Since it will also play PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games, will the region-free treatment extend to those games? Seems like a natural thing to do, but I haven't seen it addressed anywhere. I know I can't read everything that's been written about this, but Wikipedia didn't offer a good answer, and those guys have way more free time than I have. The article they reference is this one by IGN which says, ambiguously, "the PS3 will be region-free for gaming". They later expound upon that, saying that PlayStation 3 games will be region free, but this doesn't address my question directly.
Anyone know if I'll be able to play Japanese and European PS1 and PS2 games with a PS3?
I very much doubt it, as one use for region codes is to enforce publishing agreements and other licenses.
Anon: Could you elaborate on that? Might not those contracts be renegotiable for have enough flexibility in them to allow Sony to change the rules. After all, they're on Sony's platform only with the permission of Sony...
The contracts aren't necessarily with Sony. If a publisher has bought the license to publish a certain game in Europe from the developer, they're not going to be terribly pleased if Sony on their own suddenly decide it's now OK to sell the US version in Europe too. Likewise game content (eg. movie licenses, soundtracks) is sometimes licensed for a particular area only.
I'm assuming that means region free for games but region encoded for DVDs.
SDS: I assume DVD and Blu-Ray playback will obey region encoding. (Interestingly, looks like Japan is included with North America for Blu-Ray. That should shut the otaku up, I guess.)
My interest, naturally, is with the games. There are always the grey-market DVD players for getting around region encoding.