Joystiq cites speculations that Sony’s upcoming Playstation 3 console may not actually be a hundred percent backwards-compatible as it was touted to be. This means PS3 users would have to say bye-bye to their current crop of PS2 and even PS one games, and then upgrade to PS3 versions, if they still intend to play those titles.
If the sources are correct, then the PlayStation 3’s backwards compatibility is not as certain as it once was. Software emulation is the same trick being used by the Xbox 360 to play original Xbox title, and Microsoft is still trying to get its back catalogue to function properly (as of today, our beloved Psychonauts is still not playable on our shiny 360 consoles). The source claims that “a surprising number of PS2 titles are already working on PS3 prototype hardware.” Sony must get the majority of its back catalogue compatible with the new PlayStation or they will lose one of their key speaking points.
At any rate, for me, this sounds pretty counter-intuitive, in terms of tech-speak. Perhaps the PS3’s architecture is so radically different from that of the PS2’s, that it would take a hit on the machine’s efficiency if the designers were to incorporate built-in support for 100% of PS2 games. But in terms of market support, this truly sucks. It’s like saying Sony wants its clients to keep on purchasing new hardware and software just to catch up.