There was not much of anything exciting coming out of E3 this year, but one thing of note was that Sony is going to a single PS3 SKU – 80GB, no PS2 hardware backwards compatibility.
Interesting strategy on Sony’s part. The PS2 is still selling well, and the PS3 is picking up momentum. Seems to me that the two systems would cannibalize each other. It has been a while since I bought a PS2 game, but I have a lot of PS2 (and original PlayStation) games in my library. The last thing I want is have to hook up a PS2 and PS3 system in my entertainment system. The first thing I did with my PS2, after hooking up my PS3, was to put it up on eBay. Hardware backwards compatibility rules!
If someone is struggling with the idea of purchasing a PS3 for $399, they could easily turn to a PS2 for $129. They would be happy with the huge library of PS2 games, but at some point they would long for a PS3 (or maybe a 360 at $299). I doubt they would go all in and throw $528 + tax at both systems.
Sony must expect PS2 sales to remain strong one more holiday season. I predict that within two years there will be another PS3 SKU, this time with PS2 hardware backwards compatibility. “Play all your PS2 games on a PS3. Get it while it lasts!” Seriously. My hardware backwards compatible PS3 has already proven that Sony knows how to get her done. It will all be done under the guise of manufacturing improvements, with no mention of declining PS2 sales.