Sony's Playstation 2 Backwards Compatibility Patent: Don't Count On It

By  |  Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 8:07 am

From the wild world of Sony video game patents comes a little adapter box that can supposedly run Playstation 2 games when attached to a Playstation 3.

According to Eurogamer, the patent application calls for a device with its own DVD decoder and emulator, CPU, GPU, sound processor and memory. The adapter would read information from Playstation 2 discs, inserted into the PS3, and perform all the legwork, possibly sending compressed audio and video back to the PS3 via ethernet connection. This would allow PS2 support without the Emotion Engine, a processor Sony included in early PS3 models specifically for playing last-generation games.

I wouldn’t bet on this patent to become a real product for a few reasons. First, Sony has already dreamed up a better way. In 2009, Silicon Era spotted a patent for emulating the Emotion Engine on the Playstation 3’s main processor. Backwards compatibility wasn’t explicitly mentioned, but it’s hard to think of another purpose for this patent. I’m sure Sony would rather have a solution that doesn’t require clunky additional hardware.

More importantly, Sony has shown very little interest in reviving backwards compatibility. “It’s not coming back,” John Koller, Sony’s director of hardware marketing, told Ars Technica in August 2009, after Sony introduced the PS3 Slim. He explained that most people are buying the console for Playstation 3 games and Blu-ray movies anyway.

Finally, the other couple of interesting Sony patents to surface recently — a universal game controller that works with consoles from other manufacturers, and a use of 3D technology that shows different images to two players on the same screen — haven’t become real products, either. As with all kinds of strange tech patents from big companies, few of them ever hit the big time.

That said, if Sony were ever to sell one of these PS2 backwards compatibility adapters for the PS3, I’d probably buy one.


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Gil Says:

    I'm glad my original 60GB is still in working order. Not that I really ever play PS2 games but just knowing I have the ability to do so at a moments notice is priceless in my book. Glad I don't have to have my PS2 & PS3 hooked up to enjoy my gaming options.

  2. L1A Says:

    Why would your 60GB wouldn't be in order? You didn't buy XBox that is designed to fail so that Microsoft can inflate it's "consoles sold" number. Suckers like Paul Thurrott has purchased 8 of them.