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Sony Files Patent For Backwards Compatibility Adapter?

The original 60GB PlayStation 3, which launched back in 2006, was fully backwards compatible; i.e., it would run most all PS1 and PS2 games. It was the last model to be able to do so, as over time, Sony moved to partial compatibility for PS2 titles and eventually, removed the feature entirely.

As of now, no PS3 can play PS2 games (although they can all still play PS1 games). Sony has remained firm on the matter, saying almost from the start that over time, backwards compatibility will be less and less desired by fans. While they may be right about that, the fact remains that many PS3 owners wouldn't mind being able to play PS2 titles on their new system. This is why Japanese message boards have exploded overnight due to a recent patent filed by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan. As you can see, it appears to be an external adapter of some kind, that connects a new generation console to a previous generation console. A schematic for the intriguing device shows that it "has its own processor, a DVD decoder/emulator, sound processor, and graphic processor." This could be very big news for the PlayStation family…and has anyone thought about the idea that it might be an adapter for the PS4? So we can play our PS3 games on the new machine?

Don't forget we'll be entering the fifth year of the PS3's lifespan in 2011 and the last two gaps for PlayStations were five and six years respectively- 1995-2000 for the PS1; 2000-2006 for the PS2. True, they say the PS3 has a 10-year life cycle but that doesn't mean they'll stop selling PS3s when they launch the PS4; the PS2 went strong for three full years after the PS3 arrived, giving it a 10-year lifespan as well. But one final note about b/c, from a personal standpoint-

Even if I had kept my old 60GB PS3, I still would've had a PS2 Slim hooked up all the time, on which I'd play any PS1 and PS2 games. The reason is that no matter how good the emulation was on the PS3, there was always something missing; i.e., sound cut-outs in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night . That's just one example. For me, I really don't care if b/c comes back to the PS3; I'll just always have the PS2 ready to go.

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Wissam
Wissam
13 years ago

Super ultra cool if this is true. and if I can access my old save files on my 3 ps2 memory cards
That would be a dream comes to reality.

Jawknee
Jawknee
13 years ago

Weird thing is you can still create a PS2 memory card and manage your saves on non backwards compatable PS3's.

Proxy
Proxy
13 years ago

Well they can't remove that option from the OS because there's still PS3s out there that require it.

bOnEs
bOnEs
13 years ago

an adapter?? ehh, i guess i'll just keep using my first original, still working, fat PS2… i was hoping this patent would come in the form of a system update but, i am not buying a separate component unless it makes the standard def games not look fuzzy on my HD screen… that's the thing i don't like about hooking my PS2 up to the HDTV… it looks really really fuzzy…

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
13 years ago

Exactly why I like playing PS2 games on my PS3 because a PS2 direct connected to my HDTV looks like poop. Poop!

Jawknee
Jawknee
13 years ago

Indeed they do. I've stopped playing my PS2 games on my big LCD screen anyways. They look much better on my first generation, Samsung 32" HDTV Projection TV than they do on my 52" Samsung LCD TV.

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
13 years ago

Try looking at a PS2 game, in a PS2, on a 65" screen. It's Wii-tastic! LOL


Last edited by fluffer nutter on 9/15/2010 1:24:05 AM

Jawknee
Jawknee
13 years ago

Sounds interesting but I agree with bones. Would rather just have a firmware update so I can just pop my PS2 game into my Slim if that's possible.

Also if this were an adaptor for PS3 to PS4 wouldn't they need a bluray decoder rather than a DVD decoder?


Last edited by Jawknee on 9/14/2010 11:01:14 AM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
13 years ago

If it was possible, they wouldn't be going to the trouble of producing an adapter.

Jawknee
Jawknee
13 years ago

I suppose, though they can easily sell the adapter. Can't sell a firmware update, or can they? 0.o


Last edited by Jawknee on 9/14/2010 12:48:01 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
13 years ago

No but you could make it unlockable only through a PSN download…

Temjin001
Temjin001
13 years ago

I think it's unlikely Sony will introduce a PS4 before a PSP2. Not that it isn't possible.
I also hope PS4 has more of a 7 year gap from PS3, as we're still seeing a lot of technological breakthroughs on our current hardware. I feel like the PS3 has had something of a performance boost over the last year now that we're seeing more in-house games that harness the Cell processor more effectively: Uncharted 2, GoW3, GT5, Infamous 2 and KZ3 look like games running on higher powered hardware than the norm.

Maybe Sony is planning to drop the PS2-slim and introduce this adapter to smooth over the transition for those gamers who still haven't made the jump to PS3.

If the price is right, I'm game.

Underdog15
Underdog15
13 years ago

My release 60gig is still running strong (although I have made updates to the system including a bigger HDD).

I've always had B/C, so as long as it keeps on truckin', I'll be fine!

Shams
Shams
13 years ago

My ps2 games work great on my b/c 60gig sku. It's my ps1 games, like your C:SOTN, that have the sound cut off issues.

Hezzron
Hezzron
13 years ago

This gizmo sounds like something I'd be interested in. Sony must know BC is greatly desired by their fans. I have a Slim hooked up, but there's a whole convenience factor if it can all be done on the PS3. Please Sony, don't let us and all those Japanese message boarders down!

As far as a PS4….well I kinda feel like the PS3 only REALLY launched with its price drop last year and with the bevy of exclusive games that came out since around that time too. I fear a PS4 launch within the next 2 years or so, would be met with even worse results than the PS3's.

spiderboi
spiderboi
13 years ago

I wouldn't mind getting an adapter if it lets me play with all my PS2 game goodness. My PS2 died but it died while rendering Big Boss in the underground cave right after the battle with Ocelot, so I'm guessing it died happy.

I'll opt for this thingamajig rather than a new PS2 slim since:
1. I'm a bit low on space to place any additional console
2. Wires wires and tangling wires.

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

well if this is true i got one thing to ask didn't they try some thing like this before or i am thinking xbox ? it had to do some thing with memory cards.

smileylyon
smileylyon
13 years ago

There is a PS2/PS1 memory card adapter available. Basically it just lets you copy games saves from the old memory cards to your hard drive.
Had nothing to do with the games, just the save files!

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

@smileylyon oh thanks, thats what i was thinking of then.

main_event05
main_event05
13 years ago

Agreed with the emulation errors Ben. Ever tried to play Silent Hill?

2 MORE DAYS TILL TGS!!!

Arvis
Arvis
13 years ago

Hey, how about a PSP game adapter for the PS3? THAT would friggin AWESOME.

-Arvis

Mystearica
Mystearica
13 years ago

Wait I'm confused… so you still have to hook it up to your old gen console right? So what's the point? Couldn't you just play the games on your PS2 then…. maybe I'm reading this wrong (sorry my brain is foggy from studying for my boards)

Simcoe
Simcoe
13 years ago

Does USB 2 have enough bandwidth to send this data to the PS3?

How processed would this data be; would some processes, other than video output, need to be handled by the ps3?

Would you still be able to access the XMB while playing PS2 games?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
13 years ago

Definitely. USB 2.0 is spec'd at 480Mbits/second. It's not bi-directional, so there needs to be a protocol for talking to the device. However you can still get data rates better than 40 MBytes/second. I'm not sure that the DVD drive in a PS2 is more than 4x speed (actually, I think it's slower than that), so it's maximum data rate is 5MBytes/second or less leaving plenty of room for all the other data required even using only one USB (2.0) port.

I guess if the worst came to the worst they could use both ports at once one in and one out, and then provide an additional port or two on the front side of the adapter to replicate the USB ports in a pass-through mode when not running PS2 software.

Simcoe
Simcoe
13 years ago

I guess I was wondering what kind of data rate an HDMI port transmits with regards to a 480p video stream, and if it was possible with just a USB 2 port. I found 270 Mb/s being reported for a 480p signal but not sure at what frame rate, so it would seem feasible with a USB 2 port.

Again, I suppose it all depends on just how much this adaptor would be doing versus the ps3 unit itself.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
13 years ago

I guess it depends on how they handle the video data, and as you say, how much the PS3 is doing.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
13 years ago

Nice. This is a good thing. People with older PS2s but a decent PS2 collection will enjoy this. Plus if the PS3 can do some nice upscaling tricks on the images, the games will look good, even on a larger HDTV.

I know that people are wondering why an adapter instead of software. Really and truly emulating the PS2 is extremely difficult, even for a piece of hardware as capable as the PS3. The GPU in the PS2 had some extremely wide data buses that allowed the processor to move data within itself at higher data rates than can be achieved within an emulator on the PS3.

The PS2's GPU had 4MB of embedded DRAM, it was capable transferring data to and from the eDRAM at 19.2 GBytes per second. However as this was fully duplexed, transfers in both directions were possible, meaning that the full bandwidth of the eDRAM inside the GS is 38.4 Gigabytes per Second. That is higher than the bandwidth of the RSX or Cell – even with the XDR memory. The only memory in the PS3 that can be accessed with that kind of bandwidth is actually the local store of the SPEs, but even taken together the 256K B of each SPE totals only 1.5MB for the six active SPEs.

Without emulating the GS at a high level and effectively reworking every game, there is no way to provide software only backwards compatibility. Even when Sony removed the Emotion engine from the original PS3 models and added partial software emulation for PS2 games, the PS2's Graphics Synthesizer hardware was still present on the PS3 motherboard.

Once that extra piece of hardware was removed with the 40GB systems and all the ones that followed (including the slim), there was no chance of PS2 backwards compatibility on the PS3 short of reworking every game, or releasing some kind of USB adapter.

It's nice that they are bringing an adapter though, I'm kind of expecting it to be a single chip PS2 that plugs into one USB port. The bandwidth of USB2 is more than sufficient to take the DVD data feed from the optical drive on the PS3 and still leave plenty of room for controller signals and other IO related data plus the video stream for game output to be sent back. This could be a great thing. Plus, they may use a PSN based software update to enable the device, it might not even come with firmware. This way Sony could tailor the firmware and PS3 software client to allow PSN downloadable PS2 games to work from the HDD is they wish.

Temjin001
Temjin001
13 years ago

Okay, Highlander. Where do you get all this information? It's not that I'm doubting what you're saying–because it sounds legit enough. I'm just curious as to how you're so informed.

Maybe that KOS-MOS avatar of yours eludes to the fact that you're actually a cyborg, robot, AI, GW something.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
13 years ago

"Maybe that KOS-MOS avatar of yours eludes to the fact that you're actually a cyborg, robot, AI, GW something."

HAHAHA! Wouldn't doubt it.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
13 years ago

@Temjin,

I'm a hardware geek. PS2 emulation/backwards compatibility was something I was interested in when Sony first started removing the hardware from the PS3 line. So I did some research way back. The information is available from various sources. But the gist is that the GPU in the PS2 was a remarkable piece of hardware.

Temjin001
Temjin001
13 years ago

Cool, well maybe you should pursue a career in computer hardware engineering. Who knows? Maybe you'll help Sony design processing technology for future PS products =)

Temjin001
Temjin001
13 years ago

Something, too, Highlander. If PS2 has this specialized processing, then how come games like GoW, Sly Cooper, and this future Ico/SotC collection can run effortlessly at 720p+AA with increased frame rates. I know there's a difference between emulating and processing. But if these games were programmed to begin with using a bandwidth that exceeds a single area for PS3 then how come we see these HD-remakes not only meeting but vastly exceeding what we've seen on PS2?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
13 years ago

Those remastered games are essentially ports to the PS3 architecture. The same things that the GS could do running at 150Mhz, are accomplished in different manner by RSX running at 500MHz. It just comes down to the way in which the hardware engineers tackled the design.

NazzyQ
NazzyQ
13 years ago

I reckon Sony should put PS2 games up for download on PSN. It would be great for someone like me who's trying to hunt down all those PS2 classics ( seriously, Shadow of the Colossus is really hard to find cheap in the UK. Copies of the game sell for about £50( $90!) on eBay). But then again, Sony probably makes more money on these 'HD collections.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
13 years ago

I looked it up and you're right copies are going for $90. That's crazy.

sawao_yamanaka
sawao_yamanaka
13 years ago

@nazzy

I bought mine from amazon for $15 new. Good investment.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
13 years ago

He lives in the UK, he needs a PAL version of the game.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
13 years ago

Wow, that's insane.
Gamestops here in the US sell it used for only $20 & I usually seem 3 or 4 copies of it, but they're bound to jack the price up as it starts to get scarcer.

And, they're still selling the much harder-to-find ICO used for a whopping $39.99, damn them!

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
13 years ago

I don't really care either way on this. Though I must say when it comes to the PS4 I'd much rather have a console with next gen graphics for an affordable price than a next gen system with last gen compatibility for a higher price.

gumbi
gumbi
13 years ago

Am I the only one who thinks a PS2-PS3 adapter is a straight up dumb idea? Why the hell would I buy, and hook up an adapter to my PS3 to play PS2 games when I have a perfectly good PS2 right next to it. I think most people who have PS2 games have a PS2.

This totally defeats the purpose of backwards compatibility. The whole appeal of backwards compatibility is so you have fewer devices. One machine that does it all. I don't want to plug a sidekick into my PS3 to play PS2 games on it. My PS3 already has a little sidekick that does just that, A PS2!

I hope this patent is for something else. Something useful. Sorry guys, I just don't see the point.

Jawknee
Jawknee
13 years ago

Some people don't like wires. The main reason I don't play my PS2 anymore is because I have to sit closer to the TV than I do when I play my Ps3. Wireles Duelshock 3 owns the 2 in my opinion.

gumbi
gumbi
13 years ago

Alright, let me eat a few words. If and that's a big IF, Sony can design this thing like highlander suggests above (a small single chip PS2) that's no bigger than say… a rockband USB dongle. Then I can see the appeal. Hell, I might even get one. I just don't want something that'll take up shelf space beside my PS3 when my PS2 already does this.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
13 years ago

Well, I barely use my PS2 compatibility anyway, but it's nice to have it. I think that this would be a very nice gift to all of Sony's loyal customers that still want to play PS2 games on the 3. The problem would be the price point. Best for Sony to keep it as low as possible, as the PS2 is available for next to nothing nowadays, otherwise people would feel cheapened.
Peace.

Jawknee
Jawknee
13 years ago

I only use it less out of fear that my refurbed 60gb will croak again.

NazzyQ
NazzyQ
13 years ago

I appreciate the help guys. I just hope that the rumored Team Ico collection makes it way to the Uk. The GOw collection arrived here a full 6 months after it hit the US. I hope history doesn't repeat itself!

Amazingskillz
Amazingskillz
13 years ago

Here's a position that I'm sure everyone here will think I'm crazy for. I hate to go against the grain but: I couldn't care less about backwards compatibility. The only game I would want to go back and play is GTA San Andreas. Right after I got CJ's brother out of jail and was taking over territory I almost finished the game before my PS2 completely burned out. I never finished it and I'm a completionist. Aside from that I could care less about backwards compatibility. I like devouring hot new titles and then moving on to the next one. I feel like playing old games I've completed is a waste of time. Especially since games absorb so much time. Some things to me within the world of gaming are just not important. Like Trophies. I couldn't care less about getting a Trophy. In fact, I find it annoying when they pop up on the screen. It takes away from the game and brings you back to reality. Just destroys the immersion in my opinion. I wish I knew how to stop the trophy achievments from popping up on screen. Anyway, I just want to go forward in my gaming journey and not backwards. They can keep the adaptor. I guess I'm different.


Last edited by Amazingskillz on 9/14/2010 2:24:02 PM

telly
telly
13 years ago

There are a number of games from PS2 that, in my opinion, really have stood up well over the years, even compared to the gorgeous games of the current generation. BC would ensure everyone can keep playing the games that are worth revisiting. But I agree, there's so much great new stuff out there, it's not like I'd actually want to use my gaming hours playing the same old stuff over and over and over again.

telly
telly
13 years ago

backwards compatability would be nice, but honestly, I still have my PS2 hooked up and it looks terrific on my 40", 1080p, Sony Bravia XBR4. It's no biggie at all to bust out the PS2 controller and flip over to component out 1 when I want to play God of War 2 or Metal Gear Solid 3. And whenever this PS2 finally conks out (I have had this thing at LEAST eight years at this point and it still runs like a dream!) I'll just pick up a slim version. BC would be convenient, but it's not a HUGE deal for me.

faraga
faraga
13 years ago

If this will go on sale I WILL buy it.

RebelJD
RebelJD
13 years ago

Add-on hardware that actually makes the Playstation more versatile. I'm all for it.

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