New PS3 Still Bound For US In November

According to The Hollywood Reporter, of all things, several sources have all but confirmed the 40 gig PS3 for US distribution on November 2nd. Just the same as the recently-announced European version, it will lose two USB ports, memory card readers, and, most unfortunate of all, backwards compatibility. Actually, an interesting note about that which hasn’t been brought up in most of the reports I’ve been reading, The PS3 will still have no problem playing PSOne games! The lack of Playstation 2 playback is due solely to the excising of any related hardware bits (like the Emotion Engine) in order to save a few bucks on every system produced. When you lose a couple hundred dollars for every unit sold, I suppose even pocket change can make a difference.

It still stings to lose this kind of functionality, but then, why not go with software emulation? Joystiq pumped this quote out of SCEE Director of Corporate Communications Nick Sharples:

“We have no plans to do so at the moment. The sheer numbers of PS2 titles available, together with the increased complexity of using a software only solution for each and every title means that to ensure accurate software emulation for the majority would be technically challenging, time consuming and costly.”

He’s got a good point, but I’m still mystified as to why they can’t just use the list they’ve already programmed for the revised 60 and 80 gig units, which feature a respectable, but not perfect 90% compatibility rate. Sharples went on to tout the usual Sony nonsense about focusing resources on other, vague hardware innovations and products. It’d be great if we could actually see the fruits of these endeavours some day instead of just hearing that they’re “coming along.”

Something Sony could do to assuage their newfound lack? Start uploading some damn Playstation/Playstation 2 titles to PSN so they can claim to be “fully backwards compatible” like Nintendo does with their Virtual Console. Gamers would be happy and they’d definitely make some extra scratch, to boot!

Oh, well. It’s still coming soon, and at the promised $399 price tag. Just seems strange that The Hollywood Reporter got to the story ahead of the enthusiast press. Or maybe they were just the first to come out and actually say it.

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~ by Cavin Smith on October 8, 2007.

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