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Backwards compatibility in doubt of 'new spec' Euro PS3

Sony has changed the hardware specifications for the PS3 in Europe, offering support for only a 'limited range' of PS2 titles.

Sony has changed the specification of the PlayStation 3 for Europe, raising doubts over the number of PlayStation 2 games that will be compatible with the next-gen machine.

"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," said David Reeves, president of SCEE.

Sony has said that 'a new combination of hardware and software emulation will enable the PS3 to be compatible with a broad range of original PlayStation titles, and a limited range of PS2 titles'.

Sony will publish a backwards compatibility list on the PS3's launch day, March 23, with additional titles becoming compatible through downloads via the PlayStation Network.

"The backwards compatibility is not going to be as good as in the US and Japanese models," a Sony spokesperson told Reuters.

Although Sony has yet to detail the new specification fully, analyst Datamonitor suggests that a new PS3 model will feature a "new chassis" designed to bring manufacturing costs of the console down.

"By utilising the latest hardware Sony is able to rationalise the number of components required," said the firm.

"This move is significant, as it will have a positive impact on the PS3âs long-term cost profile."

"By launching the PS3 in Europe with the new chassis, Sony has at a stroke removed one of the barriers to future price reductions, and providing it can make enough units available, Datamonitor believes there will be sustained growth in PS3 ownership as new users seek to benefit from the PS3âs enhanced features and functionality," said the analyst.

Sony was unavailable for further comment at the time of going to press.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.