back to article Japan to lose 20GB and 60GB PS3

Sony plans to end sales of its 20GB and 60GB PlayStation 3 (PS3) models in Japan, within just two months. The company has confirmed that it will no longer sell the two different capacity models in its home region from March this year, although it hasn’t officially stated the reason for its decision. However, several online …


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  1. Leslie Greenhalgh

    PS2 Backwards compatibility to go for good too?

    As the 40 gig doesn't offer backwards compatibility with the PS2, presumably if Sony intends to drop all other PS3 models, it's only a matter of time before you can't buy a PS3 that can run PS2 games. Seems like a huge error to me.

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  3. Mike Crawshaw

    Huge Error?

    £185 for a PS3 in Japan.

    £299 for a PS3 in UK ( 2 minutes ago, 40GB version)

    Seems like a huge error to me...!!!

  4. alphaxion

    nope, not a huge error

    the uk gets shafted on pricing of everything electronic.

    The PSP:

    japan - ~£85

    uk: £130

    even online retailers deviate from the high street pricing by a matter of a pound or two when it comes to consoles.. It's sickening.

    The ipod touch in the US is the same price for the 16gb model as it is for the UK 8gb..

    A guy where I work bought a small HP tablet laptop last month for about £450, the price for the same model in the UK? that'll be £1400 please!!

    I am fed up of being taken for advantage when it comes to pricing in the UK, where the hell is the extra cost coming from??

    I'd love to see a breakdown of the pricing showing the cost from the manufacturer, cost to ship it here, taxes and duties and then the final retail price because there are a lot of people lining their pockets quite heavily in the UK and I am just plain disgusted by it!

  5. ElFatbob

    @ PS2 Backwards compatibility to go for good too?

    I agree, it does seem strange. I have a couple of theories:

    It could be that they are now starting to fight on price and are betting on people not really wanting to play the old games with all the new (HD) games due for release (albeit the 60gb upscales ps2 games). (The fact that they are doing this in their 'heartland' may also suggest that the feedback from the Japanese gamers is precisely this....)

    It could also be canny marketing. Bring out the cheaper model and let people get used to a price point that actually does provide serious price competition to the 360 and Wii (about £280).

    THEN introduce the 80gb (or perhaps an even higher capacity) model with the backwards capability for the previous price point of about £425

  6. Ian

    Yes, backwards compat. is going.

    Ironic really seeing as Sony gloated about backwards compat. more than anyone, Microsoft second and Nintendo last yet Nintendo delivered best backwards compat. followed by MS, followed by Sony.

    Something about promising something you can't deliver I suppose, as it stands in Europe already PS3 is a clear last place in terms of compatibility.

    My guess as to why? They expect people to buy a PS2 AND a PS3 if they want to play old games.

    I'll pass thanks until they bring back the 60gb+ PS3 with backwards compat.

  7. Law
    Paris Hilton

    RE: Huge Error?

    Ofcourse.... why do you think they kill off the import companies like Liksang... poor liksang didn't even get chance to test their case, basically because Sony made a coordinated effort to cripple them before it got to court.

    And to think I was half considering easing up on my Sony boycott.... looks like its Sony free for 2007 and 2008 now....

  8. Iain

    You can still import

    You've just got to know someone going to Japan. There are plenty of places that still ship US or Canadian models to the UK, if you want BluRay Region A, too.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Backwards compatibility - seriously complaining?...

    @Ian - "My guess as to why? They expect people to buy a PS2 AND a PS3 if they want to play old games."

    You reckon? Sony have financial interests in delivering a lean machine without any (costly) extras that only a small percentage of users will need. What proportion of the target PS3 -market do you think either a) don't own a PS2 and b) have a stash of PS2 games they're waiting to play on a PS3? I'm betting less than 5%, no more than 10%.

    Backwards compatibility is entirely over-rated. I remember upgrading from my PS1 to a PS2 and thinking "brilliant! I can play all my old games on either machine". I played TOCA 2 precisely once on the PS2.

    Throw carbon-conscious arguments into the mix and you can further see how crazy it is. A PS2 apparently uses around 50W - a PS3 playing the same game is about 300-400W.

  10. DrXym Silver badge


    @Law, Poor old Liksang was told nearly a full year before to cease and desist selling Sony kit. Poor old Liksang chose to ignore the C&D and didn't even bother to defend itself when taken to court. How is any of that Sony's fault? Now it is arguably bad that companies can stop grey imports but they're entirely within their legal rights to do it. Why is any surprise that some of them do?

    Anyway, back on topic it seems smart to axe the other models simply to focus production on a single line simply to save money. Having multiple models with multiple board designs and chips just snarls up everything. I expect Sony have already axed production and supplies are now limited to what is in the pipe.

    Personally I'd like to see them produce a slim PS3. The White PS3 has a very small mainboard. I can see that as being the basis of a slim version and I wouldn't be surprised if it appears some time this year.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Sony has no interest whatsoever in you playing old games

    Sony makes most of its money on the games they sell, not the console itself. They have no interest whatsoever in you playing your old PS2-games on a PS3. Period.

  12. DrXym Silver badge

    PS3 power consumption

    @Anonymous Coward, PS3 power consumption is between 180-210W in regular use. This is much too high. Reduced chips and chip sizes should bring that figure down substantially.

    BTW the Wii has comparatively low power consumption when playing games but manages to screw its credentials because every Wii defaults to a 10W per hour mode (WiiConnect24) looking for online "surprises" which Nintendo has singularly failed to deliver. The amount of wasted power is obscene. The Wii may even waste more power than either 360 or the PS3 because of this stupid mode which should be off by default, not on.

  13. Kenny Millar

    The truth about backwards compatibility is...

    ...simply that people don't see the need to buy a PS3 because it doesn't offer any significant benefits. So do away with PS2 compatibility, means all new games will be PS3 since the developers won't develop for a non-current platform. So, no new games for PS2 means you have to go out and buy the PS3.

    As for me, I go my PS2 on launch day, but I won't be getting a PS3 nor an X-Box since they are simply over priced for a man toy.

  14. jai

    re: backwards compatibility

    i'm not sure the backwards compaitbility is really that necessary

    if you have a large collection of ps2 games and you really need to play them that desperately, then you'll already have a ps2 and so you just need to plug that into your telly alongside your ps3

    there is now a large section of ps3 games available and out of that there's at least a dozen games that are worth playing and good fun - the old argument that you need your old ps2 games because of the lack of next-gen choice no longer applies

    the only ps2 games that i would really want to be able to play on ps3 (with it's upscaling to make them look nicer) are Shadow of the Colossus, the GTA series and Tomb Raider Anniversary. but since the ps3 came out, i've probably only spent 3 or 4 hours playing those, the rest has all been on ps3 games. and to be honest, i can wait for GTA4 and the new ps3 game from Team Ico becaude i'm busy playing the other ps3 games

    so while it would seem to be annoying not to be able to play your old games, i really don't think it'd be necessary. and if you're really that desperate, just use your ps2!!

  15. Highlander

    Sony asked, gamers answered

    Sony surveyed gamers and PS3 owners to find out whether Backwards Compatibility was really the be all and end all of PS3 desires and surprisingly it was one of the features that failed to set the heather alight.

    That said, I am still wondering whether Sony will at some point in the not to dim and distant future spit out a new 'premium' unit that incorporates the PS2 chipset again, along with nice 65nm versions of Cell and RSX, and a further reduced chip count on the main board. Sony seems to be going towards a two tier offering globally and I could see them bumping that 80GB to 120GB in time, perhaps including the PS2 hardware BC solution at that time also. I mean if they are going to offer BC in the premium unit, there is no point doing it in a half assed way, and the partial software/hardware BC in the 80GB is nothing if it's not half assed.

  16. Frank Bough

    I Still Play R/C Stunt Copter on my PS2...

    The backwards compatibility issue HAS stopped me from thus far getting a PS3 (although we did get one at work for testing Blu_rays discs, and nice it is too). Don't forget, even the 60GB models in Europe couldn't play all games (Gran Turismo? WTF?), and lack of a PS memory card slot was pathetic.

  17. Andy Bright
    Thumb Up

    Really, someone actually cares?

    Why does anyone care at all about backwards compatibility?

    Anyone with an attachment to an old game has clearly played it before, and therefore is extremely likely to already own a PS2.

    Sure a few people may have broken consoles (mine is still working perfectly after nearly 8 years) and a few might have sold them for less than the price of a game, thinking they would just use the PS3. The upside of either of those is it'll cost you less than the price of game to get yourself another one.

    But if your primary purpose in purchasing a new console is to play old video games - have you given any thought to perhaps not wasting hundreds of dollars or pounds on something you don't want? If the games you want to play haven't been ported or had a new version created for the PS3, why not just keep your PS2 until what you want is available?

    Really it surprises me that anyone really gives a toss if something is backwards compatible. Can't remember the last time I thought "Oh NOOO! I can't play my old Amiga games anymore!". Shit if you really felt that way you can buy one of those stupid handheld toys that plug into the telly and look like old-fashioned Atari joysticks for a tenner.

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  19. Ian

    Backwards compat was moved to software, no cost reason relevant

    Since Sony moved backwards compatibility to software the argument that it's a costly extra is entirely false. Whilst I may not be correct about them wanting to buy a PS2 and a PS3, it's just a theory there clearly is at least some less consumer friendly reason why they wont include it anymore. I could understand the original decision to remove PS2 hardware and make it a software thing, but to remove it completely? It doesn't seem reasonable really.

    As for power consumption I've got to agree with DrXym, these lower power modes are idiotic when you can just turn the things off :) That's why I don't particularly like the idea of the folding@home thing with the PS3 either, if you really want to do something beneficial with your machine, cut your CO2 emissions by turning the fucking thing off instead when you aint using it! ;)

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Who cares about backwards compat? Who cares iPhone battery isn't replaceable?

    Ok some of the stupidest arguments about products are as follows:

    Game Consoles: No backwards compatibility

    Um, play it on the old system if you want to play it. Buying a new system doesn't require you returning your old system. I have both a 360 and PS3 and I can honestly say, since getting them, I haven't wanted to play an old generation game (well maybe RalliSport Challenge 2)

    iPhone: No replaceable battery

    As a cell phone user for over a decade I can say, I've never purchased or replaced a phone battery. Don't plan to magically need that ability now that I have an iPhone either.

    Now here's a real complaint about the PS3. How much would it have cost them to add an IR reciever? I cannot control the PS3 (as my Bluray player) with my Harmony 880 universal remote because it only does Bluetooth and not IR. WTF? That's a lot more important than backwards game compatibility if they really want it taken seriously as a Bluray player.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Its gonna get better now . . .

    I just wanted to add that they are just doing this to bring in a newer and more premium model its quite clear to me personally, 40g will not last not when they bring in their add ons like the tv tuner and stuff, i wud want a biger hardrive but as for backward compatibility not fussed, if ur sooo botherd get a ps2 cheap as chips these days ! Everyone happy . . .

  22. Ross Fleming

    @Ian - explanation

    Sony moved *part* of the PS2 hardware to software emulation, specifically the Emotion Engine. The Graphics Synthesizer (GPU from the PS2) hardware was still left in. This latest version removes both the Emotion Engine and the Graphics Synthesizer.

    So either the PS2's GPU is either too difficult to do in software or too costly

  23. Scott Butterworth

    RE: Backwards Compability?

    Please can someone who actually OWNS the 40GB model in the USA actually confirm 100% whether or not it truly is *unable* to play PS2 and PS1 games.

    I was under the strong impression they were planning on simply ommiting the PS2 chipsets and implementing backward compatibility via software emulation.

    PS: I am unable to answer this question myself since I own one of the 1st gen 60GB models (which I later upgraded myself to 250GB of HD) which does have all the chips & features and plays PS1/PS2 games perfectly well (with added upscaling/smoothing).

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @I Still Play R/C Stunt Copter on my PS2...

    Okay, so you have a PS2, and you don't want to buy a PS3 because it won't play PS2 games that work perfectly on the PS2 you already have?

    What the hell are you gonna do? Buy a Wii?

    Oh wait! Guess what! A Wii won't play your PS2 games either!

    But you know what will? A PS2. Damn, it sure would be great if you had a PS2.

    Oh wait. YOU ALREADY DO. Fucking idiot.

  25. Darren

    Backwards compatibility

    Why would you buy a PS3 if you want to play PS2 games??? You never know, knowing Sony they will probably rejig the config of the 40GB version to include backwards compatibility and the missing card reader. Take the case of a 60GB and pop a 40GB in it (with a few extras fo course)...

  26. /\/\j17

    re: Huge Error?

    Japan vs UK is hardly a fair comparison - not when comparing a Japanese electronics companies products anyway.

    If you look at our neighbours you will see that we aren't (the only people) being screwed.

    UK - £280

    Germany - E400 (£300)

    France - E400 (£300)

    (prices from a popular online 'book' seller)

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