Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced today that PlayStation 3 consoles shipped to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia will have a new hardware specification, starting March 23.
The European PS3 will feature the Cell Broadband Engine, a 60 GB hard drive, Blu-Ray disc player, built in Wi-Fi connectivity and the SIXAXIS wireless controller. It will also contain a new version of hardware and software emulation that will only be compatible with select PS1 and PS2 games.
David Reeves, President of SCEE, explains this by saying games designed for the PS3 offer advanced graphics and audio quality that just isn't achievable with PS1 and PS2 titles, so rather than focus on backwards compatibility, the company resources would be shifted to developing better PS3 games.
Additional PS2 titles will become available after launch through the Playstation Network or via PS3 game discs. The current list of compatible games will be available online March 23.