Sony Japan Talks Backwards Compatibility...Kinda
It was a shock to learn about the PS3 architectural change for European PS3s last week; the change that would eliminate that super-special chip the Japanese and U.S. PS3s have; the chip the enables full backwards compatibility without the need for emulation. And now, after the uproar that immediately followed, SCEI has commented on the issue. Japanese gaming site Impress Watch has the statements this morning, but they weren't exactly earth-shattering words.
According to the site, the European model of the PS3 is going to rely on a combination of hardware and software to pull off PS2 emulation, which will take the place of that missing Graphics Synthesizer chip. Therefore, the Emotion Engine CPU functionality will be recreated - as best it can - through software emulation. SCEI didn't tell us exactly how much backwards compatibility can be attained from this setup, and they also remained tight-lipped on another big issue: if this new PS3 model will replace the "chip-ed" models in the U.S. and Japan.
The official comment does little to stem the tide of disappointed outcries, nor does it go into specifics regarding...well, much of anything. But as of now, it's the only statement we've got from Sony, besides the initial words surrounding the announcement. We'll keep you up to date on any further developments.
2/26/2007 Ben Dutka