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Sony to bring 'PS2-less' PS3 to US, Japan?

Europe just the first step, newspaper suggests

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Europe may be the first region to get PlayStation 3 consoles that lack the PlayStation 2 Emotion Engine chip. It has been claimed other territories will also get the machine later this year as Sony strives to boost its profitability.

So says a Nikkei newspaper report, by way of Reuters. It alleged the move was being made to cut the next-generation console's production costs.

Sony has already admitted the version of the PS3 to be launched in PAL territories on 23 March has no Emotion Engine - the brain of the PS2 and the means by which the PS3 is able to play many PS2 games.

Instead of hardware support for old games, the paper claimed, Sony will offer software that emulates the missing chip. This is the approach Microsoft took to allow the Xbox 360 to play original Xbox games, even though the two machines use entirely different and incompatible processor architectures.

Arguably, it's an approach Sony should have taken from the start. The move should allow the consumer electronics giant to begin offering cheaper PS3s, to boost demand, at the cost of limiting backward compatibility, which many users probably don't care about - they want to play new games, not old ones.

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