Sony’s New Hope: PS2 Emulation on the PS3


A quietly filed patent appears to reveal Sony is planning or at least considering the possibility of reintroducing full PS2 emulation to the PS3, which initially shipped with a special chip for this purpose, though this was later removed in a fit of marketing genius by Sony in order to cut costs…


The inferred plan is suggested by Sony’s American operation recently filing a patent which describes a method by which the PS3’s “Cell” processor could emulate the PS2’s “Emotion Engine”, apparently without the need for special hardware.

The PS3 initially shipped with such functionality provided in hardware, and this was a key selling point, but with later revisions of the console the chip was dropped and full PS2 backward compatibility subsequently lost.

Whether this was a wise move is probably debatable, particularly considering how tenaciously the PS2 appears to be resisting its demise, but it seems the whole problem may be avoided if a firmware update could simply add the required emulation features in software and so allow the PS3 to play PS2 games once more.

Of course, there is also the possibility that the patent is but one of the many thousands filed all the time by a large technology company speculatively with no immediate hopes of release.

Via Gigazine.

It seems possible that Sony either planned from the start to re-add emulation via software when they dropped PS2 hardware emulation, or that they have been so stung by the refusal of the PS2 to be quickly and cleanly superseded that they felt they had to develop a cleaner solution.

In any case, PS3 owning gamers will appreciate being able to finally dump their PS2s completely if ever that day comes…

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    Avatar of Roninracer
    Comment by roninracer
    17:04 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I just wish I could play PS2 games on my PSP.

    Honestly if I can't hack the console to make it region free and allow me to use ISO's instead of physical media, then I'm not that interested.

    When will these companies join the 20th century?

    Avatar of julian0086
    Comment by CanadaMann
    17:03 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    let more companies drop sony!

    EA, Blizzard, Ubisoft, 2K, all drop ps3

    and let the stupid japs afford their own machine

    Soon they will realize their xenophobia is simply stupidity

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:41 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    EA and Ubisoft will always support the ps3. Reason is that they a business and they will always find ways to get more money.

    Avatar of Muzaffar
    Comment by Muzaffar
    00:34 02/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I still play my PS2 even to this day and still yet to buy a PS3.... ^_^
    Albeit, with very crappy games to say the least. T_T

    Avatar of misterchef
    Comment by Riot Gear
    21:15 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    how about PS1 & PS2 on PS3?So i can play old Final Fantasy games for the Nth time.

    Avatar of Jigsy
    Comment by Jigsy
    11:08 04/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    PS1 already works on PS3 ...

    Avatar of Max51
    Comment by Max
    13:09 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have a feeling sony is going to start experimenting on new software for better emulation and mess up.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:06 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is almost reason enough to get a ps3 if this happens, but if it's only ps2 emulation my ps2 won't be going anywhere. Even now I still play ps1 games and pick up the occasional odd one I didn't get to play before.

    I'll play my Einhander until the day the disc dissolves.

    Now if they started making ps2/3 collections of older games...

    Comment by Metalbunny
    Avatar of muteKi
    Comment by muteKi
    13:33 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    At the same time it seems to highlight the stark contrast between the library for the PS2 and the PS3 as it stands currently.

    PS3 owners, it could be said, are getting told by this, but it's very subtly done.

    Avatar of pnilz
    Comment by Pnilz
    15:30 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Pal ps3 use software emulation and okami was beautiful upscaled to 720p, still wouldn't throw out my chipped ps2 since it can play games from any region.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:44 02/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Barbarian of Gor
    13:30 10/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Let's see...

    Looks at PS2 and PS1 by "Gaming Throne"...laughs...

    Then again, people begging the pawn shop dealer to unload their PS2 and piles of games they paid $1000+ for so they could have 1/10 that to go towards their next $1000 PS3 plus a few games is what put it in the "Used" market for me to get it at a sane cost since I can wait a few years...

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:28 05/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    When I finally got a PS3 around the time MGS4 came out, I was under the false impression that ALL PS3 SKUs were backwards-compatible. I hadn't been keeping up with the news and simply assumed that the feature in question was included. I'll never forgive Sony for springing a metric ton of gimped hardware on people during that transition period where they dropped backwards-compatibility.

    Sony whined that the 360 is a "piecemeal" console with all its add-ons? Yeah, right. At least if you get the wrong 360 SKU, you can upgrade it later. If you get the wrong PS3 SKU, you're pretty much screwed.

    Comment by MusicalNote
    05:54 30/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I want a pink PS2 controller! So awesome looking!

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:43 30/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Good thing I bought a PS3 within the first few months of release, it plays all PS2 games fine

    Avatar of Rokudaime
    Comment by Rokudaime
    04:31 23/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wii FTW. Huge-ass library of NES, SNES, N64, and GC games in one console, plus the Wii games. Epic win. Plus, I need Zelda and Mario. There's a reason Super Mario Galaxy was awarded Best Game of the Year(on all consoles) in 2007 you know. And Twilight Princess is the best Zelda game since Ocarina of Time, which in it's time was awarded Best Game of All Time(though that award is obviously dated now, I think it still deserves it). Owning alot of awesome GC games, like Luigi's Mansion, Super Mario Sunshine, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, and The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker(Limited Edition with Ocarina of Time Master Quest. ^^), owning a Wii is a must for me when coupled with all the great downloadable N64 games, and the new Mario and Zelda one's. Most other games I play on my PC. There are a few PS3/XBox 360 exclusions that I want, which will probably cause me to buy them in the future, but the list is short. Good PC and Wii combination is win imo. And my chipped PS2 for all the Japanese Anime-fighters, Devil May Cry series, and Legacy of Kain series games offcourse. ^^

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:01 23/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dreamcast lol

    Avatar of TeeHee
    Comment by TeeHee
    07:27 03/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I am loving my refurbished 60 GB PS3 from GameStop, since it is natively compatible with PS2 games.

    Seriously, if you want one now, just walk in and ask where you can find one (i.e. what is the nearest location). (Sorry if you are outside of the USA.)

    Or you can buy a broken 60GB on eBay and pay for Sony's repair service. They will give you the same exact model you have them repair.

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    22:38 02/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    once Sony release that firmware update...i'm buying a PS3

    Comment by npal
    01:48 02/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Meh, PS3 is a sinking ship, the sooner they start working on PS4 and avoid past idiocies, the better. As it is, good games still come PS2's way and Wii won the next gen race by the millions. Just admit your console failed to compete even with the 360 and got owned by a console with crappier hardware because your marketing and PR crew were retards, and do something better next time.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    03:11 02/07/2009 # ! Impenetrable

    The Wii is not a nextgen console...

    Comment by Some Anonymous
    04:55 02/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think he was saying the actual "nextgen" war -.-

    Avatar of h8GWB
    Comment by h8GWB
    13:07 02/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    There's a lot of evidence that Sony never plans anything ahead of time. I'm pretty sure that they just react to the whims and complaints from their fanbase and say they where gonna do it all from the start.

    That said, I'll finally dump my PS2 once there's some way to support most of its controllers and accessories and supports playing pirated ISOs via the hard drive.

    Comment by decepticon
    11:35 02/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Recently there are rumours of pictures of the ps3 slim.
    from the looks of it, it doesn't look like it has a gloss finish , looks like the casing of the old ps2 :S
    pretty cheap looking

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:12 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I already bought a PS3 with the Emotion Engine about 6 months ago for $300. The only PS3 game I have played on for more than 20 hours is probably Armored Core FA. Aside from that, I've been catching up on some old PS2 and PS1 games.

    Comment by Riful
    06:06 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    My PS3 is backwards compatible which is good since I've only purchased like 4 ps3 games since I bought the thing 2 years ago. Even now I am playing a ps2 game on it. It's a good thing they realized the backwards compatibility is such a key feature and was a major part of the ps2's success. Now if only they would realize the market needs more than just FPS and sports games clones to survive.

    Avatar of infidel
    Comment by jj
    16:29 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You're talking about Microsoft, yes?

    Comment by Meidoganekko
    06:22 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I will never drop my Ps2... since it can play modded games :3

    Comment by Wizary
    23:58 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I like your avatar

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:48 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So, supposedly, would this also be something for us Eurofags?

    Comment by mechwarrior
    07:36 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They better damn well do that. It was a travesty that they got rid of PS2 backwards compatibility.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:24 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Idiots! Just because Sony files a patent for SOMETHING THEY HAVE ALREADY DONE (*cough* 80GB *cough*) doesn't mean you should get excited! Sony has been able to emulate the EE on the Cell for *YEARS* now! It's the GS that they haven't been able to. Without that, PS2 emulation is just a fantasy. Unless that happens, stop jumping at every piece of junk that comes along that makes you think otherwise.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:58 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Perhaps they filed a patent because they don't want anyone _ELSE_ emulating PS/2 on PS/3.

    Avatar of Geerie
    Comment by Geerie
    11:10 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    what are you talking about? most of the comments here are saying its a pipe dream. it would be nice if sony did do that.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:45 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    My PS3 is backwards compatible, but my PS2 is modded so I play Japanese games on that

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:49 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have a fully backwards compatible PS3, thank god, since the PS2 is such a piece of shit. I mean, in terms of how it's put together. Incredible fucking library, but goddamn... I own a lot of fucking consoles and the only one I've ever had to open up and perform amateur electronic surgery on was my PS2--and the DREs have come back so I'd have to fix it again if I didn't have my big black box of love.

    I wish they could combine Nintendium indestructibility with a library worth having. I can't remember the last time I touched my Gamecube, but it does still work, despite taking a terrible beating over the years.

    Comment by mi
    16:49 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    here's my console list

    family computer - don't know the age - still alive, in our cabinet

    my ps1 is 12 years old - still alive and in the cabinet

    ps2 9 years old - still alive and is in the side of my tv

    x360 3 years old dead >_<.. not really as in dead, but will hang if opened for long... i don't have aircon in my room and my country's temp are high

    plan to buy ps3, when the day it is hacked came

    Comment by Booger
    20:51 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hey they already have latest gen consoles for rent in my (poor) country.

    I want to support the few developers of good games on PS3, so I buy the original games, then rent the console.

    By buying the console and renting / pirating the games, you benefit no one except the sweatshop workers who manufactured the console, and yourself.

    Avatar of N.R.
    Comment by N.R.
    14:20 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I bought a PS2 the day it came out and had no problems with it whatsoever. I still use it today and it works great. The dualshock controllers on the other hand had to be replaced every year, but since Sony replaced them for free I have no complaints. and just so you all know:
    The PS3 can play all the PS1 games and supports PS1 100%
    It will be great if Sony will make a firmware update and we will all be able to play PS2 games as well.

    Avatar of Lord Ryo
    Comment by Lord Ryo
    09:34 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't know, I went through 3 Gamecubes all of which broke down, even my last one. I wasn't doing anything to them to cause such damage as I take care of all my expensive electronics. But my N64 on the other hand seems to be standing strong.

    Comment by SenseiSyaoranLi
    Comment by Hangmen
    05:12 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    But you must not dump your PS2s! Rogue countries and freedom haters might exploit its hardware to fire ze missiles!

    Avatar of LunarSD
    Comment by LunarSD
    05:20 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    There could be no geekier form of terrorism.

    Comment by The Beast
    06:00 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't think he was a geek:

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Lazydabear
    11:57 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Jim Pinard would love to here that one.

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    05:08 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why would you not make a system backwards compatible?!

    Unless you were from microsoft, did the Xbox even have any good games?

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Lazydabear
    05:15 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    There is a lot of PS2 games for example that people haven't played like .//hacksign series.

    There are some good games for the Xbox for example that people still enjoy Star Wars:Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2.

    Avatar of infidel
    Comment by jj
    16:25 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    PC durrhurr.

    Comment by Sarusa
    11:00 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh hell yes. Panzer Dragoon Orta, Jet Set Radio, GTA San Andreas, Knights of the Old Republic, Ninja Gaiden, Halo, Morrowind, quite a few good ones. Certainly not as large as the PS2 library, but it's pretty funny that the X360 is far more back compatible than the PS3 even though they switched CPUs and video chips.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:03 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The day a firmware update will make all ps3 backwards compatible with ps2 will be the day I'll pick up a ps3.

    Comment by Chris
    16:23 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't own a single console from this generation - If PS3 goes through with this plan, I'll buy one.

    Comment by yuuji
    19:03 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I am buying it just for ffxiii lol

    Avatar of jkc
    Comment by jkc
    15:17 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    im never throwing my ps2 away, but like that guy said: "The day a firmware update will make all ps3 backwards compatible with ps2 will be the day I’ll pick up a ps3."

    Avatar of Halconnen
    Comment by Halconnen
    Comment by Anonymous
    06:35 02/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Im happy i bought my ps3 when it was ps2 compatible, epic win indeed.

    Comment by Kortaku
    13:52 02/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    well i didnt. Epik fail.

    Comment by Avery
    06:11 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    speaking as the owner of a ps3 with emulation i seriously encourage you to hang on to that ps2. it does play ps2 games but it is very selective and some companies are retarded about making games that work with the emulation (nis anyone?) i doubt anything new will be much better.

    Avatar of Lord Ryo
    Comment by Lord Ryo
    09:24 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I too own a PS3 with emulation and I've had no problems with any PS2 game, especially my NIS games. I own a lot of abscure titles all of which playback just fine. I gave my PS2 to my brother as soon as i transfered my data to my PS3. The only problem I had was having to leave behind my Star Ocean battle trophies which remain in my old memory card I also gave my brother. The day where I can retrieve all my precious BTs is the day I rework Sony rituals into my daily life.

    Avatar of KrystelMeth
    Comment by ThatGuyWithTheBalls
    00:42 02/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I Still Play with my Ps2 like Soul Edge, Soul Caliber 2.

    I remembered that the 6GB PS3 was able to play ps2 game but i wondered why they stop making 6gb...

    And Now They Think Its A good Idea now!?!?!

    Avatar of loplop
    Comment by Oppai Seijin
    05:52 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agreed, It's why I haven't bought one myself.

    Comment by Wesley
    05:06 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    same here....

    Hale-fucking-luja! :D

    Avatar of Narcissist
    Comment by Narcissist
    05:19 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Will never get rid of my chipped PS2 or chipped Gamecube. So incredibly fast and easy to download and burn great games to them which aren't available anymore (at least not without the trouble of buying them used).

    Comment by Wizary
    23:51 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Seconded this

    Comment by Tenno Seremel
    16:49 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It is. Not everyone live in US you know.

    Comment by Joe
    10:52 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    yeah its so hard to buy games used, going on ebay and clicking that buy it now button.

    Comment by Reclusoul
    09:58 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    My Thoughts Exactly

    Comment by King of Hentai Gods
    09:58 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Work with self burn disc?

    Comment by bolt
    09:50 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    thats why i got a chiped ps3.. the second i found out they were phasing it out... i jumped on it! now i enjoy all my old ps2 games :)

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