E3 2008: Sony On Backwards Compatibility: "We're Not Going Back"
The subject of backwards compatibility has been a sensitive one between gamers and Sony since the launch of the PlayStation 3. The original 60GB model came with that nifty graphics synthesizer chip that enabled full b/c for both PS1 and PS2 software. But it soon became clear that Sony was moving away from the feature, and now, the current 40GB model doesn't support any PS2 software (despite being able to play all PS1 games).
With the announcement of the new 80GB PS3 at this year's E3, it should be assumed that backwards compatibility, at least as far as PS2 software is concerned, is gone. The new model will have "all the features of the current 40GB model," and you know what that means... Of course, SCEA CEO Jack Tretton was asked about this at a roundtable with journalists yesterday, and his reply was both clear and firm:
"I would like to have had it in there, but Sony's collective strategy determined we could afford to lose it. We've now gone down that road: we're not going back."
Contrary to what many believed, it doesn't appear to be a matter of cost; it's just a decision Sony has made. As Tretton went on to say- "We're selling PS2 software to PS2 customers, and selling PS3 software to PS3 consumers." That's it, and that's all. Therefore, we have to assume that full backwards compatibility will not return in any future iteration of the PlayStation 3. Hence, it's going to make the most sense to have both a PS3 and a PS2 in the future, which - for many people - isn't really a problem. In fact, these days, it costs less to buy a new PS3 and and a PS2 than it did to buy only the PS3 at launch. Ever think about that, guys?
7/16/2008 Ben Dutka