ps2_emotion_enginePS3’s changing backwards compatibility has been a bone of contention throughout the console’s life. Arguably, now that there are so many games on the PS3, BC simply isn’t needed any more. And yet, the PS2 is still a powerful force in the console market and a linchpin in Sony’s games business. Now a new patent has come to light, pointing to a possible return of backwards compatibility in Sony’s latest console.

The patent describes a means of directly emulating the PS2’s Emotion Engine chipset using the PS3’s Cell Processor. Those with a keen memory for PS3 hardware models will recall that when the console first launched in the US, the original 60GB came with full PS2 backwards compatibility via an Emotion Engine chip.

In the UK we weren’t blessed with the same hardware backwards compatibility support, but in those early days there was a software solution that at least makes most games run to some degree. More recent PS3 models, including the 40GB and 80GB versions, have dropped backwards compatibility altogether, after the Graphics Synthesizer was removed to lower production costs.

This latest patent seems to imply that backwards compatibility may be on its way back. The only reason Sony could really have for wanting proper Emotion Engine emulation on the Cell Processor is to enable backwards compatibility. It’s even possible that it could be enabled via a firmware update, so in one fell swoop, every PS3 on the market would be capable of playing PS2 games.

If Sony coupled that with a massive PlayStation Store PS2 games sale… well, let’s just say it would have several gamers going weak at the bowels right here.

Out TBA | £Free | PlayStation (via Siliconera)

  • MetalMickey

    This copy and paste “news” is what is wrong with the tech blogging community. You have clueless writers, with no technical background copying and pasting fundamentally flawed articles from other sites, clueless that what they are posting it total tripe.

    This “news” is flawed because it’s a patent for software emulation of the PS2 Emotion Engine, which is ALREADY emulated in software in the Euro 60GB models, and because it’s emulated in software it means ANY PS3 is also capable of emulating it. The problem with PS2 software emulation is not the Emotion Engine, it’s the Graphics Synthesiser chip (“GS”), which the Euro launch 60GB models had in hardware because its alot harder to emulate in software, and something this patent has nothing whatsoever to do with.

    I really hope the Mirror read this comment and realise that ElectricPig is the wrong choice for the tech news reporting, as their reporters are clueless tech idiots.

  • Greg Strachan

    MM: What is currently emulated is not as sophisticated as the proposal outlined in the new patent.

    You are correct in identifying the lack of Graphics Synthesizer as the reason for current models not having backwards compatibility – as stated in the article.

    You could question why Sony would then choose to update its Emotion Engine software now, if it already has a (partly) working software solution. Just because we don’t know about a similar GS chip emulator doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen.

    There’s a limited number of reasons why Sony would want to emulate the Emotion Engine – backwards compatibility being the most obvious, and the potential to sell PS2 games through the PlayStation Store is a potential money spinner.

  • MetalMickey

    Who said anything about ” Sony would then choose to update its Emotion Engine software now”

    This is just a patent filing. Even idiots realise patent filings almost always don’t result in products, it’s purely to protect IP, and to stop other people doing what you are doing.

    There is nothing to support the fact that what this patent contains is anything new at all, it may even be a catchup patent that’s only just been granted.

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