Since its release, the Playstation 3 has not been greeted with the warmest of receptions. While the mainstream media has generally been treating the PS3 MTV-style (adoration without question), Sony's street credit has been taking almost daily blows. From unit shortages and HDTV support issues to a lackluster launch line-up, it seems like Sony just isn't seeing the positive consumer response that they'd like.
Now to add to that, Joystiq.com is reporting
on a video that has surfaced on YouTube that highlights the PS3's problems with playing PS2 and PS1 games. Apparently, the PS3 emulates PS1/PS2 games without adequately compensating for the PS2's lack of high resolution textures; in other words, PS2 games look much better on a $100 PS2 than they do on your $600 PS3.
In the side-by-side video comparison hosted on YouTube, the difference between a PS2 title playing on a PS2 vs. a PS3 is striking. I could explain the differences - the huge jaggies that appear in the PS3 version, for example - but it's easier to just point you towards the video and encourage you to go watch it.
One of the things that isn't mentioned in the video, however - but is evident when watching it - is the color variations between the PS3 and the PS2. For one reason or another, the PS3's color in the comparison video looks extremely dull compared to the same game playing on the PS2. So not only is this an issue of jaggies, it might also be a question of general graphics rendering - your PS2 games simply won't look as good on the PS3 in several different aspects.
For some time now, Sony has been pointing to the success of the PS2 over its rivals like the Xbox 360. They like to point out that the PS2 still outsells the 360 across the board. Considering the PS3's limited quality titles at the moment and the $600 price range, it seems to me that the PS3 is worse off than the 360 in terms of features for your money. The PS3, for all its cool graphics and horsepower, sometimes seems to offer less than what you can find in a $100 system that Sony released nearly 7 years ago, let alone in either of the Microsoft systems that have released since: The Xbox or the Xbox 360.
Shortages do not seem to be Sony's only PS3 problem, and I question whether or not they're offering a system that justifies a $600 purchase this Christmas even if you found one sitting on the shelves.