Sony patents external backward compatibility tech

PS3 maker files schematics with Japanese administration office detailing device that allows for playing old games on current-gen platforms.

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It appears as if Sony may be tinkering with the idea of putting PlayStation 2 backward compatibility back into the PlayStation 3. As reported by Siliconera, the publisher has filed an application with the Japanese Patent Office for an external adapter that would allow legacy console games to be played on a modern platform.

The adapter would look like this, basically.

As detailed in the Japanese-language schematics acquired and translated by Siliconera, the adapter includes a processor, a DVD decoder/emulator, a sound processor, and a graphics processor. It also appears as if the device would require its own power source.

Sony Computer Entertainment America had not commented on its Japanese counterpart's filing as of press time.

Backward compatibility on Sony's consoles has enjoyed a storied history. When Sony built the PlayStation 2, it included software emulation for its predecessor's games, allowing a breadth of original PS games to be played on the platform. Initially, a similar tack was taken with the PlayStation 3, whereby Sony included hardware-based backward compatibility for PS2 games and software-based emulation for PS games on the 20GB and 60GB PS3 launch systems.

It would hook up to the theoretical new console in a way that looks something like this.

However, beginning with the 80GB PS3 model, introduced in 2007, Sony transitioned to a software-based backward compatibility method for PS2 games. By the time Sony introduced the 40GB PS3 model later that year, the publisher had opted to forgo backward compatibility for PS2 games outright, though original PS games remained playable on the system.

Sony at the time said of the lack of backward compatibility that it 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."

Discussion

512 comments
Seanarot
Seanarot

is there any news on a release date?

CanesThing26
CanesThing26

@vallan2- Sony took BC out cause of cost. i wouldn't be surprised if they make another ps3 that has BC back in it but that probably wont happen for a while depending on how this device sells.

Ra-Harakte
Ra-Harakte

Less systems, bigger library. I think this is a good thing for people like myself, who haven't purchased a PS3 , but have a large library of PS2 and PS1 games.

lowerclassbrat7
lowerclassbrat7

I wish they had never removed b/c, but it's nice to see Sony responding to demand. Not everyone will be interested in such a device, but if I didn't have a b/c ps3 already this would be a day one purchase for me. I enjoy having one machine that can play my entire Sony library.

Spacerac
Spacerac

The reason people, myself included want this adapter or any b/c solution is because we enjoy the new games but still like to play the old games. For example PS just reached it's 15 year anniversary, what better way to reminisce than popping in that old Metal Gear or Crash Bandicoot disc that still works? Remember how great it was on the PS2 when you could still play your PS1 games and you could retire your old PS1? That's what we want. We want to be able to have PS1, 2, and 3 functionality all-in-one system; space-saving shelf-wise and television connections wise, and the HD upscaling is a plus. Some people don't have big fancy HD tvs yet and are stuck with tvs with just one input. Personally if I didn't have a 60GB PS3, I'd have to keep the PS3 on the single standard-def component input and the PS2 in one of the composite ones (which admittedly wouldn't be all that different aside from the annoying dot-crawl) because switching constantly would be a hassle. On top of that we like having unlimited memory cards without the need to switch out physical memory cards. Yes this'll cost some money and hopefully no more than $50-60, but that's what it takes to make the world go 'round. Sony's still a business, and businesses want money. If anything this'll keep the costs down for them and the consumer that doesn't care about PS2 B/C. If you like the new games so much that previous games no longer exist, the ones that got us where we are today then that's no problem. Just let the rest of us enjoy our ability to revisit old classics. *On another note, I bought a refurb 60 instead of a brand new slim because I wanted to be able to play my old games. I refused to pay $300 for something that couldn't play my old stuff. Now it seems Sony is mending it's ways and heading in the right direction, one that I can agree with, one that I can move on with since I'm still under warranty.

mykel77
mykel77

if it is like 19-29 bucks its a great deal.

bbello170
bbello170

This is yet another way that they will get more money out of us the consumer by making an add-on that will do something that was already provided free of charge. Why not make money on this type of service that they know people will use, they think. There are plenty of GREAT PS2 and PS games that are worth returning to, but at an additional cost? Thanks SONY this isn't a messed up move. You might be better off buying a PS2 Slim, at least it will work, unlike a new option that WILL have issues in it's infancy.

vallan2
vallan2

Wait...First, they have full backward compatibility in their original first day PS3s, then they remove it because of "cost" or "non-use" or whatever their reason was, now they re-inventing it as an external device? For more than what a used ps2 goes for?? Then why don't they go back ind re-introduce the INTERNAL BC that they had from day one, instead of trying to tack on this extra piece of hardware, and wasting resources that could be used for other things.

Sundberg_man
Sundberg_man

So basicly what they've done is take a PS2 make a different design and then put a cable to it so u can connect it to your PS3??.........thats......retarded....xD

Sundberg_man
Sundberg_man

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

blackace
blackace

@MXVIII @blackace Way to contradict yourself. Here you go trying to make an argument that the 600 dollar PS3 meant that the wifi WASNT free. Well guess what Integrated Hardware emulation also contributed to the high price point. So yeah BC according to your logic, was never free either. Too bad everyone railed on Sony for their software emulation when it came out in the 80 gig. Also FYI. All 3rd party games have their own online servers, for Both the Xbox and the PS3. The Xbox isnt hosting all the 3rd party games either. ************************************************************ I didn't contradict myself. When the PS3 launched B/C was included in the price of the system, as well as WiFi. My point is why should gamers have to pay for it now, when it was included to begin with? They took something out that was already paid for my everyone who originally bought a PS3. Why should other gamers who get a PS3 have to fork over money for it? All 3rd party games do not have their own servers by their own publishers/developers on the PS3. Sony does support some of the 2nd & 3rd party games with their own dedicated servers. Microsoft has servers for all 1st , 2nd 3rd party games except for FFXI and EA games. What do you think XBox Live fees pays for? lol!! Microsoft has a special contract with EA concerning their servers. They made a compromise. Sony's servers are hosted by another company that they pay.

paranormalnut
paranormalnut

So who posted the past 4 years that PS3 would never do add ones? So what you all got to say about that now?

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

First gamers say "I bought my PS3 to play PS3 games, not PS2 games". Then it's "NO FAIR! I WANT TO PLAY MY PS2 GAMES!!". Now when a device has been designed to play them (which I think looks like a fake) I see the tune has changed to "Too little too late". You guys don't know what you want. It seems if you want to know what gamers think just look and see which way the wind is blowing.

ricardo-sene
ricardo-sene

@TomM_GScom Do you think its possible that this device may be for the next PS? Maybe Sony is already planning the next gen PS and, to reduce price of it, the backward compatibility of PS and PS2 (maybe PS3) games would be with that device..

MXVIII
MXVIII

@blackace Way to contradict yourself. Here you go trying to make an argument that the 600 dollar PS3 meant that the wifi WASNT free. Well guess what Integrated Hardware emulation also contributed to the high price point. So yeah BC according to your logic, was never free either. Too bad everyone railed on Sony for their software emulation when it came out in the 80 gig. Also FYI. All 3rd party games have their own online servers, for Both the Xbox and the PS3. The Xbox isnt hosting all the 3rd party games either.

blackace
blackace

@MXVIII Posted Sep 15, 2010 1:04 pm PT @ lock445 Yeah Sony is SOOOO evil, and greedy, all that free online multiplayer, The free wireless since launch, and the free upgrade to 3D, I mean sure no one is interested in 3D but Unless you got a PS3 everyone has to buy NEW blu-ray players, but no we get it for free. And on top of that all the first party games ship with both the 3d and regular version on the same disc, when If they were really greedy theyd ship them seperately dont ya think? But no they are so greedy because they want to make a little money on an adapter...You know that the only other first party add ons for the PS3, are the camera, Move, and the Blue tooth headset. Man SO GREEDY!!! Those bastards. ************************************************************* The PS3 cost $600 when it was released. So yes, you did pay for that Wifi and everything else. The free online is mostly coming from developers who have their own servers. Sony is footing the bill for their games, but I doubt they are host all those 3rd party games. That free online isn't going to last. Sony is already trying to come up with ideas that will make gamers shell out more money. HOME didn't work. The adapter idea is just lame. Has nothing to do with greed. Why do you need to pay for something that was original free when the system launched. That would be like Sony pulling the Wifi from the PS3 and selling it as an adapter like M$ does. It's just dumb.

blackace
blackace

Wait a minute. They are making a device that will attach to your PS3 so that you can play PS2 games on it? lmao!! Will this device be FREE, or will gamers have to pay for it? This is extremely LAME on Sony's part. Backward compatibility should have never been taken out of the PS3 to begin with. Whoever decided to do that should have been fired. I'm glad I still have my original 60GB PS3. 100% B/C because it has the PS2 emotion engine chip in it. Sony should just patch the PS3 with the PS2 software emulation. Yeah... it'll only be 97% B/C, but that's better then nothing and it won't cost gamers a thing.

yeebsey
yeebsey

why did they bring this out now of all times. the only reason i want to play ps2 games is for my copy of ico which is now being re released anyway

yeebsey
yeebsey

though i dont agree with it i do understand why they took ps2 compatibility off the ps3 as it was killing ps2 sales at the time which sony has been seeling for 10 years now. why go in to compitition with yourself. then again i dont think we will ever really understand sony's reasons for taking it off so probably best we end the theories there before a fanboy war kicks off

MaverickVile
MaverickVile

@amirzaim The took out hardware emu from the original models to cut pricing, and used software emu, but software emu proved to be bad and needed too much work to keep running with each new firmware update so it was also scratched off to keep costing down

Vengeful_Angel
Vengeful_Angel

Good thing I bought the 80 GB when I did. Even better when I kept it instead of buying a slim.

DFBTG
DFBTG

Personally I think it's BS they took it out in the first place, and now they're going to try making some cash off of it by making this external thing? I suppose it's better than nothing for those unlucky ones who want BC but didn't manage to snag a 20/60/or original 80. But those models can now be bought for about $50 more than the slims. I think fair enough price.

amirzaim
amirzaim

gee...why we would to pay more if we need to play PS2 games instead of playing PS1 games on PS3? It is better if the PS3 firmware update should have the internal backward compatibility, not designing an adapter to play PS2 games. Sony always keeping screw up the PS3 eventhough other parties tried to add and fix some lack of function of PS3.

MXVIII
MXVIII

@ alfaresalasmar I have my sony hate. There are alot of things about the console I didnt like. This however is not something that is so unreasonable that people need to hate on sony for. There are plenty of other things to give sony a hard time about, this is actually a pretty useful add on, and something people have wanted for a long time. My only complaint about this, if you can call it one, is why it took so long. I mean I kind of know why...but still. In an issue of game informer about a year ago Sony was talking about bringing their entire library of PS2 games to PSN, and updating the firmware with software emulation. BUT if you ever tried running a ps2 emulator on your computer, you will find out that Most PS2 games on averag are 6 gigs a pop...no way would downloading something like that on PSN be worth any kind of charge. So I guess this is a much better option.

Bacca7
Bacca7

im down with that, BC is one of the most important things to me with my PS3......

lewser5
lewser5

This is kinda late isn't it? I would prefer a software update instead if thats still possible. But i wouldn't want to pay anymore for it now.

cornerback3
cornerback3

@myself a few posts ago. Scrath what I said about me being content if it was under $60. I thought about it and I wound't buy it for $50 or $60. I guss I might if it was $40. I still like the idea though because I had been thinking of it myself ;)

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

bout time. Yous were able to do it before, Don't know why yous took it out to begin with. I have a launch 60 gig that plays both PS2 and PS3 games flawlessly.

zinoalex
zinoalex

It'as about time Sony did this.May be too little to late.There are a lot of classic PS2 games that never get old.

Drkirk08
Drkirk08

Um....I might just get a refurbished 60gb instead.

SouKingdom
SouKingdom

MXVIII Great comm.OH and i like Thia add-on and stop comp. people if you aren't going to buy it it's not as if Sony is putting a gun in your head.

g5naim
g5naim

They should give us a smaller external device that hooks up via the USB port to play PS2 games- and then you can put in your PS2 discs INTO the PS3, not an external device. I mean, if they're going for hardware compatibility it should be this way...

alfaresalasmar
alfaresalasmar

MXVIII I would have given u a thumbs up on most of ur comments but since u are offensive towards any anti-sony comment I thought 'well, maybe he is payed by sony, so y praise a guy doing his job'??? but ur right about 1 thing. sony IS A LOT BETTER than microsoft.

killlo
killlo

Its to late! I rather have updated version of the games like the ico & shadow of colossus bundle for ps3.

raghraghragh
raghraghragh

Makes sense. PS2 is pretty much dead and they could make some easy money from slim owners (of which there are quite a few now) by selling this for the price of a new game or two.

cornerback3
cornerback3

I had been thinking that they should develop some external device that allows th newer ps3's (like my slim) to play PS2 games. I guess they are now, and I am quite happy. Despite the fact that I already have a PS2, only having one console to hook up and play all my PS2/3 games would be a lot more convenient. It would also be handy playing my PS2 games online using the PS3's wireless connection. As long as it wouldn't be priced over $60, then I'll be content.

mtnjak
mtnjak

Who paid $599 for the original PS3? Mine was only $300 (with the $150 cash back from Sony using their credit card plus an extra $50 "cash back" from selling a couple of the 5 free blu-ray discs on ebay). Of course the price in 2007 for the original 60gb model was $500 at the time as well. It pays to be patient and wait for deals and price drops. As far as the slots, it only has one SD. But no extra adapters are needed for a USB. Just pull the SD card out of the camera and plug it right in. Convienience thanks to Sony.

MXVIII
MXVIII

@mtnjak most might want the bells and whistles, but not for 599.99. You also didnt need 4 SD slots to look at photos on your console, when it had 4 USB ports that work just as well.

mtnjak
mtnjak

MXVIII, Sony went to the extreme at the beginning because most people (now verified by a poll) want to do more than just play Halo with their friends on a friday night. Most want the bells and whistles and considering the average gamer is in their early 30s they can afford those bells and whistles. I actually use those SD slots to view photos from my camera's SD card. I use the backward compatibility of my 60gb PS3 to play a PS2 game when I want. I use the blu-ray player for HD movies. Who's complaining? The days of "It only does ONE thing" consoles are over.

MXVIII
MXVIII

@ lock445 Yeah Sony is SOOOO evil, and greedy, all that free online multiplayer, The free wireless since launch, and the free upgrade to 3D, I mean sure no one is interested in 3D but Unless you got a PS3 everyone has to buy NEW blu-ray players, but no we get it for free. And on top of that all the first party games ship with both the 3d and regular version on the same disc, when If they were really greedy theyd ship them seperately dont ya think? But no they are so greedy because they want to make a little money on an adapter...You know that the only other first party add ons for the PS3, are the camera, Move, and the Blue tooth headset. Man SO GREEDY!!! Those bastards. /sarcasm.

MXVIII
MXVIII

@ digi-demon I dunno how about playing PS2 games in Upscale HD over an HDMI cable, using a wireless PS3 controller, unlimited virtual memory cards, and no need to switch cables, audio outputs, etc.

digi-demon
digi-demon

Yay, another pointless add-on. Look, if you like PS2 games so much just buy a PS2 as they are dirt cheap and can be played stand-alone.

MXVIII
MXVIII

@ gbrading Thats because Sony went to extreme in the beginning, they were SO pro active no one could afford the technology they were putting into their console. I mean who the heck needed all those SD slots? The Original PS3 was a device bloated with crap no one was going to use for gaming. And people complained when they cut all that stuff out regardless.

gbrading
gbrading moderator

Sony should really have thought about doing this earlier. It smacks of reactionary thinking.

MXVIII
MXVIII

I find it funny that people are complaining about having to buy an add on. But no one complains when Xbox makes you buy an ENTIRE new system EVERY time they come out with a bigger hard drive, or wireless connectivity, etc. Sheesh I bet if Sony came out with World Freaking Peace, you guys would all whine that Everyone in the Weapons industry lost their jobs.

lock445
lock445

No wonder there are so many hackers out there... they are actually the ones who cater to us gamers, not the greedy, money-based decisions from game and console publishers and distributers.

mtnjak
mtnjak

Or if you bought an original 60gb model like I did you don't have to worry about it. Even though I rarely play a PS2 game on the PS3. 480 lines of resolution just doesn't look all that appealing on a 1080p television.