Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
07 September 2007
Sometimes the 80 is better than the 60
I'm considering getting a 60Gb PS3 before the only way to get one is used, so I decided to hit up the new compatibility search engine Sony's put up just recently. In comparing the two models, I turned up one case where the 80Gb model (which uses software emulation for PS2 and PS1 games) does a better job: Atari Anthology for PlayStation 2. For the hardware emulation in the 60Gb, we get this:
Description: When the "Atari founder Nolan Bushnell" FMV plays, the audio plays approximately 1 second ahead of the video.
For the 80Gb (software emulation), the report is
Description: No major problems for this title.
Not a killer there, but it does leave me wondering what else will crop up in my collection. On balance, I'm seeing more issues with the 80Gb than with the 60Gb, so I haven't changed my plans. Still, it would be interesting to see a graphical comparison of some sort to visually evaluate how compatible each machine really is.

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--Matt Matthews at 10:37
Comment [ 7 ]

Comments on this post:

Sony actually did explain (about a year ago) that their emulation software was already doing a better job in the lab then the hardware solution. It was a throw away statement made in some magazine/website interview in all likelihood, but nobody really paid attention. I wish I had my finger on where I saw that statement, but I cannot find it today.

Sony also seems to be mute on the subject as well since why would they want to kill their own sales of the 60GB model by saying, "Oh the 80GB model is far better all around....and soon it will be cheaper too." At this point Sony’s silence on the subject of how good the emulation might be might actually be telling.

Two years ago Sony was happy they needed to keep producing the EE because it was going to be dirt cheap because of the projected numbers they would need to make PSTwo and PS3. While saving $1 on each unit is sounds sizable I really don’t think Sony would care if it meant PS3’s ability to play PS2 games would suffer. Remember it in Sony’s interest to have PS2 software to keep flowing and to have both machines play the software, so Sony wouldn’t be jeopardizing that significantly to save $1 on a system that pisses money away already. The saving for pulling EE out of PS3 likely is offset by the cost of still needing to produce it for PSTwo hardware, they lose all the economy of scale by pulling the EE out of PS3. So why do it unless it was doing something unconstructive to PS3’s ability to play the old software or it ability to play the ‘new‘ PSTwo software?

I know this sound like conspiracy theory gone awry, but I see a lot of indictors that say those 60GB units are not the smart buy at all. The irony of the game media talking heads (choose your favorite) telling people this is the time to grab the last of the GOOD hardware with EE is delicious since it could just be the worst advice anyone could give this year. I say it ‘could’ because who knows. Moreover, this issue is not much of a smoking gun when you consider the difference could just be how a handful of games run, nevertheless I’d buy an 80GB unit.

By Blogger MonkeyKing1969, at 07 September, 2007 16:56  

Seems like you've got two different takes on what I'll somewhat inaccurately call, "Priority of emulation."

I assume the software emu will take some advantage of its ability to be updated and do a decent job supporting popular (aka, "commercially productive") games, however that gets measured by Sony & friends.

Hardware, otoh, will "accidently" do as "good" a job for each, regardless of the popularity. Think that'll help when you get some randmo import in the future?

(PS -- That reminds me. I'm still waiting on my Intelligent Cube ISO.)

By Blogger rufbo, at 07 September, 2007 18:22  

I'd like to know if the hardware emulatin' PS3s can take advantage of both. I mean, don't the models share the same firmwares? And won't the emulation software technically be installed on both models? Seems like the obvious thing to do is offer a choice at boot for how you want to run your PS1 or PS2 game.

Not sure how I get that answered, but I don't see any technical reason the hardware emu machines can't actually be software-or-hardware emu machines.

By Blogger jvm, at 07 September, 2007 21:01  

Re: the hardware EE models ability to use software emulation...

That's a really good question. Sony has been pretty mum about the subject, with the exception of this quote:

(from Game Life - Wired Blogs)

Wired News: I have a first-run PS3 in the US, with the Emotion Engine chip, and I love playing PS2 games on it. Is that functionality going to be killed with a future firmware update? Are they going to switch all the PS3s over to software emulation?

Phil Harrison: You can't switch it off.


By Blogger Paul, at 10 September, 2007 19:16  

Also - one more comment, re: EE produced for PSTwo and PS3

According to Sony, they aren't the same chip, so economy of scale doesn't apply here. They're making custom EE+GS chips for the PS3.

(from the threespeech blog, among other places)

Q: Are you shifting capacity in your wafer fabs from making PS2 components to PS3 ones, then?

PH: “It’s not as simple as that – we’re obviously continuing to make PS2s in huge volumes, so there’s no reduction in that. But the Emotion Engine that has previously gone into PS3s on sale elsewhere in the world is a custom component that we have now removed from the motherboard of PAL PS3s.”

Now - it should be mentioned that I can't verify the veracity of either of my comments. I'm just trying to bring published Sony comments to the discussion. Make of them what you will - grain of salt, etc.


By Blogger Paul, at 10 September, 2007 19:36  


Thanks for sharing that info. I wasn't aware of the second quote from PH.

I'm hoping that Sony will make a definitive statement at some point about how PS2 emulation will be handled on 60Gb models in future firmware revisions. It seems a little nuts that they'd make a machine which can't override the extra hardware it has, but who knows...

By Blogger jvm, at 10 September, 2007 21:04  

"According to Sony, they aren't the same chip, so economy of scale doesn't apply here. They're making custom EE+GS chips for the PS3."

Well, economy of scale also functions at the factory level. I would guess EE and EE+GS are made at the same factory on the same machines type of machines just with different lithography for the circuitry. A guess to be sure, but a reasonable one. So stopping production of EE+GS would be cutting production and in the case of it being the same fab then it cutting their production by some percentage.

By Blogger MonkeyKing1969, at 11 September, 2007 19:36  

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