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PlayStation (Games)

PS3's Back-Compat Loss Explained, Analyzed 266

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-play-ffxii-god-of-war-ico-shadow-katamari dept.
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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PS3's Back-Compat Loss Explained, Analyzed

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  • Beh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday October 08, 2007 @01:46PM (#20901183) Homepage
    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574)
      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.

      • by Zephyros (966835)

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by badasscat (563442)
          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 poi
          • 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...
            • 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: (Score:3, Funny)

                by nwf (25607)
                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.
                • by BigDogCH (760290)
                  Similarly, I have yet to buy a Ps3 or 360. I was leaning towards the PS3 for backwards compatibility. If they drop that, my decision is easier......360 guaranteed.

                  Sony must be ran by idiots.
              • by dlZ (798734)
                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.

                I just purchased Castlevania: SOTN on Xbox Live because of how much I enjoyed it the first time through 10 years ago. I still have an original copy somewhere, but the PS2 lives in basement (DDR has become a fixture in our gym. I beat on the heavy bag or lift while my better half spins or plays DDR. Great addition to any gym to switch things up
          • Add-on? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by MikeFM (12491)
            They should just provide upgrade slots so that we can add-on backwards compatibility if we want it by dropping in a card that'll provide the extra hardware. That way you can buy the consoles cheaper but can still have full backwards compatibility if you want it. Hell, I want a univiersal backwards compatibility card for mine that'll let me play any console game every made on a single console. I'd pay extra for it.

      • 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.


        They're not dr
        • You are correct, however, Sony's real hopes lie with the 40 GB model, not the 80. To not include such a major feature in the lower-priced model (this new price point may actually save them from total failure in this console generation, but we'll have to see) is pretty stupid, imho. It's like getting rid of the biggest problem, but introducing a new big problem at the same time... there isn't going to be that much of an overall improvement.
    • Re:Beh. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Babbster (107076) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {bbabnoraa}> on Monday October 08, 2007 @02:02PM (#20901477) Homepage

      (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.
    • by Moryath (553296) on Monday October 08, 2007 @03:05PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Pojut (1027544)
        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 p
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by buzzzz (767841)
        While I agree with you on the PSP, Sony's reasoning is quite obvious - they want to control usage of their products like every other company. However I have to say Sony has done more than ANY other gaming company to support open platforms without hurting itself. PS3 has standard hard drives, wireless, USB peripherals, Bluetooth etc. MS and Nintendo have completely locked in systems.

        On the Sony Online Store I complete disagree with you. Maybe it is because I am a late comer to XBox Live (I bought one with Ha
        • I never understand the complaints against PSN either at the moment. It's pretty straightforward. Sometimes it's a little disorganized, but I don't understand what makes it so much harder to use than say Xbox Live (which costs money and has a stupid currency system) and the Wii, which to my knowledge doesn't even have that much content other than SNES rehashes. Sony's done a good job of getting some quality, original IP on their Store and that actually is one of the highlights of the console.

          If you regula
          • by nschubach (922175)
            Agree. But I still think they need to code up a nice small front-end instead of using the browser. They can accept an XML feed and show the "PSN store" as if it were integrated right into the XMB. Up/down would select the category (Games/Videos/Trailers/Music/Backgrounds/Demos), off that you could select All/Newest (1 month), by Company, then Title. Or if it was robust enough, you could separate/sort it by Genre, Release Date, etc. There's so much they could do without going to the browser and using a
          • by Khuffie (818093) on Monday October 08, 2007 @10:48PM (#20906859) Homepage
            What's wrong with PSN? Here, let me give you an example when it comes to system updates for the PS3 vs the 360.

            On the PS3:
            1. Turn on console
            2. Get a message that a system update is required. Doesn't take you anywhere.
            3. Try to remember where system update is. It's under 'system' in the menu.
            4. Choose whether you want to udpate from disk or server.
            5. Wait for it to download. And the updates are either HUGE, or their servers are slow, because it takes a while.
            6. Press the PS button to confirm a console restart.
            7. Read through the EULA, hit okay.
            8. Update FINALLY starts going.
            9. Restart system again.
            10. If you're lucky, you can carry on. If not, you have to plug your controller with a USB cable.

            On the 360:
            1. Boot up
            2. Get a message that an update is available. Asks you if you want to update or not.
            3. If you choose yes, you see a download progress bar, followed by an install progress bar.
            4. System reboots, you're set.

            Takes about, ooh, 10 seconds on the 360, and 5-10 minutes on the PS3. You also neglect to mention that the 360 also has quality, original IP in their store that follows certain UI standards (ALL arcade games have 'exit to arcade option' to quit, all PS3 downloadable games have their own exit option that often isn't very clear on what it will do). The 360 interface for downloadable content (the Live subscription which you have to pay for is only for playing multiplayer games, FYI) was designed from the get-go for a console. It also has options for latest updates so you don't have to go looking for them, and doesn't expect you to use your analogue stick as a mouse to find content.
        • "Why don't they just use real money"??

          The reason NONE of them just take "real money" (even $ony makes you put predetermined amounts into your "wallet") is that it costs them money every time they want to access Mastercard/VISA's system. Blame the Credit Cartels for that one. I can see in a heartbeat why they'd rather have you access that system once to buy $25/50/75/whatever worth of "points", and only have to pay Mastercard/VISA their extortion once, rather than have a $2 Mastercard/VISA access charge ever
          • by Cheeko (165493)
            The other primary reason for the credit system is that its meant to later be used as a portion of a micropayment system. Users will in theory be able to offer their own content in exchange for other people's credits. Users will be able to sell maps, icons, what have you in exchange for credits. There was also talk of credits as rewards for online competitions.

            To date it hasn't been opened to the general public (specific vendors like Penny Arcade do however sell items for credits), but expect it within th
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by trdrstv (986999)

          Sony has done more than ANY other gaming company to support open platforms without hurting itself. PS3 has standard hard drives, wireless, USB peripherals, Bluetooth etc. MS and Nintendo have completely locked in systems.

          Nintendo what? Perhaps you're unaware that the Wii uses: SD cards, wireless, USB peripherals, Bluetooth etc.

          On the topic of this thread, I am certain they will offer two SKU's : one with and one w/o BC eventually on all markets to satisfy everyone.

          They'll have that option until the

  • by SilentChris (452960) on Monday October 08, 2007 @01:48PM (#20901201) Homepage
    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.
    • by toolie (22684)

      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 on this... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Monday October 08, 2007 @01:48PM (#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 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.
    • by Ecuador (740021) on Monday October 08, 2007 @01:58PM (#20901389) Homepage
      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... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Scootin159 (557129) on Monday October 08, 2007 @01:50PM (#20901245) Homepage
    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shados (741919)
      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 consol
    • 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 yea

      • by Fozzyuw (950608)

        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

        • They're supposed to have the downloadable game service up next year, and one of the first titles will be Impossible Mission.
        • by Bobartig (61456) on Monday October 08, 2007 @03:00PM (#20902333) Homepage
          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.
          • 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).

    • 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?

  • by Shrubber (552857) <pmallett@@@gmail...com> on Monday October 08, 2007 @01:53PM (#20901309) Homepage
    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.)
    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday October 08, 2007 @02:14PM (#20901655) Journal

      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.

    • "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
    • by Fr33z0r (621949) on Monday October 08, 2007 @06:23PM (#20904601)

      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.

      You sure about that? As time goes by the price of previous-generation games plummets. I had a small PS2 library (only AAA titles) when I picked up my PS3 and have since tripled it by buying up stuff I want to play through to get the story before their next-gen successors (like Ratchet and Clank), stuff I missed first time around (like Ico), party games (like Buzz), and stuff that was cheap enough that it was worth picking up if only for 10 minutes of enjoyment (like Forbidden Siren and, sadly, "Get on Da Mic" :)).

      I could keep my old PS2 around for them, but why should I when I've got my old favourites being enhanced with upscaled hdmi+optical audio goodness (Okami, Final Fantasy, Shadow of the Colossus, MGS, God of War etc) all without fucking around behind the telly or having to find another electrical outlet and dealing with the resulting mess of cables.

      Here we are almost two years after the launch of the 360, and I'm playing Halo 1 with the intention being to play through Halo 2 next, so for me at least, I would say BC is more important than you suggest. When I can walk into a shop and pick up a handful of Xbox/PS2 games for a couple of quid, I'll buy everything I find.

      Frankly Sony's biggest single problem with the PS3 is its cost.

      If by "its cost" you mean "the Xbox 360", you're exactly correct :D

      (somewhat serious) joking aside, I would say Sony's biggest problems with the PS3 are their arrogance, their blatant disregard for their customers'... sorry, "consumers'" desires, flagrant dishonesty, outrageously unethical business practices, a lack of care for the integrity and legacy of the Playstation brand, and their (to borrow a term I really can't stand) "flip-flopping".

      This is a company who:

      told us backwards compatibility was a core value (it wasn't)
      told us motion sensing was a gimmick (then added it)
      told us the PS3 could churn out graphics on a par with the Motorstorm CGI at E3 (it can't).
      told us the PS3's the only "true hi-def" console because all the games are 1080p (they aren't).
      told us rumble couldn't be done (it can)
      told us storage was make-or-break (then put in a smaller hard disk)
      told us $499 was too cheap (it wasn't)
      told us Microsoft was copying everything they do (but are happy to rip off achievements)
      told us we'd want to work more hours to buy one (we don't)
      told us we shouldn't worry about getting rooted (we should)
      told us the PS3 was a computer (then took out two of the USB ports and the card readers)
      told us PS3's were sold out across the board (they weren't)
      told us we'd buy 5 million units even if it had zero games (we wouldn't)
      told us Microsoft wasn't a technology company (wtf!?!)

      I'm a big fan of the Playstation brand, don't get me wrong. I just can't stand the way Sony behave as a company.

      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

  • It does make sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the_skywise (189793) on Monday October 08, 2007 @01:54PM (#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)
    • ...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 cabl

      • 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 co
    • by Babbster (107076)

      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

      • by Nossie (753694)
        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.
    • by Bobartig (61456) on Monday October 08, 2007 @02:24PM (#20901807) Homepage
      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.
      • by burndive (855848)
        Meanwhile, every Wii essentially IS a GameCube whenever you load a GameCube disc. From day 1.
    • by gmezero (4448)
      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 us
    • 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,
  • Just get a PS2 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zantetsuken (935350)
    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 li
    • Re:Just get a PS2 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sabinm (447146) on Monday October 08, 2007 @02:59PM (#20902325) Homepage Journal
      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.

    • 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...


      I really like my PS3. But i think at this juncture it's still going to be 80%+ of it's usage is going to be with PS2 games. I got every major Ps3 title that doesn't suck (AC4, Resistance, Heavenly sword, NG sigma, DW:Gundam) but those are done pretty quick. I still have a back library of about 30 PS2 titles that are considered great that I haven't even dented. Pro
    • If the PS3 were leading the current console generation, with dozens of top exclusive games, then I'd agree--forget about backwards compatibility.
      But the Wii is leading in sales, while the XBox 360 is leading in exclusive games. So this looks very much like a desperation move. Meanwhile, Microsoft is continuing to add XBox I titles to the 360 compatibility list, and of course the Wii has backwards compatibility with the GameCube. So this will leave Sony with the worst compatibility of the generation.

      Due to t
  • 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.
    • by toolie (22684)

      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.
  • by glindsey (73730) on Monday October 08, 2007 @02:01PM (#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.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by realmolo (574068)
      That's the thing. Consumers don't want BC. Or at least, they don't care.

      You get a skewed view of the world when you read nothing but gaming forums online. This crowd (for some reason) thinks BC is really important. But the "unwashed masses" don't buy a new console to play old games. They just don't. They don't care. Hell, many of them probably don't even realize there IS BC on there PS2 or PS3.

      Microsoft realized this when they went for pure software emulation of the Xbox, and then essentially gave up
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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 le
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Solra Bizna (716281)

      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...)

    • 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.
  • 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 R

  • 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
    • >i?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.

      They aren't eliminating it completely. only in their cheapest 40GB model.
  • 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.
  • 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 m
  • 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
  • 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
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday October 08, 2007 @02:53PM (#20902245) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • 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 t
  • Sony must be having a hard time reducing the cost of the console, which their potential customers have pretty much demanded they do. A lot of the PS3 exclusive games are getting a lukewarm reception, many of the multi-platform titles get released late on the PS3, and Blu-Ray is not popular enough for the average consumer to purchase it as a Blu-Ray player.

    They must be in a pretty tough spot if reducing the number of games that can be played on their video game console looks like a good way to sell mo
  • They still have plenty of PS3s with backwards compatibility (BC) in stock. They've also announced a price cut for those models with BC. If people really cared about BC, then they'll get one right now. Once the stocks have cleared, PS3 games will have gotten plentiful enough to persuade people to buy a PS3 for PS3 games only.

    People complaining about the cost are very likely the same ones complaining about the loss of BC. These people are probably perpetual pro-Microsoft Sony bashers that you see plaguing
    • As well, as it's been mentioned countless times, if you really care about PS2 games (after all the PS3s with BC are sold out), you can get a PS2 - comes complete with a rumble controller, portability, DVD player, and redundancy.

      This is exactly why it's such a retarded move. The PS3's biggest competitor is [i]already[/i] the PS2 - why would they want to give the PS2 yet another competitive advantage?

      If the PS3 hadn't sported full PS2 backwards compatibility, I wouldn't have bought one.

      People complaining abou

  • by analog_line (465182) on Monday October 08, 2007 @05:32PM (#20904087)
    ...because:

    1. I have a ton of PS2 (and PS1 for that matter) games that I both continue to play, have not finished, and am waiting for the price to drop down far enough on, so I can snap them up. The only saving grace of the PS3 as I saw it was consolidating 3 boxes down into one, and that's pretty much nonexistant now.

    2. There are now so many different versions of the PS3, I don't feel comfortable trying to figure out what exactly I'm freaking getting if I go get a refurbed/used PS3. The guy behind the counter at GameStop might tell me this is one of the ones that would play PS2 games, but do I know that for sure? Do I want to chance the day or more of frustration returning it would incur for me if the one I got turned out to be a version that wasn't what I was promised?

    I don't have any of the three next-gen consoles. The first one I get is most likely going to be a Wii (100% backwards compatible, interesting controller and gameplay, way cheaper). However there are some games coming out that are making me think about one of the more powerful consoles (since I don't feel like upgrading my PC anymore) and Sony is making it harder and harder for me to make that purchase a PS3 instead of an Xbox 360, even with the rampant hardware failures on 360s.
  • by seebs (15766) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @01:25AM (#20907715) Homepage
    There's no other word for it. Sony's vision of the PS3 is flickering around. Every month, they declare a new vision, and then, if they aren't ahead of the 360 at the end of the month, they try something totally different.

    I cannot believe they're doing this. Think of all the people who, having seen 100% backwards compatibility advertised since before the PS2 launched, are going to get a PS3 assuming it will let them play PS2 games. Maybe they own the games already; maybe they just plan to get the best ones. And then... Whoops. Not on THIS model. Just on other models.

    It's crazy, and it's stupid. The fanboys were all dismissing this, attacking it as "FUD" from "xbots", and so on... And now many of them are trying to pretend it's reasonable now that it's actually happening, but no.

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