Sony Stops Selling Backwards Compatible PlayStation 3 in USA, UK Stores

Sony PlayStation 3 80GB No Longer Available from Sony Style

by Anton Shilov
02/21/2008 | 09:21 AM

Sony Corp. has stopped offering versions of PlayStation 3 game consoles compatible with games developed for PlayStation and PlayStation 2 in its online Sony Style stores in the USA and the UK. As a result, those who want to play older games on the latest system from Sony have to hurry up to pick the unit, which is most likely set to be discontinued.


The only Sony PlayStation 3 system available through Sony Style in the United States and United Kingdom now is PS3 40GB model for $399/£299 that cannot be used to play older games developed for the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2 systems. Previously available PS3 80GB and 60GB models, which relied on software-based emulation to play older titles, are no longer available due to their end-of-life.

Back in late January it was reported that Sony was preparing a new PlayStation 3 model for the U.S. with enlarged storage as well as a new controller with vibration feature, but ahead of the new model launch the older one was to be discontinued. While it was not revealed whether the new system would be backwards compatible, it is highly likely that no backwards-compatible PS3s are incoming as Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) is very interested in making consumers buy games designed for PlayStation 3, which is likely to catalyze developers to create more new titles for SCEI’s latest platform.

Sony Computer Entertainment claims that cutting-down backwards compatibility with PlayStation 2 is not something completely negative, as growing library of games developed for the advanced new-generation game system should substitute the lack of previous titles. Moreover, not a lot of gamers would like to play older titles developed for standard-definition TVs on brand-new high-definition televisions. But while these points may be correct for so-called hardcore gamers, which play a great variety of games, casual customers who currently own a PlayStation 2 have no reason to transit to the new-gen console due to the lack of casual games for PS3. As a result, they may migrate to Nintendo Wii, which features unique motion sensitive controller as well as a relatively rich library of simplistic games.

Sony PlayStation 3 console is based on the Cell processor developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba, the RSX graphics chip by Nvidia Corp., wireless network and Bluetooth connectivity and is equipped with Blu-ray optical disk drive.