Think back to the autumn of 2006, right before the big PS3 launch. Expecting someone to pay five-hundred-and-ninety-nine-U.S.-dollars was (rightly) considered ludicrous, but the ability to play the entire PS2 library on the system somewhat lessened the blow. But then Sony removed the Emotion Engine chip from the PS3, thus rendering it unable to play PS2 games. (More recent models, like the one found in the Metal Gear Solid 4 bundle, used a just-sorta-okay software emulation method to grant partial PS2 backwards compatibility.) All that may well change if Sony goes ahead and executes the idea found in this recently unearthed patent.
The patent, which was filed in December, 2008, shows a method whereby Sony would harness the power of its fancy-pants Cell processor to emulate, from soup to nuts, the Emotion Engine. Emulate that, and it’s like having a tiny PS2 inside your PS3, and all that that implies.
The best part is that since every single PS3 on planet Earth has a Cell processor, every single PS3 could take advantage of this latest bit of technological wizardry.
Keep in mind that patents are filed all the time, so this is by no means any sort of “confirmation” that you’ll be able to play Final Fantasy X or Shadow of the Colossus on your PS3.
Then there’s also the issue of whether or not you’ll merely be able to use your actual PS2 discs, or whether Sony has some sort of “Classic PS2 Games!” PlayStation Network store up its sleeves.