Now I want a first-generation PlayStation 3. The first versions of Sony's systems always have the neat doodads that are cut later. The original PlayStation had the serial network cables for linking consoles and non-proprietary video output connectors and that other funny port on the back. The original PlayStation 2 has the iLink port, two USB ports, and the bay for the hard drive. In each generation the smaller, sleeker version of each console had all those features cut.
If/when they move to a software emulator I think it highly unlikely that they'll achieve the same compatibility they can with hardware. Then again, the mighty Cell is magick, so anything's possible.
IIRC, there is a mini-PS1 inside every PS2, so (recursively) there should be a miniPS1 inside every miniPS2 inside every PS3 :)
After claiming the PS3 would play all PS1 and PS2 games, they've now finally admitted there are PS1 and PS2 games it won't play. But now promise that will be fixed in software updates?
This is the hard way to get backward compatibility, at least from a cost perspective. My guess is that a software solution, amortized over millions of system sales, would come out cheaper.
Perhaps an oversimplified version of "cost" there. If you're trying to engineer some way to deliver on your promise to have bkwds compat by date X, I wouldn't be surprised to see that squeezing in old hardware that's already designed is the (short-term) easy, reliable, and, in many ways, cheaper way out.
You seemed to have nailed a pretty interesting long-term way out on the head with the guess that the innards'll be gone in a future version, replaced by code, esp if they've already started in on emulation that didn't quite (apparently) make it this time. I'll give ya a cookie if it plays out like that -- maybe even a KK donut.