Confirmed: PS2 inside PS3 | PS3Blog.net
It’s been rumoured, but now it’s confirmed. The PS3 will have the PS2’s Emotion Engine (EE) chip and the PS2’s Graphics Synthesizer (GS) chip built in. It seems like Sony previously wanted to use an emulator to provide PS2 compatibility in the PS3. But in order to make sure that certain games worked properly, they ended up using real PS2 hardware instead. It seems like some PS2 games did not use “the library” recommended by SCE. I’m not sure what this means, because I thought that developers could write software right to the metal, so to speak.
Sony did say that the EE and GS chips will be removed “before long”, moving to a pure emulator approach. This will reduce the cost of producing a PS3, a good thing for Sony.
I have to wonder if first-generation PS3’s will be more PS2 compatible than later PS2’s for this reason. First-gen PS3’s might be in more demand for just that reason.