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Last Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007, 18:05 GMT
Euro PS3 to play fewer old games
Sony Play Station 3
Some PS2 games will play on PS3 after downloading updates
The European version of Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3) console will not play as many old games as American and Japanese models, Sony has announced.

Gamers who already own PlayStation 2 (PS2) and PlayStation (PS) games may find they will not work on the long-awaited, new console.

The European PS3 has a different design to the Japanese and American consoles, which went on sale in November.

The PS3 is due to go sale in Europe on 23 March.

The console was supposed to be "backwards compatible", meaning all older PS and PS2 games should work on the new console.

But the European PS3 utilises a new combination of hardware and software emulation in which software takes over some of the functionality that was previously taken care of by dedicated chips.

This means that while European gamers will be able to play a wide range of original PlayStation titles on the PS3, there will be a limited number of PS2 games that will be compatible with the new console.

Downloadable updates

"Rather than concentrate on PS2 backwards compatibility, in the future company resources will be increasingly focused on developing new games and entertainment features exclusively for PS3," Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) said in a statement.

Some additional PS2 games will become compatible on the PS3 through firmware updates made available for download on the PlayStation website.

The first such update is scheduled to be released on 23 March, the same day as PS3 is launched in Europe.

European gamers will have to wait until then to find out what PS2 games will run on the PS3, as Sony intends to announce which games are compatible on launch day.

"We're disappointed not to be able to deliver what we originally aspired to, which was full backwards compatibility," a Sony spokesman told the BBC News website.

"It's changing on an almost daily basis as to how many games will be supported," said David Wilson of SCEE, but there will be regular firmware updates."

Japanese PS3 consoles also faced compatibility issues following last year's launch, with Sony acknowledging audio and graphics problems with some older titles.

Around one million PS3 units will be made available for the European launch at a price of 425 (599 euros) per console.

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