Sony Patents Method To Emulate PS2 On PS3

Illustration for article titled Sony Patents Method To Emulate PS2 On PS3

My single biggest problem with the PS3? The loss of backwards compatibility. It's a gaping hole in the system's feature set. Then again, it may also be one that's on the way back.

Some background: when the PS3 first launched, it was backwards-compatible, meaning you could play PlayStation 2 games on your new PlayStation 3. The 20GB and 60GB units released in North America and Japan featured hardware emulation (they literally had a PS2 chip inside), while those released in PAL territories featured software emulation (similar to how the 360 handles original Xbox games).

Later, though, this feature was removed. Anyone buying a 40GB, a later model of the 80GB or the 120GB PS3 can't play a single PS2 game on them. It was a stupid, stupid move on the part of Sony.


A patent discovered by Siliconera, however, suggests that Sony might be re-thinking this stance. Filed in December 2008, it's basically a patent for a method that would allow the PS3's Cell chip to translate code from the PS2's Emotion Engine. Not half-assed software emulation (which in previous PS3 models couldn't run some games), full, total replication of the functionality of the Emotion Engine.

Which means, theoretically at least, you could play any PS2 game on any PS3, regardless of the model or year of release.

Whether this would allow you to play actual PS2 discs, or would just be the advance party for the sale of PS2 downloads on the PlayStation Store is unclear. We'd like the former, but with Sony being a business and all, would expect the latter.

Sony Patents Emotion Engine Emulation Technology For Cell Processors [Siliconera]

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You know ... the thing about having the PS2 backwards compatibility on the PS3. It's good, don't get me wrong. I like having it there (Launch 60 Gig unit) ... and even though I have a library of a hundred or so PS2 games, I hardly ever find myself using it. Occasionally there's a new release for PS2 that's worth pickup up (NEO GEO Collection and Samurai Showdown Anthology have been two of my favorites) and playing ... but I think that most PS3 owners that have BC units will agree that it's pretty much a novelty and a back up to having a real PS2 around.

I wouldn't trade it for the world, but seriously, at this point in the PS3's life it shouldn't be a make or break decision to picking up a system, there's plenty of great software/features to justify a purchase.

But, yeah, of course, for those not fortunate enough to have it - if Sony throws decides to throw it back in there I'm all for it.