PS3 Backwards Compatibility With PS2 Games

The PlayStation 2 video game console has a full library of great titles, such as God of War, Gran Turismo 4 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The PlayStation 3 has added to the PlayStation library of games, but many gamers still wish to play older titles on the newer console. This was possible when the PS3 first launched, but backwards compatibility for PS2 games has since been removed.

Hardware Emulation
The PS3 consoles that launched the system in 2006, the 20GB CECHB01 and the 60GB CECHA01, featured backwards compatibility with PS One and PS2 games through hardware emulation. The Emotion Engine, the chip that powered the PS2, was included in the PS3 in order to support backwards compatibility. This added considerable cost to the system, which resulted in a $499 and $599 price point for the two models.

Software Emulation
The second generation of PS3 console, the 80GB CECHE01, featured backwards compatibility through software emulation. The Emotion Engine was removed to save money and produce a cheaper machine, so the software on the PS3 was programmed to support backwards compatibility. Unfortunately, fewer PS2 games were compatible with this form of backwards compatibility.

By the third generation of the console, which brought a 40GB version in 2007 and a 160GB version in 2008, PS2 backward compatibility support was removed. The 40GB version brought the PS3's price down to $399 to compete with the Xbox 360, and backwards compatibility was a casualty on the way to that price point. The PS3 Slim, released in 2009, continued this trend. However, all consoles still support backwards compatibility for PS One games.

Sony's Stance on BC
As of April 2010, Sony has no plans to bring backwards compatibility for Playstation 2 games back to the PS3. The PS3 has a substantial (and increasing) library of games, so Sony sees no need to add backwards compatibility.

When the PS2 was launched in 2000, it offered backwards compatibility with most games from the original PlayStation console. It also supported memory cards and controllers from the PS One, so gamers could carry over their game saves.


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