Sony PS3 Europe Backwards Compatibility Bother

playstation3.jpgWhat is it with Sony that they just love to upset us Europeans? Not only do we have to wait months longer than our friends over the pond, but now they have been messing about with the hardware and hit the area which they always in the past boasted about!

Sony really is the company many of us love to hate it has to be said, but with silly announcements appearing on the Internet with the same regularity I watch HD DVD movies (fairly often!), it is a wonder that Sony has any fans left.

So what is the latest blunder? Well apparently European models of the Sony PlayStation 3 will not have the Emotion Engine chip. This is the brain that supports the PlayStation 2 for backwards compatibility within the next generation console. Sony have been very eager to express the absolutely huge library of titles on previous PlayStation systems at the PS3 launch, so it seems odd they are tinkering yet again. It is true that software emulation can save the day, however Sony have already been reported as saying that the quantity of backwards compatible titles available will suffer.

The original PS3 used the Emotion Engine/Graphics Synthesiser to emulate PS2 titles. With the latest European specification we have removed the Emotion Engine, retaining the graphics chip. This has an impact on the number of PS2 titles that will be backwards compatible.

So should PS3 owners feel at a loss? Well actually it is more likely that Sony will concentrate all their efforts on this new software emulation route and totally ignore the Emotion Engine chip in earlier generation PS3 units. Maybe the Emotion Chip was actually holding back the backwards compatibility and in the long run this could actually be a good thing, allowing better graphical enhancements like we see on the Xbox 360 (Full Scene Anti-Aliasing and much higher resolutions).

Whether any of my predictions actually turn out to be correct, it still is damaging to Sony to have yet another change at a hardware level so early in the PlayStation 3 life regardless of any benefits.

James Woodcock

Freelance Journalist, Author, Blogger & Podcaster specialising in gaming and technology.

Ever since he experienced the first controllable pixel movement on the television screen, he has been entranced by the possibilities and rewarding entertainment value generated from these metal and plastic boxes of delight. Writing hundreds of articles including commentary and reviews on various gaming platforms, while also interviewing well known industry figures for popular online publications.

  • StagedDread

    The point on Emotion Engine has pi**ed me off. As if the waiting was not enough

  • ramageddon

    The Playsation 3 will be unleashed in just a week, but I’m certain that initial sales will definately get dented. The Emotion Engine was a significant part to the console’s constitution and its absense coupled with the release delay will probably be the main cause for sales upsets on Sony’s part.

    If more and more people were to opt for cheaper – more reliable alternatives like the revolutional Nintendo Wii or the impressive XBOX 360 (as is evident all over the Internet), then this would be a recepie for trying times for the Playstation. BUT, not to sound too pessimistic – time will tell. I sincerely hope Sony preserves its position at the top.

  • Spikiey

    Dont waste your money on Ps3 Let Sony know what you think of there atitude to Europe. There nothing but con merchants. If they expect you to dump your PS2 game then you know what to expect next time in five years it will be time to dump your PS3 games for there next con.

  • orr

    i am living in America and planning to move to israel in a few months… i have a question about the different zones, and if i will be able to watch movies or play games purchased over there… any thoughts?

  • Games you should be alright, but movies I believe Israel has a different zone, but you could try importing from the US to Israel to get around this problem.