232w ago - PlayStation 2's use the emotion engine as a processor, which was removed from PS3s to save money.
This killed off PS2 backwards compatibility, but Sony has a new software solution.
A patent filed by Sony has a method for the cell processor to emulate the emotion engine which can bring PS2 backwards compatibility to all PS3s.
To quote: There are two main ways to emulate hardware. Interpretation is when target code is decoded and converted into a language the host can understand. The other strategy is to decode and recompile programs in the host's language.
Maybe the concept is better explained another way. Interpretation is like having someone constantly translating English to Japanese for you, non stop, twenty four hours a day wherever you go. Decoding and recompiling is like someone translating a sets of words and putting them in a dictionary you can reference.
Sony developed a way to translate instructions from an Emotion Engine chip into chunks that can be referenced.
Figure 2 from the patent is a schematic drawing of how the system works. Figure 3A is a drawing of the PlayStation 2's chipset. Figure 3B is the emotion engine. Figure 4 is where the whole story gets interesting! It's "an example of a host system based on a cell processor that may be configured to emulate the target system." The target is figure 3B, the Emotion Engine.
There aren't too many reasons why Sony would want the PS3's Cell processor to emulate the PS2's Emotion Engine and the key one is backwards compatibility.
Perhaps, a firmware update or the new PlayStation 3 slim, which Ars Technica say is coming this fall, will utilize this technology.
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This is very exciting news! I originally wasn't interested in the Slim PS3 but if this is what they plan on adding into it, I may have spoke too soon.
Obviously, this is only in the event that this actually becomes more of a reality than it is now. I will still be torn on decided to keep my large model over the slim, I really think that losing OtherOS support is taking a big hit. I see enormous potential in it and I don't want to lost it if I decide to upgrade it to the slim model solely for this. I would love to finally be able to play some of my old PS2 games on my PS3 but I have lived without it for this long and besides it gives my actual PS2 a workout once in a great while.
Either way, Huge props to the one who found this! I am highly excited about this. Now if it actually comes out i'll be battling it out with my own mind over what to do next.
If they can make every single ps3 have ps2 compatibility my wild guess would be they are trying to make the same they did with the ps1 classics. That means we will have the best ps2 games on the psn to buy for 15$-20$ which is very good. Having a digital copy saves space, its easy, fast, fun plus it can be carried from account to account.
Not only that there are people that cant get those games as easily as people in the states, for instance my self. Having a packed psn store with ps1 and ps2 classics is like christmas to us non-usa people. Another great thing about this is you get the games whenever you want them for a resonable price.
Lately Sony has proven to have a lot of interest in online store and so far so good. I hope we get to have ps2 emulation for free on every single console so we can have full games right off the store. Theres people out there that have the money and want to buy those games but are unavailable.