Sony has responded to PS3 backward-compatibility critics - sort of.
The response doesn't come directly from Sony but instead through Sony's "unofficial" Three Speech blog, a strange sock-puppet blog under the control Sony's PR department. What's disappointing is that this "announcement" doesn't reveal any new information.
There is an amusing side to the blog post on Three Speech though - they way that Sony still dodges the real questions. For example:
If this is a business decision to save cost, why are users left to bear the burden, having to purchase a system inferior to those sold in the US and Japan at a higher price?
The PS3 launching in Europe is every bit as powerful as the PS3s available currently in North America and Japan. PS3 is defined by key features such as the CELL broadband engine, its Blu-ray drive, the SIXAXIS Controller and its ability to output full 1080P HD game content which makes it an entertainment system for the future, without equal.
PS one titles remain backwards compatible and we will continue to assess the compatibility of PS2 titles right up until launch We will continue to offer firmware upgrades to increase the number of titles that are compatible, but 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.
What makes for far more interesting reading are the comments on this post. These really show how potential customers feel. Here is a random selection:
It seems clear now more than ever that sony are unable to deliver the concole experience they envisioned and that their vision was grossly unrealistic…
That is sucks, I am thinking seriously to cancel my PS3 pre-order
I will now cancel my preorders. On launch day I’ll check the backwards compatability list and then decide whether or not to purchase a PS3 based on the contents of that list!
Most revealing was the last question. That tells us that there are NO advantages whatsoever to the consumer in this change. If the new emulation was able to add AA and/or output in HD, then we’d have something to cheer about.
Agree with the above, the answers are utterly atrocious. Updating a website with a list of compatible games *on* launch day does not cut it as releasing information sufficiently in advance to allow potential buyers to judge whether the backwards compatibility is “sufficient” for their needs. Whilst PS3 games are naturally a priority, Sony’s rep’s attitude towards the BC in the future has been sincerely at odds to their attitude when they were boasting about how infinitely better the PS3’s BC was than the 360s’.
This is completely rubish!!!! I have pre-order my PS3 and now the hardware as been changed! and my point is that we are paying more that the others and get less hardware inside!!!! this is a total lack of respect! I’m in Portugal and i have already payed for my pre-order! I’m totally p**** off!!!!!!
I’m going to canceled my pre-order!!! Sony isn’t geeting my hard earned money!!!
I had a pre-order placed for the European PS3, but the whole BC debacle has made me cancel it. Sure BC isnt everything, but for £425 (a lot more than the US and Japanese PS3s) I dont expect an inferior box, with inferior capability.
People are upset, and I'm not surprised.