PS3 backward compatibility marred

Sony's PlayStation 3 is encountering problems playing approximately 200 PlayStation, PlayStation 2 games; software updates expected.

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When Microsoft's Xbox 360 was released almost a year ago, one of the knocks on the system was that it wasn't fully backward compatible with original Xbox games. The 360, which uses a different CPU and GPU from the original Xbox, can play some Xbox games through software emulation. However, the emulation has so far only been applied to a few hundred titles.

Sony, too, had planned to go the backward-compatibility route. To avoid the emulation pitfalls encountered by Microsoft, the company put PlayStation and PlayStation 2 hardware inside the PlayStation 3. However, it appears that even this approach to backward compatibility is having its problems.

On its Japanese Web site, the electronics giant has said that some issues are arising when attempting to run certain PlayStation and PS2 games on the PS3, according to Bloomberg. Sony has not stated how many games are being affected, but Reuters claims approximately 200 games in the PS and PS2 catalog have some issues.

A Sony spokesperson told GameSpot, "We are aware that a select number of titles have compatibility issues but these problems will be fixed with a software upgrade that will be available in the near future."

A Web site has been set up for Japanese users to see which games have compatibility issues and which may not work due to other problems. Titles with problems include Final Fantasy XI, Silent Hill 2, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, and Tekken 5.

The console was released in Japan on November 11 and promptly sold out. Sony will have approximately 400,000 PS3s available for the system's North American launch this Friday, and the company expects the backward-compatibility issue to also affect those units.

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