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PlayStation (Games) Sony

Sony Releases PS3 Back-Compat Checker 68

Posted by Zonk
from the does-it-work-with-a-or-b dept.
With the 60GB version now 'sold out', the 80GB version of the PlayStation 3 is quickly going to be the only option for consumers in stores. Besides the hard-drive size, though, the two systems have another fundamental difference: the 80GB unit handles backwards compatibility with software and not hardware. What games work on the two console versions is now a bit trickier. To aid in your comprehension, Joystiq notes, Sony has released a handy online game checker to let you know how your library will fare. Over at Curmudgeon Gamer, they have an examination of a game library looking at both a PS1 collection of titles and a group of games from the PS2 era. Assuming this random sampling to be in any way indicative, it looks like there isn't much difference between software and hardware compatibility for PS1 games ... but PS2 games might not have an easy time of it.
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Sony Releases PS3 Back-Compat Checker

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  • Why does the more expensive PS3 use Software for emulation instead of hardware? It's clear that the software is worse than hardware, yet the hardware emulation machines were cheaper. Is there a site that explains this at all?
    • by musikit (716987)
      because hardware costs money on each station. where as software doesn't. plus after they get their software emulator "good enough" to a point i'm sure they'll push it back to the original game developer to just hot patch it for ps3.
      • by tarun713 (782737)
        ...Which most developers won't do, and so you're stuck with a game that's not backwards compatible, but really should be.
      • because hardware costs money on each station. where as software doesn't. plus after they get their software emulator "good enough" to a point i'm sure they'll push it back to the original game developer to just hot patch it for ps3.

        They can also do fun things like extra Anti-aliasing, upscaling, and perhaps some other tweaks. The software emu is still far superior numerically and as a ratio to the 360's backwards compatibility. 80%+ vs ~30%.
        • by badasscat (563442)
          They can also do fun things like extra Anti-aliasing, upscaling, and perhaps some other tweaks.

          Apparently you're a little behind, because the hardware-back compatible 60GB model has been able to do these things with PS2 games for months now. It was just a firmware update that enabled it all.
          • Apparently you're a little behind, because the hardware-back compatible 60GB model has been able to do these things with PS2 games for months now. It was just a firmware update that enabled it all.

            I am aware it can and have a 60gb one. All of these fun features are from the software emu. Other tweaks haven't come yet but the upscaling and AA were enabled in a very early firmware revision.

            If you turn off these features it goes back to hardware emu. If you leave any on it's Software emu.
      • Hardware could be tweaked to add graphcial improvements also. If you leave the interface layer the same, and just beef-up the underlying layer, it's not unreasonable for things like higher-resolution support, better AA, etc. to be added.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by njfuzzy (734116)
      My incredibly detailed scientific answer based on market research and confidential sources:
      It's cheaper.
    • by IndieKid (1061106)
      It's probably easier to produce a patch for the software emulation that enables more titles to be played on the PS3. There are still games being made for the PS2 after all and it's entirely possible that newer titles might mean re-work to the backwards compatibility.
      • by iapetus (24050)
        I'd imagine it's more likely that Sony will insist that games must run against the PS3 software emulation as part of their acceptance testing for all future PS2 games.
      • by brkello (642429)
        Wrong. With hardware, it is like having a PS2 inside your PS3. You don't need to patch your PS2 every time a new games comes out for it, do you? Like other said, it has to do with it being cheaper and the ability to improve the graphics of the older games at the cost of not having full compatibility with most titles.
        • by IndieKid (1061106)
          Hmm, I suppose I assumed it wasn't just PS2 hardware inside the PS3 box, but a different chip to allow the PS3 to perform the operations that weren't possible natively on the cell processor. Not sure why I thought this, maybe because the PS3 claims to improve the graphics of the PS2 games it supports, but in hindsight that could just be upscaling of the TV signal before it leaves the PS3.
    • by Nazmun (590998)
      They probably were still taking a hit on ps3 sales and probably just wanted to stop bleeding money on console sales.
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      It's clear that the software is worse than hardware, yet the hardware emulation machines were cheaper.

      No, they weren't. The PS3s with the Emotion Engine hardware are undoubtedly more expensive to make than those without. Remember the 60GB PS3s were only discounted because Sony was trying to clear them off the shelves to make way for the 80GB version.
      • by CJ145 (1110297)
        When I said cheaper I meant that they were selling them for less (not cost less). Thanks for explaining the price drop on the 60GB model though. I figured that $100 for 20GB of extra space was a bit of a stretch (though it sounds like something Sony would do).
    • Explanation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rbarreira (836272) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:39AM (#20540551) Homepage
      Apparently, it has been Sony's plan all along to drop the hardware solution for backwards compatibility after some time. Facts follow:

      When the PS3 was launched in PAL regions, it was launched without the hardware solution already. At that time, emulation was even worse than now, but has people said, it has been improving. There are still lots of problems though from what I've heard.

      Now that they've improved software emulation a bit, they're ready to force it down the throats of American customers too. They stopped manufacturing the 60 GB units, and from now on will only produce 80 GB PS3 without software emulation, which will reduce their huge losses due to selling hardware at a loss.

      They have said in their latest financial report conference that they expect to reach profitability in hardware sales later rather than sooner.

      More likely than not, the new 80 GB PS3 is cheaper to produce than the soon-to-be-discontinued 60 GB one, because they cut out the PS2 chips, and, in terms of hard drives, 80 GB might even be cheaper than 60 GB, due to 80 GB being a very common disk capacity for laptops (note that the PS3 hard-drive is 2.5 inches, meaning the variety used in laptops).

      I hope the above wasn't too confusing, feel free to ask any questions you might have...
    • by TuRDMaN (1152943)
      From what I've read, there was a group who made an ISO loader (although never released it, so who knows...) that worked on the original PS3s with hardware emulation, but then when they tried it on the EU PS3s with software emulation, it didn't work. Apparently it needed the PS2 hardware to work. Maybe this could be a reason for Sony to remove it from all PS3 models.
  • To Clarify (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Duffy13 (1135411) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:27AM (#20540333)
    As the above posters have mentioned, Sony removed the hardware emulation to cut costs on the unit and added another 20GB to make you feel like you got something in exchange. The problem (or not depending on how you look at it) is that they increased the price by $100 for 20GB...yea thats not what I would call an "acceptable" cost trade-off. Thus they made the 60GB look much more lucrative for those who care about the backwards compatibility, die-hards, or to those looking for a better deal. In turn the 80GB looks like you get something for the extra $100 to the ill-informed.

    Which is precisely why the 60GB model is a better deal. It possesses both hardware and software emulation, thus insuring near 100% backwards compatibility and the ability to scale-up games that work with the software emulation. And it's $100 cheaper then the 80GB version. Of course this is all an attempt to clear the 60GB model out of the warehouses, so they can push their cheaper to manufacture 80GB. Which should receive a price drop by about $100 or so sometime shortly after the 60GB model is entirely sold out. At least it should, it would be very stupid of Sony not too.

    And thats the best explanation I can give of Sony's current actions, hope it helps.
    • by DrXym (126579)
      And it's $100 cheaper then the 80GB version. Of course this is all an attempt to clear the 60GB model out of the warehouses, so they can push their cheaper to manufacture 80GB. Which should receive a price drop by about $100 or so sometime shortly after the 60GB model is entirely sold out. At least it should, it would be very stupid of Sony not too.

      It's fairly obvious that once the 60Gb model goes out of stock, a bundle-less 80Gb model will step in to replace it at the same price or even lower.

      The softw

      • by Duffy13 (1135411)
        I will say the software BC I've seen so far is very good, including some PS1 games that the PS2 couldn't even play. The upscaling is also pretty dam good. Just saying with the hardware and software BC all your bases are covered.
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      As the above posters have mentioned, Sony removed the hardware emulation to cut costs on the unit and added another 20GB to make you feel like you got something in exchange.

      Uh, no. They added 20GB because 60GB drives are going to be if not already more expensive than 80GB drives, since 80GB is what all the manufacturers are switching to. It's the exact same reason as cutting the Emotion Engine hardware: Cost.

      As to whether the 80GB gets a rapid price drop once the 60GB versions are gone, that all depends
    • Re:To Clarify (Score:5, Informative)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor[ ]et ['f.n' in gap]> on Monday September 10, 2007 @12:08PM (#20541015)

      As the above posters have mentioned, Sony removed the hardware emulation to cut costs on the unit and added another 20GB to make you feel like you got something in exchange. The problem (or not depending on how you look at it) is that they increased the price by $100 for 20GB...yea thats not what I would call an "acceptable" cost trade-off. Thus they made the 60GB look much more lucrative for those who care about the backwards compatibility, die-hards, or to those looking for a better deal. In turn the 80GB looks like you get something for the extra $100 to the ill-informed.


      Well, they did sweeten the pot a little more. The 80GB models on the shelves right now come with Motorstorm, and a tossed-in HDMI cable. So while it doesn't cost Sony any extra $100 for these extras, it might tilt the value proposition that way for the consumer. (After all, it's only a little bit extra in cost - a game plus a cable is only a few bucks for Sony).
      • In addition, the $499 price on the 60GB was a clearance price to get rid of the 60GB consoles in stores to replace them with the 80GB bundle.

        It's like comparing "we're getting rid of these" prices on 2007 model cars to the new prices on the 2008s.
      • by ShakaUVM (157947)
        Just got the 80GB -- no HDMI cable. Still comes with a composite AV cable, of all things.
        • by G Fab (1142219)
          Me too (I am weird and just got a second PS3 - don't flame me)

          You can get an HDMI cable from Amazon for about 2 dollars plus three for shipping. Just a tip.
    • by Duffy13 (1135411)
      Apparently their is a now a "mole" inside Sony that claims the 80GB model will drop to $399. I see this as distinctly possible.

      http://blog.wired.com/games/2007/09/rumor-40-gb-ps3.html [wired.com]
  • since the PS2, to play PS1 games on the newer systems it wa entirely a software emulation. there is no hardware emulation hence why PS1 games should play identically between the hardware and software based PS3. the hardware emulation was that the PS3 had an Emotion Engine Chip (PS2 processor) next to the Cell proc. Every system software update, it makes the software emulation better anyway so just because you cant play a PS2 game on it now doesnt mean you will never be able to. Many of us still have our PS2
    • by kurokaze (221063)
      umm.. no, in the PS2, the I/O chip was actually a PS1 CPU, therefore there was 100% hardware compatibility with PS1 games because the PS2 simply used the I/O processor to run it.
    • I'm going to have to correct your first point. The PS2 uses the PS1's CPU as its I/O processor, allowing original PlayStation games to run on their original CPU. (Source: Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] )
  • by Harlockjds (463986) on Monday September 10, 2007 @12:14PM (#20541113)
    >With the 60GB version now 'sold out', the 80GB version of the PlayStation 3 is quickly going to be the only option for consumers in stores.

    Kotaku/Ars Technica says otherwise

    http://kotaku.com/gaming/rumor/40gb-ps3-with-spider+man-3-for-christmas-298145.php [kotaku.com]

    for those too lazy to click Sony may be coming out with a 40GB system for $399 and dropping the price of the 80 gig system to $499 (and including spiderman 3 as a packin for both). Yeah it's an odd move but I've stopped trying to explain Sony's product moved logically long ago.
    • by MikeFM (12491)
      I'd rather they release a version without a hdd, for cheaper, and let me put my own hdd in. For $100 I can put in a 500GB drive which just makes the drives they include look tiny.
      • by SScorpio (595836)
        Good luck getting the HDD to fit. The PS3 uses 2.5" like you'll find in notebooks. Good luck buying something better than a 250GB drive and getting one anywhere near $100.
        • I don't see why people would use internal hard drives as it is. Anything above the base 60GB/80GB isn't going to be necessary for games, and movies/music can be stored on either an external hard drive or networked storage.
          • by G Fab (1142219)
            It's a small hassle to get your 500 gig usb HDD to Fat32, the only format that the PS3 will read, but this is a much smarter move than upgrading the internal HDD.

            I can just move the drive around to other systems and use it to backup things if I really need it for that.

            However, with games alone, my PS3 HDD is filling up. And I own hundreds of PS2 games, so it's possible that a massive PS3 HDD will be necessary in a few years.
  • From what I've heard PS2 games looked horrible on the PS3 due to scaling issues, so i'm wondering that while you lose 100% backwards compatibility losing the hardware chip you could potentially gain better scaling with software emulation with updates. is this the case, or should i go and find me a 60gb?
    • by Bardez (915334)
      As a 60 GB PS3 owner, I can say that of the few PS2 games I've tried with the PS3 (since I have a PS2 HDD, a Wii, and less time on my hands now that I've out of college), I've not noticed and bad graphics for PS2 games on the PS3. They look... the same. Possibly a little better. The only problem is that I have to keep switching my TV between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios, but there's this magic little button on my remote that does that for me. Those might be the scaling issues, I dunno.

      Just sayin' I've not not
    • by GabeCube (1154525)
      Actually, the scaling problem has been fixed in one of the updates, and now the system even upscales the image all the way to 1080p. It's not exactly re-rendering in that resolution, but in some cases it does help.
    • Perhaps there was a problem whent he system came out (I honestly just don't know).

      But PS2 games usually are upscales and smoothed very well. The effect is a minimal improvement, since my TV is much better too and requires the new resolution, but it is technically a significant improvement.

      But to be honest, the ability to play PS2 games is way overrated. I want next gen games. If I wanted to play new games with PS2 graphics, I could always borrow my daughter's wii (not trying to be mean, but serio
  • by r_jensen11 (598210) on Monday September 10, 2007 @02:05PM (#20542951)
    Since a bunch of people on the internet were able to reverse-engineer an emulator for it that works very well without any documentation from Sony.

    All joking aside, of course the PS3 isn't able to properly emulate PS2 games. I mean, the Emotion Engine produces graphics [that] are so amazingly lifelike [findarticles.com], for Christ's sake!
    FTFA:

    Sony and partner Toshiba say the new graphics processor has enough power to show humanlike motions such as facial expressions, as well as to learn, and to recognize speech. One analyst says it will merge TV and video games.

    I mean, how can the PS3 compete with that?
  • by Stevecrox (962208) on Monday September 10, 2007 @03:27PM (#20544247) Journal
    I bought a PS3 in the UK a month or so ago, it came with software version 1.6 which couldn't play the few PS2 games I threw at it. Once I setup the wireless connection I was imediatly upgrade to 1.9 and my small library of PS1 and PS2 games (probably a total of 60) all play on it. I'll agree some games (GTA SA) don't look as good on the PS3 as they do on the PS2 but Sony do seem aware of that. I'm more than willing to believe Sony will fix the issue considering how many times they've released software updates for my PSP. This is only my expearence there are probably games out there which don't play but I'm betting Sony will get the emulation upto 99% before jacking it in. I just wish PS1/PS2 memory cards could be connected to my PS3.

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