With news of Sony's 80GB model PlayStation 3 comes word that the new console will eliminate the PS2 "emotion engine' chip.
"The current 60 GB model utilizes a hardware and solution for backwards compatibility, namely the Emotion Engine chip," said SCEA's Kimberly Otzman. "The new 80 GB PS3 will use a software solution for backwards compatibility, similar to that currently found in the PAL model."
Nintendo's Wii hardware is backwards compatible with GameCube software. Microsoft has handled backwards compatibility for original Xbox titles through periodic Xbox 360 updates. Until now, PS3 owners in the US did not have to download updates to play their PS One and PlayStation 2 games on the new hardware.
Although the 60GB model still includes the "emotion engine" chip, consumers who purchase the new 80GB PS3 in August will likely need to download system updates to ensure backwards compatibility.