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Thursday, March 01, 2007

To Mercury News: No != Less

I just had a big response to Dean's statement that the PAL PS3 had "no" backward compatibility, when he goes and corrects himself:

I’m just starting to shake my head. Sony has announced that its PlayStation 3 consoles for the European market won’t be backward compatible with the PlayStation 2 or the PlayStation. (OK let me fix that: will be less backward compatible with the PS 2; PS 1 games compatible).
-- Sony’s Latest Black Eye: No (ok ok a fix: Less) Backward Compatibility In Europe.

People seriously need to stop freaking out - especially to the point of wildly misreporting the facts. Reading the press on this and announcing the PS3 has dropped all BC is about as bad as assuming the PlayStation 3 wouldn't play Blu-Ray movies (from the top 10 worst). There is simply a huge gap between zero and some unknown number. It's like I tell the guys who write the specs ... you have to appreciate that the difference between infinitiy and any number might be a problem.

The exact impact on this has yet to be determined - however, Sony has said they hope to have at least 1,000 PS2 titles working for the PS3 when it launches in European. The official Xbox site lists like 300 titles compatible with the 360 - and I've certainly never read Dean complain about the 360's BC strategy. Dean goes on to complain that some equestrian requires rumble, and hence doesn't work on the PS3 and (by his logic) that means another undetermined amount of titles won't run on the PS3.

I've stated many times that backwards compatibility is a huge selling point for me across any of the current gen consoles. Dean's stated that for him - it's not a big deal. If I'm willing to wait for the actual compatibility lists to hit - I think he can do the same.

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Unknown said...

The level of compatibility was something I raised on Monday, when the news broke: "Moreover a point I thought you might have made in your defense of Sony is that no one knows the extent of the compatibility offered yet. Perhaps they're playing it safe and it'll be higher than the pessimists expect. And, at the very least, there is the potential for it to significantly improve over time."

I didn't freak out at the time, and I am still not freaking out. In fact, you know what I'm thinking about? I'm thinking "Oh, with a good software emulator, they can Bleemcast these games and make them look better than the originals." After all, wasn't that one of the advantages of the Xbox 360 emulator? And that emulator didn't get even close to being fully compatible...

Josh said...

Agreed. I would hope that Sony woud a) try and reach 100% and b) utilize the software emulation to improve whatever they could.

My problem is that there is a growing list of things I'd hope Sony would do and I'm not sure when they'll get to them all :) So instead of being pessimistic or optimistic - I'm ... just waiting.