Source: A forum post and screenshot on the N4G message boards.
What we heard: It was undoubtedly with a sigh of relief that Sony at long last completely popped the top off of PlayStation 3 firmware version 2.40, ending months of rumors and speculation as to what the update would do and when it would be doing it. Unfortunately for Sony's public relations team, that respite has proven to be short-lived, as new rumors have ignited over what the gamemaker will reveal at its E3 Media and Business Summit press conference in July.
If a user on the N4G message boards is to be believed, Sony has a mind to release PlayStation 2 games as downloadable content for the PlayStation 3. Equipped with a convincing photo (pictured), the poster claims "a friend" working at Sony London told him (ironically enough) through Microsoft's MSN messaging service that Sony plans to unveil the feature during this year's E3.
"I was speaking to a friend last night on MSN who works at Sony London," said the forumite, in suspiciously coherent diction. "I was actually asking him about the new XMB update, and if he knows when it'll be out. He told me it was scheduled to launch [at] E3, but more interesting was his info on a new Playstation 2 Store that'll also be announced at E3 too! Basically Sonys [sic] answer to Xbox Originals...Apparently, it wont [sic] be released during E3, but is scheduled for a late summer release. Most surprising is that its [sic] supposedly launching in Europe first!"
In the screenshot (pictured), seven different PS2 games are depicted, from top left to right: Fantavision, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Red Faction, Ridge Racer V, Smuggler's Run, SSX, and The Bouncer. The poster did not delve into pricing information, but the screenshot indicates that MGS2, at least, will run for £12.99 (about $25.90).
In and of itself, the message emanates a dubious stink. It's a time-honored Internet tradition to perform acts of wanton stupidity under a freshly assumed username, and the PS2 DLC bombshell is the first message from this poster. It also doesn't help that the post itself contains patently false information. Though PS3 firmware v.2.40--which adds an in-game cross media bar (XMB) and trophies, among other features--had been rumored to launch during E3, the publisher said just today that the update will arrive July 2, a full two weeks before the annual trade show gets under way.
Sony's stance on backward compatibility is also problematic in this equation. In the PlayStation 3's since-discontinued 60GB and 20GB iterations, the ability to play original PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games came standard, thanks to the inclusion of the Emotion Engine processing chip. However, Sony stripped out that chip when it launched the 80GB, instead relying on software-based emulation to play PS2 games. The most recent revision--the 40GB SKU--is entirely devoid of emulation capabilities for PS2 software.
The official story: Unequivocal responses are a rare treat from any PR team, but that's just what Sony was quick to deliver in regard to this report. "Those images must have been mocked up, and are fueling a lot of rumor and speculation," said a Sony representative. "It is just that, rumors and speculation. There are currently no plans for PS2 games [to be made] available for download via PlayStation Network."
Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus.