London (England) – In an effort to scale back the prohibitive cost of the PS3, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) is removing the Emotion Engine technology that was used in the PS2, which will limit its ability to play games from the previous system.
According to a press release issued today, the PS3 model that will be used for the launch in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia, will be backward compatible with a “broad range of original PlayStation (PS) titles and a limited range of PlayStation 2 (PS2) titles.”
The PS3 launch, which was originally planned to be worldwide, was pushed back for regions that use PAL encoding. The US and Japan use a different format known as NTSC.
In the NTSC versions, which debuted last November, it was reported that there was essentially a PS2 embedded into every PS3 console to maximize the compatibility with back-system titles. SCEE says it will continue to update the firmware for PAL consoles to add compatibility with PS2 titles. This is similar to what Microsoft has been doing with the compatibility of Xbox games on the Xbox 360.
The debut of the PS3 in PAL regions is scheduled for March 23. The price for most of the area is about 599 euros ($788).