Early PS3s To Include PS2 Chipsets

According to Japanese magazine Ultra One, the PS3 will have the actual chipset of the PS2 incorporated into the PS3 device itself. Reports of backwards compatibility for PS2 games were previously attributed to a software emulation scheme and not as a hardware add-on for the next gen console.

However, the report also states that the PS2 chipset will only be available on PS3 consoles until a suitable emulation program is developed, at which time the PS2 chips will be removed from the PS3. Ultra One reports that the Emotion Engine CPU and Graphic Synthesizer combination chip, which is found on Slimline PS2s, will serve as the onboard chips of the PS3. Sony has stated in its PR releases that their new game console will be BC (backwards compatible) with games from the PS1 and PS2. The news of PS2 chipsets being available on the early editions of the PS3 will most likely make these consoles a much sought after item.

SCEA offered no official comment on the rumors from Ultra One.

The announced price of the barebones and full-featured systems of the PS3 are $499 and $599 respectively. With the addition of the PS2 chipset, this will further the deficit of each PS3 sold by Sony. The most recent estimates of what it costs Sony to manufacture each PS3 hover around the $700 mark. This will mean that Sony will be losing $200-$300 per machine. Industry watchers foresee a $1 billion loss with the release of the ambitious next-gen console.

In the same Ultra One article, Sony,s Izumi Kawanishi of the Software Platform Development Division indicated that the PS3 should be seen as just a “base model” in which additional upgrades could be added to it. He said that it was "nothing more than just the basic system… "it seems that the hard disk is to be used exclusively for multimedia content and will not contain any system features; users will, after all, be able to swap the built in hard drive out with any standard drive they pick up at a computer hardware store."

So while the “premium” edition of the PS3 will offer a 60GB hard drive, the initial cost of buying into the “complete” machine at $599 will most likely require many purchasers to spend additional dollars in beefing up their console, not to mention the cost of a HD television set to fully enjoy the HD graphics capacity of the PS3,s digital output.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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