I finally took the plunge and purchased a second hand 60GB PlayStation 3. I waited and waited for any positive news regarding a possible firmware update for the 40GB model that would fully implement software emulation for PlayStation 2 titles, but all Sony ever had to say about it was that it’s never going to happen.
Months back, I fixed the problems I was having with my old fat PS2, turns out it was just a dead battery. But even so, I had started receiving disc read errors when playing certain games. Metal Gear Solid 2, in particular. Rather than spend close to $200 on a new PS2 I decided to put that $200 towards a PS3 model capable of playing PS2 games.
The only such PS3 released in Australia was the 60GB. It’s not the perfect solution, as unlike the NTSC 60GB and 20GB PS3s, it is part hardware, part software compatibility. That is to say, it has the PS2′s graphics processor, the “Graphics Synthesizer”, but the PS2 CPU, the “Emotion Engine” is emulated with software. This means compatibility is nowhere near 100%, however it is good enough for me as almost all my games work perfectly.
Unfortunately, because they aren’t made anymore, 60GB PS3s have become quite rare and sort after, making them hugely expensive. They often sell for more than their original RRP of $999. However, I was lucky because I managed to snatch one up for $900 including a set of official Sony component cables and Casino Royale on Blu-ray.
I managed to sell my 40GB PS3 for $582, which seems high for an 8 month old console, but I still had 16 months warranty left plus I included Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, which I had two copies of. The rest of the money I was able to make up by selling off old accessories and games, such as my Action Replay 2 v2 and Vib Ribbon.
The 60GB PS3 I bought was in excellent condition. It had the inevitable scuff marks from wiping dust off of it, but so did my 40GB. The Blu-ray drive is in perfect working order and there is no signs of a failing HDD, though I will likely replace it in the future anyway.
Apart from being able to play PS2 games, there are other advantages too, such as an extra 2 built in USB ports, flash card readers and SACD support. Of course, there are disadvantages. For starters, as of May it has been out of warranty, so if it fails it will cost me something in the region of $150 to fix it. Also, it has a 90nm Cell processor which equals higher power consumption and more heat.
Overall, I am extremely happy with it and to be honest, it was now or never to sell my 40GB PS3 as the new 80GB PS3 is now available in stores for the same price and it comes bundled with a DualShock 3. In terms of features, it is indentical to the 40GB it is replacing, it just has more storage space. There is talk however, that it uses even less power hinting that Sony may now be including 65nm RSX chips, joning the 65nm Cell introduced in the 40GB.