While reading my gaming feeds last night I came across an odd turn of events. These articles came out in the opposite order; but you can see the quandary clearer if you go in this order:
SCEE managing director Ray Maguire said Sony will use the money it dedicated towards backwards compatibility to invest in new games or to perhaps lower prices so more gamers can afford to buy a PS3.
The second time in less than a month, Sony is supposedly considering selling its chip manufacturing plants to rival electronics company Toshiba. According to a report by Reuters, “Sony was in negotiations with Toshiba to sell its manufacturing facilities in Nagasaki, also in western Japan, for advanced microchips including the Cell microprocessor.” The Cell processor is a vital part of the PS3 architecture and is one of the costliest and most powerful aspects of the system.
So Sony is going to drop backwards compatibility because it costs too much. And they are supposedly looking to sell a chip manufacturing plant that makes the Cell processor to a rival so they can pay not only the manufacturing cost but an additional profit margin to Toshiba?
Of course there could be other advantages to the sale, consolidating Cell processor manufacturing to other facilities. The factory was losing money, so make the profitability someone else’s problem. But the juxtaposition of those two articles makes one wonder what else Sony is thinking, or not thinking as the case may be.
I think that the lack of backwards compatibility may cause less systems to sell. I picked up my PS3 in July when they announced the price drop. Since I’ve had it I’ve played, maybe, 10-12 hours worth of PS3 games…that could be really stretching it though. On the other hand I’ve played numerous hours of PS2 games on it, I played God of War all the way through (~10 hours), gotten through to Midea being stolen in DQ8 (~14 hours?), almost finished the prologue to Kingdom Hearts 2 (~6 hours). And thats just what I can remember.