Some were soured when they found out the 80GB unit would use software emulation instead of the Emotion Engine (the PS2 chip in the North American PS3). But since the 80GB PS3 comes bundled with Motorstorm, many were able to look past it.
Now that it's been confirmed that the $100 discount on the 60GB PS3 is actually a clearance sale, and not a permanent price reduction, many PlayStationites are left scratching their heads as to why.
Well, Sony Computer Entertainment president David Reeves offered an explanation:
The difference is that the 60GB we (Europe, which is the blueprint for the new NA 80GB PS3) have now has about 88 percent backwards compatibility. The 60GB they (current North American model with Emotion Engine) had had 100 per cent backwards compatibility. They felt that by going down from 100 to 88, for example, that they'd have to add something in - and that's what they did.
So there you have it. Sony thought people would be angry if they sold a 60GB PS3 without the emotion engine for the same price as the current (better!) model, so they upped the drive and threw in Motorstorm, hoping that it would be enough to persuade you that 88% backwards compatibility was tolerable.
Maybe it is, I guess it depends on the games, really. Personally, I am more upset by the lack of support for the Guitar Hero, Beat Mania, and DDR controllers than anything else. If the 80GB PS3 included an adaptor or port that made those work, I'd be sold, even without the emotion engine.
When asked why Europe wasn't getting the 80GB PS3, Reeves responded:
The difference between 60GB and 80GB is not really necessary. The difference in cost between a 60 and 80 is just Euro cents; it's nothing, because the cost of memory is so small. Probably we could have gone for 80GB, but does it really make any difference? We just know that we get a better supply on the 60GB than we will on the 80GB. So we chose to continue with the 60GB until we find that we can get something better, maybe lower cost. It just didn't seem necessary to us.Which begs the question, if they aren't selling out, and it is only "cents" more, why not give European gamers the extra 20GB? Heck, I still own a 20GB unit, it isn't an insignificant increase in memory.
At least Europe is getting a new PS3 bundle. It comes with a 60GB console (same as their current model), two games and a second Sixaxis controller for EUR 599, which is what the PS3 currently costs there anyway. Now that's a real deal. How about extending that love to North America?
At the end of the day, Sony has somehow made going to one model of the PS3 more confusing than the three, soon to be four, Xbox 360 models. While I remain a loyal PlayStation fan, I am still waiting for the day when I get some good PS3 news that doesn't have a dark side to it.
My thinking is that this is a very compelling reason to get a 60GB PS3 now, while they are cheap an 100% (cough, cough) backwards compatible.