February 26, 2007 - Following Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's bomb late last week regarding a possible drop in backwards compatibility for the European PlayStation 3, Japanese gaming site Impress Watch reports today that SCEE's Japanese parent SCEI has at last issued a statement on the matter, providing clarification into exactly what will be going on under the hood.
The current PS3 model that's available for purchase in Asia and North America achieves backwards compatibility through hardware, as each unit includes the "Emotion Engine + Graphics Synthesizer" combination CPU and graphics chip that powers the slim model PS2. The European version of the hardware will not have this chip, SCEI confirmed today. To achieve backwards compatibility, the European model will rely on a combination of hardware and software. Sony is including hardware of some form that will take the place of the Graphics Synthesizer graphics chip. The Emotion Engine CPU functionality will be replicated entirely through software emulation.
Sadly, SCEI did not clarify some of the vague terminology used in the European subsidiary's press release to describe the level of backwards compatibility that can be expected from the new system configuration. SCEI also kept mum on when the new version of the hardware will appear in other territories.
Thanks to http://ps3.ign.com/articles/767/767810p1.html for sharing the news with us!