Is Sony Gimping European PS3′s?

Sony has issued an odd press release stating that, basically, the European PS3 won’t be as capable when it comes to backwards compatibility as its American and Japanese counterparts. The release says the console will “be compatible with a broad range of original PlayStation® (PS) titles and a limited range of PlayStation®2 (PS2) titles.” The unfortunate thing is they’re not saying just how “limited” that is.

They have announced the website http://faq.eu.playstation.com/bc to list exactly which games will work and which won’t, but sadly it’s not slated to go live until the PS3 hits European store shelves, meaning if you had your heart set on playing a certain PS2 title you may not find out whether it works until you get your system home and pop the disc in yourself!

Attempting to put a positive spin on this is Sony Computer Entertainment Europe President David Reeves, who had this to say:

Games designed for PS3 offer incredible graphics quality, stunning gameplay and massively improved audio and video fidelity that is simply not achievable with PS and PS2 games. Rather than concentrate on PS2 backwards compatibility, in the future, company resources will be increasingly focused on developing new games and entertainment features exclusively for PS3, truly taking advantage of this exciting technology.

Exciting indeed.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Announces Hardware Specification of PLAYSTATION®3 for Europe

London, 23 February 2007 – Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) today announced that PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) to be launched in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Australasia on 23rd March 2007 would utilise a new hardware specification.

The European PS3 will feature the Cell Broadband Engine™, 60 GB hard disc drive, Blu-ray Disc player, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, SIXAXIS™ wireless controller. It also embodies a new combination of hardware and software emulation which will enable PS3 to be compatible with a broad range of original PlayStation® (PS) titles and a limited range of PlayStation®2 (PS2) titles.

“PS3 is first and foremost a system that excels in playing games specifically designed to exploit the power and potential of the PS3 system,” said David Reeves, President of SCEE. “Games designed for PS3 offer incredible graphics quality, stunning gameplay and massively improved audio and video fidelity that is simply not achievable with PS and PS2 games. Rather than concentrate on PS2 backwards compatibility, in the future, company resources will be increasingly focused on developing new games and entertainment features exclusively for PS3, truly taking advantage of this exciting technology.”

Some additional PS2 titles will become compatible on the PS3 system through regular downloadable firmware updates, which will be made available through the PLAYSTATION®Network, from http://www.playstation.com or via PS3 game discs, with the first update planned for the launch date of the 23rd March 2007.

Users will be able to check whether their titles are compatible with PS3 at http://faq.eu.playstation.com/bc. This site will be available on 23rd March to meet launch day.

1. A device compatible with Linear PCM 7.1 Ch is required to output 7.1 ch audio, supported by Dolby TrueHD or a similar format, from the HDMI OUT connector.

2. This system does not support output from the DTS-HD 7.1 Ch. DTS-HD 7.1 Ch audio is output from a 5.1 or lower channel.

3. Usability of all storage media types is not guaranteed.

4. Certain PlayStation 2 format software titles may not perform properly on this system. Visit faq.eu.playstation.com/bc for the latest information regarding compatible titles

Legal Notes:

l Storage media (“Memory Stick”, SD memory card, and CompactFlash®) are sold separately.

l “Dolby” is a trademark of Dolby Laboratories.

l “DTS” is a trademark of DTS, Inc.

l Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is an authorized licensee of the CompactFlash® trademark.

l HDMI, the HDMI logo and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC.

l “Blu-ray Disc” is a trademark.

l The Bluetooth word mark is owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such mark by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is under license.

l “Memory Stick” is a trademark of Sony Corporation.

l “Super Audio CD” is a trademark.

l “PlayStation”, “PLAYSTATION” and “PSP” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Also, “Cell Broadband Engine” and “RSX” are trademarks of the same company.

tim.stevens

Freelance journalist and software architect based in Upstate NY. I write for a variety of different places (as you’ll see) -- maybe even for you if you ask nicely.

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