PS3 Update Supports Retro Game Play

Sony has released a new firmware update for its PlayStation 3 (PS3) console and PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld that make the pair compatible with games for the original PlayStation (PS1).

The new firmware update will allow PS3 owners to buy and play downloadable PS1 games on their video console. Concurrently, the Version 1.70 firmware now enables the PS3 to play original PS1 software bought from the PlayStation Store, which was previously only playable on the PSP.

Downloading Games

The PlayStation Store will also offer new versions of PS1 games for download — they can be played on the PS3 or copied onto a PSP Memory Stick and played mobile, although certain games will still only work on the PSP, according to Sony.

For now, the PlayStation Store lists only classic titles for download to the PSP; however, more titles are expected with the weekly update and PS3 support may be soon added.

Sony is trying to differentiate itself from other game makers by linking the PS3 and PSP game consoles together in order to gain certain advantages, Michael Cai, director of broadband and gaming with Parks Associates, told TechNewsWorld.

“Lots of gamers weren’t satisfied with the previous approach because there were a lot of restrictions on how to use them,” Cai said.

Transferring to Portable

Although only original PlayStation titles are being made available as transferable to the PSP, PS3 owners can download and play PS1 software on the console.

Another feature of the update is the addition of rumble support. The firmware enables the vibration function of accessories that are for use with PlayStation-format software.

Although the rumble feature may leverage some of the same technology used with Nintendo’s Wii controllers, the announcement isn’t likely to excite gamers, explained Cai.

“Hardcore gamers really care about access to the games,” he said.

Direct Access

However, for now access to those games will be limited to PS1 downloads that are intended to work on the PS3. Users may have to download their PS1 games again after upgrading their PS3 firmware.

The firmware also gives players the ability to transfer PS1 data from the PSP to PS3, which lets them seamlessly continue games regardless of the console they are using.

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