Sony drops PS3’s backward compatibility

According to this Gamasutra news item, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is going to release a 399 Euro PS3 (that’s a 200 Euro price drop) with a 40 GB hard drive and no backward compatibility with PS2 games.

The most significant exception, according to SCEE, is that the new model is no longer backwards compatible with PlayStation 2 titles, reflecting what SCEE says is a “reduced emphasis” on the feature among later purchasers of PS3, and promises a total of 65 PS3-specific titles to be available in the region by Christmas.

So, PS3 sales figures are lower than anyone except Sony expected, and then when a new cheaper PS3 model comes out without a feature that requires special hardware, we are supposed to believe it is because gamers asked for the ability to do less with their hardware, and not because it would reduce manufacturing costs? This from the company that made up half a dozen lame excuses for not including rumble support in their controllers at launch? That created FUD about backward compatibility when Microsoft had trouble with it during the Xbox 360 launch?

I don’t think I am ever going to believe another official statement from Sony.

Comments 4

  1. Chris Wells wrote:

    Sony put far too many eggs in other baskets and completely forgot about the one that gamers actually care about… ie. games. Their hardware architecture is supposedly so advanced that even developers are reluctant to develop for and when they do, software is so far delayed that anything released is only mediocre at best. And now removing BC? The PAL PS3 only had software emulation anyways, why remove even that? HD movies are only worth while on TV’s 50″+ supporting 1080p which is such a small percentage of gamers that makes you wonder why they couldn’t release a player separate from the console. The argument being the future of gaming requires the storage of BR etc… however to fill a game disc with actual content and not just buffer, would take developers too many years to be profitable in an industry where you must release games as quickly as possible.

    Next on Sony’s patent pending list is the Blu-ray & wifi optional 20GB HDD version.

    Posted 09 Oct 2007 at 3:07
  2. Mark wrote:

    These are the Betamax people.

    I really like their consumer products. TV’s, etc. But like Microsoft, this is not a company that has a strong track record of visionary product development.

    Every evolution of technology brings Sony another impossible-to-avoid oppotunity to try to hold market share hostage through some sort of proprietary strangle hold. And they only end up strangling themselves.

    Posted 09 Oct 2007 at 7:52
  3. essel wrote:

    “This is not a company that has a strong track record of visionary product development.”
    Right. Except for the wildly successful PS2. And the PS1 which put Sega on the track towards doom. And the Walkman.

    “We are supposed to believe it is because gamers asked for the ability to do less with their hardware”
    Where have Sony said anything like that? It’s come up from research by both Sony and MS that only a fraction of gamers – around 5% if i remember correctly – actually use BC, and that’s what Sony are talking about here.

    Sony have made their fair share of early mistakes with their PS3 decisions, but some of the conclusions people use these mistakes to springboard onto range from typically cynical to downright dumb.

    Posted 09 Oct 2007 at 12:11
  4. Jurie wrote:

    >>It’s come up from research by both Sony and MS that only a fraction of gamers – around 5% if i remember correctly – actually use BC, and that’s what Sony are talking about here.<< Do you have any references for that? Are you saying this new PS3 model does not do less than previous models? Are you saying Sony did not mock Microsoft over the Xbox 360's backward compatibility issues? In any case, I am in that 5%.

    Posted 09 Oct 2007 at 12:37