An update on Sony's official PlayStation 3 website
announced that a separate peripheral will be needed in order to import game saves to PS3 from the older formats, while again confirming that Sony's next-gen console will be backwards compatible with almost all PlayStation and PlayStation 2 titles.
Microsoft has faced consistent criticism over the quality and quantity of original Xbox titles which are backwards compatible with the Xbox 360 – a process made extremely difficult for Microsoft, after the switch from NVidia to ATI graphics processor technology in the new console.
Consumers have also been disappointed at the inability to import game saves from the older Microsoft machine, where they were often large and stored on the Xbox hard drive - although recent third-party peripherals have overcome this problem.
Sony’s answer to the latter issue appears to be similar, with the website describing the use of a “memory card adaptor”, which will be used to copy data to the PlayStation 3 - where it will be stored on a virtual memory card on the console’s hard drive. According to the website: “A memory card adaptor is designed to edit, up/download game saves to and from EMS flash card or smart media card." (The problem is somewhat easier for the company since it has never allowed saving to the hard drive before, as Microsoft did with the first Xbox.)
Although there will, no doubt, be complaints at the need to purchase a separate peripheral, the announcement seems to illustrate again the higher level of priority given to backwards compatibility by Sony, compared to either Microsoft or, arguably, Nintendo.