Sony Computer Entertainment Europe said that backwards compatibility with PlayStations 2 games of the PlayStation 3 console, slated to be released in PAL regions in about a month, will not be as good as that of the Japanese and the U.S. versions of the console (which play 98% of old games). "The backwards compatibility is not going to be as good as the U.S. and Japan models," a Sony spokesperson was quoted as saying by Reuters news-agency. It is unclear exactly how many games will be playable on the next generation console. Sony emphasized that the company expects end-users to jump on the PS3 bandwagon in anticipation of improved game titles made exclusively for the new console: "Rather than concentrate on PS2 backwards compatibility, in the future, company resources will be increasingly focused on developing new games and entertainment features exclusively for PS3."
To make matters worse for European gamers, in PAL regions the machines will retail for up to $240 more than in the U.S. and up to $345 higher compared to the recommended price (Â¥59 980 or $495) in Japan. Initially Sony will only sell the higher-end PlayStation 3 version of the console (60GB HDD), for €599 ($777) in the most of the markets and for pricing close to that in variety of countries: UK – Â£425 ($837), Ireland – €629 ($816), Australia – AUD 999.95 ($777), New Zealand – NZ 1199.95 ($840).