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Backwards Compatibility May Return To The PlayStation 3

Granted, this is nothing more than personal speculation, but we are using history as a foundation for this hypothesis so it's not merely wishful thinking.

When the PlayStation 3 launched back in 2006, it held the disagreeable price tag of $599. Perhaps some weren't aware at the time, but the inclusion of a special graphics synthesizer chip, which allowed for nigh-on full backwards compatibility for PS2 software, contributed to the exorbitant retail price. It wasn't long - a matter of months, really - before Sony decided to remove the chip from new PS3 models and embrace emulation for PS2 software; something Microsoft does with the Xbox 360 concerning original Xbox games. This meant that rather than 98-99% b/c for the PS3, we had about 75-80% b/c, although gamers were thankful to find that most all popular PS2 titles were included in the "compatible" list. Then, Sony abandoned even that, and the PS3 would only play PS1 games and zero PS2 games. For those of you with relatively large PS2 libraries who had sacrificed the PS2 when they purchased a PS3, this came as a significant blow.

Now that you're aware of the history, let's switch gears for a second: at the start of this generation, Sony would often say that force feedback in controllers was a "last-gen feature," which is why they didn't include it in the original PS3 controller, the Sixaxis. But the fan outcry was big, and Sony eventually responded with the Dual Shock 3. Switching back to the hardware, Sony has said we shouldn't expect a price drop any time soon, although many analysts and game journalists say we should anticipate a cut this holiday season. In the meantime, Sony has issued several press releases outlining the reasons why the PS3 is worth the money; why it offers more than the competition. However, two things appear to be happening: 1. people really are clamoring for PS2 backwards compatibility to return (PS1 b/c never went away), and 2. everyone really needs a price drop. Rumors of a Blu-Ray-less PS3 have shifted around a bit, but that doesn't even make any sense.

Furthermore, the economy really won't allow for a price cut right now. Sony just managed to drop the production costs down to around $440 per machine, and they can continue to lower that number. They can do this because the cost to manufacture many of the individual parts for the machine has been slashed; new technology costs less and less as time goes on, remember? Therefore, perhaps it would be possible to assume that bringing full b/c back wouldn't cost nearly as much as before...? And if you're not going to drop the price, perhaps bringing back a beloved feature amongst long-time PlayStation fans might further prove the machine is worth the price of admission. "No, you don't need that PS2 - which still costs $129, by the way - because your PS3 will play all your PS2 games you still enjoy!" As the cost of producing the console continues to fall, Sony remains insistent that a price cut isn't coming, but for what may come as a minimal price to them and at no additional charge to you, they can really cater to their avid followers.

It's just something to consider. Backwards compatibility really may be a feature that simply won't ever return, but you never know... Nuttier things have been known to happen.

3/8/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (67 posts)

Hexen
Sunday, March 08, 2009 @ 10:53:34 PM
Reply

I have my motor storm bundle so I'm happy for now even thought is limited is good enough.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 08, 2009 @ 11:11:15 PM

Ditto

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CH1N00K
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 8:12:46 AM

I got the same, I just hope it doesn't tank on me. Although, I find I'm playing my old PS2 games less and less as more and more great titles come out on the PS3.

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Daedusian
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 10:50:41 AM

same here Ch1nook.

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LimitedVertigo
Sunday, March 08, 2009 @ 10:53:58 PM
Reply

I agree that BC will come back for the PS3 eventually BUT only after Sony stops making PS2s. They are still selling quite well and the inclusion of BC on PS3s only hurt this figure.

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zerostar39
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 4:30:16 AM

good point

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FFXIIIon360
Sunday, March 08, 2009 @ 11:04:01 PM
Reply

Will this mean I have to get a new PS3?

Last edited by FFXIIIon360 on 3/8/2009 11:04:12 PM

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Cpt_Geez
Sunday, March 08, 2009 @ 11:04:43 PM
Reply

Doesn't matter to me II own the 60gb launch model.

Last edited by Cpt_Geez on 3/8/2009 11:10:45 PM

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coverton341
Sunday, March 08, 2009 @ 11:11:35 PM
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If it does come back I feel bad for everyone who got a PS3 in the in-between days.

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kidgrid
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 2:50:18 PM

Oh yeah that would be my dumb ass

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, March 08, 2009 @ 11:15:07 PM
Reply

It makes sense IF Sony plans to bring people into the new generation and proliferate the PS3: Many people don't collect consoles, in fact many people find that the shift to the next generation is only possible if they sell their system from the last generation.

PS2 may still be selling, but if all the Sony development studios are working on titles for PS3 then it is an investment that is worthwhile because it allows people to stick with their old library, and allows for the sale of the old system on ebay or something so that they can catch up, and then be engrossed in the available software for PS3.

In short, at some point they will have to see the PS2 is dragging them down more than helping them along, but people still want their old games to work.

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Jizmack
Sunday, March 08, 2009 @ 11:31:36 PM
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Backwards Compatibility is coming back when ps2 is gone in a year or two, its only thing that makes sense, no more ps1, so lets let them play ps1 games, no more ps2, let them play ps2 games.

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Aftab
Sunday, March 08, 2009 @ 11:41:56 PM
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I have got a 60gig sku, and the last time I've actually used the b/c was to play through the Metal Gear Solid anthology before playing MGS4. Since then...nothing. I'll probably repurchase SOC, because that game is a masterpiece, and I'll probably play the GOW's again before playing the grand finale. But my general feeling is that b/c is overrated...you want it if you don't got it. Moreover, if feel you must play the games of yore, it means games aren't evolving and devs aren't doing their jobs. Even the greatest iconic classics are replaced. Mario butt-stumped Qbert. Master Chief, for many, pawned Mario. Even Master Chief will be put to the firing squad one day (if Infinity Ward didn't do it already).



Last edited by Aftab on 3/8/2009 11:42:32 PM

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Aftab
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:11:14 AM

I'll go further to say that games of tomorrow will make the classics of today out-of-date just like Qbert or Pong or Asteroids. Enjoy them as the come, but I wouldn't get to hung over my euphoric past. But I see how having b/c is a pretty cool thing in the matter of convenience.

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Geobaldi
Sunday, March 08, 2009 @ 11:43:50 PM
Reply

Hopefully it will come back at some point. It's not required though. PS2's are still plentiful and fairly cheap. But when the day comes when my orginal 60GB PS3 dies, which it will eventually, I'd like to know that a new PS3 will still do the same things as the one it's replacing.

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Neurotoxiny
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:00:50 AM
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I think they should have backwards compatibility returned because I had a whole lot of PS1 and PS2 games when I got the 60 gig and I'm set, but my friend has a billion PS2 games and didn't want to buy a PS3 when it first came out and now that PS3's don't support PS2 games anymore, he doesn't think he'll buy one 'cause of that.

Sony would probably get a large sales spike if they had a new model that supported PS2/PS1 games.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:25:30 AM
Reply

Amazing how certain people think they can still invade. Too stupid to even use a different handle. Unbelievable.

Aftab, sorry for deleting your posts to Deadmeat but TRUST me, he's not worth your breath.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:27:03 AM

I'm linking to PSXE from my new site as "PSXExtreme: Over 10 years Fanboy Free" ;)

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:32:00 AM

I'm confused who is deadmeat? I have to admit I thought what he was saying was real...sorry if I was ignorant.

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Aftab
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:39:53 AM

Thank you, kind sir.

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blitz30952
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 2:18:23 AM

Oh man, I missed it!! :(

On topic: I very much wants my backwards compatibility

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:26:10 AM
Reply

Woah, there goes my comment, guess "Deadmeat" is Dead meat.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:31:48 AM

Yeah, sorry. Some people we're fully aware of will always be insta-banned.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:36:49 AM
Reply

I want answers and I want them NOW

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:53:21 AM

LOL You needn't worry.

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PS3_Wizard
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 @ 9:39:12 AM

I'm 95% sure it was Josh, Vertigo.

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Phoelix
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:37:47 AM
Reply

The thing we're doing with Sony is demanding that we get a superior product at a lower price. I don't know how well that flies with them, seeing as how they do have to pay their employees and please their investors.

The B/C is gone for a reason--cost. I'm not so sure that Sony will bring it back; I mean, consider how visually stunning some of the next gen titles are, why would people even bother with the downgraded graphics of last gen? (I'm definitely NOT saying that old games are bad. New ones just have more technology behind them) They are probably betting that by the time they actually can afford to put B/C back that people will have quieted down about it anyway.

I certainly wish that Sony could afford a price drop and the inclusion of PS2 hardware, but I don't think they can afford to do it.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:47:03 AM
Reply

I'll take a better game with worse graphics than a worse game with better graphics any day.

PS2>PS3 so far... and that is why my almost endless collection of PS2 games has seen quite a bit of playtime due to the weak as hell RPG lineup on the PS3.

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firehahahahaha
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:47:56 AM
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lol how could the PS3 be Blu-ray less, when all the games are on Blu-ray...lol

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 2:58:23 AM

Some people still think you can put next gen games on DVD, :D

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wano
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 4:59:28 AM

wewm..you can, but you end up using a shed load of processor to decompress it all. which is what all the drones seem to conveniently forget when arguing about space / disc format ;)

Last edited by wano on 3/9/2009 5:01:47 AM

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wano
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 @ 5:57:44 PM

Thats one of Kojimas games though (they are dam big). Most current games can fit on a DVD9...(with compression)

I wouldnt say "impossible", Unless you think that all 360 games and all cross platform games are not next gen (who knows, that might be the case in a few years time)

Dont get me wrong, I completely agree that the future of next gen games is deffinately not on DVD9 media. The games coming out over the next few years will more than likely demand a lot more space.

Last edited by wano on 3/11/2009 6:01:45 PM

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englishgolfer
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 2:06:51 AM
Reply

i reckon we'll see lots of ps2 games on the store in the future. for me it makes sense from a business point of view. it might cost sony, say $50 (no idea of the exact figure), to make the ps3 b/c but if you could sell each game on the store for $5-10 you'll make more money.

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Fenrir
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 4:06:03 AM
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From the economic point of view it wouldnīt be clever to bring the b/c back to ps3. As some of the previous speakers said. ps2 is selling well and even new ps2 games are developed and selled. Ps3 owners so far, are not crying out that loud about b/c, that Sony has to react. Maybe itīs because most of them have a ps2 as well. And bringing back b/c would also to significant damage to companies public image, because the "Old guard" himself said that there will be no b/c except the 60GB Version. Not even an emulator software. This statement was too clear to be taken back. I think there will be a price cut around Nov/Dec 09 probably 50$.

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KevinCairo
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 4:06:11 AM
Reply

It's very possible that b/c will return eventually, but I agree that it will not happen until the PS2 is out of production. Also, considering the current production cost, I wouldn't get my hopes up about it for a long time because the PS3 hardware is still far from profitable enough for a company in hard times to start giving out goodies. Imagine what a mess it would be if sony brought b/c back now, raising manufacturing costs and increasing sales at an even greater loss, while emphasizing playing PS2 titles as a cheap alternative to PS3 games AND reducing PS2 sales. That would not be wise any time soon.

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KevinCairo
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 4:14:51 AM
Reply

Another thing: I don't understand where "experts" come off saying they expect a price cut here or there as if their speculation has any logical basis when they suggest things as idiotic as a blu ray-less PS3 and Sony denies price cuts (and with good reason) on top of it. Seriously, what basis does anyone have for these predictions? Obviously price cuts would be nice for sales figures and consumers, but if that's the reasoning then let's expect a price cut every other week because it would increase sales, albeit at a retarded cost to Sony (but who cares about them, right?).

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 4:15:01 AM
Reply

Well ive got mine anyway :), bit geuuted i cant play Shadow of Memories and Farheneight and Tekken Tag, but everything else works

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wano
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 5:04:44 AM

Ulti, r those ames u mention for the hardware or software bc?

just wondering if the hardware bc definitely plays 100 percent of all ps2 games

i have the 60 software bc, eveything i have works...luckily

although vice city looks like crap :(..

Last edited by wano on 3/9/2009 5:16:52 AM

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Alienange
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 6:23:57 AM
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Turns out my PS2 games look like crud on a 40" 1080p. I'd still pay for an emulator though. Big time.

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ed_winchester
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 7:22:33 AM
Reply

i read somewhere a while back that there is an exciting new SKU on the way. This could mean a slim n lite one but thats hardly exciting coz Sony always do that with their consoles, maybe they could be adding full b/c (and hopefully all the spec to make it the same as the launch ps3's)

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Diggity Dan
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 7:49:46 AM
Reply

I never really cared about B/C and understood the big deal. I mean, if for some reason I wanted to play those games I can always fire up my PS2. Even if you're strapped for cash to afford a PS3, it's not like you'd get a lot of $ by selling your old PS2 anyways. Just hold onto both.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 9:38:18 AM

My 2001PS2 broke a few months ago. Of course true fans will hold on to their older systems, the inclusion of BC just makes life easier and only helps to ensure those treasured games from the past continue to see the light of day in the future.

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Geobaldi
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 6:36:06 PM

I'm on my third PS2 now. The lasers went out on my previous two. Sure hope Sony fixed that issue with the PS3.

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rell
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 8:30:04 AM
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Sony will bring b/c back because once the support of the ps2 run out, sony will tell developers to shift over to the ps3.

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N a S a H
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 8:40:57 AM
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I don't get it, if you're so desperate for backward compatibility why don't you just go buy a PS2? They're the same price as a standard PS3 game. PS3 is made for playing new games for the PS3, not playing old ones. I have BC on my PS3 and I've never used it. Maybe once or twice but I wouldn't be complaining if it wasn't there.

and another thing, if all these people wanted to play PS2 games so much why did they sell their PS2's in the first place? or do they just want to do it all in the same system for convienience sake.

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maxpontiac
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 9:06:21 AM
Reply

My four steps for Sony.

- Introduce backward compatibility on the PS3.

- Stop production of the PS2.

- Lower the price of the PS3 by $100 USD.

- Advertise, advertise, advertise.

With the amazing line up of exclusive titles this year, the pieces are in place for Sony to have an excellent year.

Last edited by maxpontiac on 3/9/2009 9:06:57 AM

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Banky A
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 1:40:17 PM

Yes!

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Sir Shak
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 9:26:46 AM
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This is the last year of the ps2 . Sony should launch a new offer this holiday season - 'A PS2 free with every PS3 . '

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Diggity Dan
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 9:32:15 AM
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"and another thing, if all these people wanted to play PS2 games so much why did they sell their PS2's in the first place? or do they just want to do it all in the same system for convienience sake. "

Exactly... I never got the whole b/c thing. If it slashes $25 or $50 off the pricetag, b/c shouldnt be on the PS3.

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Orvisman
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 9:50:48 AM
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My two cents?

Sony will eventually offer backward compatibility via a download for all those who purchased a nonbackward-compatible PS3.

As for whether Sony adds backward compatibility to new PS3s via a chip in the future, who knows. Sony has gone back on its word before (DualShock 3).

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pavlovic
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 10:10:15 AM
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b/c is overrated.

With all the good PS3 or 360 games out there, I forget to play my old PS and PS2 games on my 60GB launch PS3.


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SaladFingers
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 10:37:45 AM
Reply

Stop listing your opinions and thoughts as news :|

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CH1N00K
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 10:54:49 AM

He didn't, he listed it in the first paragraph as Personal Speculation...It's up to us the reader to decide if we'll keep reading.

If you don't like the way they run the web site...stop reading.

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SaladFingers
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 11:58:09 AM

I'm fairly certain that is says PS3 News in the top right hand corner of the screen. This coupled with the title of the article is quite misleading

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:58:13 PM

It's just an editorial. I know it's mislabeled but I've explained this before.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 3:51:25 PM

What a gomer.

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Phoelix
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 6:22:00 PM

He may have a point, though; if someone is just glancing at the page before going to work or whatever, they may think of it as news instead of a tutorial.

Better yet, someone types in "Playstation 3" into Google News and gets this story.

If you put "Editorial: [the rest of the title]" it'd be quite clear.

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GHill4Life
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 11:32:35 AM
Reply

Ironically enough I have a 60gig with full B/C and have only played GOW II on it. Still tempted to try Shadow of the Colossus. Most of my friends who had PS2's have already switched to the 360 with the exception of my little brother who has a PS3. Had some fun online with him last night with COD:WaW

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 3:52:41 PM

Any chance they urged you to get GoWII cuz that damned thing was already almost next-gen?

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bxshotboi
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 12:21:03 PM
Reply

man the ps3 is the best with bc like many others i got my 80gb motorstorm bundle and my girlfriend has it too and only so that she can play our ps2 games it was a good idea for sony to take it out in the begginin for the sake of the company but i also think it would be smart to get the bc back in there becuz now wit all the games comin out and on the ps3 people will be willin to buy the expensive system since now every1 wants to realize that the ps3 is a great investment

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Zemus101
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 1:26:40 PM
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Yeah I think they'll put b/c back in once ps2 is off the shelves. I have the 80gb Motorstorm bundle ps3, but I don't use it all that often. I'm glad I have it though when i installed FFXI on the HDD, couldn't have done it without b/c. I've been thinking about going through FFX again though, will it really look that terrible in HD? hmm ... I hope not, i don't want to have to hook up my ps2 to a crappy SD tv or somethin:P

Last edited by Zemus101 on 3/9/2009 1:27:43 PM

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isaya85
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 2:00:19 PM
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Well to be honest b/c won't do me any good cuz I traded my PS2 games back when 360 first came out so I could care less about it I'm all PS3 now

PSN ID Biggest_GMoney

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NoSmokingBandit
Monday, March 09, 2009 @ 3:16:01 PM
Reply

I hope the bring it back, but not for the obvious reasons.
If they bring back the ps2 emulator then they will work on optimizing it and slimming down the code. They might then try to make it work on the psp2 so we can download ps2 games from psn and play them on our psp2's. I have the motorstorm bundle, so i already have the ps2 emu, but sony sould really focus on how to use it outside of the ps3.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 @ 4:38:04 AM
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For meself, as I've already stated many times before, I "NEED" B/C so I can free up my A/V unit jacks. That way I could swap out the jacks with my PS2 to a PS3.
Plus I have about 120 PS2 games & I play some of them almost daily.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 @ 4:43:51 AM
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BTW, Can somebody here explain to me why(and how) a non-B/C chip machine can still play PS1 games????

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Totalz
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 @ 12:57:49 PM
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I recently bought a used PS2 with Timesplitters 2, MGS2, Max Payne, Bully, Beyond good and evil, Medal of Honour Frontline and Farenheit for around ÂĢ60 (UK) and it was worth it. I'll feel like a right chump if B/C comes back after spending that money...

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Dingodial
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 @ 9:36:35 PM
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In a way I want it to come back but at the same time I don't. I feel sorry for everyone that has bought the 40/80/160gb. systems since most of them thought they would be able to play their PS2 games on their new systems but instead got a rude awakening. But at the same time, I feel special since my 60gb. has it & if it came back, then I would feel ripped off for paying $500 for a PS3 with only 60gb. of hard drive memory - compared to today's 160gb. systems for the same price. If backwards compatibility came back, the only stuff seperating the 60gb. owners from the rest of the crowd would be 4 USB ports, memory card slots, & a chrome trim. Does anyone really care about extras like that? I do to a certain extent but if my PS3 didn't have them, all I would have to do is just get a memory card adapter ($15), a USB extension adapter (under $10), and hire someone to put a chrome trim on it.

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