Sony working on super-PS2 backwards compatibility for PS3

June 30, 2009

Sony working on super-PS2 backwards compatibility for PS3Some gamers have criticized the PS3 in its lack of PS2 backwards compatibility on all PS3 models. There are some PS3 models out there with either hardware or software for PS2 backwards compatibility, but there are also models out there with none. However, don’t give up hope yet as it seems that Sony is working on a solution for just this problem.

Siliconera was able to dig up a patent Sony recently filed which outlines a new method for PS2 backwards compatibility (BC) on the PS3. Apparently the new tech for BC on the PS3 involves the system to replicate the exact ins and outs of an Emotion Chip, which is the PS2 processor. The new tech would allow for the PS3 to retain libraries of code that function exactly like the code on the Emotion Chip.

This is a much more superior technique to reproducing PS2 BC than having emulation software that translates and converts PS2 games into something the PS3 can understand. Usually this type of emulation requires constant tweaking of the emulator so that each and every PS2 game will work properly on the PS3.

However, building a set of libraries that enable the Cell processor to output Emotion Chip language will ensure that any PS2 game will work on the PS3 without needing to be tweaked. In essence the Cell would behave exactly like the Emotion Chip instead of running some middleware emulation software on top of the processor that tries to simulate the behavior of the chip.

The bottom line is that it seems like Sony has been hard at work on perfecting this new tech for BC rather than continuing to support the existing emulation software found on many of the 80GB PS3s. I recall that Sony had to tweak the firmware on a constant basis to ensure that at least 80% of the PS2 games could work on the 80GB model.

I believe the best model is probably the 60GB with an actual Emotion Chip soldiered on the PS3′s mobo, which has almost near perfect BC. However, if this new tech is released via firmware by Sony then I can see it being just as good as hardware BC. The big question now is when will Sony release this backwards compatibility software?

37 Responses to “Sony working on super-PS2 backwards compatibility for PS3”

  1. arckain:

    I knew it. Why else would I be able to create a ps2 memory card on my non backwards compatible ps3?

  2. lock_down:

    Sony would be better served refreshing the PS2 with wireless DS3 controllers than adding BC to the PS3.

    Though if adding BC speeds up getting PS2 titles on PSN then I won’t complain…desperately trying to get my hands on MGS3: Subsistence without paying some pretty ridiculous prices…

  3. Andrew_DS:

    Whats the point. Hasn’t the whole world (except me) got a ps2 anyhoo?

  4. oldschool1987:

    yh but why have so many consoles plugged in at once? or keep unpluggin a console to play an older one?

    i have my gamecube, PS3 and Xbox plugged in atm, no room 4 another lol. anyway my PS3 is BC, i fort they all were?

  5. Knighthawk:

    “Whats the point. Hasn’t the whole world (except me) got a ps2 anyhoo?”

    Um about 7 billion people in the world, about 150 million PS2′s sold. So um… no! lol. Anyways I got a 60GB launch PS3 so I’m pretty much covered. Though I have hardly used the BC feature at all!

  6. Barnabe Jones:

    “The big question now is when will Sony release this backwards compatibility software?”

    My guess is around the launch of the PS3 slim and firmware 2.8… around the holidays.

  7. CAD:

    “Though I have hardly used the BC feature at all!”

    Personally I feel the same way. I’m not sure about most people but I know what displays on the 360′s friend list when a xbox original is being played and I have never seen anyone playing a last generation game on the 360. I do it from time to time (meaning about 5 times/year) but really if the 360 never was BC I wouldn’t even care. There is so much new games to try and games that are coming that I’m a bit overwhelmed at my choices. PS3 People are always stressing they want BC and for what? Are you really going to go back with so much new games to try. I’m happy I can play the old games but I’m turned off when my hard work that is saved on my original Xbox has to be done all over again because the game save cannot be brought over to the 360 so really what is the point. Just move on and leave playing older game to the older systems.

  8. harry sachz:

    i can’t say that I have played any of my old Xbox games on the 360 either.

  9. Roca.:

    yeah nobody uses BC, but then they act like they care… the only games ive played on my PS3 are God of War II, Shadow of the Collossus, Final Fantasy XII and Persona 3

  10. harry sachz:

    So what did you do with all the PS2s you bought to cheat on Socom with?

  11. Akaro:

    I use it.

    Due to work, I skipped most of the last generation… so I have some games pending. Also those games are now ridiculously cheap.

    Also, imagine a newcomer who just got a console this generation. Wouldn´t it be great to be able to enjoy the games from the last generation too? I think it adds a lot of value to the console.

  12. Barnabe Jones:

    I’ve played 2 PS2 games since the PS3′s release. Great games that I missed last gen. Played during a slow release month.

    I have to agree. I think it’s a great feature, but not as important as it’s being made out to be.

  13. Roca.:

    So what did you do with all the PS2s you bought to cheat on Socom with?

    lol i remember those days… good times! good times

  14. SW:

    @CAD – ‘PS3 People are always stressing they want BC and for what?’

    I dunno dude, it seems like CarlB is always stressing about PS3 BC to me!..

  15. Arvis:

    I’ve used the BC in my PS3 quite a bit. Even recently I’ve been replaying FFXII. It’s a convenient feature.


  16. lock_down:

    The slim PS3 rumoured to be coming as early as July…

    Maybe this and this BC patent are not a coincidence.

  17. CarlB:

    I don’t think this would be nearly as big of a deal if PS2 never had this capability and PS3 didn’t start out with it. Even the Wii has bc w/GC (is there a difference there?). One of Sony’s major selling points, that they stressed way back when (and everybody conveniently forgot about), was that the PS3 would be the only console with full bc with the entire company catalog.

    It’s not going to mean much to some people who don’t have a large PS2 library, but for those who do, like me, there are a lot of great games that are great to replay, so why not wait for a PS3 model that has full BC (and superior BC), let alone one that costs 100 dollars less? I do have a PS2, but I would simply prefer to be able to play these games on the same system if possible.

    Roca, awesome games. Aren’t you glad you can play them on your PS3? Maybe I’ll be able to do the same when the $300 slim comes out, and save $200 in the process. Until then (and even well after) my 360, PS2, PSP, iPhone, and DS all provide more than enough of a selection to take up my time.

    SW, breathe.

  18. CarlB:

    Looks like I may have a short wait!

  19. SW:

    ‘SW, breathe.’

    Come again?

    Or are we singing prodigy songs? (the ones with words that is)

  20. lock_down:

    That’s a coincidence, I’ve just been watching The Prodigy at Glastonbury.

    Never gets old does Breathe.

  21. CarlB:

    “CarlB is always stressing about PS3 BC to me!”

    1 point of 3. It used to be 4.

  22. SW:

    Alright, I surrender.

    I’m not quite sure why, but I do.

    @lock_down, Not coincidence, I’ve been watching you ;)

  23. Arvis:

    SW is a twisted firestarter.


  24. lock_down:

    SW, what you thought you may have witnessed involving me and harry was not what it looked like…

  25. SW:

    So he wasn’t clearning a blocked colon with his fist?

    Then what WAS he doing?!? :|

  26. Rhino:

    Backwards compatibility…meh.

    My PS2 is being used by my 5 year old to play Wall-E & Bee Movie. I’m only interested in the here and now, and future games like Uncharted 2, GT5 etc.

  27. Rhino:

    All Aussie gamers, don’t let the government filter you’re gaming experience.

    Stand up for your rights!!!

  28. me_:

    “All Aussie gamers, don’t let the government filter you’re gaming experience.”

    And how exactly do we do that? Vote Howard back in?

    Anyway a lot of people don’t necessarily have the previous console. Personally I went from N64 to PS2 to XBOX360 so BC wouldn’t have matter to me much for any of them.

    I don’t think I’m alone either.

  29. harry sachz:

    I miss little Johnny. At least he had lips, not like Kevin ’07.

  30. me_:

    Freaky eyebrows too :P

  31. kev:

    sony fanboys:
    pre ps3 launch – the ps3 is the bestest because it has full backwards compatibility

    post launch – the ps3 has more backwards compatability than the 360 so it’s still the best.

    removal of b/c from ps3 – it’s okay, i still have a ps2 to play the old games on. the ps3 doesn’t need it. who cares if the 360′s b/c library is growing.

    rumored addition of b/c in the ps3 – “the ps3 is the bestest console in the world becuase they’re trying to get b/c in the ps3″…

    if they weren’t so pathetically stupid, the ps3 fanboys would actually be funny…..

  32. SW:

    ZINGED by Kev!

  33. ncaissie:


    What the hell are you talking about? You’re such a retard. You take statements from multiple people and repeat it like it was from one person. Grow up!

    I want BC because I don’t have a PS2 and there are a lot of cheap games I want to play from the PS2. So stop making shit up, your only making yourself look like a kid.

    Not Zinged by Kev!

  34. Arvis:

    Microsoft fanboys with original Xbox:
    “My console has a more powerful processor and better grafix! And there’s a hard-drive in each one instead of those dumb external memory cards! Who cares that PS2 is cheaper and can play stupid OLD PS1 games and has a bigger game selection? Those PS2s break all the time with their DREs anyways!”

    Microsoft fanboys with Xbox 360:
    “My console is cheaper and has MORE games than yours! It’s all about the games! Who cares that the PS3 is more powerful and has a hard drive in each one? I don’t care about RRoD! Better games, better console! FACT!”

    It would almost be humorous were it not for the blatant, half-witted, brainwashed hypocrisy.


  35. ncaissie:

    LOL your right Arvis

  36. kev:

    Arvis – so you finally admit there was a widespread problem with the ps2′s reliability… and yet here you sit, ready to crucify ms for the 360 reliability…hypocrite much? bah…of course you do….

  37. Arvis:

    And the award for Most Times Missing The Point In One Lifetime goes to… Kev!

    *rousing ovation*


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