Euro PlayStation 3 in compatibility shocker

Plays only a limited number of PS2 games

Sony has announced that the European version of the PlayStation 3 will have a new hardware specification and will be compatible with fewer of the older PlayStation 2 games. The PS3 launches in Europe on 23 March, and is the UK's most pre-ordered console of all time.

The European PS3 will feature the Cell Broadband EngineT processor, 60GB hard disc drive, Blu-ray Disc player, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and SIXAXIS wireless controller.

The lower-end model of the PS3 will not be available immediately, but the premium launch models will house a new hardware configuration enabling the console to be compatible with a broad range of original PlayStation titles, and only a limited range of PlayStation 2 titles. Sony said in a statement, "The backwards compatibility is not going to be as good as the US and Japan models."

"Games designed for PS3 offer incredible graphics quality, stunning gameplay and massively improved audio and video fidelity that is simply not achievable with PS and PS2 games, " added David Reeves, president of Sony Computer Entertainment.

"Rather than concentrate on PS2 backwards compatibility, in the future, company resources will be increasingly focused on developing new games and entertainment features exclusively for PS3, truly taking advantage of this exciting technology."

Over time, some additional PS2 titles will become compatible on the PS3 system through downloadable firmware updates, which will be made available through the Playstation website and on retail PS3 game discs.

Users will be able to check whether their titles are compatible with the PS3 at http://faq.eu.playstation.com/bc . This site will be available on 23rd March to meet launch day.

Sony also issued the following compatibility warnings:

  • A device compatible with Linear PCM 7.1 Ch is required to output 7.1 ch audio, supported by Dolby TrueHD or a similar format, from the HDMI OUT connector
  • This system does not support output from the DTS-HD 7.1 Ch. DTS-HD 7.1 Ch audio is output from a 5.1 or lower channel
  • Usability of all storage media types is not guaranteed
  • Certain PlayStation 2 format software titles may not perform properly on this system. Visit faq.eu.playstation.com/bc for the latest information regarding compatible titles