Earlier this week, Sony announced it was going to sell a slimmed down and cheaper version of the PS3,just before the holiday rush. The new version of the PS3 will contain a 40GB hard drive and less USB ports.
And as enticing as this may sound for some gamers and parents to buy over the holiday, I would advise against it.
The problem is not the smaller hard drive. I mean, let’s be honest, if you really need more than 40 GB on a gaming system you should probably evaluate your gaming habits.
The major problem with this ready-for-the-holidays version is the fact that the smaller version will not be backwards compatible. In other words, say good-bye to your PS2 or have it ready to be hooked-up if you want to play any of the old games. Definitely leave it unpacked as you may find yourself wanting to play some of the classic games.
In today’s gaming market, reverse compatibility has always felt like an agreement between developers and buyers. The developers can push out improved versions at their leisure but not at the cost of having to completely switch out and rebuild a gamers’ library. Reverse compatibility only requires an emulator or synthesizer be built/downloaded into the console, it is not a particularly expensive or cumbersome program.
Think about this; the Nintendo Wii is still the cheapest of consoles and, at $150 less than the smaller PS3 version. The Wii does not contain a hard drive to speak of and still has the ability to be compatible with its predecessors.
Something tells me that if the PS3-40 fails to takeoff, its inability to play PS2 games will be seen as a major reason. Gamers like the ability to go backwards, play the original versions of games, but as much gamers love the advancement of gaming, they really despise complete obsoleteness.
And something else tells me that if the PS3-Lite (as some reviewers are calling it) takeoff doesn’t happen, it might also be time to throw in the towel on your beloved system at any hard drive size.