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CES 2009: Why Your PS3 Doesn't Have Backwards Compatibility


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297w ago - I can't help it; whenever I look over at my giant shelf full of fantastic PS2 titles, or read about a great title like Persona 4 coming out for the lingering system, I look under my television at the shiny PS3 that won't play any of them, and it makes me grumble.

We all know, of course, that in trying to keep the PS3 cost-effective, backwards compatibility was a feature that Sony felt they needed to abandon.

Still, as a gamer who still cares about these things, I found it interesting when I was shown, at CES, just how this had been achieved. While exploring the Digital Experience! event at the Mirage, I visited the Rambus booth, where a pair of PS3 motherboards were on display.

As the helpful Rambus representatives explained to me, their business is the design and implementation of integrated memory and chips in various consumer electronics, including a particular Sony videogame console. They had helped Sony to create the original hardware for the PS3 launch hardware, and later, had also helped refine the PS3 motherboard into a more efficient and streamlined system.

In this photo, the Rambus rep is pointing to a launch-era PS3 motherboard; that particular area on the left is essentially a PS2, contained within the PS3 architecture – the fabled "Emotion Engine." The board above it is a much more recent iteration of the PS3 hardware. You can see, it's quite a bit more compact, made smaller by the conspicuous removal of the leftmost portion of the board. What do you suppose is missing?

Looks kind of like it was removed with a hacksaw, doesn't it? This is why your PS3 can't play Persona 4 or Amplitude or Tekken. And now you know!



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dynamitekid547's Avatar
#4 - dynamitekid547 - 296w ago
would be nice to have a b/c ps3. i have plenty of title id like to play once n a while but hookin my ps2 up to my HD tv jus isnt gonna work.

idone's Avatar
#3 - idone - 296w ago
@Kraken

because current models dont have the Graphics Synthesiser chip that launch pal consoles had and the first 80gb ntsc consoles had.

there is your answer. sony is cheap...lol

daveribz's Avatar
#2 - daveribz - 296w ago
Ummm no....

While the original 20 and 60gb PS3s used the emotion engine, the original 80gig units did backwards compatibility through software. Since the software doesn't cost Sony a dime after development, I want an explanation as to why all current PS3 models do not have it.

Wrong. It used PART HARDWARE, and part software =[

Kraken's Avatar
#1 - Kraken - 296w ago
Ummm no....

While the original 20 and 60gb PS3s used the emotion engine, the original 80gig units did backwards compatibility through software. Since the software doesn't cost Sony a dime after development, I want an explanation as to why all current PS3 models do not have it.

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