When it was
initially launched, many avid gamers considered the backwards compatibility
touted by Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PS3) to be one of the console’s largest selling
points.Not only was the console
promised to bring the next generation of home theater entertainment (Blu-ray)
to consumer’s homes, but it would also allow owners to continue playing many of
their older favorite PS2 and PS1 titles.As each new PS3 model has been released however, the availability of
this function has been brought into question – so much, in fact, that the
console’s backwards compatibility continues to remain one of the most searched
for issues on Sony’s PS3 support website: http://www.us.playstation.com/support/ps3.
models are backwards compatible and which ones aren’t?To answer this question, Sony provided the
following FAQ.The FAQ itself has undergone several changes
since the PS3’s initial launch, with the most recent revision taking place on
11/03/2008.In summary though, the only North
American PS3 models that have been acknowledged to be backwards compatible are
the original 20GB and 60GB models released in 2006, as well as the first wave
of 80GB models released in 2007.The
40GB model, the second and third wave of 80GB models (released in 2008), and the
upcoming 160GB model unfortunately do not support this feature.
are only some PS3 models backwards compatible?It’s simple, really.The original
20GB and 60GB models included a built-in processor called the “Emotion Engine.”This processor was primarily intended for use
within PS2’s, and was later integrated into early PS3 models to achieve
backwards compatibility to PS2 and PS1 games.The Emotion Engine processor was then later removed in favor of software
emulation on the first wave of 80GB models.Both the Emotion Engine and emulation software were ultimately removed
from subsequent generations of PS3’s – in theory – to save production costs.
you may own a PS3 model that is backwards compatible though, does not
necessarily mean that every PS2 or PS1 game will function on your console.Due to the differences in how the software and
hardware was designed, PS3’s may encounter some technical difficulties when
attempting to play PS1 and PS2 titles.While the most common problems encountered are generally minor graphical
errors, some major glitches (such as stalling) have been known to occur.More information on individual game titles
may be found here
on Sony’s support site, as well as additional notes regarding what users may
expect to encounter during gameplay.