Some of you with large PS2 libraries are very disappointed that Sony opted to remove backwards compatibility for PS2 software from the new PlayStation 3. The original 60GB model had it, but Sony immediately began to cut back; the ensuing model only had partial b/c (and it was emulation; they got rid of the graphics synthesizer chip), and now, the PS3 doesn't support PS2 software at all. It does, however, support most PS1 software.
Sony got rid of PS2 b/c in the PS3 mostly to help cut the cost of the console, but once they've dropped the manufacturing costs enough, might they reconsider? According to a rumor started at NeoGAF, one Sony representative claims that the company may be looking into a PS2 emulator for the PS3 in the near future. He first said that with only about a year left in the PS2's lifespan, you can't expect Sony to put PS2 b/c high on its priority list for the PS3, but at the same time, an emulator isn't out of the realm of possibility. This rep apparently said that "Sony may be willing to potentially buy a PS2 emulator to put in future consoles." And furthermore, this could include anyone who wants to try making one, as Sony may be looking around for options from both companies and independent coders. Of course, none of this is anything but speculation and rumor – hence, Sony will never issue an official comment on it – but they have cut the production costs of the PS3 significantly over the past couple of years. With those costs down, and with enough consumer demand, it would seem logical to pursue PS2 emulation…if they can get it cheap, that is.
The question is, as we leave the previous generation further and further behind, does PS2 emulation become less important or more important? Are people tossing their PS2s when they buy a PS3? They didn't do that earlier, when there were still plenty of PS2 games coming out and not a whole lot on shelves for the PS3. But these days, there's very little to entice a new consumer to keep the PS2 hooked up. Then again, even with no new games, someone may have a very large PS2 library, and may only realize at a later date that the PS3 doesn't support any one of those games. It's an interesting conundrum, to be sure.