The moment of truth is finally here for European gamers who've been waiting with baited breath to see whether the soon to be released PlayStation 3 will serve as a replacement for their trusty PlayStation 2 consoles. Sony today launched the website listing which PS1 and PS2 games will be playable on the new European console. Unlike the original batch of North American and Japanese PlayStation 3 models, the European system will rely on software emulation to allow backwards compatibility. In order to play their older games, PS3 owners in PAL regions will need to obtain the latest firmware update, either via the official website or a disc obtained from their local customer service.
Sony's website lists three levels of compatibility, the best of which is "no known issues to date." Other games "should play on PlayStation 3 with some minor issues" or "should play on PlayStation 3 with noticeable issues." These three categories cover some 75% of PAL region games.
David Reeves, President of Sony's European division, states that Sony's "engineers have been working overtime, and have succeeded in delivering a significant number of playable PS2 titles for the European launch."
He went on to say: "We will be adding additional titles to this list in future firmware upgrades, but as we have made clear before, in the future our resources will be increasingly focused on developing new services and entertainment features exclusively for PS3, rather than on delivering PS2 backwards compatibility."
The update will also provide support for mice and keyboards, add options to the web browser, and allow greater flexibility for downloading content. It will also allow PS3 owners access to the Folding@home project run by Stanford University which will use the system's resources to process data and then send the information to a central computer. This information will hopefully lead to a better understanding of various forms of cancer and other illness such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. More information on the project can be found on their website.
The PlayStation 3 is set to launch in PAL territories on March 23. The firmware upgrade will be available at launch.