PS3 24% as a PS2/PSone 1% as a music player Oh well...

Enthusiasm drain (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | about 7 years ago | (#20901613)

If you don't have one yet, does the removal of BC make you less likely to buy one?

Strictly & rationally speaking, no.
Emotionally & conveniently speaking, yes.

Yeah, I have a PS2, so there's something to run stuff on.

But removing BC raises questions, and drains enthusiasm, that never would have been at issue if they left it.

I've spent money on PS2 games.
Deliberately removing BC - from where it DID exist - tells me the manufacturer doesn't care about customers ... so should I care about them?

Lack of PS3 titles are the only thing I regret (1)

harryk (17509) | about 7 years ago | (#20901625)

Yes, it's an opinion and I'm entitled to mine.

Quite simply I'm disappointed in the quality line-up of unique PS3 games, or read another way 'exclusive' PS3 games. I bought Motorstorm, and I have one of the early PS3/60GB (picked up for $375 used) ... I play God of War 1 & 2 more than I play any of the ps3 demos or motorstorm.

I LOVED Blazing Angels, and while I understand that it's a cross-platform game, I find it wonderful. I've played Resistance, but to be honest... while I enjoyed the game, I was left un-impressed. Yes, decent games are on the horizon, I'm looking forward to GTA:IV, the visuals look amazing (although admittedly I'm still on an SDTV) ...

Anyway, ... the price and lack of quality games is what discouraged me. Backwards compatibility is important because I'm typically a late adopter so I generally WON'T buy games full price. Quite honestly, buying a ps3 now (or next month) with the lack of the emotion engnie, and with the smaller HD ... well it had better be a significant price drop...

my 2 cents ... use it to buy some gum

harryk

Re:Lack of PS3 titles are the only thing I regret (1)

masticina (1001851) | about 7 years ago | (#20901991)

The EU will be first hit with the castrated PS3, as a 23feb PS3 buyer from europe I do definitely enjoy upscaled PS2 games. Sure it isn't as beautiful but if you got HD output..its better then nothing!

Sony is acting weird here, I mean I already have to run the EE by software..no troubles there but the GS chip is the sole reason left I can enjoy Final Fantasy X and XII and the other great titles like GT4. The PS2 could play PS1 games and even though many PS1 games we're utterly ugly it still allowed you to play final fantasy VII and VIII! Which we're pretty big titles in their own right!

The whole idea is with when I buy a console that it is able to play the older versions to. And Sony is really action stupid here even if it makes the PS3 cheaper it does takes out the balls out of the the playstation 3.

Re:Lack of PS3 titles are the only thing I regret (2, Funny)

Solra Bizna (716281) | about 7 years ago | (#20902259)

Oh, come on. I've played PLENTY of good PS3 exclusive titles.

Lair, for example. (I was one of the lucky ones with non-broken controls.) And Resistance. That was fun too. And Armored Core 4. It-- wait, AC4 wasn't exclusive. Hmmmm.

Okay, I can't think of any other exclusives I've played. Or heard of and looked forward to playing. But STILL! Two games!

And when MGS4 comes out, it'll be three! THREE whole games!

-:sigma.SB

(Maybe I'm too distracted by playing on Admiral Potato's Wii...)

Re:Lack of PS3 titles are the only thing I regret (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 7 years ago | (#20902633)

Resistance's main problem for me and my friends was simply that it didn't let you play through the cool parts. *spoiler* When you kill the queen in the crate halfway through, you slug through a level for at least twenty minutes trying to find that stupid crate, and as soon as you find the crate it becomes an unfulfilling cut scene where I get to watch my guy shoot the queen.*/spoiler*

Even the people playing FPS's for the story want to play through the main points, guys.

It is a good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20901861)

I dont really see the problem.

Those people who are so keen on playing PS2 games probably already own a PS2 in most cases.

The lower price makes me consider buying a PS3 now, and once I got a new system, I probably dont want to play the old games anyway. And if I do, I just plug in the old PS2.

Not so important to me (1)

Cy Sperling (960158) | about 7 years ago | (#20901909)

I bought a PS3 last December, the 60GB version, primarily because I had gotten a new 42" plasma and didn't want to spring for the expense of digital cable to get some HD content. The PS3 Blu-Ray/ combo was the best value for the money. I rarely play games over again once I have moved on to new ones. I still have my PS2 and can hook it up at any time, but I never have. Granted, I have a backward compatible capable PS3, but I only once ever even ran a PS2 title on it.

Resistance, the Marvel beat-em-up RPG, Tiger Woods, Skate, GRAW2 have all taken up my gaming time.

Ultimately, the lack of backwards compatability would not have kept me from buying one. Most TVs these days make it very easy to hook up a device through the front panel. Hooking up a dormant PS2 occasionally wouldn't be any problem.

It wasn't just software emulation.. why it matters (1)

acomj (20611) | about 7 years ago | (#20901941)

I have a ps2, its old now (7+ years?) and tiring.
The original ps3s had 2 chips that made it work like a ps2.
The ones that had worse emulation (europe and the us 80 gig) had only one of those 2 chips the other was emulated in software.
They've eliminated that chip.

I'm waiting to get a high def TV before I switch.
It seems incredibly short sighted for Sony to eliminate the backward compatibility that differentiated your system from the xbox. Now why shouldn't you buy and xbox, (besides reliability) the xbox has better games and is slightly cheaper and you can't play your ps2 games on ps3 or xbox360.

Who is running things over there at SONY anyway? They can't be that stupid can they?

Re:It wasn't just software emulation.. why it matt (1)

und0 (928711) | about 7 years ago | (#20902285)

My take on this is they rushed the crippled 40 GB model to not miss the next winter holiday season and they didn't have time to complete a full software emulator (they are late with the "Home" thing too). According to that executive, they seem to exclude completely a full software emulator, but i hope they reconsider the decision, like the rumble. (=

It *would* make sense... (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | about 7 years ago | (#20901975)

if there were 3rd-party PS2 emulators that actually worked. As it is, I don't see why the hell there can't be a VMWare type setup for the PS3 to run PS2 games if the PS3 is as powerful as Sony is touting.

It's a big deal. (1)

vitaflo (20507) | about 7 years ago | (#20902037)

The problem here is it's a slippery slope. People pay a lot of money for their software libraries and even in this throw away society many people still want to play their old games some time down the road. Say what you want about Sony but they have always been the leaders in BC on consoles. It's always been part of their plan, until now.

People say "just get a PS2 if you want to play old games", but this misses the point. In 10 years when the PS5 is out, how will we play PS3 games? Will I need to have my PS2/3/4/5 all hooked up to enjoy my old games? That's a bit much don't ya think?

The old cartridge based systems mostly didn't have BC because the physical shape of the carts were always different. Today, a CD/DVD/Bluray disc are the same size, and are all readable by the next gen consoles. The only reason not to have BC is laziness. Even software emulation would only be a one time project. Develop a kick ass emulator and then port it to each new system that comes out. Surely Sony has the technical ability to do this.

But in the end it's a poor long term decision on their part. Some may find it no big deal now, but as the generations wear on, it will become pretty annoying for those wanting to revisit our old game library.

I bought a PS3 last week (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 7 years ago | (#20902113)

I have a Wii and a 360 already. I figured I'd be buying a PS3 eventually, but I chose to do it last week. I picked up the 60GB one in the US, which has hardware bc. Here's why I bought it:

- Cheap blu-ray player (and 5 "free" movies with it - 3 I'd actually want to own, the other 2 I can give away as stocking stuffers or something)
- Plays PS3, PS2 and PS1 games. Nothing terribly exciting that is exclusive to the PS3 yet, but that'll change over time, I'm sure.
- My PS2 hardware's trade-in value is not getting any better, and I was offered $100 credit towards a PS3 + 50% more for each game I traded in. With all the stuff I traded in, my PS3 went from a price of $499 to about $300, with tax.
- The removal of hardware BC in the 80gb version and the removal of BC period in the lower end model. There are 60gb ones available now, but I don't know that they will be around all that much longer.

Honestly, I don't know what they were thinking with the removal of the bc entirely on the cheap one. Yes, people like me will go and buy a PS3 now while we can still get the hardware bc, but the people who'll buy a "budget" version are not the kind of people who'll want to spend $60+ on a game for it - they'll want to be able to go into a Gamestop and buy a half dozen used games for cheap (I just spent $100 on PS1 and PS2 games - I got 30 games (and some of those were arcade collections, so it's really more like 50-60 games) - MUCH better than spending $60 on Resistance, IMO).

For the record, I don't game THAT much. I recently decided to dump Windows entirely - gaming was the only reason I had a Windows machine. Sold my gaming rig, bought an the low-end iMac with the results (already have a MacBook for traveling and school and love it to pieces) and decided to just play games on the consoles. The only games that I would play ONLY on a computer rather than a console are out for Mac anyway and if I really just have to I can do bootcamp. The Wii is for parties, the 360 is great for multi-player games (and any title that comes out for multiple platforms will be a 360 title for me - the marketplace for added content and Live! play is just great), and the PS3 will be for PS3 exclusives, PS2 & PS1 games, and movies.

Anyway, that long-winded bit is my way of answering the question from the summary: Why'd I buy a PS3.

Brilliant (1)

Xenomorph.NET (969401) | about 7 years ago | (#20902119)

The ability to play PlayStation 2 games without requiring me to have a totally other system hooked up as well was a big selling point of the PS3. Having a "Blu-Ray" player that can't play all the HD-DVDs I want is *NOT* a selling point for me. Having the un-wanted Blu-Ray player made the cost go way up. To battle this cost, Sony tripped up, shot itself in its foot over and over, and then decided the best thing to do was drop backwards compatibility - despite statements in the past stressing the price of the PS3 was fine, and that backwards compatibility was a GOOD thing.

The undeniable inevitability of incompatibility (1)

TellarHK (159748) | about 7 years ago | (#20902175)

I strongly feel that we're not going to have a winner in the next-generation format wars for at least another year to two years, with HD-DVD's recent landing of some exclusivity deals and Sony's built-in install base for BluRay players among the few, the maybe-proud PS3 owners. I've pretty much relegated myself to knowing that I'll have to own both player formats, and as much as I wanted to start out with an HD-DVD player, this news of impending PS2 compatibility removal is what drove the addition of a PS3 to the A/V rack yesterday.

I have never been a Sony fanboy - not much a fanboy for anything, really - but after walking out of Best Buy with two BluRay movies and not a single game I have to admit I know what Sony was talking about when they said they were selling a home entertainment system and not a games console. The sheer potential in this hardware is pretty amazing, the recent firmware additions of things like remote play (PSP streaming) and upscaling playback really make DVD's look good even though PS2 games sometimes look... well, horrible might be the best way to describe it.

If Sony had all these features at launch, and hadn't been so damnably smug about how superior the system really was, I think things could have been a hell of a lot different. They might have retained some exclusives, and given gamers more reason than I have to want to put games on the machine. (Wireless Rock Band, woo!)

However, if backwards compatibility isn't a big thing for you, and you can afford to lose the SD/MMC/CF slots, and two USB ports, then the new 40G PS3 might be a good thing worth looking into. The hard drive is user upgradeable, and you can get 100 gig SATA drives for under $60 these days so the drive capacity itself isn't any kind of big deal. Of course, it'd be a lot more useful if they unlocked the video chip to be used by Linux installations...

$30 HW Cost Difference (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 7 years ago | (#20902245)

As I posted elsewhere in this discussion [slashdot.org] , a teardown revealed that the HW cost difference between the embedded HW PS2 and its SW emulation is about $30.

A generic statement of the problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20902295)

...does not actually support or explain the decision.

Yes, this IS a tradeoff. For ANY new console, it will launch with few, if any, games. Building in backwards compatibility can help sales because users don't have to throw their old games away. So spending money developing backwards compatibility software can be a good investment. And, yes, it can add cost that can potentially take away from other investments, or add to the console price.

But none of those facts make any justification for dropping backwards compatibility, and stating their reasoning this way belies their motives. Because the money is ALREADY SPENT when they did the launch. There's NO incremental cost to continuing to ship software they developed already. They already made their decision on how much to invest in backwards compatibility.

Bad choice (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 years ago | (#20902441)

I don't think Sony is being very smart here. There are still millions of PS2's sold, and new PS2 games being released - by not supporting backwards compatibility, Sony gives the gamer little reason to stick with the PS3 over some other gaming system for a new console choice.

I suppose a possibility is that this is an attempt by Sony to try and get gamers to buy more systems now, while they "support BC", and then amazingly reverse the decision later. I don't think that's the case though, I think it's Sony trying to save money.

If the really do have this as a plan, I don't know why they don't simply leave the software BC as-is, one of the arguments being that supporting future PS2 games would be too much work. Fine, don't support the new games - but support the library of games many of us already have.
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