Less Backward Compatibility for EU PS3

Sony announced some changes in the PlayStation 3 specification for the Eurasia, Africa and Australia launch set for March 23, including less backwards compatibility than its North American PS3.

The change is due to a hardware switch within the console itself. Some functionality that had previously been controlled by a dedicated chip would now be controlled by software, which would adversely affect backwards compatibility.

"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," Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president David Reeves said.

PS3s in Europe will feature the Cell Broaband Engine, 60GB HDD, Blu-ray disc player, built in Wi-Fi, and a SIXAXIS wireless controller. Downloadable updates would provide compatibility with a limited number of PS2 games, the company said.

Approximately 1 million PS3 consoles would be made available for the launch in these regions, about the same number that were made available in the United States during the first month and a half after launch.

Sony is estimated to have sold about 1.5 million PS3 consoles since launch, according to nexgenwars.com, a site that estimates console sales.

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