Monday, September 10, 2007

PS3: 60 gig or 80 gig?

(from the Hardware vs. Software department)

Hi everyone,

I'm posting this information in my blog because there's been a lot of churn on these facts, and I need to document all of this information with as much real data as possible, before it gets lost. Most people will find this pretty esoteric, but if you want to see how global companies operate, read on!

Cheers,
Paul




The Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) is backwards compatible with the PlayStation 2 (PS2) and PlayStation (PS1). However, Sony has developed two different ways of doing backwards compatibility using either a hardware or a software solution.

Originally, the PS3 was to use pure software emulation via its powerful Cell microprocessor for PS2 and PS1 backwards compatibility. It is theorized that PS1 titles still may only utilize software emulation, based on this original development decision. However, sometime during the development process, this plan was partially abandoned in favor of a hardware solution for PS2 compatibility.

Therefore, at their November 2006 launch, the original North American and Japanese 20 gig and 60 gig PS3s had a custom PS2 Emotion Engine (EE) + Graphics Synthesizer (GS) chip on their motherboards for backwards compatibility. This custom EE+GS chip was later replaced on the European and Korean models with a single PS2 GS chip in a motherboard revision before their respective product launches, due to the increased performance of the EE software emulator, and to save money on the manufacturing costs. Interestingly, the two different motherboard revisions are apparently not interchangeable - the hardware units can't be "switched off" to become software units.

Since these models relied on software EE emulation, and this type of emulation is quite complex, the percentage of compatible PS2 games were lower for these machines at launch. Each successive System Software revision, however, has seen continual improvement in PS2 backwards compatibility percentages for these hybrid software emulation PS3s. Direct comparisons between the two different designs were initially hard to quantify, since there was only one motherboard design released in a region, and games differ too much between these regions.

The software emulator's difficulties with PS2 backwards compatibility was not a big issue for North American users since all models sold since launch, including the almost immediately discontinued 20 gig model, had the EE in hardware on the motherboard. This situation would soon change when Sony dropped the price of the 60 gig PS3 to $499 in North America and introduced a new 80 gig model at $599. Early press reports revealed that the 80 gig model would be using the EE-less motherboard, and therefore would rely on software emulation for PS2 compatibility. It also was quickly revealed that the 60 gig model was being price reduced because it was being phased out. Sony stated that they would only offer the 60 gig model until stocks ran out.

Sony recently started offering an on-line service for checking compatibility between the North American EE 60 gig models (including the discontinued 20 gig) and the non-EE 80 gig models. Curmudgeon Gamer has recently gone through their game library with this web service, and posted some interesting results. In their findings, the PS1 compatibility results are identical, lending some credence to the theory that the PS3 uses pure software emulation for PS1 titles. However, the PS2 compatibility results are quite different, with the hardware EE 60 gig model seemingly much more backwards compatible.

In summary, if backwards compatibility is important, it might be a good idea to pick up one of the 60 gig PS3s before stocks run out. PS1 compatibility appears identical between the two revisions, but PS2 compatibility seems to benefit from having the EE present, as in the 60 gig model.

UPDATE: added additional hardware GS information, per recent Sony documentation.

24 comments:

John said...

Playstation 4 is right around the corner and said it will be backwards compatibility. Aint that something? I wish SONY would get their act together or else I will join the "DARK SIDE" Xbox 360 LOL.

Anonymous said...

Jonh, ps4 is nowhere in sight. it'll b at least another 4 years before you even start hearing the full specifications from sony, let alone them releasing the actual hardware. i'll grant you thats its probably in development but with ps3 only really just taking off, i assure you that ps4 is a long long long way off.

Anonymous said...

i have a father who works for sony he brought home a ps4 beta and it looks like a movie we had the first mission in gta 5 detroit to play it was so sweeet!

Anonymous said...

i have a father who works for sony he brought home a ps4 beta and it looks like a movie we had the first mission in gta 5 detroit to play it was so sweeet!

juvix8888 said...

i have a father who works for sony.....and he brought home a ps4 beta system.....with GTA V: detroit with only the first mission playable....it looked likea live action movie. I cant wait!

Anonymous said...

You do not, and he did not.

PS3 is just taking off, and Sony has admittefdly "bet the farm" on it's success. There is NO WAY that they are releasing the PS4 until they recoup on the PS3.

Nice try, homefry.

Anonymous said...

You all are so confusing...Does anyone really know if the PS3 is compatable to PS2 games? I bought my son a PS3 80 gig today;suprise for his bday. He's asking for a new PS2, as he doesnt want me to spend so much $$$$ and says his PS2 games are not compatable.
The guy at Best Buy said the PS3 IS......HELP! Shall I take it back and get the PS2? Is this still a good machine? BE HONEST PLZ

Anonymous said...

WELL U A GOOD FATHER THO. YES UR MACHINE IS BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE. U NEED 2 UPDATE UR MACHINE N DA PS2 GAMES WIL WORK FINE.

Anonymous said...

To play PS2 games on the PS3, you need only download the software that makes it backwards compatible via the internet.

You could buy a lower spec PS3 and buy a PS2 for roughly the same price as the higher models. (Playing PS2 games on the PS3 has been known to be faulty at times so it is quite a viable option)

Soon PS2's will be the equivalent of Video Players to DVD players so think on it at least

-----

No PS4's in sight. PS3's games have not yet begun to utilise their full capabilities and should not be able to for some time.
Games on this level definately are harder to produce on this grander scale nowadays.

Anonymous said...

where is the software on the internet because my ps3 wont play my ps2 games

INF said...

OMG!juvix8888 is such a liar!
Curios though, you have a father working at Sony, do you have another father working at Microsoft? maybe he can bring you an Xbox720.

Anonymous said...

Q: Why is it called the Xbox 720?
A: Because you do a double twirl then throw up over the rushed out, red ringing, inevitability.

Anonymous said...

Xbox have got nothing on PS3's. I'd rather by a commodore 64 than an xbox. The red ring of death common to all xbox's (if you haven't had it yet, wait... it's coming) just makes it easier for people to choose a system. The correct choice is the more reliable one, PS3.

Anonymous said...

Live action movie my ass, get your hand off it you lying weasel. Who the fuck do you think you're fooling? Juvix888 can lick my hairy ballbag!!

Anonymous said...

I wish not approve on it. I over precise post. Specially the title-deed attracted me to read the whole story.

Anonymous said...

Good fill someone in on and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you on your information.

Anonymous said...

You have to express more your opinion to attract more readers, because just a video or plain text without any personal approach is not that valuable. But it is just form my point of view

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)

Anonymous said...

Amiable dispatch and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you as your information.

Anonymous said...

Amiable brief and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you as your information.

Anonymous said...

Correctly your article helped me very much in my college assignment. Hats high to you dispatch, will look forward in the direction of more cognate articles soon as its anecdote of my choice question to read.

Anonymous said...

Now that's some funny shit bro!! Lol!!

Anonymous said...

The 80 gig in not b.c.

Anonymous said...

I always have,still do and always will love my 60gig ps3. The best ps3 in the world. It plays ps1 ps2 and ps3 games