[UPDATE] Why Free PS2 Compatibility Won’t Happen

August 24, 2009 Written by Draisey

psls-editorial

Despite the amount of praise Sony recieved for making the PS2 fully backwards compatible with PS1 games, and the PS3 initially compatible with most PS2 games, the Japanese gaming giant made a full 180 degree turn last year when it eliminated all PS2 compatibility from its future systems. Some consider this a byproduct of Kutaragi-san’s departure from the PlayStation division at Sony, but there may be larger things at stake.

A source over at PlayStation Insider not only has doubts that a universal software emulator could ever work on PS3, but also can confirm that a PS2 emulator has been in the testing process for the past year. But even if it completes the testing process and fully works with nearly every PS2 title in existence, I seriously doubt Sony would include it with a free firmware update.

ps2-inside-ps3

Yes, the patented technology shown to accomplish EE+GS emulation is real. How well it works though probably depends on which game the emulator is running. Even with EE and GS hardware directly on its motherboard, the 20GB and 60GB PS3s weren’t able to properly run a lot of PS2 games. And it wasn’t until about a year after launch that the hardware-based emulator finally worked with more than 95% of all PS2 titles.

Eliminating the EE chip in the 80GB PS3s dropped PS2 compatibility to around 80%, introducing odd problems in titles that otherwise worked on the launch systems. And of course, once PS2 hardware was eliminated from the PS3 motherboard for later revisions, PS2 compatibility completely disappeared. Many PS3 owners have been demanding it back, but the sad reality is that backwards compatibility should have never existed in the first place. It puts a huge burden upon the hardware manufacturer to make 8~10 years worth of back catalog titles work on hardware that they weren’t built to run on.

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