Sony: No BC = more PS3 game sales

Exec concedes that missing feature doesn't lower production costs much, explains that being able to play old games discouraged buying new ones.

When Sony first announced that it would release a cheaper 40GB PlayStation 3 without backward compatibility for the PlayStation 2, questions were asked as to the reasons why the previously standard feature was taken out.

The company said in a statement that the move reflected "both the reduced emphasis placed on this feature amongst later purchasers of PS3, as well as the availability of a more extensive lineup of PS3-specific titles."

The original Japanese and North American PS3 models included the PS2 Emotion Engine chip so they could reliably run older games by using proper PS2 hardware. When Sony released the system in Europe, the company said that the component would be taken out to reduce costs, and the system would handle backward compatibility with software instead, much like the Xbox 360 does.

Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton shed a little more light on the issue this week. Although the move to software for PS2 backward compatibility was driven by cost concerns, the outright elimination of it was not.

Tretton told the paper that taking support for PS2 games out of the new system isn't dramatically cutting manufacturing costs. However, by omitting the option of playing PS2 games, Sony hopes that new customers will instead spend their money on more PS3 games. He added that Sony's own research suggests that customers won't miss the feature because they probably already own a PS2.

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930 comments
gzg9jg
gzg9jg

Is there a 3rd party BC accessory type thing? I WAS thinking of buying a ps3 this holyday season but with no bc support on the current models I think I'll hold on to my money for a while longer (and I'll keep on playing my ps2 games in the meantime)

grayjo
grayjo

I have and xbox and a psp. When this whole console thing started, I weighed up the options before choosing to buy a ps3 when I had the funds. But.... I live in Australia. As it came out here, rumours of "half a console" came out (they had taken the hardware bc support out). I was worried, as PS2 titles were that main reason for deciding to go PS3... I already had an xbox, my gf has a 360. It would mean I could play most anything. Now, in Australia, they are completely removing anything that resembles BC. They have stopped production of anything else. My confidence with Sony is broken... if I do buy a PS3, now it will be though ebay...

Drak_Swordsman
Drak_Swordsman

Heh. I already have a PS2. Removing the backwards compatibility will only mean I have one less reason to buy a PS3, not more reason. But really, would it be that difficult to offer BC via optional download or something, since IIRC some PS3s had software BC?

zash
zash

Sony is once again thinking for the people/consumer!_!

starbead
starbead

Heh. Just read this after being linked from another article. This is funny. The PS3 doesn't have any real unit-moving titles, so they remove backwards compatibility to force you to buy the games that aren't there. So, the theory is that once people spend the $400 on the PS3, they will buy the crappy $60 filler games to bide their time until some must-haves arrive for system? ROFL. No, they will buy a Wii or a 360 to play Gears of War and Halo or SSBB and Mario Galaxy and multi-platform titles and pick up a PS3 when and if the exclusive, must-own titles arrive. Systems do not sell games. Games sell systems. People will not buy a $400 system so they can play mediocre games. They buy the system that has the games they want. They buy the mediocre games once the good games have sold them on a system. This move is like using a band-aid on a gushing arterial wound and putting it on the wrong leg. I feel sorry for the kids who ask for a PS3 for Christmas and have their parents pick up this version not knowing the difference. The entire point of this version seems to be to screw those particular kids over. Bad move, Sony.

motherboop
motherboop

Oh yea, Gamestop has 20 GB ps3 systems new for 379.99$ now. Holding on to one of those for a year could prove to hold a big resale value, as the hard drive can be upgraded to 80gb for a small price.

motherboop
motherboop

I'm also one of those guys who just ran out and bought a 60gb , 2 weeks ago today actually. I think another thing that people are forgetting is the ability to play old psx / ps2 games using a wireless proprietary sony controller. I contacted sony, and found out that games (psx / ps2) that used to require a multitap, will indeed utilize the wireless technology used to play ps3 games wireless. I wasn't sure if it only worked for 2 players when using the emotion engine.

PrinceYoda
PrinceYoda

Wait a sec. Sony says that BC isn't that big a deal since 'everyone' has a PS2 already, and that people are using their PS3s to play old games instead of buying new ones. So removing BC is supposed to increase PS3 game sales? Wouldn't a far more likely scenario be that 'everyone' just hooks up their PS2 (In cases of limited space/connections, instead of the PS3) and continues to play good games from last gen? Wouldn't that hurt PS3 software sales, as people won't even have their PS3's connected anymore...?

darkride66
darkride66

Homerj keeps going on about attach rates like he's Microsoft. All you have to do is google "attach rates" and the first hit is an article from VG Journal commenting on how high attach rates hint a problems with the console. It's an interesting read. Installed user base is more important in the long run, and the PS3's user base is growing the exact same as the 360.

jonocop_basic
jonocop_basic

The Forza comment by dkell2 is a lie. I wasplaying the original Forza on my 360 for months before Forza 2 came out.

jonocop_basic
jonocop_basic

The Forza comment by dkell2 is a lie. I wasplaying the original Forza on my XBox for months before Forza 2 came out.

Homerj
Homerj

This is a temporary fix to a really big problem at Sony. Abysmal attach rates for the PS3 are sending third party devs packing (youre not going to sell a lot of copies if only 5 or 10 percent of the install base buys any games). Eliminating BC makes the PS3 worthless for anything other than running PS3 games, which means that if you buy one, you have to buy games for it. Too much of their install base is just sitting around waiting for the killer apps to come. Since they are 6mos to a year away at least, the numbers continue to look like dirt to the outside, and the devs abandon it like proverbial rats from the sinking ship. This is a crass, cynical attempt to stop the dev hemoraging before its too late.

chief_527
chief_527

I don't have a PS2 and I want to play the God of War series, Kingdom hearts, Final Fantasy games, seriusly PS2 has so many game that until more games come out on for the PS3, I can entertain myslef with great PS2 titles :D

starbuck_555
starbuck_555

Sony is grasping at straws. How is this a good business decision? Most people prefer to be able to unplug their old system and use the new ones to play BC games. My gamecube isn't plugged in because why bother? I can play them on my Wii! I don't have a PS2 so thankfully I was able to purchase a BC enabled PS3 before this debacle. This theory that taking away BC will boost PS3 game sales is negated by the success of the PS2. Great games equals game sales. Period.

dkell2
dkell2

nikefreak: mmm... 360 bc is lacking even per MS's list. PLUS MS lists games like the first Forza (the game I was talking about genius) as BC that clearly are not. BTW: Forza (the game I talked about) is for the original box and doesn't work. That's why I had to buy Forza 2. Genius

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

I can't believe they admitted to doing it to force people buy new games. Why didn't they just stick with "we did it to cut costs." I mean, I would have believed them.

jknight5422
jknight5422

Wow. Back when I was trying to decide to buy a PS3 or a 360, I wanted that feature for the PS2 so I could expand the total amount of games I could use for the system. Plus there are so many PS2 games you can get for cheap you could really stretch the life of the PS3 & I never owned a PS2. Alas, Gears of War was released & a $100 rebate was offered on the 360 last Xmas & that sealed the deal on my direction. One thing annoying about Xbox backwards compatibility is that those old Xbox games don't have achievement points systems and don't show up as games played on your 360, so there is no status associated. Time required to rack up achievement points, if one is interested in doing that, is substantial, pushing the old Xbox games further & further down the todo list.

jaredrichards3
jaredrichards3

I agree I already own a ps2, I bought a ps3 to play ps3 games and I'm sure most people are the same . This is a positive move by sony, consumers have been wanting a cheaper console and now they are getting it, but in saying that some sacrifices have to be made.

Way2fonky
Way2fonky

Flame_Co "3 years ago the PS2 was crapola, but now it's selling decently and even being the anti-Sony person I am, I own a PS2. " In 2004 PS2 was king, look at the numbers. Xbox and GameCube combined together were way behind. I think what you're trying to say was that PS2 wasn't all that the first year after it launched, then it really took off and hasn't came back down since. If Sony cared so much about keeping production prices down, they wouldn't have produced a machine that costs a house payment.

mustained13
mustained13

One of the main reasons I'd buy a PS3 is because of BC. Eliminate my PS2 and keep playing old games until new ones come out. That's how it works now with my Wii and Xbox360.

chupamelpo
chupamelpo

SO NO MORE EXCUSES FOR CRAPPY GAMES.

Flame_Co
Flame_Co

Well, considering Sony's systems have a record of doing well after the next generation has begun to emerge this is simply a stupid idea. 3 years ago the PS2 was crapola, but now it's selling decently and even being the anti-Sony person I am, I own a PS2. There is yet to be a "Halo 3" for the PS3 and until God Of War 3 I doubt there will be, and when will that come out? 09? Sony Good Job, You ****ed Up again........................ Quit trying to pull the most of money out of us and give a little bit back

Mademan033
Mademan033

I would buy more ps3 games. If, you know, there were any....

SteeleInd
SteeleInd

That's a pretty poor way to treat your customers. "Don't let them use old stuff, that way they'll buy our new, more expensive stuff."

pmo98
pmo98

dude everyone has a ps2 anyways if u dont have one its cus ur poor...

nikefreak
nikefreak

dkell - 360 B/C DOES work, and pretty well. That is a load of sillyness... And just an fyi, Forza 2 is FOR the 360 :\

toastedrebel
toastedrebel

what a bunch of garbage. they are lucky i already own a ps3 (launch machine that isn't gimped) or i would never get one of these new models. how can they say customers won't miss this feature (the 2nd most important reason i choose ps3 right behind ps3 games themselves)? why would i still have a ps2 when i bought a ps3 which was promised to be fully b/c?

dkell2
dkell2

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

vaejas
vaejas

Thornorway On a pressconferance a few years ago a spokeperson from Sony said something like, unlike the other system our PS3 will have 100 % full bc from day 1. Well we all see that he was just full of sh*t. No, you're referring to Phil Harrison's "core values" quip. On Day 1 they had a very high compatibility thanks to the old chips and soon-to-be-weekly firmware updates. We're now on Day 343 and they've stopped caring because they're swimming in red ink. I think their addled corporate mentality is "if you're not on board with us already, you obviously don't care enough about the PlayStation platform, and it's time to hook some new fish." Me, I'm an old fish, but I'm happy to pay less than $400 for a Blu-Ray player.

weiz
weiz

Could always get the PS3 now and grab Heavenly Sword to hold you over. Even though its short its fantastic. :P

Thornorway
Thornorway

On a pressconferance a few years ago a spokeperson from Sony said something like, unlike the other system our PS3 will have 100 % full bc from day 1. Well we all see that he was just full of sh*t.

chakan2
chakan2

"God of War 3" That will probably get me to buy a PS3. However, I'm going to wait another 2 or 3 price drops before that happens. I wouldn't expect GoW III until around 4th Quarter 09, at the earliest. They're going to try and make that a show piece game, and dev costs/time are going to spiral out of control as usual. So take whatever there expected release date is and tag on 6 months or a year (and I think that's conservative based on on the trouble everyone is having developing for PS3) I totally agree that the new PS3 is cheaper...that's an understatement. :)

ChickenHounk911
ChickenHounk911

Here is the thing, even though my xbox 360 has BC, I don't use it becuase I can't get any acheivements! If sony is going the same way with their "trophy" idea, then yeah, go ahead and omit that feature. If they are scrapping the trophy idea, then leave BC on there, I still LOVE playing games like "God of War", "Devil May Cry", "The Warriors" and Final Fantasy. What to do, what to do...

mrfrieze
mrfrieze

Sophoseare, stop complaining and buy a 60 gig. They cant make every one happy, just be happy there is a cheaper ps3 and that will lead to better ps3 games. The wii is a Game Cube and that's why it can play the old game so well. You need the ps2 chip the play ps2 games and and that's why the 40 gig cant play ps2 games do you see?

sophospeare
sophospeare

People want to bash MS because in their mind they did the same thing. But really, it was a stupid business practice that prevented MS from having total BC. They didn't buy the technology behind the Xbox and therefore would have to continue paying licensing fees if they wanted hardware BC in the 360. In their case, it was too expensive. But at least in MS' case, they tried to give BC through software. Sony is just being a money grubbing whore with this decision. Do I have a PS2? Yes! But would I love a system that would replace it so I could have one less console in my already confusion entertainment system? Absolutely. Sony...shame on you...it's decisions like this that prevented me from staying with you and it's decisions like this that will keep me away from anything involving your systems. I'll take my buggy, could-RROD-me-anyday system over your well built, but arrogantly marketed system every single time.

smeghead83
smeghead83

Wow Tretton really lives in his own world...so Sony customers won't/don't miss the BC feature? because they want only PS3 games... maybe he should actually listen to his customers. Also if the PS3 can play PS1 games how hard is it for it to play PS2 games, i mean really? Also the Wii can play NGC games...so why cant the PS3 just easily play PS2 games.

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

I wanna show you how WRONG Tretton is in his thinking. NONE of my PS2 games work on my XBOX 360, yet that has not stopped me from buying XBOX 360 games.

weiz
weiz

chakan2 - You need a single compelling reason that will absolutely make you buy a PS3? God of War 3. Not that there aren't numerous other games coming out making PS3 that much more appealing... but by reading your earlier posts you seem to be an avid God of War fan. And thats a game you WON'T be playing on 360. Now then, going back to backward compatability. As DMC2677 said, its all about options. If you want BC enough to drop one or two extra benjamins for it, by all means do. $399 is a price point that I'm happy to pay for a PS3. It has a larger HDD, built-in wifi, controllers that come with rechargeable battery packs, HDMI built in... you never seemed to metnion the fact that Microsoft charged you an extra $100 for your Wireless Adaptor, or that a full controller set (wireless game pad, rechargeable battery pack and microphone) comes in at $90, or that Microsoft forces you to use their HDD upgrades whereas with the PS3, you need simply pick up any 2.5" drive and replace your old one with it, should you desire more space. I'm no fanboy. I have just about every system on the market (with the exception of the Wii). But Microsoft's business practice is just as lame as Sony, if not more so. You can talk about how customer-oriented Microsoft is til you're blue in the face, but at the end of the day, they're trying to rip you off just as much as Sony.

Dan2002sk8er
Dan2002sk8er

it still plays PS1 games, just not PS2 games, I think that is Just weird.

napp123
napp123

i would think people who buy new ps3 would want bc because expands their library of games. A nd now when sony releaeses msg4 and people who just got into the series can't buy the other 3 for their ps3. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING SONY, YOU JUST MADE THE PS3 WORSE!...AGAIN!

kca89
kca89

"Explains that being able to play old games discouraged buying new ones." Ummmm... so who buys a new console to play last gen games? LOL

litcarthoume
litcarthoume

what?! what about bc for the ppl who went out and bought one on launch?! I don't want to have to hook up three different consoles depending on what mood im in to play something. we are being royally gypped here and the truth is the games on the ps3 aren't *that* great. Ppl'll just go out and buy a ps2, at least that plays ps1 games as well (!) what were they thinking?

Dan2002sk8er
Dan2002sk8er

you know what would make people stop buying PS2 games, stop making them Microsoft and Nintendo did this they dropped their last-gen consoles, they no longer make anything for them, maybe if sony did this they wouldn't have to worry about the Backward capabilities, also the 40gig still plays PS1 games does this mean people won't buy PS3 games because they will be too busy playing FF7??? Sony needs to come up with a real reason for not making the 40gig backward compatible, like maybe they want you to buy a PS2 as well as the 40gig PS3. That is how they make money by selling you 2 consoles. Just spend the extra $100 and get the 80gig, it's not that much money and you get a lot more. Don't say Sony doesn't listen to customers but Microsoft and Nintendo do, if they truly did this then why don't they still make the X-Box or Gamecube of games for either console??? Because they figured out to get people to buy something new, you have to take away the old. Sony hasn't found this out yet so they come up with stupid concepts like no PS2 support in the 40gig. I'm glad I have the 60gig, it is the best version, just drop in a bigger HDD and your set, I have a 250gig Wester Digital Drive in mine, I will never run out of space. P.S. I love backward capability I use it all the time as soon as guitar hero 3 comes out I will get rid of my PS2 that is the only thing keeping it in my living room. But to be fair my 360 won't play one of my favortie X-Box games Cronicles of Riddic: Escape from Butcherts Bay, but the new one vomes out soon and includes the origional with next gen graphic update so I'm not to worried about it. also if you want BC just get the 80 or 60gig, the 60 is better, if you play the newer games like god of war (the original GoW) , GoW2, GH1 and GH2, (though right now you need to use the controller but with GH3 coming that guitar will work on the old games) look amazing. Some games do tend to look fuzzy when upconverted to HD, like FFX, and some of the older games. But some old games still look fine like Soul Caliber 2, looks like your playing on the PS2.

knicknut17
knicknut17

I am a huge Sony fan, but I agree with many people that taking out BC is a bad idea. I still play PS2 and PS One games on my PS3...Right now I'm playing Final Fantasy VII. I personally don't think there is any reason why the PS3 should NOT have BC. Even the PS2 was BC with PS One games... Thankfully, this time around it worked out where early adopters got the best deal. Still...that is no excuse to take out a great feature... Either way, it doesn't matter because Sony has a solid lineup for the rest of the yearand set itself up for a killer 2008 to follow up this price drop. The games for 2007 are Warhawk, Heavenly Sword, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, The Orange Box, Assassins Creed, Guitar Hero 3, Rock Band, HAZE, and Call of Duty 4. The 2008 lineup looks like this: Devil May Cry 4, Burnout Paradise, Infamous, Killzone 2, Metal Gear Solid 4, Grand Theft Auto 4, Gran Turismo 5, Tekken 6, Little Big Planet, SOCOM Confrontation, and possibly even Final Fantasy XIII and Resistance 2...that's a pretty devastating lineup. PS3 will be very strong next year and we won't be talking about a lack of games or BC. Still...it sucks to lose the ability to play some true classics on your 40 GB PS3...

raverrozza
raverrozza

i wanted BC so thats why i waited until they announced the 40GB and so reduced the price of the 60GB with it BC (admittedly a limited compatibility) one thing that is pissing me off is sony telling us what we want and mostly in my case getting it wrong. but then so is microsoft so i was stuck into which next gen console annoyed me the least!lol! prob not the best position for me to be in. lol

Tactician
Tactician

Cobalt. The reason they continue to act like arrogant jerks is that is exactly what they are. They feel they are entited to do whatever they feel like and that is the exact reason they are losing the console war. Microsoft is many things but they are very customer oriented and they work hard at it. Sony could care less about customer service. They think you will buy their garbage becuase it is Sony and nothing more. That kind of condesention is symptomatic of the company.

chakan2
chakan2

"Backward compatibility is being drastically overrated. It's a nice little convenient feature to have"

Agreed, but it's still one more slap in the face from Sony that the PS3 community just excuses. It drives me batty to hear people defend Sony for moves like this.

Cobalt_Strike
Cobalt_Strike

PS2, 360 and Wii have backwards compatibility........and that feature didn't seem to hamper their software sales much (if at all). I'm at a loss at how Sony keeps sticking it to the consumers...especially how they ragged MS for using software based emulation (which they followed). And now they are completely removing it...even though it was promised to be the only console to be 100% fully capable. And its not like removing BC would even be a financial gain.... I just don't get it.

chakan2
chakan2

"By the way, did I mention the absence of 1/3 failure rate??? "

I've heard that twice today. It hasn't affected me yet, and I'm pretty hard on my 360. When GoW came out, I wasted 12 hours straight on that game with no problems (and several 6-8 hours sessions after) If PS2 is any indication, I'd give the PS3 about 1 year to 1.5 years before the lazer goes out on the drive, or the drive fails all together. Give it time. :) (well, or maybe more time than that since you're only switching out like 3 games).

Besides, if you're that worried about hardware failure, buy your stuff from Wal-Mart. They're exchange policy owns. It's like rent-a-center for major appliances. They'll usually exchange systems with no questions asked (if it's older than 1 year, conviently forget your recipt), and if they do have a problem go to another one, or wait for a shift change. Presto, new system, no shipping stuff.

I'm just saying you all are idiots for defending Sony in dropping features. I'd be at Sony's door with torches and pitchforks. But for some reason the PS3 community embraces really weak decisions by Sony. If I had dropped 600 on a system, I'd be furious at their support..

I have yet to hear one compelling reason to buy a PS3, and I doubt I will.