Is Sony looking for a new company motto by any chance? If they are, I've got one for them - "Sony: Overpromise and underdeliver."
Yes, I'm back on Sony's case, and once again I'm ranting about the PS3.
Remember how the Sony PS3 production line ran out of steam last year and as a response Sony decided that the gamers from Europe, Middle East, Africa and Australasia didn't really want the chance to buy a games console before Christmas? Well, now it turns out that the PS3 which will be unleashed on these markets (which goes on sale on 23 March) has a different design to the Japanese and American consoles will not play as many PSone and PS2 games as consoles sold in other markets.
“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.” [emphasis added]
So, reading between the lines, Sony wants gamers to chuck away their old games and buy new ones. Is backward compatibility so hard? I don't believe it. The official line from Sony is that these latest PS3 consoles make use of a new combination of hardware and software emulation in which software takes over some of the functionality that was previously handled by dedicated chips. In other words, even though these PS3s will be the most expensive in terms of price, they are cheaper to manufacture.
Here's another rub. How do you know which games work and which don't? Well, Sony's set up a website specifically to answer those questions. It's here. Problem is, the site doesn't go live until 23 March - they day the reduced-compatibility PS3 is released.
That's just nasty. Sony must have an idea of which games work and which don't by now and rather than be clear it's choosing to sit on this information.
What if your favorite game's not supported? According to Sony support for some games will be added by software updates, but given that statement by Reeves, I wouldn't hold my breath.
So, if you're planning of picking up a PS3 in Europe, Middle East, Africa or Australasia, unless you're willing to bin (or eBay) your old games, don't sell your PS2 to fund your PS3!